Finding the best rated external USB surround sound cards is no easy task in 2017. With the ever-growing market of computers and electronics, it can be very difficult to determine which sound card is the right one for you.
There’s no debate that surround sound brings new life with in-depth, lifelike audio effects that make you feel like you’re there. Whether you play a lot of video games, or you watch a lot of movies, a high-end sound card can mean the difference between a good and bad gaming or movie-watching experience.
Many are choosing to invest in external usb sound cards since they’re easy to integrate, effective, and often an easy upgrade for those who want to enrich their audio to the next level. We’ve done some research and written three extensive reviews on the best rated choices of the year.
Creative Sound Blaster Omni Surround 5.1 USB Sound Card
With the Sound Blaster Omni Surround 5.1 USB card, Creative Technology has contributed another addition for computers that could use an audio upgrade. This high-performance sound card was developed to enhance audio playback experience for everyone through it’s wide array of top of the line features.
Over and above the complete playback experience, the Creative Sound Blaster Omni Surround 5.1 USB Sound Card brings with it the remarkable recording capabilities geared towards the growing number of audio content producers, budding musicians, podcasters and other audio content creators.
This card carries a 600-ohm headphone amplifier that allows listeners to hear the enhanced detail in the audio via a powerful monitoring headphone. It has built-in dual array microphones that can record audio, which in turn, are further enhanced and cleaned up through Creative’s CrystalVoice technologies.
With the amplifier in the 600 ohm headphone, users are afforded a more immerse experience. The amplifier plays support on the capabilities of the monitoring headphones. These phones are given sufficient power in reproducing tones in low frequencies which are normally ignored. With this, the end-user is brought to a new level of listening experience which is perfect for movies and gaming.
It comes with the Sound Blaster control panel, a software suite for both PC and Mac that gives users full control and access on the advanced SBX Pro Studio and CrystalVoice to technologies that will enhance the recording and the eventual playback of the enhanced audio.
The Sound Blaster Omni external sound card brings the user to a cinematic audio immersion through a simple USB port. With it, your PC (or Mac) is converted into a 5.1 entertainment system. The included control panel (from Sound Blaster) shall become the de facto audio system controller. The application also works for voice communications with its microphone array seamlessly integrated.
Dolby Digital Live lets users connect through a single optical cable to their decoder for a compelling 5.1 Surround Sound, including a 5.1 analog output. It is easily installed through a single USB connection port.
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi HD USB Audio System
The Sound Blaster X-Fi HD Audio System from Creative is another USB audiophile-grade sound card with premium connectivity for notebook or PC that lets the user record, convert, as well as enhances digital music files.
This bundled media toolbox allows the user to record, compile, organize and enhance his digital audio files. The SBX Pro Studio technology immerses you in the same audio experience that are very similar to those brought about in live performances by concert artists, those produced in recording studios by recording artist and the total sound outputs in films.
The Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi HD USB Audio System is an audiophile grade sound card with premium connectivity for your Notebook or PC. It has on its front panel, a conveniently located 1/4-inch microphone input and another ¼-inch jack for headphones that has a studio quality amp for headphones and a volume control.
The optical I/O is at the rear panel together with the gold-plated RCA I/O in stereo. There is also an integrated pre-amp for phono should the user decides to do a direct recording of vinyl records on an actual turntable.
The app produces good sound quality connecting with a high-impedance headphone or hooking to a hi-fi headphone. The palpable difference is heard whether one is playing games, watching a movie or listening to songs. This sound card scores high in performance, portability, and other features.
The bundle has unsurpassed audio quality on its sound card in USB while the SBX Pro Studio is for maximum enjoyment in the audio realism in all of the user’s audio files be it in music, in movies, and in games.
Additionally, it has a phono preamp, enhanced with an RIAA EQ that allows the direct connection between the turntable and the USB sound card to directly convert the vinyl audio into MP3s or collected into CDs.
Vantec USB External 7.1 Channel Audio Adapter
The Vantec USB External 7.1 Channel Audio Adapter is a high quality choice with full-duplex playback. To enjoy true audio delight, the user has to simply connect it to any USB port on the computer to begin experiencing true 7.1 surround sound audio.
With it, sound will never be the same with its full-duplex playback, with a cleaner and more dynamic sound experience. This is true with sounds coming from the soundtrack of movies, straight music, audio tracks of videos and sound effects from games with the overall sound quality that resonates into something near surreal and different from those played back on other regular sound cards.
With a combined capability of high quality audio recording and playback, the Vantec USB External 7.1 Channel Audio Adapter can take anyone in their next audio experience to another higher level, for a cleaner, dynamic sound experience.
The bundle has a regular USB 2.0 connection, a 7.1 channel surround sound, and a full-duplex playback and record capabilities. It supports 48/44.1 KHz sampling rate in playback and in recording. Additionally, it has a line-in input for direct recordings, and a separate left and right microphone inputs for true stereo recording, and a 3.5mm jack for the headphones. Overall, a very nice option that carries some impressive features.
Although finding the right external USB sound card is no easy task, by taking the time to read our reviews, you now have a clearer understanding of which are worth the money in 2017. Whether you need surround sound on your laptop, or an unsupported computer, giving 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound can bring life to any computer system that’s lacking in the audio department.