Front panel solutions are hot these days. You can do almost whatever you want with these things. Whether it is looking at your case temps, controlling your fan speeds, inserting a memory card... Name it, you can do it.
Coolermaster brings a new dimension to front panel solutions. Instead of giving you just an earphone jack in the front of your case, they bring a high quality sound output through that little jack. Later on this review you'll find out "how stuff works", first let me introduce you to the Musketeer 3
Coolermaster started their Musketeer series in 2003, with the Musketeer 1. It had a fan control option, a VU-meter and a temperature sensor. In 2004 they released the Musketeer 2, featuring additional functionality. It has two sound measure channels (left-right) and a hard disk processing indicator. Now it looks like Coolermaster really found their way in to sound. In this third edition the only keep a sound option. An integrated VU meter shows you the loudness and a vacuum tube is implemented to make your sound more harmonic.
If you're looking for fan controllers from Coolermaster, check out their Aerogate series
.The 3rd Musketeer
So now you know what to expect, let's take a look at the panel itself. I received a flashy pink box from Coolermaster:
Look at the yellow " Vacuum Tube Ready ", they're really proud of it :). My unit came in a silver color, if you've got a black case, no worries, that color is available too.
Let’s find out what's inside:
The box contents: the panel itself (duh)
a pci bracket (to connect to your speakers/sound card)
a dual stereo plug audio cable
a manual. (Always comes in handy)
A closer look at the panel
At the left you see the vacuum tube itself. Upper right corner contains the VU-meter, in the lower right you see the adjustable volume control. In the middle you'll find an earphone jack to.....that's right, to connect your earphones :).
Let’s install inside a case ->