How to Choose a Sound Card For Computer

We would like to devote this article to our readers who love and appreciate high-quality sound on a computer and laptop, for which the sound card is responsible. The main function of the sound card is the processing of the incoming sound signal, you can add to its functions the transmission of the audio signal (to the subwoofer, satellites, etc.) and input (line input, microphone, etc.).

Currently, almost all of the commercially available motherboards have an integrated sound card. In most cases, they are able to support a 5.1 or 7.1 system. The built-in sound card is given to you absolutely free, as it is part of the motherboard, and for a separate device you will have to pay a lot of money. Why do we need a separate sound card?

In most cases, it makes no sense to an ordinary user to buy an external sound card, if for you the main thing is that the sound from the computer just played. For true connoisseurs of high-quality sound, we strongly recommend that you do this, since no integrated sound card will show such features as a separate one.

In general, if you like to listen to high-quality music playback or watch movies with the sound effect of presence, then when you buy a sound card, you need to pay attention to some points. Know that it is possible to get the best quality sound only by connecting the speaker system with a digital or optical interface (S / PDIF). It will be nice, of course, if there is sound card support for the Dolby Digital noise reduction system and the like. But you must remember that you can only get clear sound using a good source, that is, it makes no sense to buy a separate sound card if you have simple stereo speakers. This is not logical. You can achieve high-quality sound on a new sound card only if you have a good 5.1 or 7.1 audio system, either in the form of a ready-made kit or assembled independently from speakers, a subwoofer and an amplifier. High-quality music files in the FLAC format, and licensed DVDs and Blue-ray discs will help you get high-quality sound.

In almost all integrated (integrated) sound cards, most of the functions are assigned to the head processor, which performs most of the work for signal processing and conversion. External sound cards have a separate sound processor, and some models even have their own memory. Thus, you can call these sound cards hardware, they are completely independent and do not use computer resources at all.

How to Choose a Sound Card For Computer

What to look for

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DTS Digital Surround and Dolby Digital are surround sound canons that are used for DVD format. Having a sound card with these functions can give you sound with minimal noise and distortion, creating a presence effect when viewing licensed video discs.

Video: How to Choose a Sound Card For Computer


A variety of effects in computer games, as well as surround sound function. EAX is a bit outdated standard, but EAX ADVANCED HD is a more advanced system that allows you to provide the highest sound quality, as well as play electronic games using the most advanced sound effects.

When connected to an analog output, it is impossible to avoid all types of interference and noise, it just won’t work, and using a digital output absolutely eliminates their appearance. It should be noted that some built-in sound cards also have access to S / PDIF, this is an optical output that is capable of delivering high-quality sound without the slightest distortion and interference. It is through this connector that we recommend connecting the audio system to the sound card.

Sound Card Tips

As a rule, the main criterion for choosing a sound card is the ultimate goal of its use. Most owners of a personal computer use the capabilities of the sound card in order to listen to music, play games, as well as to record and process their own musical compositions.

Fans of games should be advised sound cards with support for EAX ADVANCED HD, EAX, as these functions will allow you to fully experience all the audio effects present in a modern game. But you need to draw your attention to the fact that in this case with the built-in sound card, EAX emulation will significantly load the CPU and reduce its speed. For this reason, it is recommended to use an external sound card for games.

Another problem that you will encounter when choosing a sound card is its type. Today, there are 2 types of sound cards: external and internal. An internal sound card is inserted into the PCI slot of the motherboard, without taking up extra space and without extra wires. An external sound card, as the name implies, is a separate device, but it is small in size. Masterservis24.ru website experts recommend choosing an external sound card for a number of reasons. Firstly, electromagnetic interference can affect the internal sound card, which in turn can negatively affect the sound reproduction, the external sound card will not have such problems. Secondly, the external sound card is not limited in size, so it can include a larger number of connectors, which will affect the sound quality and makes it possible to expand its functions. In addition, an external sound card is the only option to improve the quality of reproducible sound on a laptop and connect a 5.1 audio system to it.

The more connectors on the sound card, the better. Your sound card must have at least the following connectors:

  • Connector for connecting to a computer or laptop;
  • Exit to the front speakers;
  • Exit to the rear speakers;
  • Exit to the subwoofer and the central channel;
  • Microphone output;
  • Line output;
  • Headphone output
  • Optical S / PDIF input.

The cost of sound cards for musicians who make music professionally is very high. Something from budget models may well be suitable for beginners, fortunately, the choice today is quite wide. In addition to a fairly high quality MIDI reproduction. Of course, before purchasing it is necessary to study the features of the sound device, pay close attention to the type of jack and the number of channels so that you can connect all the necessary musical instruments, most of which require special jack 6.3 mm jacks.

Replacing the sound card is a real opportunity to upgrade a personal computer. A new, more advanced, sound card that supports modern standards is able to show completely new possibilities and let you hear everything in a new way.

For home use, we recommend purchasing a Creative SB X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro sound card, which is the best option for achieving high-quality sound. Advising a sound card model for musicians is difficult, since it all depends on the tasks that you set for the card, as well as on the devices and tools that you want to connect to it.