|HT Omega Claro Plus+ AD8620BR Op Amp Sound Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Audio|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Thursday, 13 December 2007|
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HT Omega Claro Plus+
HT Omega, Inc. was one of the first companies to offer authentic high-fidelity sound at a true 24-bit level of performance in their Original Claro sound card. Now revised, a new AD8620BR Op Amp from Analog Devices has joined the world class Oxygen 8788 based audio processor in the Claro Plus+. Like the Claro, the new Plus+ model supports EAX 1.0 & 2.0, A3D 1.0 and DirectSound, but also adds Dolby Pro Logic IIx, Dolby Headphone, and a precision Base Management system. Benchmark Reviews has been fortunate enough to compare the HT Omega Claro Plus+ 24-bit/192KHz 8-channel high definition sound against the entire C-Media CMI8788 family of audio products in this review.
But we don't stop there. Back when the Claro was reviewed, integrated 5.1 channel sound was commonplace. These days, 7.1 (eight channel) audio support can be found in nearly every motherboard produced over the past year, so Benchmark Reviews will also test the HT Omega Claro Plus+ against the integrated High Definition Audio chipset previously codenamed Azalia. Don't be fooled though, because while integrated audio may offer the same high-quality 192KHz/24-bit audio output, it cannot do so without a hit to processor performance and system memory usage.
It is because of these integrated audio chipsets that manufacturers continue to throw around the term High Definition in all directions. It's everywhere; even the low-end segment seems to be offering onboard eight channel sound with their products. But it doesn't take long to notice that not all audio solutions sound alike; even if it has been labeled "High Definition". The sad truth is that consumers are unaware of the loose requirements necessary of such industry tags, and in the end some poor quality audio gets passed off as a premium solution.
This is because most computers being used today provide audio through low-quality integrated sound, or in some small numbers the computer may have a dedicated audio controller based sound card. At a glance, the two most prevalent forms of audio quality in personal computers are poor and acceptable. Although the industry tries to keep in step with Moore’s Law, there is one thing that is predominantly true: computer sound is the last item on the list for performance evolution. Gamers and audiophiles alike know better then to make this mistake, and keep sound quality at the forefront of there needs whenever they make a purchase.
In this review, I will revisit the features made famous in the original HT Omega Claro, and the new features will be showcased in the more-powerful Claro Plus+. With a sound level rating beyond 110dB, I will share the experience of clarity and definition in every melody that frolics on my eardrums. Intended for the audiophile with a discerning ear, the hardcore computer enthusiast and serious gamer who demands only the best, and the home theater buff who settles for nothing less than DTS: HT Omega offers the Claro Plus+ to delivers only the very best sound possible.
About the company: HT Omega, Inc.
HT Omega is a US based company operating out of Ontario, California which manufactures multimedia hardware and peripherals. With a dedicated R&D division for PC and professional audio components, HT Omega is quickly expanding into the global market for consumer PC audio equipment based on Dolby Digital and DTS technologies. Game users and home entertainment enthusiasts around the world use HT Omega for the ultimate results.
HT Omega specializes in multimedia devices, especially electronic audio. The research and development engineers at HT Omega have designed some of the most successful sound cards sold globally over past five years. The drive and passion of HT Omega's highly qualified employees is to continue to develop innovative and ground-breaking new products.