Vista-Compatible Sound Cards
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
- 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
- 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.