Best external sound cards | USB sound card review

In this page, we explain how to choose the best external sound cards for laptop and PC. We also propose a detail USB sound card review, with opinions and prices.

The sound card is a component of your computer that deals with the input or output of all sound elements: voice, music, sound system. The USB audio card is particularly a useful tool for anyone who needs voice recording, using the microphone, or acoustic instruments, electric instruments such as bass or guitar. The external sound card is a very convenient and versatile device. On the market, you can choose from different types of USB sound cards, all different from each other for technical features and versatility of recording. In the paragraphs below, we will look at the main features and functions of the best USB audio cards on the market. After that, you can read our best sound card review to choose the best external sound cards for laptop and PC.

What can you do with an external USB sound card for PC and laptop?

The external audio card allows you to access and use a capture interface with standardized, solid and professional connectors. Equipped with combo inputs, the USB audio card allows you to connect both a cannon and a jack indifferently. At the same time, instrument inputs or hi-z can provide excellent impedance, even if you want to connect directly to the USB audio card an electric guitar or if you need to connect to the external audio card with electric bass with passive pickups.
The best USB sound card allows you to adjust and amplify the gain, or the amount of amplification, with a particularly clean and straightforward yield. The external sound card guarantees high-quality recordings in all music genres and in all possible situations.

The top rated and best external sound card for laptop and PC in the market.

If you see the need to install a sound card to your computer or update the sound card you already have, you have several options. A large number of specialized PC audio sound cards are available to choose from. For this reason we have made a brief guide to find the best sound cards in the market.

FiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier

Best external sound cards USB sound card review
This is probably the best USB sound card for pc and laptop. This compact USB DAC and headphone amp performs fantastically. It’s small, well built and well designed. The device offers a simple but premium design: just a 3.5-millimeter headphone out on its front, and a coaxial and 3.5-millimeter line out on the back. Its volume knob feels solid and has just the right amount of resistance to it. The device will greatly improve audio output quality of your computer and boost its bass without the need to install any drivers. You can customize the sound of your audio to your tastes.

+ PROS

Sound quality is very good.
Compact design.
The built quality is great.
Not expensive.

– CONS

Nothing
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ASUS Xonar U3 Sound Cards

ASUS Xonar U3 Sound Cards pros and cons review
The ASUS Xonar U3 sound card is the cheapest one we could advise you. This product is very compact An ultra compact, USB flash drive size, and takes up as much space as an ordinary USB flash drive. It is connected to the computer via a USB connector, so you do not need to throw additional cables.
The maximum frequency of the DAC here is 48 kHz. The resolution of the DAC is 16 bits. Despite its tiny size and rather simple characteristics, already on such a sound card, you will hear differences from the built-in chip. True, there will not be any improved positioning in games or anything like that. The sound became clearer, some frequencies were auditioned, although before they were not, and that’s it. Distinctive quality is the ability to connect the card to a Mac, in order to connect the game headphones with two plugs.

+ PROS

Good sound quality, much better than onboard sound
Dolby Headphone
Easy to set up

– CONS

Push buttons feel pretty tacky.
Onboard sound can sometimes steal control.
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Creative Sound Blaster Omni Surround 5.1 USB Sound Card

Creative Sound Blaster Omni Surround 5 1 USB Sound Card review pros cons
The Sound Blaster Omni is one of its most popular external sound cards on the market. This external sound card for Mac and PC comes with a duo of microphones for a superior quality of voice calls, 5.1-channel surround sound support and a handy software for enhanced controls. Its amplifier can power even seriously demanding headphones (with impedance up to 600 Ohms). It’s a no-brainer pick in its price category.

+ PROS

Excellent sound quality
Good build quality
Feature rich software bundle
Well built-in headphone amplifier
Can be used with almost any device.

– CONS

Nothing
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ASUS Xonar U7 Xonar U7 Sound Card

ASUS Xonar U7 Xonar U7 Sound Card review pros cons
Sometimes the user does not want to install another expansion card inside the computer case. It is in such cases that the ASUS Xonar U7 can be useful. This is an external sound card that plugs into the USB connector. With its help, it is easy to organize the output of sound to the acoustics of 7.1 formats. In this case, the frequency of the DAC available here reaches 192 kHz – the maximum value. A total of five analog connectors can be found on the case. Separately, it should be noted independent output to the headphones – this is rarely found in cheaper external sound cards.

+ PROS

Eight analog channels
High-frequency DAC
A large number of connectors
Convenient operation
Support for Dolby Home Theater v4

– CONS

High price
Not very powerful built-in amplifier
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StarTech USB Stereo Audio Adapter External Sound Card

StarTech USB Stereo Audio Adapter External Sound Card
This is another great choice for those who are looking for the best external sound card for PC and Mac. This is an affordable external sound card and it will provide home theater audio support via an S/PDIF output. It also has a built-in DAC that can produce high-quality audio. Other key features of the device include a volume knob, as well as the ability to control the bass and treble via a dedicated switch.

+ PROS

Convenient controls (volume and EQ).
Compact and portable design.
Sampling rate indicator (LED).
Plug and play system.
3.5mm jack and S/PDIF connections.
Durable 16-inch cable.
Durable case and components.
Quality sound output

– CONS

Nothing
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Creative Sound BlasterX G1

Creative Sound BlasterX G1 7 1 Portable HD Gaming USB DAC and Sound Card
The Creative Sound BlasterX G1 is an option for those looking for a cheap but good quality external sound card. It has a compact design and an easy to setup. The Sound BlasterX G1 can deliver crisp audio recordings, as well as an overall sound signature with expanded spaciousness. It is compatible with all types of headphones. Also, has an extensive software suite of controls for PC or Mac and a dedicated audio mode.
Creative Sound BlasterX G1 delivers instant audio enhancement for an engaging gaming experience on PC, Mac, PS4 and mobile devices.

+ PROS

It works as promised and more!
Remarkable sound enhancement, even with low-quality speakers.

– CONS

Nothing
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M-Audio Fast Track USB

M Audio Two Channel Portable USB Audio and MIDI Interface
Perhaps one of the most popular external sound cards. This budget model has long established itself among musicians of all levels and is rightfully considered one of the best in price-quality ratio.
In the arsenal of M-Audio Fast Track USB connection through a modern USB interface, the presence of instrumental and MIDI inputs, the output for connecting headphones. Which, by the way, is independent, so the volume of the signal is regulated separately. Quite tolerable control to adjust the balance of frequencies and even the presence of phantom power. Thanks to a good built-in preamp to the card, you can directly connect the microphone.

+ PROS

Two RCA connectors.
Phantom power for the microphone.
Not a bad preamplifier.
The presence of an instrumental input.
Convenient management.
The perfect value for money.

– CONS

Low frequency digital to analog converter.
Few audio channels.
Limited use.
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IK Multimedia Pro DUO

best external audio card review with pros and cons
The iRig Pro DUO, produced by IK Multimedia, is an external audio card, Midi, specially designed for recording high-fidelity music at home, in studio and even traveling with iPad, iPhone, PC / Mac and all Android devices. Its main features are 2 mic / line combo inputs for connecting instruments or microphones (dynamic and condenser), headphone outputs, direct latency monitoring, dedicated pre-amplification gain controls, 2 outputs for monitor speaker and multicolored led connection for tracking recording levels. All inputs are compatible with high impedance instruments (such as bass and guitar), while Midi can interfere with drum machines, synthesizers, and many other musical devices. Practical and handy sound card, iRig Pro DUO also works with 2 AA batteries.

+ PROS

Robust.

– CONS

Some issues when batteries are low.
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Conclusion

That’s all for now, folks. These are our selection of the best external sound card for PC and laptop. Did we miss anyone that has great quality and good price? Let us know the name in the comments. We will review the USB sound card and add it as soon as we can. Don’t forget to share this with your social friends. Thank you.