- Dolby Digital EX 6.1
Many of you have most likely heard the term "5.1 surround sound", but don't have a clue as to what it actually means. Well, the term "5.1" means that there are five main channels for audio to pass through, as well as a sub woofer for lower frequency sounds. The five channels in 5.1 are: front left, front centre, front right, rear left and rear right as well as of course, the sub woofer. Support for the 5.1 standard is available on most modern sound cards, including the original Audigy and even the older Soundblaster Live!.
Creative have taken things one step further with the Audigy 2, supporting the new Dolby Digital EX 6.1 standard. This not only features all of the same channels seen in the 5.1 standard, but also adds a rear centre channel.
That said, the Audigy 2 can still only output a pre-encoded audio stream, meaning that you will need to purchase a separate decoder box if you want to take full advantage of true 6.1 audio. Furthermore, 6.1 encoded audio is still quite rare, with the exception being a number of newer DVD titles and games.