The VIA Envy24 audio chipset series delivers true 24-bit sound for personal computers. While available as a discrete card, it is sold in greatest volume as an integrated solution for motherboards.
The Envy24 chipset was originally developed by IC Ensemble Inc (PCI vendor ID 1412, established 1997) as ICE1712. The company was acquired by VIA in late 2000.
A total of six controllers exists in the Envy range. Since the demise of the SoundStorm audio solution, the VIA Envy has become an option as a replacement part for integrated audio on nVidia motherboards, along with cheaper Realtek and SigmaTel offerings.
With the exception of the Envy24 controller, Envy chipsets lack hardware 3D positional sound, which means CPU usage across various scenarios is noticeably higher than either SoundStorm or Audigy based solutions. VIA has stated it has no intention of implementing CPU offload in future hardware, due to the increased manufacturing costs.
- 24-bit resolution audio format support (Envy24/Envy24GT/Envy24HT/Envy24HT-S/Envy24MT) / 20-bit resolution audio format support (Envy24PT/Envy24HT-S)
- Digital sampling rates up to 192 kHz (Envy24HT/Envy24GT/Envy24HT-S/Envy24MT) / 96 kHz (Envy24/Envy24PT)
- Analog sampling rates up to 192 kHz (Envy24HT/Envy24HT-S/Envy24MT) / 96 kHz (Envy24/Envy24GT) / 48 kHz (Envy24HT-S/Envy24PT)
- Up to 8 outbound streams and 8 simultaneous input streams (depending on the model)
- Surround sound audio: 5.1, 6.1, and 7.1
- 36 bit wide hardware mixer (Envy24 only)
- DirectSound hardware acceleration (Envy24 only)
Note that Envy24HT-S supports 24-bit / 192 kHz mode only in 4 channel output (4 channel input) mode, while in 8 channel output (2 channel input) mode it is limited to 20-bit / 48 kHz.