More Reviews
REVIEWS Stretchmo Review
Pushmo, Crashmo, Stretchmo... what's next, Twistmo? Vanilla Swirlmo? And why am I already excited for it?

Destiny: House of Wolves Review
The latest Destiny expansion makes some important changes, but are they enough to bring back former players?
More Previews
PREVIEWS Rodea The Sky Soldier Preview
Yuji Naka's independent game for Wii U and 3DS is like a cross between Sonic and Nights Into Dreams, in the best way possible.
Release Dates
NEW RELEASES LEGO Jurassic World
Release date: 06/12/15

Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess
Release date: 06/14/15

RIDE
Release date: 06/23/15


LATEST FEATURES I Am a Whore
And 3DS games are pretty good.

Yakuza 0 Is the Best Yakuza Game Ever (Yakuza Podcast 2 of 2)
If you don't mind some story spoilers, this is a great podcast. I don't just say that because I'm in it. Well I mean, that's a huge part of it, but not all of it.

LEADERBOARD
Read More Member Blogs
FEATURED VOXPOP oblivion437     In all the talk of graphical downgrades no one seems much preoccupied with 'why?'.  Why build something and then proceed to tear it down, piece by piece, in the hope that ever more diminished expectations about the final product won't be severe enough to...

Gamesuround Muse XL Review

Shawn_Sparks By:
Shawn_Sparks
07/01/01
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE  
PLAYERS 00 
PUBLISHER Hercules 
DEVELOPER  
RELEASE DATE  

Herculean sound on a peasant's salary.

Considering all the available bells and whistles in PC cards, it's nice to see that some manufacturers still respect the fact that not everyone wants to go out and spend a fortune on silicon implants for their computers. I, for one, have high expectations for what I spend my hard earned cash on, and the Gamesurround Muse XL is music to my ears.

Opening the package, I was most surprised at the inclusion of a set of stereo headphones with built-in mic. I never figured that a card that retails for $29.99 would have such a cool bonus.

Installation is a cicnh. The drivers go in like a breeze; they'll even remove your old drivers automatically to ward off any IRQ conflicts. And the driver disk is even chock full o' demos, but more on that later. Let's talk sound.

The Gamesurround Muse XL

Running on the latest chipset from CMI, the Muse XL can handle everything from basic Windows sound schemes to pro audio with plenty of all the clarity. The Muse XL supports 4-channel surround, a microphone, line in and a MIDI/game port. Its only real shortcoming is the omission of digital output for newer speaker sets. The other gourmet ports that the high-end cards offer simply fill a niche for developers or audiophiles and seem unnecessary for the average Joe Gamer that uses their PC for gaming, MP3s and maybe watching a DVD or two.

With all of the new audio formats hitting the market, it's nice to know that the Muse XL comes fully prepared for this latest wave. You'll have no worries when you run the latest games because it supports Sensaura 3D positional audio, D3D, EAX1.0 & 2.0, A3D1.0, and everything else down to Legacy support for those old DOS games in your closet.

Whether you're gaming or jamming to your favorite CD, the sound quality is rich and full. The bass is low and strong while the highs are bright and crisp, and everything in between is nicely balanced. Development obviously went into sound quality, not frills.

Unfortunately, the praise comes to a screeching halt when you peruse the included software bundle. Accompaning the Gamesurround Muse XL are trial versions of Acid Express, Musicmatch Jukebox, Siren Jukebox Express, Kool Karaoke, Power DVD, Storm Hercules SE and Game Commander 2 SE. All of these applications have great audio editing potential as full versions, but the trial editions don't offer very much at all. If you actually want to use them, you have to upgrade to the full versions, meaning spending more dough. Or should I say, Doh!

Besides, doesn't the name Gamesurround sort of allude to gaming? Maybe a game bundle would be a better idea than a half-assed music editing bundle.

Of course, there are always the more expensive high-end cards like Creative's latest incarnation of their fabled Sound Blaster Live or even Hercules' own impressive Game Theatre XP. Both offer more options and better sound overall. But with the modest price tag and rock solid performance, there is absolutely no reason why you penny pinchers shouldn't consider this card.

Revolution report card
  • It's only $30!
  • 4-channel surround support
  • Supports all standard audio formats
  • Free headphones
  • Undesirable software bundle
    Reviews by other members
    No member reviews for the game.


More from the Game Revolution Network




comments powered by Disqus

 


More information about Gamesuround Muse XL


More On GameRevolution