Author Topic: External Sound Cards  (Read 924 times)

Offline frenchie47

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External Sound Cards
« on: Jul 31, 2007, 11:39 AM »
Time has come for a new sound card and I've been looking at some external units. Has anyone any experience of these? Any recommendations? I do not game, but enjoy music playing whilst I while away the hours on the pc.

Offline Whizbang

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Re: External Sound Cards
« Reply #1 on: Jul 31, 2007, 03:23 PM »
I have a cheap USB unit that looks a lot like a flashdrive/thumbdrive.  I paid less than $5.00 for it on Ebay and added a Labtek headset for less than $10.00, but you can plug speakers into the unit and also a mike.  It has amazing clarity for an elcheapo.  The CD console setup was actually better than some Audigy PCI CD setups that cost $30.00 or more.  The only bugs I have encountered are that if you deactivate the unit and remove it, it may not work again if you deciide to plug it back in unless you reboot.  The motherboard onboard sound, however, has always reactivated with no problems once the USB "card" is deactivated by the usual USB removal procedure.  Unless you simply want midi capability, I have found no advantage in purchasing a cheap PCI sound card.  Carskick had the right idea.  If it is less than $100.00 retail, I doubt that the expense is worth it. The onboard chip sound will just about match anything in the under $100.00 range that I have seen.

Offline frenchie47

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Re: External Sound Cards
« Reply #2 on: Jul 31, 2007, 11:07 PM »
Thanks whizbang. You say "carskick had the right idea". What idea?

Offline Whizbang

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Re: External Sound Cards
« Reply #3 on: Aug 01, 2007, 05:47 AM »
Thanks whizbang. You say "carskick had the right idea". What idea?
He found a great buy on a very good sound card way below retail.

X-FI

Offline frenchie47

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Re: External Sound Cards
« Reply #4 on: Aug 01, 2007, 11:38 PM »
Thanks again Whizbang - don't think I'll be that lucky. Out here they advertise things as 'new' but when you query it, they usually admit they purchased the item 'some years ago but have hardly used it'!
That's the French idea of 'new'

Offline Chandler

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Re: External Sound Cards
« Reply #5 on: Aug 02, 2007, 07:36 AM »
The good thing about USB sound "cards" using the OS-provided drivers (rather than proprietary drivers) is that they are pretty much guaranteed future driver updates.  Even old USB audio devices from the Windows 98 and Me era are fully supported natively under Windows Vista, via the UAA.

Offline frenchie47

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Re: External Sound Cards
« Reply #6 on: Aug 02, 2007, 11:36 PM »
Thanks Chandler. Think I'll try a reasonably priced unit (up to about 60 Euros) and if I like it, who knows, might even 'lash out' for a decent one.