Audio cards provide sound capability for PCs for a wide range of applications including multimedia. The more memory a sound card has, the better it works with different applications. Notebook sound cards enhance multimedia programs, too, though desktops typically have more processing power and can better handle high-range sound cards. Notebook sound cards often connect via a USB port which makes installation a snap.
Whatever the application, search for audio cards with high signal-to-noise ratios which will give you less background noise. The bit rate -- the number of bits in each sound in an audio file -- of a sound card is also important since it indicates what kind of detail you will get in the overall sound.
There is endless information about sound cards so factor in the following:
1. Application-specific sound cards
2. User reviews
3. Price comparisons
Decide what kind of sound card you needGamers need sound cards with strong 3D surround sound, while someone interested in mixing and recording music need something completely different. Quality recording sound cards can cost well over a thousand dollars, but provide excellent recording capability and make it easy to set up a portable studio.
Read a computer sound card's user reviews on the InternetUnless you are loyal to a certain brand, reviews are important. Look for reviews that rate not only the sound quality but also the software support, ease of installation and technical specifications. There are so many brands when it comes to PC sound cards, reviews can introduce you to the most popular if you're a first-time shopper. There are also experts who review sound cards, both internal and external, for those who know exactly what they need.
Compare sound card prices by vendor and look for shipping specialsMore bang for your buck is the name of the game in computer sound card shopping. Prices on individual sound cards vary greatly, even for the same models, from website to website. Daily specials, shipping specials or rebates should also factor into what you buy -- why pay the shipping cost for an item you find online if a local retailer carries it as well?
- If you aren't computer savvy and are still looking for quality sound, an external sound card that plugs right into a USB port might provide the best solution.