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  • Overall Rating: 3
  • Price: 5
  • Quality: 2
  • Ease Of Use: 5
  • Usefulness: 3
An updated review – Virtual 5.1-Surround USB 2.0 External Sound Card Reviews

posted by TheLivingOne on 06/29/2009 Certified Owner

Involvement:Expert (understands the inner workings) - Ownership:1 week to 1 month

Pros:
Cool design, very small and light, handy, like a flash drive stick.
Plug and play, no specific driver required.
Works with Windows XP and Linux with either ALSA and OSS 4 drivers.
Costs peanuts.
Cons:
Sound quality is bad, there's no any hum but the sound is distorted, especially at high levels. At low levels it's noticeably better but still far from hi-fi.
Volume control works in a bad way, sound is very loud through all range of the slider and becomes quieter only at the low few pixels. Like it's exponential instead of logarithmic :) Not possible to set exact volume you want.
Reported to be not compatible with Mac OS (by other users).
Did not work for me when connected via a USB hub, the sound crackles like hell.
Other:
Of course it's not 5.1, it's an ordinary stereo card. Such cards are usually shipped with a software driver which simulates 3D sounding via 2 channels, but this card is not shipped with a driver CD at all.
Bottomline:
Can be bought for use anywhere where sound quality isn't important: as a backup card, for system notifications, maybe for VoIP. For listening to music or having 5.1 sound add some money and get a "real" card, maybe sku.15746 — I didn't heard that one myself yet but the reviews aren't bad.

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