I just got one of these for christmas after a year and a half of using my laptop's crappy built in sound card. For $50 at circuit city, it was definitely worth it. I'm not even using it to its full capacity (5.1 surround sound processing), im just using its stereo headphone output, and I am blown away by the quality. With a good set of headphones (i'm using sennheiser 212 Pro DJ's) there is very little reason to buy other expensive traditional audio equiptment. Yes, there is a difference between this and traditional cd decks, mixers, etc, but the average consumer will not notice, in fact I doubt the average consumer would notice the difference between their old sound card and this one, though there are some very obvious improvements.

In my mind the greatest strengths of this product are:
96khz sampling rate
24 bit processing (256 times the resolution of a standard 16 bit card)
100db sound to noise ratio
External USB connection for use with laptops
unique software package that includes EAX effects
5.1 surround sound processing

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