Sound Cards

HRT Music Streamer II

For most listeners, good digital sound from a computer is a fait accompli, a done deal. The built-in soundcard on a PC or laptop promises '20Hz to 20kHz' reproduction, so providing you play uncompressed WAV or lossless digital formats like FLAC or Apple Lossless (ALAC), you're getting sound as good as a CD player, right?

Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Go

The Sound Blaster X-Fi Go is a portable sound card that offers a quality boost over on-board solutions. For the music lover or gamer on the go it is a worthwhile investment.

Trends Audio UD10.1

There's always a need for high-end digital audio converters -- they eliminate the noisy interference that plagues internal computer sound cards. Whether you're an amateur audio enthusiast or a professional looking for something powerful, the UD10.1 has what you'll need.

KingRex UD-01

The UD-01, KingRex’s mid-priced USB digital audio converter, offers a sizeable leap in sound quality over a PC’s on-board sound solution, but you’ll need an equally high-quality system to take advantage of it.

Creative X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Pro Series

PC audio is often taken for granted. Because pretty much every motherboard has an audio chip built-in, most of us don't need to think about what type of sound card we need. However, for keen gamers who rely on sound effects to avoid getting killed, as well as for music connoisseurs who want to hear every frequency with great clarity, a well-rounded sound card is a must.

Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1

In an attempt to remedy the poor quality integrated audio in many notebooks, Creative has produced the external USB Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1. It features a good quality digital to analog converter (DAC) and integrated X-Fi and EAX technology support.

Creative X-Fi Xtreme Audio

Buying a sound card for a new PC isn't something many of us have thought about doing for many years. After all, motherboards have built-in audio that does the job just fine, right? Well, that's true to a point. A dedicated sound card can give you cleaner, richer sound if you have discerning ears and top quality speakers, and it can also supply a bank of built-in sounds, which can be tapped into when using a MIDI-based controller or audio creation software.

ASUS Xonar U1

One rarely needs to buy a dedicated sound card these days. The integrated sound chips in most notebooks and PCs are more than adequate for listening to music and watching movies. However, if the sound from an older computer is below average, or you want a little more than stereo sound, then the ASUS Xonar U1 is an enticing choice. It's USB-based, so it can be used either with a PC or a notebook, and is very easy to install.

Creative Labs SoundBlaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio Notebook

For notebook users, the idea of good sound is generally an idea best left forgotten. The integrated sound of most notebooks is only intended for basic use and excellent audio tends to get overlooked by most manufacturers. Creative Labs has come up with a simple solution that uses its exceptional X-Fi chipset. The SoundBlaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio Notebook is an expansion card that fits into any Windows based notebook with an ExpressCard slot.

Creative Xmod

Creative's Xmod is an interesting little product that manages to bring Creative's patented X-Fi sound processor into a portable form factor. It has a few issues most notably that it relies external power when connected to a non-PC source and the required AC power cable is not provided, but other than that it offers brilliant audio quality at an affordable price.

Sound cards

This buying guide will explain to you the relevant sound card technology, specs and must-know facts, ensuring you make the right purchase decision.

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?