When it comes to good gaming, while graphics are a key element, sound can be just as important. After all it's the things that go bump in the night that make us scared. TerraTec think they have the answer with their Aureon 5.1 Fun audio gaming card.
Offering 6-channel sound, the small, but powerful card is suitable for anyone wanting to connect a 5.1 speaker system to their PC. The card is short, looks fairly simple compared to the like of Creative's Audigy range and will comfortably sit inside most PC cases. The ports on the rear of the card offer a host of options; Optical Digital In and Out, three line out sockets, a line in, mic in and gameport connector are all present and these gives any user the chance to connect most speaker sets.
Installation on the PC is simple and easy with Windows detecting the device straight away. TerraTec has included all the relevant drivers/ control panels and utilities to get you going straight from the box and TerraTec has also included a DVD playback application and music software.
As titled, the Aureon 5.1 Fun is and aimed at gamers TerraTec has included three games and a headset microphone to get you started. When it comes to bundling, most manufacturers just throw in any old crap but not TerraTec. The soundcard is bundled with WarCraft III, Gun Metal and Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell. Gun Metal is obviously the weaker title being Rage Software's swansong, but the inclusion of a game that is in the top twenty Charts on debut is a gutsy yet consumer-friendly move.
The headset (usually retailing for £10) is also very useful, although none of the games the device ships with can benefit from it. That said it can be used for anything from instant messaging, recording those special songs you've written for your girlfriend or simply to listen to music.
Overall the product offers a lot in the box; three games, a headset, and oh yes, the sound card. For the price TerraTec has made sure that you really get your money's worth. If you are looking to improve your sound card on a budget then this card will let you do so, and get a couple of games at the same time. Of course if you're on a really cheap budget you could buy the card and flog the games eBay to pay towards the overall cost, but then you would be missing out on a great game and all those great sounds.
For those on a real budget you can just buy the card on its own for £30 without the games or the headset.