Computer Sound Card Reviews - Find the Best Sound Cards
When computing started, the computers just had to handle silence or “beep”. Then the computer gam...
When computing started, the computers just had to handle silence or “beep”. Then the computer games more advanced than “Ping-Pong” came, someone turned the computer into an electric piano, then 3D-sound and later surround sound became a necessary feature. Today our home computer doubles as music organizer and player, recording studio, sound system for a home movie theater and as a musical instrument. Gaming has become a sound as well as a visual experience and movie fans can choose between different versions of surround sound from an ever increasing number of speakers and channels.
The sound cards of today are almost like a computer themselves. They have a processor and own memory modules for example. That makes it capable of several different tasks; many cards today are generalists that can give you superb sound quality regardless if you play computer games, creates or record music or just use your computer as a music organizer/player. There are also more specialized cards for musicians and recording studios.
Besides deciding what main purpose your sound card should serve, you must also decide what, if any, sound devices you are going to connect to your card, what connections they require and finally what output connections you need, for example, for a movie system or recording media like a CD burner. The number of channels and type of movie sound encoding, such as Dolby or THX, is of importance for the movie fans while a gaming enthusiast must check that the card meets the specs of the game – as nowadays some games requires special hardware and/or software. The possibility to record music in various qualities is also important, sometimes you want to make a quick recording and sometimes you accept to use a little more time in order to get the ultimate sound quality.
Many manufacturers often pack their sound cards with a software pack like music organizers, recording studio software and mp3 sound improvers. Some may be useful, but some only includes light versions. Be sure to check the connection possibilities of the sound card, you should have both analog and digital connections in order to use it with other devices as music systems or instruments, for example. The more connections the better.
After deciding which sound cards to choose between, read the tests of interesting models. Check your software – and other hardware – manuals to make sure they will work together.
As a lot of new versions of components, softwares and so on are released over time, log on regularly to the home page of the manufacturer of your sound card to check for upgrades. That will make your computer work smoother and more efficiently in the long run.