External Sound Card



Hi guys, I’m new to the board & was looking for some advice. I’m using my HP lap top for DJing & Karaoke. I’m going from my headphone jack into my mixer for audio & it actually sounds very good. I was thinking about moving to an External Sound Card ony if there would be a premium difference in sound quality. I don’t need 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound, just a high quality, great sounding basic external sound card. I was thinking about the Sound Blaster MP3+ however being it’s so cheap, not sure that it would be any better than my built in HP sound card. Anyone using it or have any better suggestions? Appreciate any input.


I’ve got a Griffin iMic and like it a lot. It serves a lot of uses for me besides use on my business laptop for listening to music. On my PC, I use it to import some of my old LP’s and tapes into Audacity. It works great and is inexpensive.


Checked it out but it’s not really what I had I mind. I want a unit that has RCA output jacks. Thanks for input.


Since it seems like you’re on a budget, I think you should go for the Philips PSC805 Aurilium. It’s built like a rock, looks great and will give you excellent sound quality from its lineout. It should easily outclass the onboard sound out of your lapton. I had a Soundblaster Live 24-bit which is supposed to be about the same sound quality wise as the Audigy2 ZS when used for music. I think the Aurilium easily destroys it in sound quality. I think the Aurilium is discontinued, but you can find them fairly cheap at 20-30 bucks on ebay.


I want a unit that has RCA output jacks. Thanks for input.

You can always buy a cheap cable adapter for that.


Not to sound snoody, but money isn’t the issue. I don’t care if I’m spending $30 or $130, I’m just looking to get the best possible sound. Keep in mind, I’m not playing thru headphones or some book shelve speakers, I’m playing through a 10,000 watt pa system. I checked out the Phillips, it seems to be more geared towards personal headphones & PC speakers. It lacks RCA outputs which is a must have. Thanks for your input.


The Aurilium is a great sounding basic external. Ignore all the BS game and 3D effects it’s capable of and what it appears geared for. What you need is a clean source free of pops with a quiet noise floor with good resolution. The DAC on the lineout fits that description. Coming from probably onboard notebook audio, almost any decent external should blow it out of the water when it comes to sound quality. The M-Audio and E-MU external soundcards are more professional/higher-end if you want to go in that direction. I have an internal E-MU 0404 and it’s really fantastic. Anyway, whatever external you finally choose, don’t let the RCA outputs (or lack thereof) be a deciding factor. You can always buy a mini to female RCA adapter or whatever to fit you needs.


I am far from a computer guru & really appreciate your help. I checked out the sites and I’m no quite sure unit is best for me. What model numbers to you suggest. I don’t need any bells & whistles & won’t be using any line or mic imputs. I would like to have at least 2 seperate stereo audio out channels.


The M-Audio Audiophile USB and E-MU 0404 USB are probably the best bets for you. The specs on the E-MU are a bit more impressive. There aren’t too many head-to-head comparisons between the two since the E-MU is a relatively new product, but from what I’ve read, there isn’t a concensus which is better. Since the M-Audio is around $150 in many online outlets and the E-MU is 200, I guess the choice is pretty clear. Also the M-Audio comes with RCA outputs. One problem though is that they only have one set of RCA outputs. Some sort of RCA Y-splitter might work if you put one for each L and R.


Thanks a million. Going to go with the M-Audio Audiophile USB.


Have a look at the PCMCIA Audigy2 ZS for laptops: http://www.creative.com/products/product.asp?category=1&subcategory=205&product=10769


M-Audio also has a firewire version. Price shop Amazon, J and R, B and H Photo, Sam Ash and musician sites for prices on this type of gear. regards, gamma1


I’m running an M-Audio USB external with 2 XLR Mic inputs w/ phantom and 2 1/4" Tip/Ring Unbalanced line inputs. The outputs are 1/4" or 3.5mm stereo mini.
I use the card with SmaartLive to do acoustical measurements of theatre/public spaces etc and it works great. Low noise and high sampling rate for good conversion.