The Audio is not The-Best, but it can lay just as much of a claim to it
as any of its competitors, and more if you factor in the Headphone
The 3D sound spatialization was actually very good. You could hear the
differing sounds front to rear very clearly (Much improved over
the previous version!), and there was no distortion or volume
changes/echo effect as some reverb 3D sound engines create.
The BASS was very good. Not as explosive as Cinemaster, but superior to
Both WinDVD and the LFE-less (till the next release!) PowerDVD. LFE is
Low Frequency Effects decoding. All sounds are made of frequencies, and
DVD players have the option of DELETING the very low sounds if they
choose so you never hear them. (A Double-Bassoon or a Double-Tuba
playing a really LOW note might fall in the LFE range.) This is done to
protect users from blowing up their speakers as LFE tones are really
Rough on speakers. You shouldn't enable LFE without a good quality
subwoofer speaker system. However, for those who have the good
speakers, you want the LFE! It rocks! And MGI doesn't disappoint
for BASS quality.
The HIGHs were not as clean as the BASS, but quite adequate with only
minor tweaking of my equalizer. Things like breaking glass or birds
chirping should be easy to distinguish without sounding muted. Again,
SoftDVD 6 is up to the challenge, though a taste behind PowerDVD and
WinDVD for HIGH tone clarity.
HEADPHONES. This is MGI's domain. If you want to use Headphones for
your DVD Playback, this is the player I recommend. Some other players
really sound anemic in headphone mode, as though the tones are trimmed
way down for the headphones. Not so with SoftDVD, its quite an
experience. I am not a headphone fan myself, but if I were, this would
be my choice. Again though, the system Crawled at 400mhz with
headphones on and Hardware Acceleration enabled. If you don't have a Powerful system
(500mhz or more) and a good Hardware Acceleration capable video card, don't expect
good performance with headphones. Even at 600mhz, the system was taxed
in Headphone mode, so keep it in mind.
I'd like to see more audio controls, 4 Vs 6 speaker setups to focus the
3D downmixing for any system. The option of selecting Full-Range or
Compressed-Range sound to allow users with lesser speakers or weak amps to
gain more volume and shave off the sounds like LFE and extreme highs
they can't hear anyway. Overall though, I find a tough time not raving
about SoftDVD Audio. It is definitely a player in this arena!