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Thread: USB Audio

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    Post USB Audio

    I'm looking at getting a USB audio device for my laptop (as the internal stereo soundcard is somewhat limiting).

    Been having difficulty getting much research done, I've managed to determine that any device supporting the USB Audio Device standard should function fine. However, I have not been able to find many reviews of individual hardware items.

    I'm not after an expensive one, but I want a decent enough one that I can be happy with. 5.1, EAX support and decent sound quality are required.

    Any recommendations?

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Notavi View Post
    I'm not after an expensive one, but I want a decent enough one that I can be happy with. 5.1, EAX support and decent sound quality are required.
    ALSA doesn't presently support EAX. Creative Lab's will be releasing some new binary-only Linux sound drivers the middle of next year, which will support the X-Fi as well as supporting EAX.

    Here
    is a Sound card Matrix of most all devices supported by ALSA.

  3. #3
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    Jun 2006
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    Michael: I thought ALSA supported EAX up to v.2?

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1c3d0g View Post
    Michael: I thought ALSA supported EAX up to v.2?
    Unless things have changed since I last studied ALSA, EAX 2.0 is implemented in the generic software code and is not really able to benefit from the audio hardware. Sorry if my original statement was confusing. I may be wrong, but I'll look today to see if things have since changed.

  5. #5
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    Sep 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael
    Unless things have changed since I last studied ALSA, EAX 2.0 is implemented in the generic software code and is not really able to benefit from the audio hardware. Sorry if my original statement was confusing. I may be wrong, but I'll look today to see if things have since changed.
    Ahh, so even if the card itself happened not to support EAX, I'd still have a software installation to fall back on. Good to know (prefer hardware implementation if ALSA can do it, but software is good enough).

    Can you tell me how much sound quality is affected by drivers (both standard audible quality and quality/accuracy of surround sound) and how much is affected by the actual quality of the hardware itself?

    I've noticed with Windows based reviews, sound quality can vary based on OS, system specs and application used to play back the audio/video. Kinda makes it hard do my homework when I don't even know how relevant that information is to a linux based setup.

  6. #6

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    Hmm, maybe I am clueless... But are you looking for a 5.1 setup based off a USB port? For a laptop, a 5.1 is great big. I use some Altec Lansing USB audio... and they are decent. But expensive for the sound quality that comes out of them.

  7. #7

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    With ALSA-supported chips, the sound quality is affected by the actual quality of the hardware itself.

    The Creative Labs Sound Blaster Live! External supports 5.1, USB, and should work fine with ALSA -- http://www.soundblaster.com/products...&product=10702

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