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M-Audio Audiophile 2496 MIDI Digital Recording Interface

3.9 out of 5 stars 72 customer reviews

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  • The Audiophile 2496 PCI Audio Card from MIDIMAN provides wide range of applications for recording and playback, from stereo to home-theater
  • 24-bit 96 kHz multitrack recording
  • MIDI recording and playback
  • Digital transfers and Digital mastering
  • LP/cassette-to-CD transfers
Currently unavailable. We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock.

Product Description

Product Description

4 In-4 Out PCI Digital Recording Interface with MIDI / All-in-one HiFi soundcard for multitrack recording to home-theater

The Audiophile 2496 embodies a quantum leap in computer audio fidelity and performance unequaled by other audio cards in its price range. This critically acclaimed PCI card features premium digital audio converters, elegant board design, and ultra-stable drivers just like the rest of the Delta line, but with a simpler I/O configuration. As a member of the Delta family, the Audiophile 2496 supports all computer platforms and major software programs, ensuring seamless integration and rock-solid performance. See why the Audiophile 2496 is one of the best-selling digital audio cards in the industry.

One of the best-selling digital audio cards in the industry. Click to enlarge.

Includes Ableton Live Lite music production software, so you can make music right away. Click to enlarge.

Break-out cable with S/PDIF audio and MIDI.

36-bit Embedded DSP
All Delta cards contain a 36-bit embedded DSP enabling a software-driven patchbay/router for all analog and digital I/O--all with extremely fast throughput for low-latency software monitoring. A single unified control panel provides settings for clock and sample rates, buffer sizes, individual signal levels for every input and output, adjustable +4dBu/-10dBV pad controls and digital I/O control on up to four installed Delta cards. All controls are also easily accessible through most professional audio software applications for seamless integration and operation.

2 x 2 Analog I/O
Accepts common unbalanced audio on gold-plated RCA jacks.

24-bit/96kHz Fidelity
The 2496 features 24-bit/96kHz converters with a 100dB dynamic range.

S/PDIF Digital I/O with 2-channel PCM
Get CD-quality sound from devices with S/PDIF outputs.

SCMS copy protection control
Allows a recording device to successfully record the audio data.

AC-3 and DTS Pass-Through
The S/PDIF digital I/O supports surround-encoded audio, for sending surround sound to your home theater.

1 x 1 MIDI I/O
The 2496's break-out cable features 1 x 1 (16-channel) MIDI operation.

Zero-Latency Monitoring
Monitor your audio signals without delay.

Ableton Live Lite Included
Ableton Live Lite delivers much of the functionality of Ableton Live--the revolutionary, multi-award winning music production solution that allows you to spontaneously compose, record, remix, improvise and edit your musical ideas in a seamless audio/MIDI environment. Live brings your acoustic, electronic and virtual instruments--as well as your digital audio recordings and MIDI sequences--together in a single interface with unparalleled ease of use.

What's in the Box
Audiophile 2496 PCI adapter card, Break-out cable for S/PDIF and MIDI connections, Software CD, User's Manual

Product Information

Item Weight 3.2 ounces
Product Dimensions 5.9 x 5 x 5.1 inches
Shipping Weight 1.1 pounds
ASIN B00006I5H5
Item model number 9900-50765-00
Customer Reviews
3.9 out of 5 stars 72 customer reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #67,134 in Musical Instruments (See Top 100 in Musical Instruments)
#145 in Computers & Accessories > Computer Components > Internal Sound Cards
Date first available at September 22, 2002

Technical Specification

Warranty & Support

Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here


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Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Verified Purchase
This is TRULY an audiophile 2-channel card. I purchased it to transfer some music on vinyl to digital format from a high-end turntable, and it has done that remarkably well. Another pleasant surprise is the quality of playback on the computer - the subwoofer really 'came to life'. Even my 128k i-tunes stuff sounds TOTALLY different even on my [high-end] computer speakers.

That being said, here's some tips:

1) Get & install latest drivers for your OS from the M-Audio website before doing ANYTHING else - then shut down & unplug PC and install the card.

2) Feel free to ignore ALL software in the package - I'm recording & playing back fine without it. Everyone should check out the free "Audacity" recording/editing package.

3) For best results, use good cables. I'm using Audioquest Mini-1 to go from card to computer speakers, and Audioquest G-Snake to go from turntable phono box to the card. These 2 cables (in 2-meter lengths) cost about the same as the card. :-(

4) Can probably co-exist with your previous sound setup - just make sure you go through the various Windows Control Panel areas and define which to use for what. Same is true for most applications - check the preferences to use the right card/audio system.

Also, I'd like to address some 'negative' comments I've seen here & elsewhere:

A) Comes with old manuals & drivers: TRUE - but website is very complete & up-to-date - they had all Windows variants covered pretty well, except maybe 64-bit Vista.

B) Takes over (removes) Windows volume controls: TRUE - and good riddance! All playback apps have volume controls, plus theres the physical knob on most speakers - who needs more of them interacting and complicating things?

C) No 1/8" (3.
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Like the name suggests, the m-audio audiophile 2496 is for true audiophiles. I have had this card for years and there still is few options that are on par with this card for the same money. The audiophile has a full dynamic range of crisp audio with little distortion. I connect my sound card via digital coaxial cable to my Harman Kardon avr 240 and the sound is amazingly clear.

The one drawback to this card is it may be difficult for some to learn to use at first. However, when quality is essential go with the Audiophile 2496.
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Easy set up on my PC, I boot both Linux (Ubuntu) and Windows XP, works great in both Linux and XP. Set up was easy and the sound is incredible. Drivers are available on the manufacturers website. Excellent for recording, I use Sonar Professional 6 and get great sounding takes. Just remember, for people complaining about the sound, garbage in; garbage out. If everything in your signal flow isn't capable of conveying the depth of this card you may not hear that much difference. Use nearfield monitors and good cable. Use a decent, at least sm57 quality mic if your recording.

In my opinion this is the best card in it's price range and beats a few higher end cards as well.
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I bought my 2496 last week from a reputable mail order vendor. Installation was cumbersome. The "Driver CD" contained no 2496 drivers at all, for Windows or Mac! The manual still refers to a Macintosh installation where you "drag extensions" to the "extentions folder in the system folder." No mention is made of OSX X! Let's see, that would make the manual about 3 years old or more. Indeed, the modification date on the pdf version of the user Manual is November, 2001, yet M-Audio continues to ship this driverless Driver CD and outdated Manual with every 2496. They don't even include a slip of paper directing the purchaser to their Web site for the missing drivers.

I went to M-Audio's web site and was able to find and easily download the OSX driver (2.04) which was updated in August, 2005. After restarting I was able to get it running, however the standard Apple output volume control is not supported by the 2496 on a Mac. Actually you have NO global output volume control. Volume output is solely via application volume controls, such as the control within iTunes, or via your mixer knobs. This makes it difficult to use as a general purpose sound card.

After about two hours, the driver lost the ability to correctly play back music from iTunes, in mid song. It developed a bad stutter, apparently no longer using the correct bit/sample rate.

Technical support took 4 days, and a phone call from my vendor, to get a respones. The suggestion was to re-download the driver and reinstall it. This worked. But I found that whatever bit/sample rate I would record with in one application would become locked in for all other playback applications.
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Verified Purchase
While I have been recording music using computers for about 15 years I have never given much thought to such issues as latency. That is until I discovered recently a world of extremely incredible pieces of music instrument and effects software called vst's. Until then I was recording mostly guitar bass and drums with virtually no synths of any kind. Alas I discovered what latency was all about when even under the best scenarios my old SB Audigy was way late on providing a sound when triggered through a midi device. Even with asio drivers it was still discernible that there was a delay. So after a little research I thought I'd try this card out. The Audiophile 24/96 is the simplest internal sound card M-Audio produces. On the outside it looks similar to other sound cards although it uses RCA type jacks for the 2 analog and 2 digital channels in/out instead of the tiny 3.5 mm type. It also has a midi in/out connection like most other sound cards have. But that's where the similarities between this and typical sound cards end. Instead of a lot of time delay creating fluff like FM synthesis and wavetable technology, there is simply a mixer. Through a control panel window on your screen you can control and connect signals going in and out with ease. You can even control latency directly. You can save your setting s as a file for later recall. Best of all is the latency...or lack there of. I have a real budget machine that uses a quad core AMD processor and only 2 gigs of RAM and the latency is almost non existent. Using a KeyStudio 49 and a really good piano model vst I can play piano and record it in time with a playback track without any annoying delay. Quite simply this card has opened up a whole new world of music possibility. If you're a home recording musician like me who is budget conscious and tired of trying to use the old standard sound card for input/output then this is the card you want to have.
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