What are the best external sound cards?

Whether you're a movie buff or an audiophile, sound qualities matter, as it could either make your listening and watching experience better or worse. To ensure you get the most of your movie or music, external sound cards, like the ones below are a great way to upgrade your audio's quality!

63 contributors
8 solutions
  1. 20

    #1Creative SB1700

    Creative SB1700

    The Creative Sound BlasterX G6 is a portable external sound card that features a virtual 7.1 channel audio input signal for an immersive gaming experience. It has a built-in SB-Axx1 audio processor and volume controls.

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    Sara Kim
    Written on June 17, 2019
    "BEST EXTERNAL SOUND CARD!! The sidetone is amazing whether its through a USB or on an amp in my XBOX the sound is still smooth and crystal clear! "
  2. 12

    #2FiiO E10K

    FiiO E10K

    Made with brushed aluminum, this device comes with a low-pass filter and a DAC chip designed to improve audio quality and reduce delays. It has a 1/8¡± headphone jack, a rear-panel 1/8¡± output, and a rear-panel coaxial digital output

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    Jason Newman
    Written on June 17, 2019
    "I've been using this everyday ffor over a year and it still works like it's brand new! I love it so much! "
  3. 10

    #3StarTech ICUSBAUDIO7D

    StarTech ICUSBAUDIO7D

    This portable 7.1 USB sound card supports both analog and digital audio output through a single USB 2.0 connection. It comes with built-in volume controls, two microphone inputs, and supports 44.1KHz and 48KHz. 

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    Gilberto Marín
    Written on June 17, 2019
    "Plugged it into one of my 3.0 USB hubs and plug-n-play did the rest! Works very smoothly with my laptop! "
  1. 4

    #4Creative X7

    Creative X7

    Designed to amplify sounds to give you crystal-clear audio, the Creative Sound Blaster X7 comes with a 24-bit 192khz high-resolution playback. It has an internal Dolby Digital decoder and can be connected through your device via Bluetooth.

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    Arjun Bose
    Written on June 17, 2019
    "The X7 software is easy to use and does everything I need it to. The Crystalizer also makes the mids and highs sound crisp and clear. "
  2. 3

    #5ASUS Xonar U5

    ASUS Xonar U5

    The ASUS ASUS Xonar U5 sound card comes with an internal noise reduction feature, and has a built-in mic and volume controls. It has a 5.1 channel HD, and a 104dB signal-to-analog ratio. It also has a headphone amplifier.

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    Sue Mao
    Written on June 17, 2019
    "Works great with my Elecraft K3, and am able to run WSJT-X and Fldigi under MacOS, or Ham Radio Deluxe and Winlink Express under Windows 10! "
  3. 3

    #6Creative SB1560

    Creative SB1560

    Featuring SBX Pro Studio and Crystal Voice Technology, the Sound Blaster Omni Surround 5.1 delivers 5.1 channels of playback sound. It comes with an internal microphone designed to make audio sounds clearer when on speaker.

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    Socorro Martínez
    Written on June 17, 2019
    "This sound blaster really exceeded my expectations. You'll notice is super clearly when you're watching a horror movie and all the quiet subtle scenes kick in. It's wonderful!"
  4. 2

    #7Optimal Shop 6478484

    Optimal Shop 6478484

    Designed to record and play digital and analog audio from your computer, this external audio card supports 32KHz,44.1KHz, and 48Khz sampling rates. It also offers support for 5.1 channels for 3D games and HD movies.

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    Esperanza Villegas
    Written on June 17, 2019
    "The Card was super easy to set up and has been very reliable in terms of volume and playback duration. "
  5. 1

    #8AudioQuest DragonFly

    AudioQuest DragonFly

    Featuring a 32-Bit SABRE DAC which improves tone, transparency, and richness, this external sound card works with any laptop or smartphone device and is designed to play anything, turning MP3 files to 24-bit high-resolution files.


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    Yuan Li
    Written on June 17, 2019
    "I love this because it has + DACs/AMPs + hi-res which is soooo good when im listening to podcasts! "

Summary

Best What are the best external sound cards
RankSolutionsTypeVotesPrice
1Creative SB1700Other 20 Paid
2FiiO E10KOther 12 Paid
3StarTech ICUSBAUDIO7DOther 10 Paid
4Creative X7Electronics 4 Paid
5ASUS Xonar U5Other 3 Paid
6Creative SB1560Other 3 Paid
7Optimal Shop 6478484Other 2 Paid
8AudioQuest DragonFlyOther 1 Paid
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