I think that is one of the main things that really impressed me with Auzentech in particular, they are continually working on bigger and better things for products they have already released. The Dolby drivers and a few other things have been release after the card hit the market so the hardware was ready but the software was still in the works.
They continue to not only improve and fix problems but to upgrade the cards features so you can be sure they will not be selling these and forgetting about their customers after the sale. I have had a few problems with installation and running various consoles on the card but had great help from support and I don’t think they knew I was a reviewer.
• X-Fi Prelude - 06.17.2008
X-Fi Prelude Earns Effizienz Award
High-class components, a flawlessly functioning driver with exclusive extensions, many connection possibilities and very convincing sound that screams for high-end equipment. Without a doubt, the Auzentech X-Fi Prelude 7.1 deserves our EffizienzAward. (translation)
- Luca Marnitz
X-Fi Prelude Earns Top Class Product Award from DatorMagazin
Swedish Magazine Datormagazin announces Top Class award to Auzentech X-Fi Prelude. “In the latest issue of Sweden’s market leading pro-user magazine Datormagazin we test the Auzentech X-FI Prelude. The soundcard has been awarded Top Class product, an award that has been given only 1 or 2 times per year and is reserved for the best products.” - Excerpt from advance publicity
X-Fi Prelude Earns 9 out of 10 Points from AtomicPC.com
Listening to our CD and BD audio, it was instantly obvious that ‘more’ could be heard. The decay of cymbals, the fret-buzz of guitars and the luscious bass undertones jumped out at us. Low frequency effects and subtle dynamics (such as actors breathing) were obvious and transparent. At 192kHz, the Auzen amazed us.... The Auzen X-Fi Prelude 7.1 is a card for lovers of serious audio. With more ADC/DAC clout than any Creative card, upgradeable components, impressive driver support and a THD rating that Creative cannot touch, we consider this a stand out product.
From a technical point of view we understand that Auzentech has fully licensed Creative Labs’s X-Fi chip onto their own proprietary circuit board design. So what does that mean? Well it means arguably the world’s fastest and most advanced audio processing at the average consumers reach right now, with upcoming driver support for Dolby Live, DTS interactive and since we have a Creative chip, the very latest in EAX surround technology. My first impressions were good with a very noticeable notch up from the low-end after swapping from the Xonar. Not only did the low-end sound a lot beefier, it had a lot more character to it; more warmth and depth.
- James Vozar
X-Fi Prelude Receives Top-Produkt Award from PCGamesHardware.de
X-Fi Prelude to receive Top Produkt award in March issue of German PC magazine PC Games Hardware:
"The performance data in our test lab is outstanding. Rightmark 3D Sound attests the card a very low CPU utilization like with the Creative originals. Due to the "real" X-Fi-Chip on board the Prelude does also not take second place in disciplines EAX 5.0, 128 hardware voices and the Crystalizer. The subjective rated sound quality on music and games is our new reference: High tones and surround sound appear crystal clear, you can sense every detail owning an adequate HIFI system. This is garnished with a luscious bass, that sounds never distorted."
X-Fi Prelude Receives APH Recommended / Best in Class award
The Auzentech X-Fi Prelude is probably the best sound card in the market today. Combining the most powerful, and arguably, the best sound processor in the market today, with some of the highest quality and a reasonable price consumer audio electronics, the Auzentech X-Fi Prelude is a very scalable product when it comes to compatibility -- whether it's in unleashing the potential of relatively weaker speakers by emphasizing on certain frequencies, or working with high end home theater systems in outputting raw unprocessed audio while retaining as much quality as possible -- the X-Fi Prelude is a winner not only on paper as shown in our RMAA test graphs, but also in real life performance.... To say the Auzentech X-Fi Prelude is an X-Fi on crack is one way of putting it, but the other way of saying it is that the X-Fi Prelude is pretty much one of the best sound cards available in the market today!
X-Fi Prelude Receives Recommended Award from TechReport.com
RightMark confirms that it [the X-fi Prelude]t has higher analog output quality than the X-Fi Fatal1ty. You also get a upgradeable OPAMP, and more importantly, support for real-time Dolby Digital Live encoding that isn't available with any other X-Fi. With DTS encoding on tap for a driver release this quarter, Auzentech has done well to differentiate the Prelude from Creative's own offerings.
- Geoff Gasior
Comparing the sound of the Auzen X-Fi Prelude with and without the C.E.C. amplifier, I could note the worsening of the dynamics as well as the precision and dimensions of the scene. The lower the load resistance was, the more evident the amplifier´s advantage grew....
With the C.E.C. amplifier the card sounded fantastically. I couldn´t believe my ears when I heard it first—familiar compositions were so unusual. Scorpions´ Holiday, Gary Moore´s Always There For You, Roger Waters´ Too Much Rope... all acquired new details and surprised me with natural sounding. I listened through all my collection of test compositions and found nuances, previously unattended to, in every one of them. Interestingly, I had no doubt that each nuance that sounded differently was the correct sound while the audio cards I had listened to before were unable to reproduce it with such mildness and harmony. The Auzen X-Fi Prelude creates an unbelievably realistic scene, filling it with the deepest bass and natural reverbs with precisely positioned instruments. Minutest details are reproduced in the sound of each instrument. Coupled with the excitingly accurate reproduction of space and distance, this delivers an unforgettable presence effect.
We were eager to find out what the Prelude could do and it didn't disappoint. As we expect from Auzentech, it's a well-engineered card sporting eight very solid inputs on a PCI card as big as some graphics cards. Audio software suites are often ridiculous bloat, but Prelude's was a joy to use.... The quality of audio produced is fantastic. Even hideously bad MP3s sounded better. And because the Prelude supports up to EAX 5.0, you might even get a boost in frame rate when gaming in Windows XP.
It's an X-FI, but not as we know it
With these extra features [Dolby Digital Live and dTS NEO:PC], it would be the only premium sound card to offer cross-compatibility with every past and future game, and it provides professional-grade sound quality to match.
X-Fi Prelude Receives Heavnly Hardware Award from DriverHeaven.net
Right now the X-Fi chipset is without doubt the best gaming oriented audio solution available. Auzentech however didn’t just repackage one of Creative’s cards and send it to the shelves, but used a series of proprietary solutions which make this card one of the best X-Fi branded products on the market.... the Auzen X-Fi Prelude 7.1 is quite possibly the best sounding X-Fi card currently available, due to the high quality of components used.
Overclick3D.Net Recommends X-Fi Prelude with Gamer's Choice award
The Auze X-Fi Prelude provided an incredibly immersive experience when gaming. Weapons fire and overall game soundscapes never sounded so good. There's nothing like hearing an enemy manta screaming past at full noise, or having the ball projectile of the BFG in QUAKE 4 land anywhere near you with the Auzen X-Fi Prelude in your rig....
My god how good does it sound when listening to your favourite tunes on the Auzen X-Fi Prelude! Making sure that I got a good mix of music at different bit-rates, the experience was nothing short of heavenly. In fact I would go out on a limb and say that the Prelude provided the best audio reproduction of any sound card that I have ever tried...period.
- Matthew Fogg
X-Fi Prelude Wins Best Product Award from PCTuner.net
Original review in Italian. English synopsis by original author. (below)
The conclusions are that the X-Fi Prelude is a killer sound card, full of quality, capable to reproduce high quality music but also high quality games or movies and that quality came at an incredible price, so the Prelude is probabily better than any other [sound] card on the market in the same price or even of a higher price. So I give the Prelude the PCTuner best award, that is "Best Product."
- Alessandro Crea
X-Fi Prelude Wins Editors Choice Award from Computer Shopper
When playing compressed MP3 and WMA music, we found sound quality comparable to the Creative X-Fi Elite Pro, with clarity enhanced by the 24-bit Crystalizer. Listening to original CDs and DVD content, the X-Fi Prelude's output was noticeably cleaner, particularly in very quiet sequences. EAX positional sound in games like F.E.A.R. was crisp and suitably creepy.... The X-Fi Prelude is one of the best-sounding audio cards we've ever tested, and its X-Fi driver compatibility means it's widely supported by games and other audio applications. If you can wait for the yet-undelivered digital audio features, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better sound card.
As far as subjective audio results, I put this card to the test with the game BioShock. This game has an awesome soundtrack with a creepy and huge palette of audio. It's great to hear the enemies creeping up behind you. EAX sounds absolutely brilliant in this game. The addition of the X-Fi Prelude made this experience truly disturbing. I watched a couple of DVDs in Entertainment Mode. I couldn't believe how good it sounded, even better than my home system in my TV room. Very impressive.
X-Fi Prelude Recieves 5 out of 5 Points from HardwareCanucks.com
Auzentech definitely listened to their customer base when they headed to the drawing board for the Prelude 7.1. It has a bundle of wanted features that were almost impossible to get on one sound card up until now. I am very impressed with this card from start to finish. The sound quality coupled with gaming features and new high resolution digital output specifications (which will be added) make this one solid offering from the Auzen audio group. It is in my opinion a modern audio masterpiece. It sounds very open, full and dynamic and it easily sounds the best out of the cards tested.... Indeed, Auzentech has succeeded in creating a card that has something for everybody. This card gets a 5/5 from this reviewer and will stay in my system until I have to review another audio card.
X-Fi Prelude Receives 5 our of 5 Stars from XS Reviews
So you want a gaming sound card? Creative it is then. Ah, see that’s where you are wrong. Creative (has) recently released their X-Fi chip to Auzentech who have worked their PCB trickery into producing a card with the good aspects of the X-Fi with the window open to use Dolby Digital Live, DTS Interactive, and DTS NeoPC in the future. Considering as this was one of the major complaints with the X-Fi itself, this card could be a serious contender to the Creative crown.