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Thermaltake BAHAMUT External Sound Card Review

BluePanda    -   August 25, 2013
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Tt eSPORTS BAHAMUT External Sound Card Testing & Results:

Unfortunately I don't have any audio testing equipment at my finger tips to show off the real effects of a sound card or even an external soundcards improvement to sound; but I do have RightMark Audio Analizer to at least give you a comparison from onboard sound. Beyond the subjective review of the sound card – I've provided you with some real number data to feed on.

Testing Setup: 

 

For the numbers I tested a couple scenarios here after seeing some rather disappointing Stereo Crosstalk through the BAHAMUT itself. I decided it was important to see what things looked like if you used your motherboard as the mic source; perhaps the BAHAMUT doesn't have the greatest setup to use with a mic. The numbers, while improved, were nothing to be over zealous for. The frequency response across the BAHAMUT and motherboard was unbelievable, but unfortunately didn't show much improvement anywhere else. The huge increase in the Stereo Crosstalk still wasn’t enough to bring it on par with just a simple motherboard. So the numbers have a lot to say versus what our ears may hear, but perhaps numbers aren't everything?

 

 
MSI Z87-GD45 Mobo
Tt eSPORTS BAHAMUT
BAHAMUT w/mobo input
Frequency Response dB
+0.24, +0.14
+0.21, -0.18
+0.06, -0.13
Noise Level dBA
-90.1
-62.1
-61.2
Dyanamic Range dBA
90.1
62.1
60.5
Total Harmonic distortion %
0.0066
0.196
0.213
Intermodulation distortion + noise
0.012
0.447
0.345
Stereo Crosstalk, db
-86.5
-12.5
-61.4
Intermodulation distortion + noise (Swept Freq) %
0.019
0.423
0.769
Frequency Response (Swept Sine), db
+0.0, -0.0
+0.1, -0.2
+0.1, -0.1

 

Listening to my Pulse-R headset from CM on the amp, there was much to be pleased about. Despite the little static sound (shown in dynamic range and noise levels) with nothing playing, I was overly impressed with how much harder I could push my headset. This headset is rather quiet even at its full level from the motherboard, but the BAHAMUT was able to push it a lot louder without any noticeable distortion, even at full levels. I would recommend using your rear USB ports to avoid any extra noise through the case (this tends to be an issue with my setup).

A lot of my complaints for the BAHAMUT go back to the software available with it and I already discussed that a page back. Ignoring those issues and using it without the software there really isn't a lot to complain about. It plugs in and is ready to go without any drivers or effort required. It surprisingly just works. The volume cranks up your Windows slider as you would any other manner, just now it is a knob to turn like one normally might think. With the low Stereo Crosstalk values one would expect horrible experiences when playing games and talking with friends. Despite the low number, even with sound cranked on my end and music blaring, my friend on the other end had no problem hearing just me (not what I was listening to). So I was a bit surprised; numbers say one thing, but actions mean a bit more. Movies, music, and games sound as good as they normally would with the headset on its own; the big bonus is the ability to drive them louder. It won't make things sound "better", as that's left to what you are driving with it.




  1. Tt eSPORTS BAHAMUT External Sound Card Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Tt eSPORTS BAHAMUT External Sound Card Installation & Driver Setup
  3. Tt eSPORTS BAHAMUT External Sound Card Specifications & Features
  4. Tt eSPORTS BAHAMUT External Sound Card Testing & Results
  5. Tt eSPORTS BAHAMUT External Sound Card Conclusion
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