EVGA Introduces Nu Audio for Life Like Sound from your PC

Subject: General Tech | January 8, 2019 - 12:50 PM |
Tagged: sound card, pcie, evga, DAC, ces 2019, CES, Audio Note, audio, amp, AK4493

EVGA has announced a brand new product offering for enthusiasts, but this PCI Express device is not a graphics card - it's a premium sound card. And yes, I know that many people have written off audio boards in the era of ubiquitous motherboard audio, but if you are at all interested in quality audio and have ever looked into external DACs and headphone amps the Nu Audio card is shaping up to be a fantastic alternative to external component solutions.

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The product is a result of a partnership with UK-based Audio Note, a high-end audio equipment manufacturer that emphasizes technology and internal component quality in their designs, and the design of the Nu Audio card was made to those standards. EVGA says that is the pursuit of life-like sound that inspired this card, and their efforts have resulted in something that would be completely at home in an audiophile setting, RGB effects notwithstanding (yes, it has RGB!).

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Ok, so what is this exactly, and why is it any different from other PCIe sound cards? This is not your typical DSP-driven surround audio solution, and truly the emphasis is on 2-channel stereo audio reproduction. Reading over the specs this begins to look more like an audiophile product, with native DSD support and PCM audio up to 24-bit 384 kHz - and dual clock generators for native 44.1 and 48 kHz-based sample rates. Component choices were made to improve audio quality through the signal chain and to the output, with some impressive specs:

Premium Components:

  • DAC: AKM AK4493
  • ADC: AKM AK5572
  • OP-AMP (Headphone): ADI OP275
  • OP-AMP (Line Out): ADI AD8056
  • Capacitors: WIMA, Audio Note(UK), Nichicon
  • Power Regulators: Texas Instruments TPS7A47/TPS7A33 ultralow-noise power solution

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The demo in the EVGA suite featured a nice setup featuring some of the entry-level Audio Note components, showcasing hi-fi music playback from lossless files on a PC. It was quite impressive considering the sound card was fed directly into the integrated amp, and on display were also such features as separate analog control of the volume output (the internal amp can be controlled independently of the sound level in Windows), and the integrated RGB lighting that dynamically respond to music playback.

The Nu Audio sound card will retail for $249 when it launches, specifics on release date to follow.

Source: EVGA

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January 8, 2019 | 02:55 PM - Posted by Tony (not verified)

Does it have an optical input? If so, will it accept 5.1 through the input? If it will, I'm interested!

January 8, 2019 | 04:00 PM - Posted by Anonymous324324324 (not verified)

What are you trying to achieve? Optical (Toslink) is digital. If you have an optical device all the DAC crud is done on the device.

January 10, 2019 | 11:02 AM - Posted by LegoGuy23

He asked if it had an optical *input*.
I think he wants to use its DAC to handle other devices' D to A work, separate of his computer.

IDK why he wouldn't get a standalone DAC, but still pays to read the question. :P

January 8, 2019 | 04:02 PM - Posted by Sebastian Peak

Specs list: "Optical Out (TOSLINK Passthrough)" and I added an image that shows the connections.

January 8, 2019 | 04:10 PM - Posted by Lunatic Sentinel

Great ... it's high time renewed interest in sound quality made an appearance, and that everyone stopped talking about graphics quality for a minute. Not only will music reproduction benefit from tech like this, but it should also enhance the experience of games with 3D sound imaging effects as well.

January 8, 2019 | 07:43 PM - Posted by chipman (not verified)

They ask 249 USD for 5 USD components... L O L!

January 9, 2019 | 03:13 AM - Posted by Dumbassrevealer (not verified)

I assume from your comment that you have no experience in product design, and that multiple $5 to $10 components, hardware, labor, packaging, shipping, warranty etc. may add up to a realistic retail price?

January 9, 2019 | 08:44 AM - Posted by chipman (not verified)

It's pretty obvious that you have no experience in business... since a company aim at milking the client by promoting no so great products with a tsunami of marketing!

Insert Coin. Try again? :-D

January 9, 2019 | 10:40 AM - Posted by othertomperson (not verified)

Build one yourself, then, if the BOM cost is the only aspect that matters.

January 9, 2019 | 11:36 AM - Posted by chipman (not verified)

It's not about the BOM cost but the quality/cost ratio... but any idiophile wouldn't understand my point.

January 9, 2019 | 03:15 PM - Posted by CollosalCollapse (not verified)

What actually was your point, if you don't mind a humble idiophile asking?

February 26, 2019 | 01:54 PM - Posted by Nos024 (not verified)

Isnt that the case for everything?

January 9, 2019 | 06:45 AM - Posted by Bakath

Still waiting for one that has a nice DAC and outputs for music but also has HDMI out so I can get full Atmos out of my PC.

January 9, 2019 | 12:31 PM - Posted by Torsoreaper (not verified)

I was interested until I read $250. I would be interested at $60.

January 10, 2019 | 09:53 AM - Posted by ATTIIIII (not verified)

They use pretty low end DAC, and charge so much for it. Currently my external DAC device is much better then this thing, its got BURR BROWN DACs,USB works with any device, its got 2 RCA output to go into my nice PREAMP and AMP setup, sounds amazing. I paid $200 for it and worth every penny. I can also move it around to different machines without being stuck with it in a PCIE slot.

January 11, 2019 | 01:46 PM - Posted by frag85 (not verified)

You can get a pretty good DAC/AMP setup for $250.... Many options out there like O2 and Schiit for example.

January 15, 2019 | 05:04 AM - Posted by jesper (not verified)

hey seeking a sound card with dts hd maser audio or dolby true hd 7.1 or newer dolby atoms
hope you can help thanks jesper

February 26, 2019 | 02:07 PM - Posted by Nos024 (not verified)

Pretty good sound card. Better than the Asus STX ii

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