Cheap sound card for laptop to use 5.1 Logitech x-540 speakers question

By jayz55dude
Jul 19, 2010
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  1. I bought the logitech 5.1 x-540 speakers recently and need a sound card for my laptop to fully use the surround sound. I don't want to spend a lot of my on one so I am thinking of buying one off ebay. Its some generic cheap chinese one and its 10 bucks.

    Is it possible for the sound quality to get worse using a sound card? Like when i use my laptop and use the speakers i dont hear any hissing even at max volume so is it possible i would (hear hissing) if i use this cheap sound card from ebay?

    Is there a very noticeable difference in low end sound cards and high end sound cards for someone who isn't an audiophile like me?

  2. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 6,875   +332

    A cheap generic sound card? Yes, the sound could be worse potentially. If there is a sound quality difference, you'll likely notice it more the louder you play it. I also would be concerned if adequate drivers and decent sound control software would be available for a cheap card.

    BTW, is this a USB sound device?
  3. nismo91

    nismo91 TS Evangelist Posts: 886   +13

    once i got a cheap 10$ PCI card to replace my faulty onboard. well, it's worse than the onboard. i think the nowadays' 24-bit onboard sound is decent for normal use. although, realtek for example, have a grade for their onboard sound, some has more 'processors' than another.

    if it works fine with the analog 5.1 i don't think you should worry, although i'm also interested with which sound-card you mentioned. a friend of mine is looking for the cheapest 5.1 soundcard for his laptop.
  4. jayz55dude

    jayz55dude TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yea its a usb sound card.
    Are there any specific specs i should look at when buying a sound card? Also do you know of any trustowrthy brands that you or people you know have used for sound cards besides Creative (they tend to be pretty pricey)?
  5. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 6,875   +332

    I've never used a USB sound card so I don't know much about them. I've only used Creative or Asus desktop PCI and PCI-E cards.
  6. jayz55dude

    jayz55dude TS Rookie Topic Starter

  7. nismo91

    nismo91 TS Evangelist Posts: 886   +13

  8. Punkid

    Punkid TS Guru Posts: 419

    u should continue using the built in sound card of the laptop...from the settings of the sound device select 'Virtual Surround' ...that encodes audio from surround sources into a stereo signal which can then be decoded by the ' Matrix Mode' on the speakers. i also have the x540 and ive tried this, its works great...although there definitely is some quality degradation compared to true surround but its not noticable
  9. nismo91

    nismo91 TS Evangelist Posts: 886   +13

    i think a true 5.1 surround is way better than using 'virtual' surround and matrix mode.
  10. Punkid

    Punkid TS Guru Posts: 419

    i agree, but IMO its better than a 5.1 cheap sound card...there wont be the hassle of a seperate sound card...

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