Submitted by thewhippinpost on Thu, 22/03/2007 - 17:49.

Here's a list of Windows Vista-compatible sound cards, as compiled by the good folks at IeXwiki, with comments where appropriate. I've also included what they list as incompatible - but workable - and the just plain incompatible.

Note: The date this was published (above). This is basically 3rd-party volunteer data (so double-check before buying). The info below will change with time. This is not a comprehensive list. I'm not going to religiously chase and update this list but may do so periodically.

If you want to know more about Vista's new audio features check out TheWhippinpost's Vista audio review for musicans

Sound Cards

  • Analog Devices AD1988D
  • Sigmatel High Definition Audio using XP drivers
  • Creative Audigy2 NX: basic features works. No CMSS3D, Dolby Digital or EAX
  • Creative Labs Audigy 2 eX Platinum: Works great using Vista beta drivers. I haven't encountered a single problem yet.
  • Creative Labs Audigy 2 FX: Works using beta drivers available from Creative Labs web site
  • Creative Labs SBLive! 24-bit: Works fine with 01.04.0055 beta drivers, BUT there is a few small limitations such as lack of EAX support...for now.
  • Creative Labs Sound Blaster® Audigy® SE with 7.1 Surround Sound: Works great using Vista RTM Drivers under 32bit and 64bit
  • Creative Labs Sound Blaster® Audigy® 2 ZS with 2.12.0001 Vista x86 Creative Drivers: Works flawlessly. (Caveat: See Nick Knowles comment below.)
  • Creative Labs Sound Blaster® Audigy® 2 with 2.12.0001 Vista x86 Creative Drivers
  • Creative Labs Sound Blaster® Live 5.1: drivers are automatically downloaded by Windows Update
  • Creative Labs Sound Blaster® X-Fi™ Fatal1ty, Platinum, XtremeGamer, XtremeMusic and Sound Blaster® Elite Pro: BETA driver available (v2.13.001 dated 12/28/2006). Creative notes that Dolby Digital and DTS decoding, DVD Audio, DirectSound EAX-based games and 6.1 speaker mode are not yet supported in this release. SPIDF passthrough is supported only in Vista 32-bit. Do not use this driver for X-Fi Xtreme Audio; they have a separate driver for this one.
  • Creative X-Fi Xtreme Audio: Works fine
  • Nvidia n-Force Soundstorm: OnBoard Chip works fine with the actual Nvidia driver.
  • Realtek High Definition Audio Codecs (for Vista x86 and x64)

Soundcard Vista Problems But Workable

Sound Cards

  • Creative Labs Soundblaster Live! 24 (integrated): Drivers not on the CD and not available on Windows update. Basic functionality only, the software installs but doesn't work. (documented in the driver release)
  • M-Audio firewire 4/10: Use latest driver in xp compatablity mode to get 2 channel stereo. All other functions dont work.
  • Creative Audigy2 NX: Basic features work but only using sample rates from USB 1.1 connection (have to unmute the headphones to work). No CMSS3D, Dolby Digital or EAX.

Currently Incompatible Soundcards (Vista)

  • Creative Sound Blaster Live! 5+1 16-bit: The Vista drivers for this sound card was produced, but they are only for 24-bit cards. They don't work for 16-bit sound cards. Windows XP 16-bit drivers cannot be installed under Vista because of an incompatiblity problem. You receive an error message like "sound card not found" although Vista can detect sound card after you run the setup. But, the normal drivers can be installed. Download the XP driver (LiveDrvUni-Pack(ENG).exe) or insert the XP driver CD, extract from package / go "audio\drivers" and run CTZAPXX.exe. Install the drivers but this installs only drivers and only output can work. The special programs aren't installed and input system doesn't work (for example; Mic In. No sound during recording, default recording device can't be selected). To install the special Creative programs (AudioHQ, Creative Recorder etc...), run the setup files of these programs in the same CD / installer package. You can install them by one under "Creative" folder.
  • Maudio revolution 5.1 24/192 khz: Default installer works in compatability mode (right-click on installer run in xp compatability mode). It does give 5.1 output but tray application doesn't respond.

IeXwiki have a nice list of other Vista hardware-compatible devices (or not!), including graphics cards, web cams, printers, plus more.

Feel free to add (or correct) to this list below.

The Creative Sounblaster

The Creative Sounblaster Audigy 2 ZS is NOT Flawless. I am using it with the most current BETA drivers on the release version of Windows Vista Ultimate x86. My computer has a windows experience base score of 4.5.

The soundcard has many problems with the poorly made BETA drivers! It is useless for mixing as the sound quality is a fraction of what it used to be when I used to use the original XP drivers. Latency problems are now visible in some cases and there is no S/PDIF pass-through available, so I can not use multi-channel surrround on my amplifier. The product is great but the drivers are appalling.

Thanks Nick - I've added a

Thanks Nick - I've added a note linking to your comment.

PS... Thought you were great when you did LiveTV - What's Rhodri up to these days?

"Nvidia n-Force Soundstorm:

"Nvidia n-Force Soundstorm: OnBoard Chip works fine with the actual Nvidia driver."

The soundstorm doesn't work fine with the Nvidia driver. It works then it cuts out. Not on the nforce2 anyway. Nvidia don't have any Nforce2 drivers to download from their website.

Crikey, I only added that

Crikey, I only added that yesterday!

Thanks Chris.

I found out that the M-Audio

I found out that the M-Audio Firewire 410 64 bit windows beta drivers work really well under vista obviously they aren't signed, but they work.

tried this but windows vista

tried this but windows vista locked me out because it was unsigned...

hello, I've picked up a

hello, I've picked up a brand new laptop with vista. I'm running ableton live 5. The mme/direct x soundcard has latency issues, so I downloaded asio4all drivers to cure the latency problems (as I've done before with xp).

when I switch over to the asio drivers in 'live' preferences i lose all sound but I can still see levels. Others are having similar problems, there must be a way for vista to recognize these levels...

I didn't plan on downgrading to xp when i bought a new laptop.

help anyone???

Soundblaster Audigy 2 ZS

Soundblaster Audigy 2 ZS 2.12.0002

I have a soundblaster audigy 2 ZS soundcard. I have downloaded the vista-driver from the creative=site.
Creative Sound Blaster Audigy-reeks Vista-stuurprogramma 2.12.0002

installing this and then playing around with de audio-console in this install resets my computer.

I chose the 4+1 speaker setup, but could not get the right-rear speaker to produce any sound. Sometimes the other speakers crackled a bit and then in the last 0.5 second produced the test-sound. Then tried the same with the 5+1-speaker setup, diabling the mid-front speaker. The same problem, the right-rear produced no sound.

In trying a couple of times to change from 4+1 to 5+1 speaker setup, my computer went black and a restart was the result.

Another big problem is that a lot of the functionality of this soundcard does not work in Vista.

no EAX-games witch work via directsound
no gameport
no DVD-audio

in the future are there going to be more updates?

I have vista business, but is ultimate better equipped for sound an especially eax-games?

[TheWhippinpost: I edited your post ARNO just to make the title a little better (and hopefully attract an answer from someone who may know, for you).]

My Vista has always been

My Vista has always been crashing because of the sound card. I have bought Sound Blaster X-Fi Platinum. Bluescreen bs, never works. It's become a huge issue. :-( Quad core, 2 8800gtx, and no frigging sound, can anyone help on this?

Hi there. I´m a new

Hi there.
I´m a new purchaser of Magix Music Maker XXL and appreciated your help - finally I´m getting my head around a lot of technical jargon, plus practical aid on what to buy for my system.

I reckon I´ll be visitin your site a lot more in the future.