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sound card...which to get?

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Sep 27, 2003
Folding in Illinois
well i thought onboard sound was just fine, until i hear the sound on my friends sound blaster live! its a lot better!!!! so i need a card now. i was thinking of the audigy 2. newegg has one for $74 (oem) and one for $89 (retail) but there is a difference besides being oem and retail. the retail one is "Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS", the oem was just "Sound Blaster Audigy 2". whats the difference? i notice the oem has colored jacks whereas the retail one had gold jacks. so can someone explain to me the difference and would it be better to spend the $15 and get the retail ZS card?

Also, does anyone have the zalman surround sound headphones? i play games a lot and my family gripes if i use regular speakers, plus you can hear more with headphones. so are those zalman headphones any good? my friend has them and he says they are awsome, but he cant use his mic with it because the zalman headphones have 3 plugs and that fills his sound card. i told him to unplug the one that is plugged into the mic slot, but he said then its not surround sound. so if i got these zalman headphones, would i be able to use them on a sound blasty audigy 2 card with a mic at the same time? they look like they have a lot of jacks so i would think this is possible.

also, i need some new regular speakers, i'd like to keep it under $100. i know creative has some and so does logitech, they have a nice 5.1 system on sale for $66 at newegg.

please let me know about the card differences, the headphones issue, and the system speakers.

heres some links:
OEM SB Audigy 2:
Retail SB Audigy 2 ZS: here
Zalman headphones: here
Logitech speakers: here


Oct 1, 2003
i would spen the extra $15
gold jacks will sound a lil better because of conduction
but retail has a better warrenty


Dec 14, 2002
Seattle, WA
Definatly go with the ZS. I just ordered one myself and im waiting on its delivery (just shipped today from Newegg :))

I also just bought the speakers your talking about, the Logitech Z-640's...those are in with my sound card :)

Definatly two awesome buys


Inactive Pokémon Moderator
Jun 20, 2001
Vancouver, WA
I have the Z-640s, and they're great speakers. If you're not an audiophile, but want great sounding music, they'll do fine :) You can, of course, spring for the Z-?80s and get better (and louder) sound for more :D

I'd say go for the ZS. With that little difference, why NOT go up a card generation :)



Dec 23, 2002
England. Liverpool, Aintree
SoundBlaster! 2 ZS... I just upgraded from a SB! Live 5.1.... And it was a great Jump.... The Sound quality is excellent....

With the retail version, you get better warranty and get 2 Games with it... Well at least i did anyway :p


Sep 21, 2003
Unless you are making music theres no difference between the audigy 1 and 2 except the price. So if your buying for games I'd get the cheaper audigy 1 witch you can get in certain for sale forums for <30$ used and sometimes new.

As for headphones, I would buy some Sennheiser's or Grado's. Whichever model you can afford :). I just got a pair of Senn PX200's and oooh boy! Screw the Zalman "gimmick phones" get some proven quality cans.