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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good for my use
I've read many of the reviews on this one, and I'm not disagreeing with them, but for what I'm using this for it works pretty well with a few caveats.

First of all, I'm using this on a PowerMac G4 Cube with an Apple Studio Display, and have only used the buttons on this a few times, so I haven't experienced the button failures that others have.

I'll...
Published on August 20, 2012 by OregonBay

versus
56 of 61 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not recommended - better alternatives for same price
We bought this to evaluate its suitability as a headset adapter for use with Skype on Macintosh. We found that it is inferior in all respects to a similar product by the same manufacturer, the Syba SD-CM-UAUD USB Stereo Audio Adapter, C-Media Chipset, RoHS. Avoid this 7.1 version and get the simpler one for the same price that lacks the chintzy buttons, has correct...
Published on January 8, 2010 by 501(c)Geek


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56 of 61 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not recommended - better alternatives for same price, January 8, 2010
By 
501(c)Geek (San Francisco, CA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: HDE 7.1 Channel USB External Sound Card Audio Adapter (Personal Computers)
We bought this to evaluate its suitability as a headset adapter for use with Skype on Macintosh. We found that it is inferior in all respects to a similar product by the same manufacturer, the Syba SD-CM-UAUD USB Stereo Audio Adapter, C-Media Chipset, RoHS. Avoid this 7.1 version and get the simpler one for the same price that lacks the chintzy buttons, has correct color coding, a smaller and shorter housing, better build quality, and is better identified in OS X.

As other commenters have noted, the exterior buttons are very flimsy and do feel like they could break with a strong push. Their only function is to send a signal to the computer to change the software volume level, which can also be easily done using the volume control in the operating system or via the keyboard if it has multimedia buttons. On many computers the USB ports are inaccessible anyway, so why bother adding these cheap buttons that weaken the whole case, when many people can't even reach them?

The jacks are color coded in yellow and black, not the standard pink and green that headset jacks use. For what possible reason? Yellow plastic was cheaper? They are also labeled with tiny icons that are very hard to tell apart, and the labels are not next to the jacks but on the top face with all the buttons.

The USB plug on our unit is angled off-center, again suggesting shoddy construction.

On the plus side - it does work as advertised. Although the device is identified as "Unknown USB Audio Device" by OS X, it does input and output sound fine, and loudly. The chipset is advertised on the box as the C-Media CM119, and it's a USB 2.0 device. The "virtual 7.1" gimmick appears to be "3d surround sound" software by Xear, which comes on a mini-CD and is Windows only. I think it's safe to say this is basically a non-feature.

It would be a marginally acceptable solution to using a headset with a Mac or other computer that lacks a headphone jack, but again the similar yet entirely superior Syba SD-CM-UAUD USB Stereo Audio Adapter is a far better choice. See my review of that device on its product page for more info.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Does what it is supposed to but falls victim to poor craftmanship, October 17, 2009
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This review is from: HDE 7.1 Channel USB External Sound Card Audio Adapter (Personal Computers)
The adapter is as easy as it gets to use right out of the box and worked well as a substitute to my faulty laptop headphone jack, but the quality of the device itself is very poor. I have had mine for a month or so and it has fallen apart completely. Upon receipt, I noticed that the outer case was already separating, and within a couple of weeks the headphone contacts began to disconnect so I had to continually find the "sweet spot" to get any audio to come out of the headphones. As cheap as it was, it served as a good experiment but it is not something that I will waste my time or money on again.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Missing Software, October 14, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: HDE 7.1 Channel USB External Sound Card Audio Adapter (Personal Computers)
This is currently shipping **withöut** the sofware CD indicated in the Product Description, which states:

"Package Includes:
1 x 7.1 Channel External USB Audio Sound Card Adapter --
1 x Software Disc for Xear 3D"

Nor does the software seem to be available for download on the Internet.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good for my use, August 20, 2012
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This review is from: HDE 7.1 Channel USB External Sound Card Audio Adapter (Personal Computers)
I've read many of the reviews on this one, and I'm not disagreeing with them, but for what I'm using this for it works pretty well with a few caveats.

First of all, I'm using this on a PowerMac G4 Cube with an Apple Studio Display, and have only used the buttons on this a few times, so I haven't experienced the button failures that others have.

I'll try to outline the unit with my experience.

RECEIPT and UNBOXING:

Pretty standard packaging, nothing fancy here. The unit was well packaged and was received without damage. It was delivered pretty quickly and no shipping issues to note.

HARDWARE:

It feels pretty solid to me, the casing is a solid plastic. It uses a standard, full-size male USB connector to plug into the computer, or laptop. There are three buttons on the case, volume up, volume down, and mute. The buttons feel pretty solid to me, you don't have to apply a lot of pressure to actuate the buttons and I suspect some of the failures might be due to using too much pressure, but again I haven't used the buttons that much so I don't know how long they might work if used regularly.

There are two lights on the top of the unit, the green light indicates that sound is being transmitted, the red light seems to be an indicator for the microphone input which I have not used yet.

There are two 3.5mm inputs on the end of the unit, one is green for the audio output and the other is yellow for the microphone. Kind of odd to me since most mic inputs are colored red, but not really an issue.

This is advertised to transmit 7.1 channel surround sound, I don't know as I have it hooked up to a clock radio with stereo sound only, but it sounds plenty good in my experience. I have doubts about any connector being able to send out 7.1 discreet channels of sound over one of these 3.5mm connectors though, and if you are an audiophile you might not be happy with the sound quality on a bigger setup. I'm not an expert on these things, so check with online resources if the 7.1 is an important feature for you.

CONNECTION:

It's plug and play, no software needed. I found that for the G4 Cube it is too long to plug into the bottom of the Cube itself, with the 3.5mm cord plugged in it was about about 1/2" too long and I was using a L shaped plug. If you tried one of the standard straight 3.5mm plugs it would be about an inch too long. Anyway, I plug it into the USB port on the back of the Studio Monitor, and while not nessesarily pretty, it's very functional.

I use this to play music from my G4 Cube to the clock radio and simply use the OS X controls to adjust the volume. When I have used the adaptors volume buttons I found that it also adjusts the volume in iTunes (the slider). Neat that it works that way.

SOUND:

It works as advertised, that is at least in my experience with stereo (2 channel) sound. Good volume, sounds as good as any of my smaller speakers sound.

PROS:

Easy to use, no special software needed. Many people might not realize that USB ports are capable of outputting audio these days, all USB ports 1.1a and above can do this. Most ports today are 2.0 or if you have a newer computer they might be v 3.0 ports, and they will all output audio.

Volume adjusters onboard for quick adjustment of audio, especially if the computer is in screensaver mode or the display is asleep, you can use the volume buttons for adjustment.

Standard 3.5mm jacks on the unit, for speakers, headphones, microphones, etc...

Indicator lights for activity monitoring.

CONS:

Ok, this thing sticks out about two inches from the USB port once connected. I suspect that if you use it on a laptop or something like and hit it often with your legs/etc... that it will eventually wear out or break. There are smaller, similar adaptors to this one that might be better for that kind of use.

PRICE:

This is probably one of the main factors for purchase, it's fairly inexpensive and is one of the main reasons I bought it. It might not last forever, but it also is less expensive than many of the other ones I could find. For what I'm using it for, and the price I paid, I feel the price is pretty reasonable.

OVERALL:

This is a pretty good adaptor, and for what I'm using it for it works great. The price and durability seem to be about in line in my opinion, it doesn't feel "rock solid" but it doesn't just fall apart either, it seems like I'll probably get a lot of use out of this, and it's an inexpensive solution for my problem which was getting sound out of a G4 Cube (there is no 3.5mm jack on the G4 Cube, the only way to get sound out is via USB).

Overall I recommend this item, but check to see if it fits your needs prior to purchase. There are many options available for an adaptor like this, and most are fairly inexpensive.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Horrible Item!, January 27, 2010
By 
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This review is from: HDE 7.1 Channel USB External Sound Card Audio Adapter (Personal Computers)
I had this item for a few minutes and noticed that the sound was coming out of only one of the speakers. It started falling a part after that. Horrible Product. You get what you pay for.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Do Not Buy, February 7, 2011
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This review is from: HDE 7.1 Channel USB External Sound Card Audio Adapter (Personal Computers)
While this device is very simple to use and functions (at least initially) as described the build quality is completely inadequate (even for the cheap price...) The device lasted all of 2 minutes before the audio jack separated from the internal circuit board rendering the device useless. This happened while I was sitting in a chair with the laptop on a table. There were no forces applied to the device or cables in any way. DO NOT BUY this product, it will not last, or the odds of you getting a poorly constructed device are very high.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Choice for the Money, November 30, 2009
By 
D. Henry (Bee Branch, AR United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I ordered this USB soundcard with some reservations after reading mixed reviews, some good, some excellent and some really sad experiences. Mine is a happy one when you consider the low price I paid. The sound quality might be better IF I get a better set of headphones or quality ear pieces. I purchased it for my 15" HP 505 Laptop which has crappy speakers and the headphones would barely get more volume than the speakers.

I have Windows Vista - and at first I was not getting any results when I plugged it in my LapTop. After tinkering with Vista's sound controls for playback - I simply made the USB soundcard my default source for speakers. A few other slight tweaks and after rebooting the sound was noticibly louder! Loud enough for me!!! I have no idea how good the mic input is, have not had an occasion to try it or worry with it. By the way - I am not real tech saavy on LapTops or PC's so its not too problematic if you have some experience with setting up software and doing small minor adjustments on your computer. Its not hard at all to set up IF you need to set it up. I understand some people simply plug it in with no problems whatsoever.

for less than $10 you cant expect super exotic sound or special effects or any of that. If more volume for your headphones is what you need then this is something you will want. The sound is not distorted or rattly - its fairly well clear. While it included a small driver install disk you dont need one if you run windows Vista or XP. It gets detected when you plug it in and installs the proper drivers. If not - you got the disk with drivers on it.

Last of all you can use it on your PC, its not LapTop exclusive. Useful if you wish you had mic and headset access on the front of your computer - if you have a USB port on the front - plug this USB soundcard in and you're good to go. Feels sturdy, no loose parts. Im happy with my purchase
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice Sound Card!, February 14, 2011
By 
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This review is from: HDE 7.1 Channel USB External Sound Card Audio Adapter (Personal Computers)
I use this card for my PS3 so that I can use my Turtle Beach X11's on the PS3 and it works perfectly. There are videos on YouTube if you search How to setup Turtle Beach X11's. I found that the videos on YouTube made the setup go even faster! I find this to be a great, cheap, and tiny audio card! Great buy!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Reversed outputs!, January 22, 2011
By 
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I got this for online FPS gaming on a headset. I didn't pay much attention to sound quality -- it was decent enough. I'm happy if the voice is clear and there's no significant distortion. I found three problems on the one I got:

1) The jacks are reversed -- the microphone jack is black and the headphone jack is pink. Pink mic jack is standard. This is just somebody not paying attention during assembly, and a minor issue, the markings on the case are correct.

2) Some sound was leaking from the mic to the headphones all the time. Not a disaster for me but annoying.

3) This is the dealbreaker for me: the left and right headphone channels were reversed! Not a problem for voice comms, which are monaural, but direction is important in a game. You hear something to your right, turn to attack and get shot in the back of the head... that's bad. I'm a bad enough player as it is, I don't need help from my headphones! O_o

Depending on your needs it's not a total disaster -- if a reversed sound field isn't a problem, it's a decent little adapter.

My only other complaint is that it's very bulky and can block adjacent USB ports when they're stacked vertically, a price you pay for all those features. A short USB extension cable solves that.
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22 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Sound Quality and More!, August 7, 2009
By 
Randy Chen (Fullerton, CA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: HDE 7.1 Channel USB External Sound Card Audio Adapter (Personal Computers)
I've had 7.1 USB sound card for two weeks now and it works fantastically on my Labtop. It not only replaced my labtop sub-par internal speakers but it also replaced its broken 3.5 headjack on my labtop, which was a huge plus for me. I tested this sound card with some really cheap headphones and I have to say I'm really impressed by the sound quality. On every application I used this sound card with, it worked on every one of them (WMP 11, GOM, [...], etc.). I love this sound card so much I really recommend it. Although I didn't find a use for the CD software it came with, I can forgive that.
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