Who here uses Sound Cards?

I was wondering who here uses sound cards.
So I’m going to start it with this thread with this standard for easier overviewing:
Sound card: Driver: Hardware modifications made to it:
ASUS Xonar DGX UniXonar Drivers No modifications made
After that, you can leave additional notes and your comments.

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SoundBlaster G6 with AKG K7XX on Manjaro Linux, therefore default drivers, no mods
I am using an extra sound card, either internal or external, since 1990 when the first of its kind was introduced.

You’re not loosing much by using Linux, SB doesn’t have custom drivers, AFAIK, only ASUS and Realtek branded sound cards have custom drivers although many popular sound cards and external interfaces use Realtek DACs

Sound card: ESI Maya 44eX

Driver: 1.2.0

Hardware modifications made to it: %

2 Stereo Input channels (Line/Mic/Toslink/Loopback and Line/High-Z)
2 Stereo Output channels (Line/Headphone)


Back when I bought it:

Driver/Control panel:

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Sound card: Creative SB ZxR


Hardware mods: Opamp change, dunno to what though anymore

Nvm what I wrote before that’s not the model I was thinking about…

Do you strictly mean Cards? I have a USB DAC.


I was mainly talking about Sound Cards, but external interfaces aren’t forbidden here, there are both pros and cons to both, so if you post an external interface, just to make things interesting, please provide a reason why you chose it over a Sound Card

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Maya44 is a pretty nice one

My main stack is an iFi Pro iDSD DAC, Pro iCan Amp, and Pro iESL energizer.
Chosen because I wouldn’t get nearly as much flexibility as a sound card.

I also use an RME ADI-2 DAC at my other desk.


Sound card: Optima NuForce μDAC3

Driver: windows default

Hardware mod: 0%

I have an Optoma μDAC 3. I got it because I had gotten a nicer pair of headphones and wanted to see if I could tell any appreciable difference between it and onboard audio. I can’t really, the headphones make far more of an impact than the DAC.

That said I continue using it because it is super convienient to have the 3.5mm jack and volume knob on my desk near my mouse. I can switch between my headphones and desk speakers just switching the plugs, no messing around behind the PC, and control the volume by hand, no clicking through menus to change output or dragging sliders.

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I use a steinberg UR22 MKII for audio production


Better sound quality, better midi control, can handle XLR, has a Mic Pre for my condenser mic and has zero latency


That is kind of sexy in a old school way :slight_smile:

Sound card: Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 2nd Gen

Driver: 4.63.24
Firmware: 1051

Hardware mod ifications made to it: %

Purchased to record some of my dads Vinyl to digital. Serves as the DAC for music and may find future use as a Mic input.

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Sound card: Schiit Modi Multibit via Optical IN

Driver: Whatever default Realtek driver for the optical output.

Hardware mods: Modi is connected to a Schiit Magni amp

My amp also acts as a preamp for my speakers, so I just have to pull the headphone out from the front and it goes to my speakers automatically.

I’ve been using Behringer U-Control UCA202 USB Audio device for a couple of years now.
The on-(mother)-board built-in Realtek device is adequate for sound output, but had some periodic squawks and clicks when a VM and the host machine were both sending signal to it. That problem disappeared (i believe due to a kernel update) sometime in early 2019.
However, the main reason I bought an external device was for signal input / capture. I started in late 2017 cleaning my old vinyl albums, then digitizing them. The on-board device gave mediocre results. The UCA202 gives great results.
I enjoy the convenience of having my older music available without getting up to flip the album over every 22 minutes or so, but, boy did I underestimate how dirty some of the second-hand vinyl was. It’s a discussion for another thread, I suppose, but cleaning the vinyl is by far the most difficult and time consuming part of the process, and makes, by far, the biggest difference to the finished product – on-board sound or sound card / USB audio device notwithstanding.

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Actually, PCI/e Sound Cards have lower latency due to a higher bandwith and lower latency drivers(best latency is UniXonar), USB audio devices have some latency, but unless you’re looking for it you won’t feel it.
Sound Quality depends on what you get, but yeah, MKII is pretty good. and well out of the box XLR support is neat.

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Scarlett isn’t a sound card, it’s an audio interface.
Audio on it is debatable, I know there are both people that really love it and really hate it.

To not confuse people new to audio devices, it is an external interface.
You could try AAF drivers, no idea if it works for Schiit, but if it does it’s better than default one.

When I used the USB, it works on the basic windows drivers for digital audio. Didn’t notice any difference, I just have a preference for the Optical IN so I don’t have to fuss with audio devices to much.

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Behringer is pretty nice to have for music.
As for Realtek chip on your mobo, the audio quality coming from it really depends on your mobo, the same DAC chip can go anywhere from complete potato to comparable to cheaper interfaces or sound cards, depending from the rest of the components.


Which is part ADC and part DAC, yes.

Isn’t that the case with everything?
The internal headphone amp is pretty meh though.

Bandwidth has nothing to do with it.
Drivers can be a factor, except when using ASIO

Oh yes you will. Even running a 256 buffer, doing monitoring through software will throw you way off.
Direct analog monitoring is the way to go.

Behringer is always a solid 7/10. Feels cheap, is cheap, gets the job done. No matter if it is a PA-speaker, Amp, Mixer or Interfaces.

More offtopic, but to Adubs

Yes. I won’t trust my hearing to the mercy of software remembering the percentage I set.

Here is the setup I run: