In the Forums...
Posted: January 20, 2000
Written by: David "Spunk" Grampa
Estimated retail price: $49.99
The 3D Audio Experience
After bustin' on into Quake3:Arena, Half-Life, and Unreal Tournament we were able to test out some 3D Gaming Audio. On a four speaker setup, 3D audio was- well, pretty much bitchin'... Rippers bouncing off the walls in UT sounded realistic (as if I've heard a real ripper going off?). However, in most of the games a two channel setup sounded just as good... Meaning the rear channels were not well implemented. At any rate, Half-Life sounded nice, although Aureal3D would sample a lot better in version 2.0, can't get everything for $49.99 though. Moving on, Creative's EAX performed surprisingly well, on par with an AWE 64. Not to say the Fortissimo is the leader in 3D Gaming Audio, but at a Price to Performance ratio, you got yourself a buy. Great gaming sound all without dropping frames and tying up vital CPU cycles. Kudos to Guillemot!
The MP3/CD Experience
While sampling at 128+ kbps, MP3's sounded crisp and clear. What else than to bump to some MP3 ambient techno, and a little Prodigy. Hell, we even threw in a Chemical Brothers CD and listened to it all at the same time. Not a problem, if you can mix it the Fortissimo can play it. And well I may add. (Hmm, what else can I say besides Crisp and Clear? Ahh screw it, I'll just go play some Quake3:Arena here.)
The Theater Experience
DVD movies, mmm, The Matrix and Saving Private Ryan. Track skip to the Office Scene in Matrix and my friends and I were motionless and listening in awe (no pun to Creative intended). Bullets ricocheting, shells hitting the marble floor, explosions, more bullets, and cool fruit/vegetable sounds. Not your entire home theater solution, but in my opinion The Matrix never sounded better with a plump wallet. Finally a soundcard that I can afford after those $300 speakers.
To check things twice, I didn't hesitate to slip in Saving Private Ryan. This time, the movie made me puke, but only because of the realism (as in sound/graphics) of the Normandy scene. Although the theater experience was only tested with gunfire, hey, it sounded pretty damn good =). If you're looking for the absolute ultimate in Home Theater, wait for the arrival of fully capable AC-3 soundcards that make major use of those rear channels. In the meantime, the Fortissimo is 'the one' in affordable Theater Sound.