Best Sound Cards

Best Sound Cards of 2024

Accessories

Last Updated on January 1, 2024 by Daniel Osakwe

List of the Best Sound Cards

Product Features Where to Buy
EVGA Nu Audio Card

EVGA NU Best Sound Cards for pc

  • Designed with Audio Note
  • PCIe
  • RGB LED
Sound Blaster Z PCIe Gaming Sound Card

Sound blaster z

  • High Performance Headphone Amp
  • Beam Forming
ASUS Sound Card Essence STX II

ASUS Sound card Essence STX II card

  • Swappable Op-Amps
  • Balanced sound
Creative Sound Blaster AE-7 Hi-Res

Creative sound blaster AE-7

  • AE-7 Hi-Res Internal PCIe Sound Card
  • Quad-Core Processor
Creative Sound Blaster Audigy FX PCIe 5.1 Sound Card

Creative sound blaster audigy FX PCI 5.1 sound cards

  • High Performance Headphone Amp
  • Easy to use
AudioQuest Dragonfly Cobalt USB Digital-to-Analog Converter

Audioquest Dragonfly sound

  • Good dynamic range
  • USB C ports
Sound BlasterX G6 Hi-Res 130dB 32bit/384kHz Gaming DAC

sound blaster X

  • External USB
  • Xamp Headphone
FiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier (Black)

Fiio sound cards

  • Bass boost
  • Easy to use
Creative 70SB181000000 Sound Blaster X3 Digital Audio Converter – Black

Creative sound blaster x3

  • support for Hi-Fi headphones
  • Works with most PC, Console and Macs
ASUS Xonar GHX PCIe GX2.5

Asus XONAR Sound cards

  • Great sound output
  • Dolby Headphone 5.1 HD
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Searching for the best sound cards doesn’t have to be a hassle. Although there are plenty of models out there, however, there are a few great models you should focus on.

To make your search easier, we’ve scoured the internet and found ten sound cards that would meet your needs. Among these cards are sound cards for gaming, sound cards for PC, Headphones, and the best external sound cards.

So, without further ado, lets check them out below.

Buyers Guide: What to Look for in Sound Cards Before Buying

Sound quality: The generally sound nature of a sound card is an incredibly confounded condition that considers things like signal to-noise proportion, recurrence response, and complete harmonic distortion. You for the most part need a sound card with signal-to-noise proportion over 100dB, however the best stable cards are in the 124dB territory, which is a critical improvement.

Channels: A ton of nice, financial plan agreeable sound cards commonly uphold 5.1 channel sound, however you can spend somewhat more to get one that can deal with 7.1 encompass sound. Some are even equipped for upmixing 5.1 channel sound to 7.1, which is extraordinary if your headphone uphold 7.1 channels and your sound sources don’t.

Connectivity: Look for a sound card that has the jacks you need to connect the entirety of your hardware. Fundamental sound cards have 3.5mm jacks that turn out great with most earphones and headsets, however search for one with RCA jacks or a TOSLINK optical association in case you’re attaching to sound hardware that requires those sorts of connection.

Best Sound Cards for PC

Interface: PCIe x1 Gen 2| Signal-To-Noise: 121 dB| Output Configuration: 2 Channel, 5.1 Channel| Playback Format/Recording Format: Up to 384kHz/32-bit/Up To 192kHz/24-bit

The EVGA Nu Audio Card is a sound card for very good quality sound hardware. In the event that you utilize a standard gaming headset or gaming speakers, you won’t require this one. This card is for the individuals who need a definitive aural encounter and have audiophile-grade hardware to combine with the card. Simply recall that this card works best with sound system hi-fi gear.

On the off chance that you have the serious weapons, this card conveys. Expect incredibly wide soundstage and perfectly clear sound. Energetic sound with wonderful unique reach. For every one of you RGB fans out there we have uplifting news. The card accompanies RGB support.

Pros Cons
Superb Sound Quality Expensive
Crystal Clear Sound Playback

Interface: PCIe x1|Signal-To-Noise: 124 dB| Output Configuration: 2 Channel, 5.1 Channel| Playback Format/Recording Format: Up To 192KHz @ 24bit/ Up To 192KHz @ 24bit

The Essence STX II from ASUS is a phenomenal very good quality sound card. Combined with top of the line earphones or Hi-Fi speakers the card sparkles in each respect. Wide soundstage, crystal, and even balanced. It can rival amps costing ten fold the amount, which is a certain suggestion for anybody shaking audiophile hardware who needs a quality sound card to combine their arrangement with. ASUS offers swappable operation amps and gives two flavors close by the card.

The bundle incorporates LME49720 and MUSES8820 and the two of them sound incredible. You can introduce your most loved operation amp since the card accompanies an operation amp trade unit. The STX II works extraordinary with IEMs since its low-pick up setting is incredible for even the super-proficient IEMs. Gaming-wise the card sounds extraordinary yet you should realize that this is an audiophile card for music sweethearts.

Generally speaking, this is a fantastic card for the individuals who need an exceptional sound card equipped for giving astounding listening experience on very good quality arrangements.

Pros Cons
Swappable Op-Amps You Have To Get The 7.1 Version Of The Card For 7.1 Surround Support
Brilliant Sound Quality

Interface: PCIe x1| Signal-To-Noise: 106 dB| Output Configuration: 2 Channel, 5.1 Channel| Playback Format/Recording Format: Up To 24-bit, 96 kHz

On the off chance that the incorporated sound card on your motherboard passed on or on the off chance that you need a strong spending plan independent sound card on the grounds that the one on your motherboard is terrible, look at this one. It offers incredible sound quality at the cost, simply don’t anticipate wonders.

It will work extraordinary with mid-range speakers and earphones, yet try not to match it with top of the line audiophile gear. Additionally, it’s extraordinary for encompass insight since it locally supports 5.1 speaker frameworks. At last, Creative offers incredible programming that accompanies this card, offering a lot of highlights permitting you to change your sound settings in detail.

Pros Cons
Affordable Not For Audiophiles
Solid Performance Made As A Basic Replacement For Integrated Sound Cards

Best Sound Cards for Gaming

Interface: PCIe x1| Signal-To-Noise: 116 dB| Output Configuration: 2 Channel, 5.1 Channel| Playback Format/Recording Format: Up to 24bit 192kHz/ 24bit, 96kHz

The Creative Sound Blaster Z is a decent solid card that won’t use up every last cent. It highlights strong sound output and should work incredible with quality gaming headsets. It incorporates decent highlights, for example, virtual encompass conveyance on sound system earphones, which offers strong outcomes and ought to perceptibly upgrade your gaming or film watching experience.

Sound blaster has plenty of controls to set different volume levels exactly how you need. With regards to sound lucidity, it’s very acceptable. Not similar with top of the line sound cards but rather extraordinary for mid-range speakers and headsets. On the off chance that you rock very good quality audiophile hardware, you ought to evade this card.

Pros Cons
Solid Virtual Surround Effects Not Suited For Audiophile Equipment
Excellent Gaming Performance

Interface: PCIe x1| Signal-To-Noise: 127 dB| Output Configuration: 2 Channel, 5.1 Channel, 7.1 Channel (Virtual Surround)| Playback Format/Recording Format: Up To 384 kHz@32bit / Up To 96.0 kHz@32bit

On the off chance that you need the best stable for your games, get the Creative Sound Blaster AE-7. This is a card made for the best-in-class gaming experience. It highlights broad help for an assortment of earphones, supporting 7.1 virtual encompass that can sound very great. The product suite is very acceptable. Present-day looking, loaded up with highlights, and simpler to use than most suites offered by different makers.

Next, the card accompanies a sound control unit permitting gamers and decorations to control their sound gadgets with no problem and to rapidly trade connected devices. The card can elevate your experience of tuning in to music on the off chance that you have a quality speaker arrangement or strong earphones yet the quality isn’t as high likewise with ASUS Essence STX II or NZXT Nu Audio.

Pros Cons
Audio Control Module Included With The Card Not Suitable For Audiophile Equipment
Great Gaming Performance

Including an inherent sound enhancer that offers three distinctive gaming choices, the Asus Xonar GHX PCIe GX2.5 is a magnificent spending choice. The VOIP, supportive of gaming and exciter gaming alternatives are ideal relying upon your gaming level and exactly how genuine you are about the sound insight.

Past enhancement, the GX2.5 motor gives reasonable 3D sound impacts (up to 128 distinctive audio effects) and when matched with a similarly well-performing graphics card, it’s a brief look at the 3D gaming future and features how basic sound is to the general gaming experience.

The jack-sending front board will naturally change from back to front when earphones are connected and rapidly changes the sound previously or during interactivity, so you don’t need to physically change the association settings. The consideration of Dolby Headphone 5.1 HD sound outcomes in precise and profound sound that takes into account each stable to feel vivid and keep gamers zeroed in on the climate around them.

Pros Cons
Affordable none found
Added Dolby Headphone 5.1 HD

Best External Sound Cards

Signal To Noise: 130 dB| Output Configuration: 2 Channel, 5.1 and 7.1 Channel (Virtual)| Playback Format/Recording Format: Up To 384 kHz and 32bit| I/O: Optical In, Optical Out, Micro USB, Headphone Jack, Microphone Jack

The Sound BlasterX G6 is the best external sound card for gamers, period. It can work with PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch. It will most likely additionally be viable with the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 when these two cutting edge console come out. The card itself is on the thick side however that is cool since it accompanies an assortment of highlights. The card’s arrangement cycle is amazingly direct.

There’s no adjustment required, simply associate the card with a sound port and a USB port and you’re set. When you begin gaming, you’ll notice an ideal sound quality. Clear solid with phenomenal channel partition, helped encompassing noise that improve the general involvement with any game, broad unique reach, and SBX mode that furnishes astounding virtual encompass alongside enlarging the soundstage.

By and large, this is an amazing gaming sound card with the cost and restricted information choice being its solitary significant downsides.

Pros Cons
Superb Gaming Performance Limited Input Selection
Works With Any Console And PC

Interface: USB| Signal-To-Noise: 115 dB| Output Configuration: 2 Channel, 5.1 Channel, 7.1 Channel| Playback Format/Recording Format: Up to 32bit and 192 kHz/24bit 192 kHz

The Sound Blaster X3 is another adaptable external sound card that works with most game consoles. Tragically, Xbox One isn’t upheld. It’s incredible for gamers yet additionally, it’s extraordinary for the individuals who need to improve their encompass experience on the grounds that the Sound Blaster X3 accompanies local 7.1 encompass uphold. Games and films sound extraordinary and backing for Hi-Fi earphones takes into consideration a phenomenal listening experience.

You won’t get the nature of top of the line DACs here yet the sound quality is adequate to prescribe this item to gamers who likewise prefer to sporadically hear some out quality tunes. Gaming execution is the fundamental strength of this sound card. It includes heaps of presets for well known games, it works with consoles, it gives great elements in games and splendid sound quality. Simply make sure to kill the Super X-Fi (SXFI button on the gadget) since it can minimize insight in many games.

Pros Cons
Works With Most Consoles, PC, and Mac Super X-Fi Tech Can Ruin Gaming Experience
Great For Games And Movies Doesn’t Work With Xbox One

Gain Switch|Bass Boost| Power Input: DC5V 500mA| Signal-To-Noise: 105 dB

The E10K From FiiO is an incredible versatile DAC that can be utilized with any gadget highlighting a USB port. It’s not as compact as the Dragonfly Cobalt. You should utilize this one with your PC or laptop. With regards to the sound quality this DAC is really strong. Clear stable with a smidgen more bass, very great elements, and broadened highs.

The addition switch permits utilizing amazing earphones at high solid levels and the bass lift is something pleasant to have on the off chance that you like your music with an additional bang. The fundamental preferred position of this DAC is its cost. Generally low cost permits it to rival DACs costing a few times more. The sound quality is that acceptable.

Pros Cons
Gain Switch Works Great With Power Hungry Headphones Limited Dynamic Range
Great Sound Quality

Output voltage: 2.1V| Headphone Amp: ESS Sabre 9601| DAC Chip: ESS ES9038Q2M| Dimensions: 12mm H x 19mm W by 57mm L

Dragonfly Cobalt from AudioQuest is an exceptional computerized to-simple converter and earphone speaker that is ideal for the individuals who need the best sound quality in a hurry. It very well may be matched with cell phones and workstations in only a couple seconds and once appended, it will turn your telephone or PC in a top audiophile gadget.

In the event that you need just a quality DAC for your PC without extra highlights, this one can supplant even the best outer sound cards for PC out there. This DAC has great execution. Wide soundstage, fresh stable with just about zero noise, amazing unique reach, and close wonderful planning.

This DAC works consummately with any pair of audiophile earphones and it accompanies a decent USB A to USB C connector to utilize it with Android telephones highlighting USB C ports. On the off chance that you own an iPhone or a more seasoned Android telephone, you’ll need a different connector.

Pros Cons
Superb Audio Quality Pricey
Excellent Dynamic Range

How We Picked

We relied on the opinion of experts and feedback from clients based on three major factors: The best sound cards for PC, sound cards for gaming, and the best external sound cards.

Before publishing this post, more facts and data about these sound cards were gotten from further research and online reviews (both positive & negative). With the result and feedback we got, we were able to rank each product according to the standard we set.

If you observe the reviews carefully, you’ll see that each sound card has been carefully categorized according to our research result. However, take note that the sound cards that didn’t meet our standard were not included among this list.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do sound cards really make a difference?

Sound cards will improve the sound nature of your computer, however, on the off chance that you don’t have the fitting speakers or headset, you will never see the distinction. These game producers burned through thousands if the not huge number of dollars ensuring the sound quality and sound tracks of their games are well better than expected.

Does sound card affect sound quality?

To address your inquiry, ‘yes’ your sound card impacts the sound quality. It’s your computerized simple/simple advanced (A/D-D/A) converter. It takes the electrical sign and converts it to computerized 1s and 0’s, and the other way around when you play things back and it needs to arrive at your speakers.

Can you use a condenser mic without a soundcard?

Despite the fact that it’s absolutely impossible to utilize a condenser mic without apparition power, you can utilize a condenser mic without a sound interface, or blending board, directly to your PC. To do that you need an XLR to USB preamp, for example, the MXL Mic Mate Pro.

Conclusion

Having read our review on the best sound cards, searching for one wouldn’t be as difficult as before. However, ensure you check all the necessary features, pros, and cons of your preferred choice before purchasing.