Tuesday, July 20, 2010

new audio software from SRS Labs

Today, SRS Labs is launching SRS HD Audio Lab software:

"...It allows the user to select audio content (music, movie or game) and then choose the speaker type (Headphone, Internal notebook speakers, or external speakers) to dial in amazing sound tailored for your listening preference...

"...personalize the sound...deep, rich bass, offer 3D enhancement for stereo and mono content, restore the clarity to vocals and high frequency sounds, and more.

"SRS HD Audio Lab also allows users to take advantage of surround content regardless of their speaker arrangement..."

Take note of the system requirements:  initially I installed the software on a computer that did not have a comparable processor, and noticed the software seemed to fail to modify the audio enough for reasonable use on that computer.

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS
•  Microsoft Windows XP SP3 / Vista SP1 / 7 (32bit or 64bit)
•  Intel Pentium 4 3.0Ghz / AMD Athlon 3200+
   (A dual core CPU is recommended)
•  1GB System RAM
   (2GB is recommended for Windows Vista or higher)
•  60MB Hard Disk Space
   (Up to 500MB can be used with Microsoft .NET Framework
    installation)
•  DirectX 9.0c capable video card with 128MB VRAM

Customizable audio features:
SRS 3D - a "3D" stereo enhancement for mono or stereo content
SRS 3D Center Control - extracts and positions (audio) dialog in the
   foreground or background of the mix
SRS TruBass - adjusts the bass output for more or less bass response
Speaker Size - adjusts the audio to the quality, or limitations, of the
   size of the speaker (larger speakers give better quality; this control
   can make cheap speakers sound better)
SRS FOCUS - "raises or lowers the audio field" (for clarity)
SRS Definition - highlights the high frequency details...can sharpen,
   or smooth, the sound
Limiter Level – prevents speakers from being over driven...
   for most setups, this option doesn’t need to be adjusted

Adjustments are availble for 2.0, 2.1, 5.1, and 7.1 speaker configurations.  SRS Circle Surround II creates multichannel surround sound from mono and stereo audio sources for them to be played over a 5.1 or 6.1 speaker playback system.

SRS Circle Surround II Headphone can enable 5.1 reproduction from stereo, or surround, encoded content...

I have not tried a external speaker system with the software.  When using the software with the speakers on my Alienware Area 51 M9750 notebook computer, I was able to make the audio cleaner and clearer.  Using Sony MDR-CD180 and SteelSeries Siberia headphones is when I best experienced the features the SRS software had to offer...using the Advance Controls allowed me to get the best performance possible from the headphones.

If you often use a computer to listen to music for enjoyment, this software can make it a much better experience.

{UPDATE...AFTER I HAD WRITTEN THE PREVIOUS}

I had disabled the software from loading at boot.  After restarting my computer I noticed no audio would play.  In the Sound properties, I found a "SRS HD Audio Lab" playback device had been added and was enabled.  I enabled "Speakers" (in an attempt to bypass the SRS software), but was not able to engage sound.

After looking at some of the other software I have installed, I suspect there may be a conflict between the SRS HD Audio Lab...and the Realtek HD Audio Manager that was provided with the computer:  when I disable the SRS software, it no longer interacts with the Realtek software...probably causing no audio between the two applications.
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