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Sound Cards that Support ASIO


ASIO (Audio Stream Input/Output) is a technology invented by Steinberg (www.steinberg.net) to address a shortcoming of the Windows audio subsystem. Windows' audio drivers (particularly those of Windows 2000 and Windows XP) suffer from long latency. That is, a considerable amount of time (typically 25-50 ms) can elapse between the time when an application provides some audio to the sound card and when the sound card actually plays that audio.

For an acceptable "feel" when playing an instrument, the latency must be in the range of 10 ms or lower.

An ASIO driver is able to achieve very low latency (in some cases below 2 ms) by bypassing the "kernel mixer" component of the Windows audio subsystem.

Generally, an ASIO driver must be written (usually by the manufacturer of the sound card) specifically for each sound card. Because ASIO is so popular (many audio applications use it) most of the recently introduced sound cards, and many older professional quality sound cards, are supplied with ASIO drivers.

The following is a small sampling of the many sound cards that support ASIO (listed alphabetically by manufacturer):
  • Creative Labs Soundblaster Audigy and Audigy2
  • Echo Darla20/24, Layla20/24, Gina20/24, Mona, Mia
  • MOTU 828, 896, 2048
  • M-Audio Delta Audiophile 2496, Delta 10/01, Delta 44, Delta 66, Dio2448, Delta Dio2496, USB Duo, USB Quattro
  • Roland U8
  • SEK'D Siena
  • Sonorus Stud I/O
  • Tascam US-428
  • Terratec DMX 6fire LT and 24/96, EWX 24/06, EWS 88 MT, EWS 88 D
  • Yamaha DSP Factor DS 2416

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Last update: Sept, 2003
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