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Episode 12: Soundcards – Show Notes

Typically a sound card is designed for the best output possible at the price range they are designing it for. If you are looking for a good sound card for recording quality input audio, you will likely need to buy a special card for that or find another means.


PCI – still the most common version of sound cards
PCIex1 – A handful and typically these have the 7.1 surround sound, and likely need the higher bandwidth of PCIe to give quality 7.1 or greater
External – Firewire or USB – If you don’t have a slot available, don’t worry, you can get quality audio too

Channels (out)

2 – Left and Right
4 – Front Left/Right and Back Left/Right
5.1 – Front Left/Right/Center, Subwoofer, Back Left/Right
7.1 Front – Front Left/Right/Center, Subwoofer, Back Left/Right, Front Left of Center, Front Right of Center
7.1 Surround -Front Left/Right/Center, Subwoofer, Back Left/Right, Side Left/Right
9.1 Surround – (not seeing this yet on sound cards) – Front Left/Right/Center, Subwoofer, Back Left/Right, Side Left/Right, (or Front Left of Center, Front Right of Center,) Front Left Height, Front Right Height

There are also standards for 10.2, and 22 Channel surround sound and are typically used in theater setups, so if you are going for a home theater and have the room for the speakers, look for something with these.

If you are wondering what the .1 or .2 mean, those denote subwoofers. Since a subwoofer does not produce a primary audio channel, ie front left or front right.
Connections (outputs) - 3.5mm TRS (Tip, Ring, Sleeve), S/PDIF Optical, RCA, HDMI

Specialty sound cards designed for their inputs.

Connections (inputs) -XLR, 1/4″ analog I/O, optical and coaxial S/PDIF I/O, RCA, and MIDI I/O


Posted in Hardware, Show Notes, Soundcards.

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