Computers, stationary or portable class, are devices that confidently entered the daily life of a person. The versatility of the devices guarantees the possibility of their operation both for work purposes and in everyday life, to improve their free time, games, communication, professional activities and hobbies. One of the important functions of a computer device is sound reproduction, which makes it possible to watch movies, listen to tracks, musical works, communicate through various software with friends, acquaintances and relatives. For some users, sound quality is not paramount, focusing only on the criterion for playback to be present as a function, however, some PC owners devote a special place to audio capabilities of devices, which makes them look for options for improving sound. To help in this aspect can such a device as an external sound card. Let us tell you in which cases the acquisition of an external sound card is a justified decision, how to select, connect and configure the conditioned equipment.
Connect an external sound card to the computer.
Why do we need an external card
Each computer has the ability to reproduce sound by modifying the sound card integrated into the system, which satisfies the requirements of the standard user, however, if the requirements for audio work are high, then it makes sense to think about purchasing an external sound source.
It is noteworthy that the question of why an external sound card is needed is asked only by those people who do not have sound quality requirements. Musicians, gamers and music lovers understand that to achieve an excellent, three-dimensional and realistic sound effect is possible only through the purchase of additional equipment. An external sound card is a device that represents a kind of link between the PC and the speaker system, which guarantees the ability to connect the latter to any laptop. A conditional card is characterized by a modification of the connectors that allow operation of loudspeakers in 5/1 or 7/1 format on a PC, characterized by their own memory, which allows them to be classified as hardware devices.
Accordingly, the need for acquiring an external sound card is determined by the personal preferences of the laptop owner regarding the quality and dynamics of the reproduced sound by the device.
Features of external type cards
As already mentioned, the sound on the computer hardware is provided by default by the hardware components of the built-in motherboard type. Such elements, integrated into the system of a computer device, working in stereo mode by default, completely satisfy the requirements of an undemanding and picky listener to the sound quality, reproduce the sound converted by the PC processor itself. To improve the audio sound of a laptop, the user will be faced with the need to choose a sound card, which is represented in a huge range in computer hardware stores. Conditional destination maps vary not only in type and technical characteristics, but also in type for external and internal modifications.
Accordingly, the actual questions are what is better to purchase, what distinguishes the external and internal sound card, the answers to which will solve the problem of choosing a device. In this situation, the PC owner must rely on the criteria for what purpose the conditional device is acquired. Obviously, if a sound card is purchased exclusively for use on a portable device, then the option to purchase a model for internal installation is automatically eliminated, since devices of this type are only intended for connection through special PCI slots embedded in the system unit of a stationary PC. For fans of excellent sound, at the disposal of which the laptop is located, the only correct solution to the dilemma of choice is the external variation of the sound card, which in the best possible way resolves the need for high-quality accompaniment of audio content.
An external sound card differs from an internal model in its versatility: it is synchronized and works with both stationary and portable computer devices. The equipment of the external class is the element that allows the connection of any speaker system, subject to the acquisition of a model modified with a sufficient number of outputs to third-party devices.
A discrete or external sound card is a self-contained, functional device, which, due to the absence of a critical size limit, has a separate sound processor, a decent number of connectors, and some models are also modified by its own memory. The operation of an external sound card is distinguished by the lack of resources of a computer, and the discreteness causes the absence of interference of electromagnetic effects on the functionality of the device, which are affected by integrated and embedded devices. Almost all models presented on sale have a low-key, however, stylish and sustained design, which makes it possible to install them in any conditions, without negative impact on the interior.
There is no single answer to the question whether it is better to buy, an internal or discrete soundcard model, since the user's decision depends on the criteria, where the device will be operated, and what characteristics and functions of the device are priority for the consumer. If audio audio is of critical importance for the user, it is distinguished by its clarity of reproduction, the presence of special effects, volume and realism, then the choice should be made in favor of a discrete multi-functional model.
Selecting a discrete card model
At the stage when the user decided that he needed an external, computer sound card, the choice dilemma does not end, but only takes on a slightly different character. The modern market of conditional goods is quite diverse, the models differ in price, functionality, brand, technical characteristics and many other important parameters for the consumer, which makes it necessary to understand which modification is better and more rational to choose, how to choose a card that can fully satisfy preferences, wishes and expectations of a potential buyer. In a situation where you choose a card for a computer or laptop, with the possible need to connect to laptops, speakers or other hardware devices in this category, attention should be paid to the number of outputs available on the sound modulator. The greater the number of ports on the modified map, the larger the possibilities will be in terms of functionality and variability of its operation.
In addition to the number of ports, when it is necessary to choose between external sound cards, it is necessary to pay attention to such a characteristic as the audio output standard. This parameter determines the sound quality indicators that the consumer can get after connecting the device to the laptop, and is determined by the abbreviations written on the model's packaging. For example, standards for playing audio content in Dolby Digital and DTS format are priorities for movie lovers, since most modern films and films are completed with such tracks. For professional gamers, it would be better to choose a more expensive model, modified by the EAX ADVANCED HD standard, which is a multi-channel, innovative mode that allows you to fully “feel” everything that happens in the virtual world in real colors, with a presence effect. No less important is the brand of the product: the quality of the assembly and the reliability of the manufacturer depend on the compliance of the device with the characteristics declared by the manufacturer, the operational period of the products, the availability of warranty obligations.
The question of how to connect an external sound card to a computer or laptop is often requested on the Internet, however, it implies an answer that is not too difficult for the implementation process. Since the external type card is a relatively new solution for reproducing sound of excellent quality, which is distinguished by its universality, it is connected relatively simply: via USB. For synchronization, it is enough to have a free USB port on your laptop: connect the card in the same way as other devices that sync via USB connectors.
Next you need to install hardware drivers, which, if the device is new, come bundled with the card. To install drivers, when connecting the card to a computer, just insert the disk into the optical drive and confirm the command directives. In the case of a laptop, if it is not modified in such a slot, the installation options are to download the driver from the site of the official card manufacturer. After installing the drivers and rebooting the laptop, devices can be connected, for connecting which the sound card was bought. Having figured out how to connect a sound card to a computer, it is worthwhile to start setting up a multifunctional hardware device.
After installing the drivers, the computer device should automatically recognize the external modulator. At this stage, the work on the settings does not end: in order for the sound to be played through the conditioned device in the PC settings, the equipment must be given priority status. To accomplish this task, the user will need to perform the following simple manipulations:
- Find the volume mixer on the taskbar, double-click on it with the right mouse button to open the adjustment menu window.
- In the window that opens, select the “Playback devices” position, where you will need to find the installed equipment and select it with the right button of the manipulator.
- Confirm in the settings the choice by the laptop of the device to play the sound by confirming the “Default” directive.
- Make a similar procedure with the position “Sound Recorders”, if the card is to be used not only for playback, but also for recording audio content.
At this, the settings of the external card can be considered complete: it remains only to check its functionality, set the audio playback parameters that meet the user's requirements, if the device is equipped with regulators.
Possible connection difficulties
Subject to the connection of a new device, and the sequential execution of the connection process, according to the instructions, problems with device synchronization do not arise. If, however, during the approbation of the device’s operability, a failure has occurred, the card does not function, then it is worth checking out some points that often serve as sources of the problem:
- If the computer device "does not find" the external card, it is necessary to first of all eliminate the possibility of a malfunctioning USB port. This can be done by reconnecting the device using a known working connector. To do this, you can use another port of your PC or laptop, or you can test the sound card on a different computer device.
- If the card is recognized by a computer device, however, the sound is not reproduced, incorrectly installed drivers may be the cause of the malfunction. To fix the problem, you will need to reinstall them again, after which the device should work.
- Another reason for which the sound may not play: the inattention of the user. Multifunctional cards of an expensive class are equipped with a variety of options and toggle switches that need to be activated to start playing the sound, which will help you to carefully study the instruction manual attached to the product.
The described manipulations performed carefully and correctly will help eliminate problems and activate the card if the problem is not the malfunction of the device itself due to factory rejection, which can only be determined by a service center specialist.
External sound card - a device designed to improve the playback of audio content by a computer device. This equipment, in contrast to the analogs of the integrated class, is acquired by music lovers, professional gamers and musicians to improve the sound quality of the audio content. The equipment, although not relevant to budget purchase decisions, is in demand among connoisseurs of high-quality audio, is popular among certain categories of consumers. This article will help you figure out how to decide on the choice of sound card of an external standard, the features of connecting equipment and its settings.