Budget Sound Card for a Mac


Hoover Tech

So I was all jonesin' over the fact that the LIVE! was out for the Mac but when I went to SB's website and checked the stats, I find out that it's totally not identical in specs to the PC version. It's got 1/2 the MIDI channels, no full SP/DIF and there was something else missing that I can't remember right now. Seems like false advertising for them to call it a LIVE! I wrote them an E-mail about it and never got a reply.
Anyways, I've been looking at the alternatives in the sub $300 range and they are few. There's the Lexicon Core 2 and the M-Audio Audiophile 2496. I just need high quality analog I/O and not even that many channels. A breakout box would be convenient but isn't a deal breaker and SPDIF is preferred. I was wondering if anyone had any input on either of those (or the LIVE! Mac) or other alternatives. I don't need much but those factoty 1/8" jacks on the mac just don't cut it.