Here's our Hardware Tip for.. April 23, 1999
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Microsoft® Digital Sound System 80
Looking for a good set of speakers that offer unparalleled sound quality for both digital and analog sources, and also USB support? Look no further. The Microsoft® Digital Sound System 80 was conceived and designed as a total system and features two satellite speakers and a subwoofer, with digital amplification including power supply, built in. The Digital Sound System 80 features frequency responses of ~160Hz to 20KHz in the satellite speakers and ~160Hz to 40Hz in the subwoofer. The digital (Class D) amplifier was designed specifically to be paired with the electrical characteristics of the loudspeakers. This is the case with every component of the system each internal component is optimized to work with every other component yielding a highly integrated design. Integrated design means peak performance, value and reliability.

Acoustic design and fixed equalization enable the system to produce deep solid lows, clear up-front mid-ranges, and brilliant sparkling highs and delivers high fidelity performance. Selected mid-frequencies are boosted to bring vocal performances more forward in the mix, putting the listener within arm’s reach of the performer. Listeners get a sense of width and depth to the sound and can hear individual instruments appropriately positioned in space across a large sound stage, thanks to the Digital Sound System 80’s good horizontal and vertical dispersion patterns.

System Requirements You can connect Microsoft® Digital Sound System 80 to a PC audio card or an external audio component for analog audio playback, and a Universal Serial Bus (USB) for digital audio playback.

PC Audio Card (Analog) Support To use the sound system for analog playback through a PC audio card, you need:

  • A PC with an Intel x86 or higher processor.
  • MS-DOS® version 5.0 (or later) or Microsoft Windows® version 3.x or later operating systems.
  • PAn audio card.

Analog Support for External Audio Components To connect the sound system to an external audio component (such as a TV set or receiver) using the stereo audio cable provided with Microsoft Digital Sound System 80, the component must have a 3.5-mm (1/8") stereo audio output. If the external audio component doesn't have this type of audio output, refer to the component's manual or contact your local audio expert for advice about the appropriate cables and adapters required to make the connection.

USB (Digital) Support To use the sound system for digital playback, you need:

  • A multimedia PC with a Pentium 166-MHz processor or higher and a USB port.
  • Microsoft Windows 98 operating system.
  • A double-speed or faster CD-ROM drive, or a DVD-ROM drive. CD audio requirement: CD audio requires a CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive capable of playing digital audio; otherwise analog audio card support is used to play CD audio.
  • Microsoft Digital Sound Software (on the enclosed compact disc).

Microsoft Digital Sound Software To install and use Microsoft Digital Sound Software with the sound system, you need:

  • A multimedia PC with a Pentium 166-MHz processor or higher and a USB port.
  • Microsoft Windows 98 operating system.
  • A double-speed or faster CD-ROM drive, or DVD-ROM drive. CD audio requirement: When playing CD audio, the 10-band Graphic Equalizer and Microsoft Surround Sound features function only if your CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive is capable of playing digital audio.
  • 16 MB of RAM.
  • 2 MB of available hard disk space.

For more information on the Microsoft® Digital Sound System 80, see http://www.microsoft.com/products/hardware/speakers/general/default.htm.