USB sound card - Printable Version

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USB sound card - damianv - 13th Oct, 2013 05:17 PM


This is probably a stupid question but I want to get myself an external USB powered sound card such as the Creative OMNI SURROUND 5.1 or the X-FI HD

Now my worry is would it be worth buying this to run my Audio from the raspberry PI's audio jack into the Creative device then from the Creative device out to my speakers? What I could do as well is run the audio over the HDMI from the Raspberry into my TV and then output the audio from the TV into my Creative device and then to my speakers.

What do you guys think? Would I really get better quality audio with this setup?

Thank you!

RE: USB sound card - mk01 - 13th Oct, 2013 05:54 PM

this will work and makes sense for any sound / music but played from xbmc.

I tested 8ch USB audio cards with pulse audio installed. problem is XBMC. if you mean the loop (RPI audio jack out -> HF audio card -> consolidated output) then yes it makes sense not to switch all cabling setup depending what is audio source but personally I think the best option is to route it via HDMI.

and for price of that sound card you get solid DTS/AC3/5.1 AVR from Yamaha or Denon or whatever (including of course 5.1 amplifier and providing DA/ADs at 192khz / 6 or 8 channels was well.

Personally i still need the USB audio for reading vinyl time codes, so still using it, but normally was using digital mixer as sound card (over USB) and lately realized that even this useless in the setup. it all ends up at Amplifier anyway.

in your case if you don't plan to have the speakers mobile, skip even the soundcard, and use TV as D/A.

(or really rethink the concept with AVR for SB Audio card and Creative speakers for some entry level floor standers. You get 10x more flexible solution with this. Of course you can ask whether the AVR can be used as _USB_ sound card to pc, Yamaha not, but this is not technical issue (maybe Denon is doing it) and anyhow most modern notebooks/pc/mac have HDMI output - or HDMI ready output like Thunderbold). And with the AVRs it is more than standard now AirPlay, uPNP, …

RE: USB sound card - damianv - 14th Oct, 2013 03:44 AM

Hi mk01

Thanks for the info!
Denon and Yamaha are a bit pricey for me. I am basically looking for a low cost solution that's why the creative caught my eye.

RE: USB sound card - mk01 - 14th Oct, 2013 07:08 AM

I know that Creative hi fidelity portfolio is not cheapest one (at least I remember this from few years back - maybe it changed now).

I bought my second Yamaha month ago (RX-V573) for 210eur in a chain like Tesco stores. it has 2x optical inputs, 4x hdmi, 1x spdif, two amplifiers to power 7.1 setup with 110W per channel (or 5.1 with bi-wiring repro) and AirPlay, DLNA, uPNP.

the hi-fi 8ch USB audio was for 350. Of course I just wanted to show other ways around. I don't know how much Creative now wants for comparable external audio cards.

just always think twice and imagine a +1y scenario in the decision. what maybe you will / won't miss in that time.

btw: just to put more information about the XBMC, there are patches for 12.1 Frodo to allow routing through system libraries (pulse audio etc), but not for 12.2 (yet). I'm sure it will come, but now nobody has this on priority list.