5.1 Sound Card

A 5.1 sound card is a component that will process audio files and allow you to hear them through your computer speakers. Many computer models today come standard with this component. Sound cards play voices, music files and can playback a variety of file formats such as Mp3, .wav, .cda and many others. A standard sound card contains an interface that is available at the rear of your computer and has a variety of input and output ports. This allows you to hook up your speakers and other devices for use with the sound card. The quality of the sound card will affect the overall quality of the sound that comes from your computer. Most sound cards sold today have 5.1 surround sound support as well as EAX. This gives you the ability to connect several speakers, up to five specifically, to the cards.

A 5.1 sound card will have a port for recording or listening to files from other devices as well as your computer. For instance, using the line-in port you can hook up a digital audio player. It is important to understand however that not all devices have a line-out port in which to connect to your sound card. If this is the case, you can still connect a stereo cable from your headphone jack on the device to the line-in port on your sound card for listening or recording. Keep in mind however that you may have to reconfigure certain software programs in order to hear your audio player when using this method.

Standard 5.1 sound cards can be connected to your laptop or desktop computer and will allow you to experience movies or videos with full cinematic surround sound. The technology centers voices directly in from of you while ambient sounds are heard from all around you. This gives you the impression of being at a live performance. When paired with a 5.1 speaker system, you get the full benefit of the surround sound. Most 5.1 sound cards also feature playback up to 24-bit/96kHz as well as recording of the same. Some models feature X-fi CMSS – 3D virtual, headphone and surround as well as microphone, stereo, subwoofer, optical and speaker jacks.

Using the microphone port allows you to record podcasts, audio blogs or other voice files and the headphone jack allows you to enjoy your audio files privately. Sound cards typically include the needed software and drivers to install them although many computers today can automatically detect and load the needed drivers for specific cards. The software interface will allow you to set controls and perform hardware checks. Depending on the specific model that you purchase, you may also receive tools for additional tasks such as burning, editing, composing or recording audio files.

Many computer motherboards have sound cards that are built in when you purchase your computer. However, if you prefer a higher quality card, you can disable these built-in cards and install your own. 5.1 sound cards range in price from around $20 and up depending on where you purchase them. Be certain that you purchase from a reputable retailer and always check to see what type of warranty is offered and what type of return or exchange policy the store has in place. This is important just in case you install the card and find a problem. You can purchase 5.1 sound cards at virtually any electronics or computer store and at a variety of online stores as well. If you are not certain about how to install your sound card, it may be best to take the computer and the card to a computer shop or hire someone to install it for you. Although it is not difficult to install and setup a 5.1 sound card, you want to be certain that you get it set up correctly so that you can enjoy your music, movies and games in surround sound.

This 5.1 Sound Card Review is Written/Updated on Dec 8th, 2010 and filed under Computer Hardware. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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