Turtle Beach Montego DDL Sound Card

by Matthew Harris on December 5, 2005 in Audio & Media

We all have the desire to have the cleanest sound on our computers, but like everything else, there are far too many sound cards to choose from. Turtle Beach has been known for their high quality audio products, so we are taking a look at their top of the line Montego sound card. It looks good, but how does it perform for our audio junkie?

Features and Specs

    Features & Benefits

  • Supports Dolby Digital Live multi-channel digital audio playback
  • Enjoy surround sound PC audio on your digital speakers or home theater system
  • Full-Duplex Digital Support
  • Record & Playback simultaneously
  • Runs Digital & Analog Audio concurrently
  • No need to run 2 Sound Cards
  • Optical S/PDIF input with up to 16 bit/48kHz resolution
  • Connect to the latest high-tech home entertainment equipment with a pure-digital, distortion-free signal, for low noise, high fidelity audio reproduction.
  • Optical S/PDIF output with 24 bit resolution at 48KHz or 96KHz
  • Play DVDs on your PC with multi-channel digital speakers or home-theater systems.
  • SPDIF output allows for pass-through of Dolby Digital and DTS multi-channel DVD sound to external A/V receivers with up to 7.1 Channel Surround Sound
  • Enjoy multi-channel music, games and DVDs on 2, 4, 6 (5.1) or 8 (7.1) speaker systems.
  • Selectable 2, 4, 6 or 8 analog line output channels
  • Connect internal CD or DVD drives with analog outputs.
  • Direct headphone drive capability on front channels.
  • Enjoy realistic 3D sound effects in multi-channel games.
  • External line input.
  • Record from line level sources, such as CD players, cassette decks, music equipment, etc.
  • External mic input.
  • Record from external microphone or use microphone for video conferencing, game interaction, Internet phone, etc.
  • Internal CD and Aux inputs.
  • Listen to stereo digital music or movies with an enhanced multi-speaker surround sound environment using speakers or headphones
  • Converts stereo sound sources to multi-channel format on the fly.
    Environmental Effects

  • Add a wide variety of reverberation effects to create simulated concert halls and spectacular home-theater surround-sound on multi-speaker systems or headphones.
  • Supports Game Surround Sound APIs such as EAX 1 and 2, A3D, I3DL2 and DirectSound 3D support
  • Included software suite
  • Record CD’s, record your own music, edit digital audio, and more!

Versus the onboard VIA Envy24 sound featuring:

    Audio Subsystem

  • On-board 7.1-Channel audio
  • 24-bit resolution audio format support
  • Sampling rates up to 96KHz
  • Multi-channel AC-link supported alternatively
  • Supports S/PDIF Out

The above feature listing on the VIA Envy24 are from the page my motherboard manufacturer has for my particular board. Not one to be content with minimalistic facts I went to the source for the audios chipset, VIA.

Here’s a few more detailed features:

Key Features

    Sound Quality

  • 24-bit resolution audio format support
  • Sampling rates up to 96kHz

  • 8×2 I/O on AC-link or I²S, up to 4×2 converters
  • Simultaneous I²S for S/PDIF I/O up to 96kHz
  • 20 channels, 36-bit wide digital mixer
  • Peak meters on all 20 professional multi-track streams
  • Concurrent 16 streams DirectSound TM accelerator
  • Monitor and master copy functions
  • Two MPU-401 MIDI UART ports
  • DirectInput TM compatible Joystick port

  • PCI 2.1 with bus mastering and burst modes
    Easy System Integration

  • 8-bit GPIO port
  • ACPI and PCI PMI support
  • I²C subset I/F for E²PROM (configuration and ID storage) and peripherals control
  • 24.576, 16.9344 or 22.5792 MHz crystal operation
  • Windows 95/98, NT4.0 drivers
    Other Features

  • Sample Rate Converter for DirectSound applications
  • HW SoundBlaster Pro legacy
  • FM synthesis for DOS legacy
  • 64-voices SW Wavetable General MIDI Synthesizer for Windows95

  • 128-pin PQFP (14mm x 20mm body)

  • 3.3V operating supply (5V tolerant I/O)

Not quite as feature rich as the DDL but still, it is pretty decent.