Product: X-Meridian 7.1
Company: Auzentech
Authour: Brian "HalcYoN" Gray
Editor: Eric "Ichneumon" Amidon
Date: January 23rd, 2007

When my friends ask for advice on purchasing components for a new PC, the last area ever addressed is audio.  We can all agree that the number of us that are true audiophiles with tube amps and electrostatic speakers connected to our PCs is a very small percentage of users.  However, the HTPC is not just for nerds anymore as Windows Media Center edition and, in the near future, Windows Vista make the HTPC as simple as adding a remote control or wireless keyboard to an existing system.  At some point, the audiophile will discover the convenience of high quality MP3s and DVD images stored on a hard drive.

It is not to say that that audiophile will be the card carrying granite-turntable-base owning obsessive, but even midrange tuners can expose the inadequacies of many PC audio solutions.

Auzentech wants to take the first step forward in remedying the long standing lack of high end audio quality from a PC sound card for the mainstream system builder.  The X-Meridian 7.1 is the latest sound card from the company making inroads against Creative’s stranglehold on PC audio.  The X-Meridian promises better overall audio quality and a laundry list of new features afforded by its C-Media CMI8788 Oxygen HD chipset and new higher quality components.

Will the X-Meridian yield real-world results that jump its predecessor, the 8780 based X-Plosion?  I will do my best to find out.

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