Sound cards are expansion cards that control sound output and input to produce quality computer sounds. They have two or more ports for connecting to headphones or speakers. They produce both analog and digital sounds needed for listening to music, playing games, and running computer presentations. They come in internal, external, USB, and PCMCIA interfaces.
Types of Sound Cards
Kinds of Sound Cards include the following:
Internal sound cards
Internal sound cards are used in desktop computers. They are installed in the PCI slots inside the CPU.
External sound cards
External sound cards connect externally to computers using USB or FireWire cables. They provide stereo speaker sounds ideal for high-end gaming applications. They can be brought anywhere to be used with any compatible computer.
USB sound cards
USB sound cards connect to directly to the USB port without using cables. They can produce better headphone sound by plugging the headphones into the sound cards before they are plugged into the computer.
PCMCIA sound cards
PCMCIA sound cards are installed in the CardBus slot found in laptops. They provide surround and stereo sounds ideal for watching DVDs and playing games.
Choosing Sound Cards (Buying tips)
System requirements: Make sure your computer matches the sound card’s minimum system requirements. Most sound cards require specific processors and operating systems to work properly.
Sound quality: If you are a movie buff or a hardcore gamer, choose a sound card that provides surround sound.