External Sound Cards

Written by Charles Peacock
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Replacing your computer's sound card isn't always an easy task, particularly if it involves opening the computer up and installing the card yourself. Sometimes it's not even possible to replace the internal sound card--with a laptop computer, for example. Depending on your situation, you might want to look into buying yourself an external sound card. They have all the capabilities of internal cards, and some distinct advantages as well.

Advantages of External Sound Cards

One of the major problems with regular internal sound cards is that they're difficult to access. Since the inputs and outputs are usually on the back of the card, they are hidden in a tangle of wires at the back of your computer. Plugging in a microphone or a set of headphones means grabbing a flashlight and climbing under your desk--with the possible risk of bumping your head.

Front-side audio inputs and outputs are always great, but they usually don't come with internal sound cards. This is where external sound cards can be fantastic. They plug into the USB port on your computer and then sit right there on your desk. All of your inputs, outputs and volume controls are right there on the main unit.

External sound cards are just as powerful as comparable internal models, so you don't have to worry about losing sound quality. If you're recording music on your computer, having an external sound card with easy-to-access ports can be a real life-saver. I also really like the fact that you can physically adjust your computer's volume using the knob on the sound card itself.

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