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Showing 1-10 of 609 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 673 reviews
on December 24, 2014
NOTE: I found the claimed sound software by Googling "XEAR 3D". It is downloadable along with manual under "C-Media Electronics, Inc".

In reading these reviews I believe this device has either gone through transformations over time or may be manufactured by different companies. I do not doubt claims that some are shoddily made or fall apart. I especially believe this is the case as I've seen several of these in this specific layout and design... but with different colored cases from different manufacturers. Designs are often replicated in China due to lack of copyright and patent laws there; it is obvious some of these are made more sturdy than others.

Mine however is excellent. It is sturdy, the buttons stable, the USB port solid. It installs easily via plug-n-play and does what it claims to do.

Since this device does have buttons on it, it is likely it will most often be used via USB extension cord. I doubt it would stand up to much use plugged directly into the computer. That is perhaps the area where many people find it falling apart: trying to press the buttons while it is hard-plugged directly into the computer. It's unlikely it would withstand much of such use. But if one plugs this at the end of an extension cord it not only should stand up to button-pressing, but allow the controls to be closer to the user. This is handy if one uses a TV for computer monitor and may be as far as 5 feet or more from their screen.

The ad states it has an advantage of bringing sound and mike ports to the front of the computer, and that is true. However that is likely to be a feature only valuable if the case itself doesn't already have such features-- and most do.

The volume is similar; most keyboards these days have volume controls built in. Because of this I don't see this device having much value over a strait-plug device without buttons. However, it's inexpensive enough to be worth the purchase even as such.

It does provide one feature not found on most computers or keyboards: the ability to remotely and instantly mute the mike. That's a handy function. In addition one can plug in one of the tiny direct-plug mikes to this and have a small, remote mike system that doesn't take up a lot of desktop space, with instant mute access.

By far though its most valuable feature is that it is a complete sound card in a small USB plug-in. If someone's motherboard sound port has ceased to function or their internal sound card blown, there isn't much less inexpensive method to replace it. Value for dollar in that aspect alone, it rocks.

As many point out the proclaimed "7.1 surround sound" software is not included with the system as advertised. That no one has changed this ad to reflect that indicates this ad is out of date. I have contacted Amazon in this regard; no product should be wrongfully presented. That's not Amazon's doing; that is the original seller for not updating the ad. I have no doubt Amazon will correct the matter as soon as they're notified.

EDIT: I found the software online (see top of this review). It is available for all versions of Windows, including Windows 8. It's surprising the manufacturer doesn't include this simple bit of info with the product, as all such would take is a small slip of paper as notice.

Overall this is a low-cost, well-made device that does exactly what it says. The claim of surround sound however, is bogus. If one purchases this without such expectation, the cost is very reasonable for what it does. A complete sound card with buttons for $2 is about as inexpensive as it gets.
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on September 27, 2015
I received this product well before the expected date of arrival. This product does as advertised. I tried using it with the G230 to make it a G430 (G230 is the same as the g430 except for a 3.5mm to USB) but sadly didn't work. It was probably because of the driver preinstalled. That was my bad for assuming it was and has no part in a removal of a star. Don't buy this item if the internal sound card is working. There's not a big sound much difference. Unless you are using this on Mac because of no mic input then don't buy. If this review was helpful hit the yes button under the review.
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on August 20, 2012
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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on May 25, 2016
Just got it in the mail.

POS: Cheap and came in fast.

CONS:
Bought this as a replacement for my onboard Realtek/SoundMax hoping I'll be able to get more volume out of it for my headphones.

Well, I didn't get more volume. It's the exact same level as my onboard card but with worse sound quality.

There is a lot of treble and almost no bass. Turning on Base Boost or any other enhancement makes it worse.

The volume and mute buttons on it are not hardware control buttons. They simply control the windows volume/mute as if you used a keyboard which makes it totally useless since I already have volume control on the keyboard.

There is a green LED which is always on when plugged. However, when you play a sound it will start blinking while the sound is playing. Almost as if it's a modem receiving packets. No, it's not synched with the music. It's just blinking twice per seconds. Super annoying. Stopping the sound will not stop the blinking for another 10 seconds.

Windows 10 installed the driver automatically on plugging it in. I tried to install its own driver but it kept saying to plug in the USB. Uninstalling the default driver doesn't help with that either.

It will end up in the drawer full of useless junk. I'll just use it for parts.
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on April 24, 2015
I purchased this item for my laptop at work. Typically, I plug in my earpods and listen to Pandora all day. I was hoping this item would increase the sound. When it arrived, there were no instruction enclosed. This was not a plug-n-play item although it did install itself. I searched YouTube and found how to get it operational.

The sound generated completely changed from CD quality with earpods plugged directly into laptop to AM with the sound card. I don't get it. How is it that this device, designed for audio, makes the sound quality worse?

This is not the seller's fault. The seller shipped on time and accurately from China. The item was stupid cheap. You get what you pay for...
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on May 2, 2014
It is STEREO not true 7.1, just to be clear about that. No software shipped with it because Window will download a driver automatically and extend the Windows Sound control panel with a couple extra options: Bass Boost, Room Correction, Virtual Surround, Loudness Equalization. Using iTunes as a music player I think Virtual Surround and Room Correction suck. The lyrics drop in volume compared to the instruments and much of the music sounds under water/garbled. Just leave the enhancements off. It is good for being a completely separate audio device. So if you want to designate one microphone for most of the PC but your headset for Skype or a game it would let you do that. Maybe you want to be able to send audio from one room to another... You could just switch the playout device to the USB stick and have your music play on the patio instead of your desk speakers.
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on October 24, 2011
This ex-gadget now goes back to its original 0-star status (sorry, I couldn't select 0 stars, but that's what I would give it at this point).

After only three days, this thing DIED!!! I worked well for three days, but now it is just a thumb-size piece of junk. Don't buy it!!! Below are my previous two reviews of it, now both history.

===========================================

This product now gets 5 stars from me, but for some reason I can't change my previous 1-star rating, please judge accordingly.

I wrote the following negative review before spending almost an hour figuring out how to use it. In brief, when you plug it in to a USB port, Windows (Win7 Home Premium in my case) finds it and installs the software/driver for it. Then, when you right-click on the speaker icon in the Tray (Notification area) and then click on Playback devices, you will see two speaker icons in the "Sound" dialog box instead of the former one. Now here's the important part: you've got to right-click on your PC's native speaker icon (in my case Realtek High Definition Audio) and then click on _Disable_, after which the older icon will become grayed out. (I've posted a screenshot at [...] If you don't do this, both adapters will fight for dominance and you'll get a howl or horrible sound pulsations in your ears when you plug in your earphones to the jack in the USB adapter. Next, make the "Generic USB Audio Device" speaker icon the default by right-clicking and choosing "Make default" from the options. Then you can adjust the sound in your earphones by right-clicking on the icon and choosing Configure. Finally, click on OK to finish the setup and exit the Sound dialog box. I wish they had included instructions with this gadget; it would have made things really easy. By the way, the sound in my earphones, after setting this up properly, is great, much better than from my original sound adapter, when listening to sources that incorporate multi-speaker sound sources, so I fully recommend it.

===================================

My previous (original) review, which should now be disregarded, is as follows:

This little "adapter" that gets such glowing reviews from other users will not get one kind word from me. I've done the following repeatedly and always get the same non-results: I plug the adapter into a front USB port. The Win 7 system installs the software and says it is ready for use. I plug my stereo earphones plug into the earphone-designated jack in the adapter. Result: I get nothing but squeals, and LOUD electronic echoing noise from my earphones!!!!! There are no setup instructions from the mfr. (HAHA! They imply that none are needed!) Well, I for one can't get this thing to work, but I've done just as everyone else says they did -- Plug it in, plug in your earphones and sit back and enjoy the wonderful sound. THAT HAS NOT HAPPENED!

Does anyone have any words of wisdom for this problem? Some specific setup and adjustment instructions would be helpful, but there aren't any!

Can anyone offer any help?
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on June 25, 2015
I bought this device in hope I could save money and it would work with my cheap Logitech G230 headset. Cause I didn't want to spend other $80 on a headset with 7.1 surround sound, like my broken Plantronics 780(which are hella awesome). Review of device with my Logitech headset. When watching a movie with 5.1 surround sound this device have very low volume, also when people are talking you can hear a echo. Yes this device did pick up background noise very well but the sound quality of everything else is horrible, from people talking, explosions, the sound of vehicles, and sports movies just sound weird. Also when I try to configure the speakers in the setting, it will only shows stereo, I will post a picture. As for my broken Plantronics when I configure its speakers it shows 7.1 surround sound, I will post a 2nd picture. All in all I wouldn't recommend this product to anyone! My advice just bite the bullet and spend the $80 on a real 7.1 headset that has a usb connection. I hope this review help someone to not make the same mistake that is did. Thank you and good luck!

Remember 1st picture is the usb and the 2nd picture is my broken headset.
review image review image
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on January 9, 2011
I read the reviews and i finally decided to buy this product. I too have suffered a problem with the audio jack on my sound card, unfortunately this is a 5 year old toshiba satellite and its hard to find a replacement sound card for it. I still don't like the idea of USB sound cards just when you think about it...latency is my initial thought.

Upon unboxing, it is a simple and flimsy device, since the sole purpose of this device is to replace my old sound card i decided to use a usb extension cable to fee up the surrounding space. I do agree with some reviewers that this can collapse on itslef after a few clicks and massive clicking of the volume button. If you are connecting it to speakers or volume controlled head sets place the device's volume on high and use the speaker volume to regulate the volume, this will prevent unnecessary pressure and will prolong the life expectancy of the product. Also you can still use your windows audio display panel to regulate the volume, if your laptop has that nifty little button that button is still defaulted to recognize the main sound card, i used it on my emachine and dell inspiron and the volume buttons work well on it to regulate.

The quality does work nicely i've tested it out on a 7.1 encoded audio, and did a comparison on a standard dual speaker channel, on the device you hear more of the bass which is good and when the treble needs to come in it slices through and all the subtle mid's are blended. Unlike the standard dual channel which you can't distinguish any of the ranges. I used a sony MDR head set as well as my Creative Cambridge Sound works speakers (these are 10 year old speakers) to guage the sound quality. I haven't tested it yet on my Studio Monitors, although i am just scared to do it it might just catch on fire.

I have split the function of my internal sound card and my usb device for the mic out put since the quality is much better on my sound card i have set them to work harmoniously. The mic function causes a loud annoying hiss and i can't stand that and it makes the audio hard to hear while a live call. So when i use YM or Skype i have the mic setting on my internal sound card and my speakers and ringers on the USB device, and when i did the test call i can hear the voice clearly. Note that various internet connection will vary and the quality will vary as well as the latency time.

Another issue are BSOD in my experience then again my laptop has gone through hell in 5 years and i've abused my system so it could be unrelated but i've noticed when i unplug it my system tends to crash, however even if its even unplugged it still crashed so there fore i can confidently say that it far from being related. I don't new systems may be better able to handle it than my old pentium 4.

There is this hissing noise i hear, which ...ehh for .99 cents i can't expect perfect quality. The casing is cheap plastic and cheap LED and circuit boards from probably Thailand. So what else do you expect you really get what you pay for. If your on a budget and don't really want to buy a expensive replacement sound card or a external device sound card this is the product for you. If your like me and are really into your audio quality then go find a person who has steady hands and a soldering iron and get the jack fixed, or buy a new replacement sound card or invest in the more elaborate and expensive external sound card. Bottom line this gets the job done and for a dollar hey its a low risk product[...]
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on July 5, 2010
I purchased one for myself and recently one for my daughter for use on our Laptops - both of which use Windows Vista. You may have to go into your sound set up and make the USB Soundcard your DEFAULT and Save that option. Once you do that - if you fail to plug the USB soundcard in, it will revert to the original sound card set up so you wont be without sound. JUST DONT ManHandle it - and treat it right and it will treat you right :-)

The main reason I purchased this for myself was my HP Laptop's built in sound card did not deliver even reasonable quality microphone recording. This little jewel (USB soundcard) did the job!

It does NOT have special FX or anything like that, but its good for the money. And of course it delivers better sound than my Laptop too.
My daughter is still not sure how to set hers up - I will have to install it for her. While I have not tried this on XP - I would imagine, XP will install with little to no hassle.

I have not tried it or know of anyone who has But I do not think it will work on Windows 7.
Windows 7 is a hard animal to please when finding the right SoundCard used for Recording/Singing and have quality FX too. If anyone finds such a sound card for Windows 7, let me know.
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