Philips Acoustic Edge PSC706

Friday, February 08, 2002


Introduction

Philips is a name we've all come to know intimate over the years. It's a name that consumers commonly associate with a solid reputation in the cut-throat field of consumer electronics. Thanks to their years of experience, they have also often found themselves leading the forefront of many a new wave of consumer technology.

Philips, after all, was one of the first major manufacturers to back, and ultimately market, VHS recorders, and was similarly quick-off-the-bat when CD-ROMs was developped, as well as many other then-emerging techs. In short, they're big, they're innovative, and they have a list of products so long it would bury the small city. Those are three of many reasons why we were excited to receive our very first Philips product for testing: the Philips Acoustic Edge PSC706 sound-card.

So, without further ado, let's say we head on to the main event, and see just how much potential this card really has.



Particularities of the
Acoustic Edge PSC706

Though the PSC706 hit the market a little over a year ago, it was only recently that we received a sample for analysis.

  

Unfortunately, its review was further delayed by the sheer weight of all the new products we received at around the same period. Our apologies for the delay.

The Acoustic Edge PSC706 PCI is based on a Thunderbird Avenger SAA7785HT audio-chip, thus making the PSC706 a truly high-end product of the type that's seldom seen on the market these days. In fact, its closest competitor seems to be the Soundblaster Live - a card gifted with little that the Philips device has to envy. Among its more prominent features, the PSC706 can count support for 5.1 sound environments (without the need for an external decoder), MP3s, films, and many games. It can also support connections to 2 or 4 speakers, or the aforementioned 5.1 environment setup, and supports the DS3D, A3D 1.0, EAX 1.0, EAX 2.0, and I3D2 audio-standards, as well as 576 wavetables, 256 distinct Directsound voices, and up to 96 distinct 3D voices.

In short, no matter what kind of audio configuration you want, the Acoustic Edge is ready to supply it. Its incredible capacity to reproduce just about any sound effect imaginable via 2, 4, or 5 speakers (plus the addition of a subwoofer) makes it one of the highest-quality cards we've ever tested. Now add to that its support for DirectSound, Qsound3D interactive, and EAX 2.0. It's all there folks, and ready to please.

But no, that isn't it. The Acoustic Edge PSC706 is also capable of handling Midi files. A full 64 instruments have been encoded in the Edge's very hardware, and it is capable of being coupled with its own 5.9MB data file containing an additional 512 instruments. That adds up to a total of 576 musical devices, all reproducible through the PSC706, and a copy of Yamaha XG.

Clearly, as you can see, the Acoustic Edge is armed to the teeth with just about every feature a consumer could ask for.

Next: Technical specifications