Thermaltake BAHAMUT External Sound Card ReviewBluePanda - August 25, 2013
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Tt eSPORTS BAHAMUT External Sound Card Installation & Driver Setup:
Setup for the BAHAMUT External Sound Card is pretty easy. Plugging in the USB dongle allows you to use it right away; it works without drivers or any updates straight from the box. However, if you go to the eSPORTS website there is both a firmware update and some software for download. Download and update the firmware with the BAHAMUT plugged in first, then download the software (this is how the eSPORTS recommends an order of procedure). The software is quite simple and is shown below. I will say as a precautionary, don't shit yourself when you plug it in. Tt eSPORTS thought it would be a good idea to waste a little bit of components and include a speaker on the little guy; it plays an engine startup noise when plugged in, which if you aren't ready for it well... it can scare you a bit.
The software itself is quite, how can I put it, interesting. It's a simple one page view with all your controls for the BAHAMUT all in one place. You can control the left and right independently with the buttons on the top right or both at the same time. There's a section for DTS, Gaming, and the area effect change space. A full Equalizer can be tuned to your liking in the lower left corner.
Discussing the software a bit, though this would normally go with testing; let's get it over with here while your options are fresh in mind. Starting with the DTS option I was rather surprised; it made everything sound like I was wearing tin cans on my head. Voice clarification only makes that worse. The Bass enhancement actually gives some bump (not a ton) but you still have to enable either music or movie DTS, which means tin can. So I wasn't really jumping to turn the DTS option on, rather jumping to turn it off. I honestly couldn't find a good example of when these options were a benefit. Movies again just sounded very hollow with the default DTS options (meaning I didn't play with the EQ, just toggling the DTS on or off with DTS options). Playing a little more with the DTS, I wanted to see how well the "movie" option worked, and to no improvement, it was actually almost worse. The Matrix almost benefited from the hollow, tinny, sound at the bank vault shoot up scene, but what really killed it was the complete loss of surround. The movie itself had a bit of directional sound built in targeting left or right to give a feel for where something is coming from. The DTS option removes the surround completely making everything flat and literally up front. It's quite contradictive in that manner; DTS, the surround sensation for headphones equaling a surround removal.
The gaming effect, on the other hand, does provide a little something for you if you're playing a game that doesn't have very good in-game surround or doesn't have very balanced effects. The FPS options, or MMO, RTS, and ARPG options available tailor the EQ to give you the slight upper hand. It doesn't overly modify what you are listening to, rather it gives you the peaks where you need to hear more. I wouldn't say it's a huge improvement, but at least it was improvement. As for special effects, if you want to sound like you are playing a game or listening to music in the bathroom, or the forest, or what have you, go for it; I don't find this any useful other than to toy with. Honestly, I'd be okay without ever installing the software; the amp works without it well enough.