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Music to Computer Lovers' Ears: Easy Steps to Upgrading Your PC

(ARA) - While Americans aren't quite ready to ditch their televisions to kick back in front of their computer monitors for a night of entertainment, more of us than ever are using PCs for video games, Internet radio, DVD viewing and other multi-media applications.

Enhancing PC sound doesn't have to be expensive or complicated. For a $70 to $300 investment and with minimal effort, your PC can deliver impressive sound.

 

 
"Installing a new sound card and high-quality, multi-media speakers can dramatically improve the sound performance of your personal computer," said Bill Taylor, vice president and general manager of imaging, storage and multimedia, Philips Consumer Electronics North America. "A lot of people think replacing their computer's sound card and speakers is a complicated process, but it requires only a few simple steps."

Sound cards come in two- to six- channel options. A number of multi-channel sound cards and speaker systems have hit the home PC market in the last few years, but until recently, none could deliver a theatre-like surround sound experience. New technology from Philips and QSound Labs allows sound cards from Philips to deliver distinctly different sounds to each speaker for every application -- from DVDs to PC games -- regardless of the number of channels available from the source. This technology is featured exclusively in three Philips sound cards.

Taylor offers the following tips when considering a PC sound boost.

Define Your Needs

Are you a gaming fanatic or an occasional Internet radio listener? Defining the audio quality you need will help you decide what equipment you should consider installing. "For PC gamers and music lovers, sound will be of utmost importance," said Taylor. On the other hand, if you just listen to CDs every now and then, you'll be satisfied with a simpler option.

New technology from Philips and QSound Labs allows sound cards from Philips to deliver distinctly different sounds to each speaker for every application -- from DVDs to PC games -- regardless of the number of channels available from the source. So, with just two speakers, you can still create surround sound. This technology is featured exclusively in three Philips sound cards.

The Philips Acoustic Edge sound card offers a premium audio experience through distinct, 5.1 surround channels at an affordable price ($99.99) without having to add any hardware to the PC (except speakers). This sound card is the first PCI card capable of playing all games, CDs, MP3s and movies in 5.1 surround sound, providing high-quality sound effects and concert-hall realism for all genres of music. The Rhythmic Edge sound card can be used with headphones, and two, three or four speakers, while the Seismic Edge sound card is designed to enhance sound on a stereo pair or a three-piece speaker system.

Take One Step at a Time

If you're hesitant to leap into better PC sound, take it one step at a time. You might consider installing new, more powerful speakers first. This is an easy process that will immediately improve to your PC's sound. And with options such as multi-channel flat panel speakers, you also get the bonus of a facelift for your desktop. You can install from two to six speakers, and can mount them on your wall, conceal them in a bookcase or just place them on your desktop, horizontally or vertically.

Get Comfortable

If you only installed new speakers, you can increase the richness of your audio output by installing a sound card. If you've already installed a sound card, you can try new settings to further enhance the sound. Whether you're the type who likes to tinker or follow instructions, there are many options and resources available online and in technology magazines.

"Improving your PC's sound performance just requires a little time and patience, but the payoffs are enormous," said Taylor. "Taking the small steps to install a new sound card and speakers can literally create a home theatre experience with your PC, no matter where you are."

Courtesy of ARA Content, www.ARAcontent.com  e-mail: info@ARAcontent.com 
 

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