Computer Sound Cards

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Creative Labs Sound Blaster AE-9

Creative Labs Sound Blaster AE-9

B&H # CRSBAE9 MFR # 70SB178000000

Key Features

  • Hi-Res PCIe Sound Card and DAC
  • Supports 5.1- & 7.1-Channel Surround
  • ESS SABRE-Class 9038 DAC
  • Playback: 32-Bit / 384 kHz PCM & DSD64
$33249
In Stock
Sabrent USB Type-C External Stereo Sound Adapter

Sabrent USB Type-C External Stereo Sound Adapter

B&H # SAAUMMSC MFR # AU-MMSC

Key Features

  • USB Type-C 2.0 Interface
  • 3.5mm Headphone Stereo Output
  • 3.5mm Microphone Input
  • No External Power Required
$899
More on the Way
Expected availability: 2-4 weeks

ASUS Xonar SE 5.1-Channel PCIe Gaming Sound Card

B&H # ASXONARSE MFR # XONAR SE

Key Features

  • 5.1-Channel Output
  • 192 kHz / 24-Bit Hi-Res Audio
  • 116 dB Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR)
  • 300-Ohm Headphone Amplifier
$3999
In Stock

Sabrent AU-MMSA USB Stereo 3D Sound Adapter (Black)

B&H # SAAUMMSA MFR # AU-MMSA

Key Features

  • Plug-and-Play USB Interface
  • 3.5mm Headphone Output
  • 3.5mm Microphone Input
  • Windows and Mac Compatible
$799
In Stock

Sabrent USB Aluminum External Stereo Sound Adapter

B&H # SAAUEMCB MFR # AU-EMCB

Key Features

  • USB to 3.5mm Stereo Audio & Mic Adapter
  • 1 x 3.5mm Stereo Output Jack
  • 1 x 3.5mm Microphone Input Jack
  • USB 2.0 Type-A Interface
$799
More on the Way
Expected availability: 2-4 weeks

Creative Labs Sound Blaster PLAY! 3 External Sound Card & USB DAC Amp

B&H # CRSBP3 MFR # 70SB173000000

Key Features

  • Upgrade Motherboard Audio
  • 24-Bit/96 kHz Audio Output
  • 24-Bit/48 kHz Microphone Input
  • ~93 dB Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR)
$2137
In Stock

Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy Fx PCIe Sound Card

B&H # CRSBAFP MFR # 70SB157000000

Key Features

  • 24-Bit/192 kHz Stereo Direct
  • 3.5mm Headphone/Front-Out Jack
  • Three 3.5mm Line-In Jacks
  • 3.5mm Rear-Out Jack
$4274
In Stock

Creative Labs Sound BlasterX G6 7.1-Channel HD Gaming DAC and External USB Sound Card

B&H # CRSBXG6 MFR # 70SB177000000

Key Features

  • Xamp Discrete Headphone Amplification
  • Supports 7.1-Channel Virtual Surround
  • Sampling Rate up to 32-Bit / 384 kHz
  • Dynamic Range: 130 dB
$13999
In Stock

StarTech 7.1 USB Audio Adapter External Sound Card

B&H # STICUSBAUD7D MFR # ICUSBAUDIO7D

Key Features

  • USB 2.0 Interface
  • Provides 7.1-Channel Surround Sound
  • 2 x SPDIF, 8 x 3.5mm Mini-Jack Ports
  • Full-Duplex Recording and Playback
$3499
More on the Way
Expected availability: 2-4 weeks

Creative Labs Sound BlasterX G1 7.1 Portable USB Sound Card with Headphone Amplifier

B&H # CRBLXG1SC MFR # 70SB171000000

Key Features

  • USB 3.0 Interface
  • 4-Pole Headphone/Mic Jack
  • Virtual 7.1 HD Positional Surround Sound
  • Supports up to 300Ω Headphones
$2849
In Stock

StarTech Virtual 7.1 USB Stereo Audio Adapter External Sound Card

B&H # STICUSBAUDI7 MFR # ICUSBAUDIO7

Key Features

  • USB 2.0 Interface
  • Provides Virtual 7.1 Surround Sound
  • 2 x 3.5mm Mini-Jack
  • Mic and Volume Controls
$1999
In Stock

Sabrent AU-EMAC USB External Stereo Sound Adapter (Silver)

B&H # SAAUEMAC MFR # AU-EMAC

Key Features

  • Plug-and-Play USB Interface
  • 3.5mm Headphone Output
  • 3.5mm Microphone Input
  • Windows and Mac Compatible
$899
In Stock

Prudent Way PWI-USB-A71 USB Virtual 7.1 Sound Adapter

B&H # PRPWIUSBA71 MFR # PWI-USB-A71

Key Features

    $998
    Special Order
    Expected availability: 2-4 weeks
    $4580
    Special Order
    Expected availability: 2-4 weeks

    ASUS Xonar AE 7.1-Channel PCIe Gaming Audio Card with EMI Back Plate

    B&H # ASXONARAE MFR # XONAR AE

    Key Features

    • 7.1-Channel HD Surround Sound
    • 192 kHz / 24-Bit Sound
    • 110 dB Signal-to-Analog (SNR) Ratio
    • EMI Backplate with ASUS Hyper Grounding
    $6999
    In Stock

    Creative Labs Sound Blaster AE-7

    B&H # CRSBAE7 MFR # 70SB180000000

    Key Features

    • Hi-Res PCIe DAC and Amp
    • Supports 5.1- & 7.1-Channel Surround
    • ESS SABRE-Class 9018 DAC
    • Playback: 32-Bit / 384 kHz PCM & DSD64
    $20999
    In Stock

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    Learning About Sound Cards

    While a graphics card allows a computer to produce visuals, a sound card creates the audio to go with the graphics. While many desktops and laptops have sound cards already installed, you may want to upgrade, or you may need one for a custom build. A dedicated sound card allows your PC to produce clear, crisp sound so that dialog and sound effects in games and movies are sharper, and the finer details of the music come through your speakers or headphones.


    Do I Need a Sound Card?

    Many computers come with a sound card built into the motherboard, which produces audio that's typically sufficient for everyday applications. Your computer will boot and operate without it, so, even if you don't have one, your computer will still run—it just won't produce sound.

    You can install new, upgraded computer sound cards, which may be necessary in certain situations. Professional audio production can benefit from a high-end sound card, since it's usually more insulated against external interference than a factory card. Dedicated gamers with high-quality headphones or powerful external speakers can also gain from an upgraded sound card, allowing them to truly immerse themselves, hearing environmental sounds clearly and responding quicker to game prompts.


    How Do I Know What Sound Card I Have Installed?

    You can see what sound card is presently installed on your computer, by checking the Device Manager. This should give you an idea of what your system can handle when deciding whether to upgrade to a different card. Research your computer system as well, to ensure compatibility with a new sound card.


    How Does a Sound Card Work?

    Sound cards convert digital signals into analog sound waves that people can hear. Sound comes out through a computer's built-in speakers or through external speakers. Sound cards also have connection ports for regular and studio headphones, microphones, and numerous other audio devices.


    How to Install a New Sound Card

    Computer sound cards connect to a PC's motherboard through PC slots. They are easy to connect and may be secured in place by a screw into the side of the tower case. Again, specialized sound cards may feature additional insulation to protect against interference, but should still connect to a PCI slot. Some sound cards may also require the installation of drivers or other software in order to function, which can be installed after the physical device is in place.

    You can also install an external sound card that connects to your computer via USB. These are even easier to use and have ports for headphones and mics. Some external sound cards also feature their own volume control, and can easily switch between headphone and speaker output. External sound cards are often compact and portable, making them especially well suited for use with laptop computers.


    While a computer sound card may not be an essential addition to your PC, it can upgrade your experience if audio is especially important, and you can find many models and other upgrades at B&H Photo and Video.

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