USB audio card

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USB audio card

Postby King_DuckZ » Tue Dec 20, 2011 13:25

Hello, I'm interested in getting an external audio card for my laptop. What I need is audio output for my surround system, and my laptop only provides a jack for headsets.
The Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro looked pretty much what I needed, so I asked Creative's support if there were any known issues with Linux and here's what I got:
Thank you for writing in to Creative.

With regards to your enquiry, I regret to inform you that Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro is incompatible with Linux and none of our current sound cards are compatible with Linux.

If you still require assistance, please reply to this email and include any previous correspondence to ensure a quick response.

After reading that I did a search and found that many people in forums are successfully using that piece of hardware (or at least things with a very similar name). I also found that Creative itself back in 2008 released open source drivers for the X-Fi series. Wth? Am I missing something, to who should I believe? Anyone got some advice or an experience with Creative products to share?
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Re: USB audio card

Postby DHalens » Tue Dec 20, 2011 16:21

Imo, right place to search would be this: http://www.alsa-project.org/main/index.php/Matrix:Vendor-Creative_Labs
Seems it'll work at least for basic sound (stereo) and depending on what model, other things too.

If you don't mind the special propietary features (aka. a few stickers with cool logos), I'd go for a cheaper card. I'll get a c-media in some days and tell you if it works fine.
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Re: USB audio card

Postby King_DuckZ » Tue Dec 20, 2011 16:50

I don't have any special preference towards Creative, and their "we don't care" reply made me reconsider, indeed. The thing is that I have absolutely no clue about what to choose - the Sound Blaster was just the most widespread product on ebay. Any advice on brands, models or whatever are welcome.

All I need is a way to connect front audio and back audio jacks to my laptop and have a decent quality output. All I'll do is play games, watch movies and listen music, so no professional needs.
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Re: USB audio card

Postby Fitzcarraldo » Fri Dec 23, 2011 12:44

Looks like the USB Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro works in Gentoo, albeit with some problems. It's always a good idea to check the Gentoo Forums and google the hardware model plus "gentoo" if you want to find out if something is likely to work with SL.
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Re: USB audio card

Postby King_DuckZ » Fri Jan 06, 2012 17:31

DHalens wrote:I'll get a c-media in some days and tell you if it works fine.

Hi, any updates on that? I ended up buying a "3D Sound" model PD552 by Comodow. According to what the box said, it was possible to disable the mic line in and instead use it as a rear line out. Unfortunately I couldn't find a way to do that, their technical support is non-existent and I start doubting I can really do that. Luckily I only spent 10€...
What card did you opt for? How is it like?

Fitzcarraldo wrote:Looks like the USB Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro works in Gentoo, albeit with some problems. It's always a good idea to check the Gentoo Forums and google the hardware model plus "gentoo" if you want to find out if something is likely to work with SL.

Thanks for letting me know. If possible, I prefer to avoid funding companies not supporting Linux. I can't believe the SoundBlaster is the *only* card on the planet providing a front/rear output... no?
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Re: USB audio card

Postby Fitzcarraldo » Fri Jan 06, 2012 23:01

Terratec Aureon 5.1 USB MKII External 5.1 surround sound card for notebook & PC: A couple of the reviews state that it works in Linux (but a blog post USB Surround Sound in Linux refers to a third-party review saying only in stereo).
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Re: USB audio card

Postby DHalens » Sat Jan 21, 2012 20:58

It's been quite a while but the card arrived two days ago.
As per lsusb. Bus 004 Device 002: ID 0d8c:0102 C-Media Electronics, Inc. CM106 Like Sound Device
It worked ootb.

Right now it doesn't work but that's my fault because i'm messing a lot with the asoundrc file :mrgreen:
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