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Cheap 5.1 Usb Sound Card For Mac [BETTER]


This high-resolution USB DAC is the perfect solution for elevating your audio experience at your desk. Not only does it support 32-bit 196kHz hi-res audio, but it's also the only external USB DAC that features Super X-Fi tech, which recreates the experience of a high-end multispeaker sound system in your headphones.




Cheap 5.1 Usb Sound Card For Mac


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Thanks to its USB-C port, this external sound card is compatible with most modern-day setups. Besides that, it features 3.5-millimeter headphone and mic ports on its front, five 3.5-millimeter ports on its rear for connecting a 7.1 speaker system (and a line-in device), along with an optical output.


The Helm Audio Bolt is hands down the most minimalist option on this list. Measuring less than four inches in length, the minuscule gadget will deliver studio-grade sound and support for high-impedance headphones by linking to any desktop or laptop computer via USB-C or USB-A connection. The product also supports USB-C-toting iPads and Android devices.


Gamers looking to improve their audio for their gaming headset on the go should look no further than Creative's Sound Blaster G3 sound card. The product is also a great option for audiophiles, thanks to support for lossless audio and high-impedance cans.


The GSX 300 is a compact external sound card that offers users stereo or virtual surround sound modes that you can switch between with a simple button press. It's equipped with separate 3.5-millimeter analog headphone and microphone jacks and supports 24-bit / 96 kHz uncompressed audio.


Compared to the GSX 1000 PRO, it doesn't have as many bells and whistles and requires you to make adjustments through software rather than directly from the unit, but it's still a reliable external sound card, especially for the budget-friendly price.


This nifty audio solution is perfect for gamers looking to improve sound quality and voice communication within their favorite games. It features Dolby Digital Surround Sound processing and lets you quickly adjust game and voice balance, so your friends' voices don't get drowned out by your intense game soundtrack.


Creative is one of the leaders in the market for external sound cards, and the Sound BlasterX G6 is one of the company's best-selling options. It's a versatile sound card that can provide an audio upgrade to your gaming console, PC, or MP3 player. It features Dolby Digital decoding and 7.1 virtual surround sound, and it supports Hi-Res audio formats.


Despite its rather uninspiring name, this affordable external sound card will provide great home-theater audio support via a S/PDIF output. The gadget is also capable of producing high-quality audio via a built-in DAC.


I just bought the Logitech Z906 sound system for my iMac Pro 2017 and I was quick to assume that it doesn't support a 5.1 surround sound output. So, I bought an external USB sound card (Startech.com ICUSBAUDIO7D), seemed to work at first, but when I ran through a Surround Test (found on youtube), I noticed that my back speakers were not playing and that their sound was coming out of the two front speakers. Upon further research, I learned that it doesn't support Mac OS.


not really. there is sorta some help for using that 7.1 usb external soundcard on a Mac (dr-lex.be) but it only works (kinda) up to Sierra. Creative makes something that sorta works with the Mac, but I've never used one with my Mac, so can't say 100% for sure if it does or not; or even how well it does. Your best bet, apart from looking at Creative, which is iffy, would be to get a USB to S/PDIF or coax adapter and use that for surround sound, at least digital surround sound. You'd also need a USB-C to USB B cable to connect to your iMac Pro 2017, and the S/PDIF cable to connect to your Z906 speakers. After you buy the adapter and cable(s) , and hook it all up, under system preferences/sound, you'd need to specify USB audio output. then give it a try. I have the same speakers as you do (love 'em) and the digital input would be 2 on the control box. You'd also have to make sure that the button on the control box is set to 4.1 or so. Please note that the only way to get surround sound from any mac is either via HDMI or digital audio, and only with certain movies that have been surround encoded. VLC (videolan client) and AppleDVD do support surround sound, as does iTunes (on occasion) but you'll have to assume that unless it says it, it'll be in stereo, period.


I've always had windows computers with 5.1 sound cards. Therefore the setup I've put in my room is also a 5.1 speaker system. It has three 3.5mm audio jacks: front speakers, rear speakers and middle speaker + subwoofer. Five years ago I started using a Macbook pro, with only one audio jack output. This rendered four of the available six speaker channels useless. (There is some crossover to get sound from multiple speakers, but it's nowhere near true 5.1 sound)


After five years of under-using my speaker setup, I decided to do something about it. I didn't want to buy an expensive sound card, and neither my itunes library or my speakers are top quality, so I settled for a cheap and medium-quality solution.


I decided to go for a cable-type of USB hub, because I wasn't certain that the spacing between the inputs on a box-type hub would be sufficient for the sound cards to sit next to each other. In retrospect they are a bit thinner than I had expected from the photos, and I guess it should be no problem to use a box-type usb hub. It would probably even be a cleaner looking solution.


Specs on the sound card: 16-bit audio at a max sampling rate of 48 kHz. This is far from Hi-Fi quality, but for a medium amplifier and speaker setup it's good enough. Using an expensive sound card to play music over a medium quality setup is like serving a Big Mac on a golden plate: it looks really nice, but it will still taste the same, and it's just wrong!


I've done a quick google search to find out whether it's possible to combine sound devices on windows computers, but no helpful results turned up. If anyone succeeds in doing this, please let me know in the comments and I'll add it to the instructable. For now, this is a Mac-only instructable.


In order to save money in the production of the sound card, no output capacitors were added. The manufacturer has made a placeholder for them, but instead of soldering the capacitors onto the PCB they just shorted the connections.


If you don't add them, you will hear a very loud pop every time you plug a speaker or a pair of headphones into the sound card. This is because the inbuilt opamp needs a symmetric power supply, so a virtual ground is placed at half the maximum voltage of 5V. Therefore the amplifier output has a DC voltage component of 2.5V. In order to filter this DC-component out, and have only an AC audio signal going to the speakers, a capacitor needs to be placed in series with the output.


The design tradeoff you have to take into account is the following: a higher capacitance means a lower fc, but also a bigger capacitor. For use with an amplifier, typical input resistance is over 40 kOhms. If you plan to plug a pair of headphones into the sound card, a very high capacitance will be needed, since the impedance can go as low as 16 Ohms.


I went with a 47uF radial electrolytic capacitor. The diameter of 5mm is just small enough for the cap to fit inside the sound card's casing, and the fc is below 1 Hz when used with an amplifier, which is more than low enough! For use with headphones, I suggest not going below 470uF.


4) Solder the capacitors in place. The negative leads have to be connected to the output jack. Again a continuity checker would be helpful, otherwise just try to follow the pcb traces. There are +/- markings on the silkscreen of the PCB. In my case the markings were correct, but I've read about sound cards where they are wrong, so don't trust the silkscreen!


To do this you have to open an application called Audio MIDI setup, located under Utilities. With this program it's possible to combine any number of connected sound devices into a single virtual one.


3) Select the aggregate device, and tick the boxes of the three sound cards. You can also change the sampling rate, the relative volume, the master clock device and whether you want drift control to be activated. (Google for more info, or just test the different settings)


I like your solution for getting 5.1! If you have an optical s/pdif port on your sound system I'd recommend you to use it to get digital 5.1/7.1 sound, just plug it in to the headphone port. But of course not all sound systems has an optical port :)


Sound Blaster Omni Surround 5.1 delivers cinematic audio immersion to your PC or Mac through a simple USB port. Powered by SBX Pro Studio technology, the external sound card instantly converts your PC or Mac into a 5.1 entertainment system with amazing positional audio and additional customizable audio effects via the included Sound Blaster Omni Control Panel software. It is also ideal for voice communication and features a built-in dual array microphone that seamlessly integrates with proprietary CrystalVoice technology to deliver amazing voice clarity for chatting or recording. And, if audiophile quality listening is your thing, Sound Blaster Omni Surround 5.1 features a 600-ohm headphone amplifier for studio-grade monitoring.


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