Well, the sound card in my system died over the weekend very suddenly. I have a Bgears b-Enspirer sound card in my system. It just stopped outputting sound and from I’ve read it seems the amp on the card has died. Even when I turn my speaker volume to max, the sound is barely audible and distorted. I actually thought it was my speakers first, but after connecting them to my onboard sound (Realtek HD Audio integrated with motherboard), the sound came out fine. So the Bgears b-Enspirer lasted a measly year and 10 months. And the warranty is only 1 year so I’m sh*t out of luck.
Don’t Buy the Bgears b-Enspirer Sound Card
The purpose of this post is to warn people NOT to buy this card. Yes, it works fine while it lasts and the sound quality is great, but the likelihood of failure after 1 year increases dramatically. I bought this at Newegg originally and recently there’s been a lot of reviews from people who have owned this sound card for more than a year, complaining that their card has died.
So this isn’t a rare case. I just got lucky that I got 10 extra months out of it. This card also has very shoddy drivers that aren’t updated and you can get blue screen (BSOD) crashes in certain situations (I had a problem involving AC3 codec playback, but there’s a workaround). The value is just no there, because it’s likely to die out after a year. And their warranty is seemingly aware of that, only covering 1 year from date of purchase.
Why a Separate Sound Card?
I prefer a discrete sound card over integrated, onboard sound. I’m running off onboard sound now and I can actually notice the drop in sound quality of my music and videos. I’m not an audiophile at all and if I can notice the difference, then it’s significant.
Next Sound Card
For now, I’m just going to stick with onboard sound. But for my next system, I’m probably going to get the HT Omega Claro or Claro Plus. I don’t like Creative because as big as they are the sound card market, their software is extreme bloated and they make poor drivers. And I don’t feel like paying for their brand premium when other cards are better. Yes, my Bgears b-Enspirer had better quality than Creative, but it just wasn’t reliable over the long run.
You know, all computer component makers should be covering their products with at least a 3 year warranty. If you put this type of product on the market, you should be able to guarantee it works for AT LEAST 3 years. They just don’t make things like they used to anymore.