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What is the best sound card? – External or Internal, Opinions, Reviews

best sound card

Sound Card

What is the best sound card? – External or Internal, Opinions, Reviews

We can agree with you, choosing a good sound card is not easy nowadays.

To facilitate your choice we have decided to create this special list with the 5 best sound cards, which will make your decision much easier.

These are the products you’ve been looking for!

Let’s look at them in detail.

What is the best sound card?

Focusrite Scarlett 2I2 – The best ever

Focusrite Scarlett 2I2 Review
Focusrite Scarlett 2I2

Product Name: Focusrite Scarlett 2I2

Product Description: Scarlett 2i2 is a bestseller around the world among USB audio interfaces. Its popularity is based on three things; achieving the best recording quality, high speed and ease of use. The latest generation continues this tradition by improving them. Compact and versatile interface with two super-low-latency Scarlett microphone preamplifiers providing the same level of recording and conversion as the older Scarlett models. Powered by USB makes the interface as versatile and easy to use and allows you to record voice or instruments with Studio quality anywhere.

Brand: Focusrite

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Summary

Super-low digital delay allows you to record material and use superimposed effects in real-time Updated metal regulators with improved mechanics and an elegant red metal case highlights the implemented improvements.

Overall
4.7
  • Material quality
  • Sound quality
  • Volume control
  • Value for money
Comments Rating 0 (0 reviews)

Pros

  • Best external sound card of 2019
  • Double 48V preamplified input
  • Maximum sampling frequency of 192 KHz
  • High control of incoming sound, using the adjustment knobs
  • Headphone output and dual output for professional monitors
  • USB connectivity, compatible with PC and Mac
  • Premium editing and recording programs included free in the order

Cons

  • Some reviews report driver problems with the editing programs
  • Poor compatibility with low-end headphones

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Focusrite Scarlett Solo – Best value for money

Focusrite Scarlett Solo Review
Focusrite Scarlett Solo

Product Name: Focusrite Scarlett Solo

Product Description: The FOCUSRITE Scarlett Solo Studio recording kit will allow you to start your own journey as a musician, singer or composer. The presented model is an ideal solution for beginners, because due to its compactness it can be placed even in the smallest room, and any music lover can deal with all the functionality provided in it. In this case, the quality of the recording kit is almost as good as professional equipment. You will be able to take the presented set of devices with you anywhere: connecting a guitar and a microphone to the main unit, you can immediately start recording.

Brand: Focusrite

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Summary

Super-low digital delay allows you to record material and use superimposed effects in real time. Updated metal regulators with improved mechanics and an elegant red metal body emphasize the implemented improvements.

Overall
4.6
  • Material quality
  • Sound quality
  • Volume control
  • Value for money
Comments Rating 0 (0 reviews)

Pros

  • Best value for money between external sound cards of 2019
  • Single input for microphone and single input for instrument, preamplified at 48V
  • Maximum sampling frequency of 192 KHz
  • Input sound control, with gain and volume adjustment
  • Headphone output and dual output for professional monitors
  • USB connectivity, to connect the device to PC and Mac
  • Premium editing and recording programs included free in the order
  • Small dimensions that make the product extremely portable

Cons

  • Installation drivers often missing
  • Handy and non-localized installation system in Italian

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Creative Sound Blaster Z – Best internal sound card

Creative Sound Blaster Z Review
Creative Sound Blaster Z

Product Name: Creative Sound Blaster Z

Product Description: The Creative Sound Blaster Z's internal sound card is capable of turning your computer into a full-featured desktop audio system with exceptional sound quality. This card has a number of applications for adjusting and adjusting the sound quality, and is equipped with an external microphone, which provides absolute clarity and purity of voice when recording or voice communication.

Brand: Creative

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Summary

Creative Sound Blaster Z is equipped with a Sound Core 3D processor, which implements sound effects of built-in applications, which removes part of the load from the main processor of the PC and greatly improves the quality of sound and voice. It is possible to switch the signal between headphones and speakers without having to turn off the headphones.

Overall
4.6
  • Material quality
  • Sound quality
  • Volume control
  • Value for money
Comments Rating 0 (0 reviews)

Pros

  • Best internal sound card of 2019
  • Soundcore 3D quad-core processor
  • 5.1 sound support for an immersive experience
  • Volume control via the Audio Control Module
  • Proprietary SBX Pro Studio software, for a clear and real sound
  • Multidirectional double condenser microphone
  • Dual sound / microphone input on the ACM

Cons

  • Headphone amplification level cannot be adjusted
  • According to user reviews, drivers are often malfunctioning

Read full review

Creative Sound Blaster Z – Best internal sound card

Behringer UMC204HD Review
Behringer UMC204HD

Product Name: Behringer UMC204HD

Product Description: BEHRINGER UMC204HD – external recording interface that will help you record a track in minutes thanks to the quick connection of microphones, guitars, keyboards and even MIDI-devices. The UMC204HD features 2 world-class amazingly clean MIDAS-directional MIC preamps that include 48 volts of phantom power for condenser microphones and are characterized by 24-bit/192kHz Studio – class converters for best sound quality.

Brand: Behringer

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Summary

BEHRINGER UMC204HD is characterized by zero delay of direct monitoring . This means that musicians can work without delays or lag of the return signal, the result of which is to improve the quality of process execution and recording. The powerful hardware output has its own level control and source selection monitor for easy operation.

Overall
4.6
  • Material quality
  • Sound quality
  • Volume control
  • Value for money
Comments Rating 0 (0 reviews)

Pros

  • Many functions available with a maximum sampling frequency of 192 KHz
  • Maximum audio resolution of 24 bits
  • Dual 48V preamplified input channel
  • Input sound control, with gain and volume adjustment
  • Plug-in library and digital effects for PC included in the order
  • Headphone output and dual output for professional monitors
  • Elegant design, perfect for any home or studio

Cons

  • The card has more background noise than its counterparts
  • There is no proprietary control software

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Behringer U-PHORIA UM2 – Best economic option

Behringer U-PHORIA UM2 Review

Product Name: Behringer U-PHORIA UM2

Product Description: The Behringer U-Phoria UM2 audio interface is compatible with all typical recording Studio or concert hall devices – microphones, musical instruments, mixers and other audio correction devices. The input connectors are an instrumental 1/4-inch Jack and a combined microphone-instrumental XLR/TRS-socket. The latter is equipped with a built-in XENYX preamp for clear and distinct reading of the signal from the microphone.

Brand: Behringer

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Summary

The interface will become an indispensable component in your home recording Studio. The interface is enough to connect to the computer and it will be ready to work. Having a very durable body and compact size, the UM2 is ideal for travel use.

Overall
4.6
  • Material quality
  • Sound quality
  • Remote control
  • Value for money
Comments Rating 0 (0 reviews)

Pros

  • Best economic option of 2019
  • Single universal preamplified 48V channel
  • Input audio control, with gain and volume adjustment
  • Instrumental input, suitable for any instrument
  • Headphone output and dual output for professional monitors
  • USB connectivity, compatible with PC and Mac
  • Compact and portable design

Cons

  • Instrumental input not observable via USB
  • Very weak given the poorly resistant materials
  • Maximum narrow sampling rate

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Factors to consider when buying a sound card

If you are looking for the perfect device to buy, without any doubt you will have found yourself overwhelmed with technical data and information you don’t know what to do. In fact, there are many factors to consider when traveling in the world of sound cards, which is why we have decided to create a list of the most important and essential factors for you. Read on to learn more!

Response frequency

The frequency of response is undoubtedly an essential technical data when choosing the perfect card. It indicates the frequency that the sounds processed by the device will have and is contained in a well-defined range. Since the range of the human ear is 20Hz-20KHz, our advice is to buy a product that has a wider range, so that you always have a fresh and clean sound.

Surround sound

If you intend to buy a sound card purely for gaming or to enjoy every movie in detail, you can’t forget about the support for surround sound. In fact, it guarantees an extremely engaging experience, making the sound seem all around you, precisely locating every single movement or noise.

Signal to noise ratio

Another essential technical data is the signal-to-noise rate, or the ratio between signal and noise. The higher the SNR, the cleaner the outgoing audio signal, making your listening clean and without annoying noises. According to the opinion of all audiophiles, you need to look for a product that has an SNR of at least 105 dB for an always great sound.

Compatibility

Obviously buying a product that is not compatible with your equipment makes both of them useless to each other. This is why you will have to be very careful when choosing your card, checking that each of your instruments has the same input jack as in the product.

In the case of internal cards, pay attention to the way in which the latter connects to the motherboard, given that, with the evolution of the gaming world, many motherboards begin to mount a single PCIe socket, making it impossible to install a sound support.

Easy configuration

Ease of configuration is a very situational factor, but still important to consider. If you are in fact recruits in the world of sound cards, our advice is to choose products that have detailed guides, and, in the case of internal cards, CDs for installing drivers. If you’re a veteran, don’t worry too much, you’ll be an expert by now.

Give yourself a break!

You may have come here to be able to take your listening music to another level or to find the perfect product to record your new single. In any case, we hope that our buying guide and our mini-reviews have turned your mind to the one that best suits you among the best external or internal sound cards on the market. Prepare your best headphones, sit back and relax, so you can enjoy your new purchase!

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