|Headquarters||Eugene, Oregon, USA|
Covox, Inc. was an American manufacturer of computer audio equipment. Their first product was released in 1986, the Speech Thing. It consisted of an external DAC that connected to a parallel port and could process low-fidelity digital audio sent to mono output. After this, the company produced a higher quality version called the Voice Master, which kept the same DAC, but added better software, and a better shell. The Voice Master was also released for Apple II, the Commodore 64, and Atari 8-bit computers.
In 1989, Covox switched from external audio devices to internal sound cards with the introduction of the Sound Master. The Sound Master featured an AY8930/P which was an improved AY-3-8910 and an 8-bit DAC making it a pretty impressive sound card for the time. Unfortunately, the AdLib had a two-year head start on it, and the Sound Blaster, which came out in the same year, was fully compatible with the AdLib, allowing it access to all of the same games.
Around 1990, Disney and Covox joined together to market a new external DAC called The Sound Source. Covox was the OEM, but Disney marketed the device which was not entirely backward compatible with the earlier Covox products.
Early in 1991, Covox had redesigned their board and created the Sound Master Plus, which uses the same YM3812 as the AdLib and Sound Blaster which made it compatible with music, but the custom 8-bit DAC was incompatible with sound effects. However, this was old technology at this point, pair that with Covox dropping the two DA-15 ports to save money, and the board was a complete failure. Only one game is known the support it directly.
In the middle of 1991, in a last ditch effort to save the company, Covox released the Sound Master II. It again used a YM3812 and an 8-bit DAC which was compatible with games that used the Speech Thing. The board could even be made 100% compatible with the Sound Blaster by running a TSR, but this was again playing catch up with Creative Labs, and few developers targeted the board directly.
Sadly, after these failures, Covox had to close its doors.
|1989-??-??||Sound Master||AY8930/P, DAC|
|1991-??-??||The Sound Source||DAC|
|1991-??-??||Sound Master Plus||YM3812, DAC|
|199?-??-??||Sound Master II||YM3812, DAC|