Do you have fine hearing and want to improve the sound of your computer? The USB sound card is the most practical and economical solution. It allows you to considerably improve the sound quality of your computer. However, models, versions, and customer reviews and opinions vary so much that choosing a USB sound card is not an easy exercise. Competition is important, so we have produced this comparative topic to help you choose the best network card.
What is a USB sound card?
The USB sound card is simply an external device dedicated to generating sounds for your computer. Plugging directly into a USB port on your computer offers one or more sound outputs for connecting speakers, headphones, or an amplifier.
Without it, your computer will still have sound. All PCs sold commercially are normally equipped with an internal sound card. However, certain situations may require you to add a new sound card: the original integrated card may no longer work, may be aging, or still be faulty. The basic sound may not be of sufficient quality for your use. You may want to make audio recordings.
In any case, the USB sound card will offer you a much better sound reproduction than that obtained by your internal sound card. Its USB format will also allow you to connect it quickly and whenever you want without touching the internal components of your computer.
Types of Sound Card Available
Thanks to our comparison, you will learn more about network cards and their different forms. Below, you can therefore discover the different types of external sound cards that exist on the market. You can then make the best choice according to your expectations and your requirements. There are three main categories of external sound cards identified from user reviews: the USB card, the FireWire card, and the Thunderbolt external sound card.
The USB sound card:
This model of USB sound card is inexpensive and powerful. Connected directly and simply to your computer, go for this choice if you need to improve the sound quality of your computer and your internal sound card is not suitable for you. The USB 3.0 version is the most interesting since it can be connected to all computers with a USB port by default.
The FireWire sound card:
Invented by Apple, the FireWire port is now usable on all computers. Like the first model, this sound card plugs into the FireWire port, which will serve as a connector to connect peripherals that require a very high speed, such as a sound amplifier.
The Thunderbolt external sound card:
This other model of external sound card shares the same connections as USB 3.1 and works the same way. However, the Thunderbolt port has the particularity of allowing devices to be chained (up to 6 per port). In addition, the Thunderbolt port does not strain the computer’s CPU and is, therefore, the fastest port these days.
The Best USB Sound Cards
Here are the best sound cards in the market:
1. TechRise 617536
The 617536 sound card is part of the accessories from the TechRise brand. It is a USB sound card for PC. It offers high performance and guarantees superior sound quality. Very easy to use and no need for an installation driver, this sound card is perfect for avoiding sound card or audio port errors. Users also specify that this model of USB sound card is suitable for 3.5 mm headphones, headphones, speakers, or even an audio microphone.
2. CSL-Computer A22568x31
According to the opinion of consumers and according to our studies, it appears that this model of USB sound card from the CSL-Computer brand is very popular. High quality with its four control buttons, the CSL-Computer A22568x31 USB sound card guarantees you better sound quality by simply connecting the sound card to the USB port. Users are delighted with this accessory with multiple features: Dynamic 3D Virtual Surround 7.1 / Plug-and-Play sound effects. In addition, it is suitable for having a second sound source and does not require an additional power supply.
3. Creative Sound Blaster Play! 3 USBDAC
This USB sound card model also gets very good marks in this comparison! The USB Blaster Play! 3 USBDAC sound card from Creative Sound will offer you high-quality listening, worthy of studios. Very efficient and compatible with all USB audio class systems, high-resolution audio will delight you. It also provides crystal-clear voice communications and recording. And according to customer tests, its connectivity is convenient for a headset but also simple and hassle-free thanks to Plug-and-Play.
4. DuKabel DUSB351FB
According to the comparison and user tests, this DUSB351FB USB sound card from DuKabel has it all. According to many users, it is indeed the best on the market today. Its aluminum housing is robust, the braided nylon sheaths and anti-twist protection are also a plus. Easy and safe to use, its installation is quick via a USB port. Designed to connect a 3.5mm TRRS 4-pole headphone, users also appreciate the addition of the 3.5mm TRRS 4-pin female jack.
5. UGREEN 30521
In the comparison, we also find this UGREEN 30521 USB sound card. This model Transforms a USB port into two 3.5mm and 2RCA audio ports. Universally compatible, it is easy to use. In addition, it is practical and compact. Users use it for gaming, video viewing, audio recording, etc. Indeed, tests show that this USB sound card offers its users better sound quality.
6. HyperX HX-USCCAMSS-BK
Based on consumer testing, this HyperX branded HX-USCCAMSS-BK USB sound card is ideal for adding a sound card or replacing damaged audio ports. You can plug in a mic and headset simultaneously to talk with friends while playing online games and making videos on YouTube or plug in the speakers equipped with 2 RCA ports to listen to music, etc. Consumer tests show, however, that it is not compatible with: a PS3, Wii, Wii U, Xbox, a TV, or a car. Easy to use, no driver is needed. Just plug it into the USB port, recognized immediately and automatically by the PC. In addition, users appreciate its small size. Indeed, this USB card is compact and thin.
7. Techole 4235703
The Techole brand USB sound card 4235703 is very popular with users because it is ideal for video streaming, online video games, and music recording. Indeed, it allows a USB connection with your 3.5 mm audio headphones, your speakers, and your microphone. Plus, consumer testing shows that its setup actually optimizes your sound quality. Of high quality, the sound card is also Techole aesthetic and ergonomic.
The criteria for buying a USB sound card
To purchase a USB sound card, some users rely on other users’ tests or perform their own analyses. We have established a list of three criteria to choose the best USB sound cards in our comparison:
This is the most important part of the sound card, so it should be your first criteria. It is he who converts analog sound into digital sound. In order not to lose sound quality, your converter must therefore be efficient. To do this, check its resolution and sample rate before purchasing.
If you want to use your USB sound card as a recorder, take the preamplifiers into account. Indeed, for your recording to be of good quality, you will have to make sure that your external sound card is equipped with a good preamplifier which will allow you to fill the different sound levels and create a homogeneous result.
USB sound card inputs
The USB sound card offers different inputs: analog inputs (Jack inputs (for instruments), XLR inputs (for microphones), or even the Jack / XLR combo.) And digital inputs (SPDIF, AES / EBU, and ADAT), which will allow you to work with the sound from your computer. Depending on the use you want to make of your sound card, take this criterion into account.
Are Apple headphones compatible with this kind of adapter?
Apple has different cabling and is not compatible with commercial USB sound cards.
Does this card provide real comfort when it comes to listening to music only?
With headphones or speakers of very good quality and recordings with wide bandwidth and good dynamics, you can hear better sound quality, especially in the treble.
The cards are USB they allow increasing the volume of the sound output of a headphone?
Some models of USB sound cards have a built-in amplifier and thus allow the volume of sound output to be increased.
Can YOU connect 2.1 speakers?
Yes, of course. However, it is recommended to connect them with a stereo jack.
Does the key work on consoles? Like the PS4, for example?
Not all models are compatible with the PS4.