The EVGA Nu Audio Sound Card Brings Entry-Level Audiophile Sound to the PC
EVGA released the high-end $249 Nu Audio PCIe sound card aimed at PC gamers who are also stereo music aficionados with better than average speakers and headphones. Critiquing audio hardware is a difficult yet important task and a challenge for any reviewer. Properly describing how music “sounds” on audio equipment is not about giving bitrate, synthetic tests, specifications, latency pings, or other measurements. High-quality audio components are created to reproduce music as accurately as possible in a way that EVGA calls “lifelike audio”.
The sound quality of high-fidelity audio components can only be properly judged in an A/B comparison with other similar hardware by using high-quality recorded media that a discerning reviewer is familiar with. Being able to pick out the often subtle nuances in the sounds of the music being reproduced takes years of training by auditioning hundreds of audio components. You won’t find a single synthetic test in this review because this EVGA Nu Audio card aspires to be called audiophile and it even uses analog circuitry where it makes sense.
The Nu Audio card was commissioned by EVGA working together with Audio Note, an audiophile company based in Sussex, UK since 1991. The Nu Audio sound card is aimed squarely at 2-speaker high-fidelity stereo enthusiasts who want a quality sound card for music listening and for gaming. So in addition to using Grado headphones, I purchased a pair of Edifier R1320T active desktop speakers to see if I could take EVGA’s challenge to “hear the difference” between my Z370 FTW motherboard’s integrated audio, a Diamond USB sound card, and the Nu Audio card.
The next page covers this reviewer’s high-end stereo and audiophile background, or the reader may choose to skip over it to see the unboxing, system specifications, music and game tests, and conclusion on the following pages.