Turtle Beach Amigo II - USB Sound Card and Headset Adapter
The Amigo II USB sound card adds a stereo output and mic input to a Mac or PC and converts a standard headset into a USB headset. Because it uses a USB digital connection, the Amigo II isolates the audio signal from the noisy electronics inside a PC or laptop to provide higher-quality sound.
With a single USB connection, the Amigo II lets you conveniently add another sound port to your PC or laptop for easy access wherever you go. The stereo output can be used for connecting powered speakers, headphones or an external recording device. The microphone input can be used for connecting an external microphone or the boom mic on a headset. Amigo is a great accessory for laptop owners who want to enjoy high-quality audio on the road or at home.
Analog stereo output drives headphones or powered speakers
Microphone input accepts 3.5mm headset or external mic
Compatible with Windows® and Mac operating systems
Perfect for online game chat or VoIP software
Powered by USB - no power adapter needed
Turtle Beach Amigo II USB Sound Card & HeadUSB Sound Card &Headset Adapter Audio Advantage Amigo II Convertsa standard headset to USB, Stereo output drives headphones or powered speakers, Microphone input accepts headset or external mic, Perfect for online game chat and VoIP software, Powered by USB, no power adapter required, Premium sound quality-- No drivers required - 3.5mm jacks for Stereo HeadphoneOutput and Microphone Input
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May 2010 Update: Just an update to say the sound card is still working fine. I've moved over to Fedora Linux now and this beast installed without a hitch (no restart required of course, unlike Windows!). All in all happy with the Turtle Beach amigo. If I had to do it all over again I'd probably go with the Micro II since that seems to be offered in the real black color I was looking for (don't need the mic input that badly), but this is still a good product!
INTRODUCTION: My 1 year old Star Tech USB Sound Card (Model # ICUSBAUDIO) decided to break literally two days before Turtle Beach released their updated Amigo and Micro cards. The reason it broke was a phsyical design that I wasn't happy about with nearly all USB sound card adapters, including Turtle Beach's previous Micro iteration.
I can't explain it well, but they have the metal connector fused right into the card. My Star Tech literally had the metal connector eventually come apart. Just really cheap, but for the price you can't complain.
So, rather than ordering another cheap USB sound card that will probably give out in another few months I put in a pre-order for this Amigo II refresh that was slated to be out March 16 2010.
MINUSES: First, let me get the bad out of the way and list why I don't think it's deserving of a perfect 5 stars.
This comes in a clam shell type packaging so it's an inconvenience to have to go find some scissors just to get it out.
The color of the adapter is not a dark gray/light black as the stock picture might lead you to believe. It is actually a very light to medium gray color. Kind of disappointing to me because I wanted it to match the black laptop it was being used with.Read more ›
I was primarily wanting to have a 2nd output device for my headphones, so I didn't constantly have to fiddle with cords to answer calls when switching from my desktop speakers. I wanted my 3.5mm Razer headset to just work independently, and this accomplishes that very well.
Unfortunately, the mic input port is absolutely useless. It plays the input back directly to the audio out port (headset speakers)! This isn't utilizing the Windows option, either. It happens directly in the hardware, making it impossible to disable.
This makes that feature of the product absolutely useless. I don't need to hear myself, I do that just fine already.
I ended up plugging the mic directly into the computer, since it doesn't need to be isolated.
It's astonishing to me how stupid of an engineering decision there must have been to decide to play back input through the output. It makes absolutely no sense, and this is NOT what most people want.
Others have reviewed this product (thank you!). From the many USB sound devices available at Amazon, I chose this one because it requires no software drivers, because the soundcard is not rigidly attached to the USB, and because of the of the reviews here at Amazon.
No software required. Using with linux is easy. Plug it in and Ubuntu identifies it. In Preferences / Sound, tell it which audio hardware to use. That's it. It is just as easy to use with Fedora and Sabayon Linux. I have not checked it with other versions of linux yet. It can't do 5.1 audio without the 'Windows-only' driver. If Turtle did not mention 5.1 audio, then I would not feel disapointed that I can't get 5.1 on linux. The bad reviews I have seen for this product are from users of the optional 5.1 drivers. I have decided to be happy without 5.1 audio.
The short bit of cable between the USB plug and the soundcard allows it to plug in any USB without blocking adjacent USP connectors. This also adds some flex so that accidental bumps and tugs do not damage the connectors. This has the benefits of a USB extension cable without the extra cost and extra clutter.
I got this product to replace a broken headphone jack on a laptop. It works very well for that. Sound is louder and clearer, a big improvement over the original audio. Also, the audio jack on this product has a very firm grip on the headphone plug so there is no 'loose conector' audio noise.
Having an older generation Macbook Pro running Windows XP, I find that I've got a good sound card that works in both OS's and delivers good quality sound and microphone. The crop of Macbook Pros that mine are a part of don't have mic in ports (only line in), so I've been bouncing back and forth between a usb headset and AKG k-44's for video editing (I'm a film major). It was supremely annoying to have to switch the audio drivers every time and also annoying to know I was packing two headsets for no good reason. Enter the Amigo II, which works with both os's no questions asked. The mic comes through nice and loud, and the audio is good (no discernable pops or humming, clicking or other artifacts). I'm no audiophile, but I need decent audio to do film editing, and I don't think I'll have any problems with this. The only reason I didn't give this a five is because I've had it for all of four hours and there's no driver, which means no equalizer. Not a big deal, but a little annoying. Also, with the mic plugged in, it always transmits into the headphones. This can get a bit annoying, but isn't a big problem.
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