Top critical review
Works, but can have poor sound quality depending on your output device
on November 17, 2014
I bought this to output sound from my laptop as the internal audio has died (does not output sound, either through the onboard speakers or the headphone jack). This does the basic job of outputting sound, but the sound quality is horrible. Music is extremely brittle and tinny, almost painful to listen to, and turning on the bass booster or treble reducer doesn't really help much. I guess for this price, I can't really complain, but to give some context, before this I was using the headphone jack on a pair of USB speakers made in 2000 as a means of outputting audio via USB. (The speakers, or at least the power brick, unfortunately broke.) The sound through that jack was miles ahead of this. I would think that with all the technological advances over the last 14 years, even the cheapest sound card would be able to output sound of that quality. I guess I was mistaken. I might try the $8 best-selling Sabrent next I guess. I'm in the process of transitioning to a different laptop, so didn't want to pay a lot to get some basic sound.
EDIT: It appears the sound quality issue is mostly due to it having trouble driving headphones with higher impedances. The sound quality is better when I plug in my speakers, but is as described above when I plug my Audio-Technica M50s into it. That said, this is the only output device I've come across that's had that issue, and the M50s sound good even when driven through iPods, iPhones, and the like, so I'm surprised that it's having so much trouble driving the headphones. Sound quality isn't that bad when put into a pair of powered speakers though. Just be careful if you're planning on listening through a pair of decent headphones.