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M-Audio Audiophile 2496 Sound card - 96 kHz - 24-bit

Includes Ableton Live Lite

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4-In/4-Out Audio Card with MIDI and Digital I/O

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The Audiophile 2496 embodies a quantum leap in computer audio fidelity and performance unequalled 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.

“How does it sound? In a word, stunning. This has to be one of the best sounding cards we’ve had in for review…” — Computer Music

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 conrols 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.

Ableton Live Lite 5

Ableton Live Lite 5 delivers much of the functionality of Ableton Live 5—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.


  • 2 x 2 analog I/O
  • 24-bit/96kHz fidelity
  • S/PDIF digital I/O with 2-channel PCM
  • SCMS copy protection control
  • Digital I/O supports surround-encoded AC-3 and DTS pass-through
  • 1 x 1 MIDI I/O
  • Zero-latency monitoring
  • Software controlled 36-bit internal DSP digital mixing/routing
  • Gold-plated RCA jacks
  • Apple G5 compatible
  • Includes Maximum Audio Tools software bundle


  • Frequency response: 22Hz-22kHz, -0.4, -0.4dB
  • Dynamic range:
    • 104dB (A-weighted) (D/A)
    • 100.4dB (A-weighted) (A/D)
  • THD: < 0.002%
  • Dimensions/weight: 13 x 12.7 x 14.9 cm - 0.09 kg


  • ASIO 2
  • MME
  • Sound Manager
  • OMS
  • DirectX
  • GSIF
  • Mac OS X Core Audio / Core MIDI

Minimum System Requirements

  • PC
    • Windows 98SE / Me / 2000 (SP4) / XP (SP2 Home or Professional Edition only)
    • For 96kHz operation: Pentium III 500mHz w/ 128MB RAM
    • For 48kHz operation: Pentium II 400 w/ 64MB RAM
  • MAC
    • G3* 500MHz with OS 9.2.2, 128MB RAM
    • G4* 500MHz with OS X 10.1.5, 10.2.6 or greater, 256MB RAM
    • OMS 2.3.8 for MIDI under OS 9.2.2

* G3/G4 accelerator cards not supported; OS 10.3 required for Dolby Digital and DTS “pass-through” with Apple DVD Player

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M-Audio Audiophile 2496 Sound card - 96 kHz - 24-bit Reviews


2496 Great Card but not for Windows 7!

I have owned the 2496 for years and always been happy with its performance. After a LONG wait (affordability) I upgraded my PC to an all singing Sound Making Machine! So off I go to get my new 64 bit Windows 7 drivers. They installed fine and I opened up Reason 4 and all sounds lovely! Great! I\'m in action.......not! So when I plug my guitar in I get static...not just a bit (though none is acceptable so rather besides the point). It seems all \"audio\" files are subject to left channel static. I start searching around and I find that there are lots of others in exactly the same position...left channel static on audio. I went to the M-Audio forums and there is post upon post of people imploring M-audio to deal with the issue. As of July 12th 2010 STILL nothing is done although the development team do acknowledge that there are some improvements to be made in the software and are working on it. Their last post was in May 2010. ESPECIALLY since the card is still on sale this is clearly not on. It seems this has been going on for quite some time! If the product was obsolete it might arguably be fair enough but after spending an arm and a leg on a music machine to be let down by a poxy driver issue is really frustrating. I checked the card in my Windows XP machine and it works fine. Therefore. Great card if you\'re running Windows XP 32 bit. Otherwise leave well alone until M-Audio have sorted out their issues. I\'m very disappointed because I love the card and want to stay with it but I also want to get on with my tunes. Anyway. Just wanted to let others know to avoid such disappointment. It seems fairly ubiquitous. Mine is a brand new machine. Checked for conflicts etc. All fine. Definitely drivers. Would have given 8 or 9 stars were it not for this but M-Audio really should give SOME priority to this as the card is so popular and owned by so many music makers. Come on M-Audio. Sort it out!


Excellent Card

I have bought this card in an effort to resolve latency issues. In short I could not have chosen better! I now have 7 m/s latency as opposed to a calender month with my old one. This card may be simple but it does exactly as promised. A keyboard players dream.

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Solid, reliable, dependable

I\'ve had one of these cards in my music computer for several years now and bought this to upgrade the sound in a new computer. This card has been around for a good few years now but its longevity is a big plus point for me. It may not have the bells and whistles of newer cards, but if you simply want to record and play good quality sound then you can\'t really go wrong here!

The only negative point is that the manual hasn\'t been updated since I got my first card - it still refers to Windows 95, 98 and NT! XP doesn\'t get a look-in! However, the driver has been refined over the years and seems to work with all current OS, even Vista 64-bit I believe, although I can\'t vouch for that.

All in all, a great quality card.


M-Audio Audiophile 2496

I used one of these for a few years and didn\'t have a single problem with it. Excellent sound quality, almost zero latency - perfect for someone starting out who doesn\'t want to break the bank or even someone more professional looking for a simple, easy to use audio card. Make sure you couple this with a decent preamp / mixer, as your recordings will only sound as good as the weakest link.


M-Audio Audiophile 2496

Good quality sound card, on a budget


M-Audio Audiophile 2496

Do you need a no-frills audio interface? Are you fed up of the latency with you\'re built in soundcard? This no-frills card is perfect for the musician on a budget.
The RCA sockets protrude quite far from the back of this card so I had to remove my motherboard to fit it through the slot on my case.
Other than that minor annoyance this is a good card with stable drivers (under XP) and great performance.
The order arrived the day after I placed it and I had it up and running within 30 minutes.
Really good service and a cracking price from Dolphin.


M-Audio Audiophile 2496

I have this in a dual system machine.
It uses XP and Ubuntu (Linux based. It works with both systems.
This then uses my Hi Fi amp and speakers.
It out performs my CD unit with such a splendid sound. What an absolute joy to listen to.


M-Audio Audiophile 2496

This card is fabulous value for money!! i've got mine running through an ART tube pre-amp, an old meridian 6 channel mixer and a pair of new fostex pmo4 monitors. sound quality is great. had a bit of a nightmare installing the card but that was purely down to the driver instalation on my p.c. yeah, for the cost of the card, i've no complaints.


audiophile 2496

I bought this several years ago with its companion breakout box " audio buddy". sadly this seems to be no longer for sale. This was my first foray into the world of digital PC recording. Since then i have learnt a great deal, but have no plans to part with this soundcard. I echo the comments of others RE: VISTA. Why would you want to use such a CPU hungry OS for a PC intended for music applications?? I guess there are better OSs than XP for this, but equally sure there can be none worse than VISTA


M-Audio Audiophile 2496

Put simply - the best soundcard I have ever bought. The quality of the sound coming out of my speakers is now incredible and crystal clear (if only I had a better pair of monitors!). With the 36-bit mixer, apparently no hardware clipping can occur but as the manual points out, too hot a DAW output will probably ruin that particular feature as the audio will sound clipped before it reaches the 36-bit mixer. However, for mixing live performance straight into the soundcard the feature is amazing.

Most people will be able to install the drivers and forget about it, although there are plenty of options to fiddle with in the control panel.

I recommend that the 2496 be combined with an outboard mixer like the Behringer Xenyx range. The constant plugging in and removal of cables at the back of the computer was beginning to annoy me. With a Xenyx 1002FX, for example, you can have the ins and outs of the 2496 permanently connected to the mixer. This also has the advantage of opening up even more inputs as well as introducing 24-bit effects and a more hands-on approach.

The soundcard is perfect by itself to suit even the most demanding home studios and combined with a mixer is unbeatable except by its big brother Audiophile 192 if you want balanced TRS ins and outs. However, at typical home studio cable lengths, I would suggest the difference is not worth the extra price. Amazing!


Better on xp

For all those users out there complaining that the m-audio audiophile2496 is not vista compatible

why not do the sensible thing and downgrade to xp , lets face it , its not an m-audio problem its a Microsoft problem.

this truly is a fantastic card and very very stable under windows xp.


M-Audio Audiophile 2496

I looked at this card to replace my Soundblaster when I re-built my computer, I liked the idea of being able to use RCA jacks rather than the 3.5mm jack plug.

I did a bit of research on the card first and came across several complaints about not being able to get the card working so doubts crept in.

After a search on the M-Audio site FAQs, I found several things to look at, mainly conflicts with IRQs whilst installing. With the extra knowledge I decided to get one.

I followed the XP install instructions from the web-site and the install was very easy and I didn't have any problems. After a re-boot the Control panel came up and all that was left was to set the input/output.

I did a few sound checks with my Production software, no problems. I then tried to record through my mixer and this was where I had a few issues. On playback I had lots of drop-outs and graphics issues. After disabling the waveform draw and leaving just the peak meters running - that's all I watch anyway - I found the drop-outs had gone.

I'm very impressed with the sound this card delivers, it's alot clearer than before and I found I didn't have to turn my amp up as much as before on playback. Not being able to see the waveform drawn whilst recording is a small price to pay for the difference in quality.

I would recommend the card but just be aware that there are issues depending on the graphics set-up that you are using. There is plenty of information on the M-Audio site which is worth a read before you buy.

The delivery from Dolphin was excellent, it arrived the day after the order was received.


M-Audio Audiophile 2496

No Vista support Very poor driver updates, after buying one of these had to sell it as I could'nt get it to work under vista fed up of waiting for a driver. Good card if your operating system supports it.


a great card, if you have windows xp

On my previous windows xp PC this card was fantastic and great value for money. However m-audio STILL havnt released vista drivers so its sitting dormant now, if you have xp its a good buy, if you have vista its a waste of time :(


M-Audio Audiophile 2496

unfortunatly I have not yet been able to try out this recomended piece of kit as I upgraded to windows vista before I got the chance to fit the soundcard into my computer and as yet still no DRIVERS !!!!!!!


Cheap and amazing value!

I bought this card mainly for MIDI inputs, thinking that I might as well invest in a full card rather that just a USB adapter. I never intended it for any other use really, but then I plugged a couple of speakers into it to see how it sounded, and I can honestly say there's no going back now! The bass was punchy but not overpowering, and every note in a higher register was crystal clearr with not an ounce of fuzz. And most importantly for music recording, every single instrument can be heard; no muffled squawks from the trumpets, no straining to hear vocals. Just pure, unadulterated musical bliss. I was using an Audigy 2ZS before i bought this, generally well-thought of, but it's got nothing on this card! Easy to set up and configure, with its own mixer, router and exceptionally low latency (having tested a few cards for latency, I can't say I've found anything better, including those more expensive Delta range cards) this card has every feature a budding to mid-range musician could want. If you're upgrading for any musical reason, buy this!


M-Audio Audiophile 2496

hi,i recomend the 2496 as it changed the way i use my computer for music and music recording.
after using creatve live with breakout box for some time i stuggled with latency,not now setting up the 2496 was as easy as abc
,it sounds fantastic and its cheaper than the original creative live.
The reason i recomend it is for ease of use and the resulting sound,if i can be coverted being
52yrs old having suffered a stroke in 2004 i am sure any of you out there can.
all the best steve


m-audio audiophile

this is a great product, i didnt buy mine from this site i brought mine for £65 of a different site but it was still worth the money, it is compatibal with alot of software and accepts any midi device, i have ordered from dolphin music before at 9pm and got my item the next day with no problem what so ever, so if you need a new sound card and you want one that handles midi in and outs, get this, regards, Steven


Well worth your cash

Bought this to hook up a mixer to the PC and just wanted a good quality stereo sound card, which is exactly what we got. Prior to this we were using the on board sound card, complete with its hiss. The differance in sound is amazing. Using this card there is no background noise and the recordings have a great deal more detail, particularly in the high end.

If you need a straight forward stereo in/out card have a good look at this. Well worth £50.

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