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on August 1, 2013
Ordered this only as a backup to my various computers as a quick way to adapt to different situations while testing or setting up computers. Currently using this product on a new build mid-tower computer with front USB ports and running Win7.

IT WORKS PERFECTLY. Although it sticks out a ways from the case and so is a potential break off item, it's benefits and operation far out-way that minor concern.

The surface buttons for Volume, Mic Off, and Mute are all positive action with a good feel. There was no setup required as Win7 found it and automatically installed the drivers. Plugged it in, nearly instant audio. AND the rear audio source mutes. It seems to have a built in amp as it can be adjusted louder then if I just plug in headphones to the case's headphone jack. That's helpful for me as I'm slightly hard of hearing and often a video or audio source will have weak audio, especially if the producers thought it would be cool if they have constant 'mood' music playing...what's wrong with those people. There are db meters, they should be able to see that they're playing the background to loud. Anyway, having this little device with extra amplification will help with that issue.

All-in-all, this is one fine piece of equipment and the price is outstanding. Well worth the money.
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VINE VOICEon January 31, 2014
I have a MacBook Pro (Retina Display) that is connected to USB 3.0 Hub (which is itself connected to USB 3.0 port in my MacBook Pro). I use this for my high-end external speaker system which is not USB compatible.

For me, this device works GREAT. It hasn't given me any performance or reliability issues. There is no static or cutoffs. The only issue which I could even begin to complain about is the blue light, which as many reviewers have noted, can be overly bright and there is no way to turn it off (except to put a dark tape over it).

Mind you, I have a higher-end Intel Core i7 system with USB 3.0. I suspect many of the performance problems that other reviewers are experiencing may have had to do with overall bandwidth of USB 2.0, especially if they are using a USB 2.0 hub that is connected many difference devices.

USB 3.0 is at least 3.5x faster (upto 10x faster) than USB 2.0.

Pros:
1)Works great with no reliability issues. On my desk, this is connected to a USB 3.0 hub which itself connected to a USB 3.0 port on a high-end laptop.
2)My audio system connected to this USB device sounds impeccable. No static or cutoffs.

Cons:
1)The blue light is very bright indeed and there is no way to turn it off.
2)The performance problems identified by other reviewers may have to do with USB 2.0 bandwidth limitations. I recommend using this with USB 3.0 hub instead (connected to USB 3.0 port on a PC).
3)No audio amplification. This is just a converter. If you want audiophile sound, make sure you are using a system with an amplifier.
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on March 6, 2014
This is a cheap USB sound adapter. I paid about $7 for it, so I guess at that price I'm not too upset that it only lasted about 15-20 uses, but I'm not ecstatic either.

These things are clearly manufactured poorly, just looking at the reviews. You MIGHT get one that works fine forever! You might get one that never works. More likely, you'll get one that works "okay" for some abritrary amount of time and then eventually pitters out.

I bought this when the mic port on my 2009 Macbook Pro died. I used it for adding voice commentary to live video streams. It worked fairly decently as a plug-and-go device for a week or two, despite a several odd moments where it would go wonky and make my voice sound like a staticy demon. It occassionally needed to be jiggled/readjusted/pluggedin-out to get rid of static and other weird sound defects, but OVERALL it was okay for a $7 device that I bought for temporary use until I built my new PC. Sound quality was otherwise good (both mic and headset) except for those wonky moments.

The mic port did eventually die on this after those first few weeks though. I did test my headset on another computer, as well as another headset on the adapter, and the mic port was indeed dead.

So bottom line, these are cheap because they're cheaply made- so the quality is going to be hit or miss, period. If you want something for a professional level or long-term use, please do not buy a cheap plastic $7 thing like this. Otherwise, eh. Feel free to take your chances.
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on December 5, 2013
I've had this usb sound card for about a week now, and it's not broken, so maybe I'm lucky. I haven't had any issues with it yet, so this review is based on the performance of a working device.

Plugged it in and windows installed the drivers for it right away. It came with a short USB extension cord, which I am using because it takes stress off the USB port when you plug/unplug your headphones.

Once installed, you can open the control panel, and choose the Sound option to enable the Sabrent, and click Properties view and change the internal settings.

Settings in the properties menu include CD and DVD quality, and also sound enhancements. This card maxes out at DVD quality, which is 16bit 48,000hz. For reference, most modern sound cards will do 24 bit (studio quality) sound. That said, the quality was still good at this setting, and the volume was pretty loud.

The "enhancement" tab shows a few sound effect options including surround sound. enabling surround sound makes almost no difference at all. Maybe a tiny bit of reverb is added, but it's definitely not the surround sound effect I was expecting.

also, the blue LED is almost as bright as the sun. I had to put a small piece of black electrical tape over it to keep from going blind.

So if you need a cheap decent sound card, this is simple and will do the job. if you actually want surround sound, look elsewhere. Honestly, for the price it's hard to complain about it (assuming you get one that works). it would have definitely been a 4 or 5 star review if the surround sound portion worked better.
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on September 29, 2013
I ordered this with High Hopes after reading the reviews. I needed something to improve my sound from my laptop. When it came in, I immediately hooked it up and it didn't work. So, before contacting Amazon, I decided to call the company in case I was just doing something wrong. The tech walked me through what to do (Which I had already done) and then he told me that I had done everything correctly. He then set up a connection to my computer and tested everything. He determined that it 'was' a faulty unit and asked when and where I had bought it? I told him Amazon and then he directed me to send him a copy of my Amazon order verifying the purchase and they would send me a replacement. I immediately went to my account and made a copy of my order and emailed it to him as instructed. A couple of weeks passed and I emailed them again to check on the replacement. They never have answered my emails and now it is too late to get a replacement from Amazon. I know it was only an $8 lesson but it is one that I will remember. I will never deal with this company again. The product may work well for others, I'll never know, but the company is not reliable at all! Beware!
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on August 31, 2015
**Update 21Apr2016**
I have found this to be a bit bulky when I want to plug more than 1 thing into the 4 USB ports on my Pi. I decided to get a small extension cable, unfortunately it makes this thing less ideal due to the sag from the extension cable. Other devices could instead use the extension cable, but now we're talking about possibly 3 extension cables for everything else because this device wanted to be bulky. Still 5 stars, it works so seamlessly I don't feel like it needs a reduction, but definitely something to be aware of when ordering.

Original review:
This works flawlessly and immediately on a Raspberry Pi 2 running standard Raspbian. I plugged in a 3.5mm mic and was able to record audio with almost zero additional configuration (fired up alsamixer to ensure recording source, that was it).
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on June 27, 2013
Great reviews for this product so far and sorry I have to put a damper on the perfect rating.
At first, I liked the product for it's function (buttons and ability to expand my tablet PC with analog in and out).
I have to say though that I did not hear much difference in sound on my W500 Lenovo and my 3year-old on-board desktop chip set. For the tablet PC, sound was a bit amplified but nothing to really brag about. Of course the headsets I am using aren't prone to be pushed hard by this little thing.
I am using 3 Sennheiser headphones/headsets (HD598, PC350SE, PC360) and of course did not have the greatest expectations for this USB adapter to bring those headsets to life.

+
- I did like the easy install and the buttons on it. Very easy to control with a USB extension cord.
- Price

-
- Too bad it didn't last beyond 4 hours of use. I did unplug headsets a few times in order to compare sound quality. All in all maybe 20 times. Unfortunately that was it for the headphone plug. It now has very intermittent contact and and has become unusable.
- The other thing I didn't like (but that may be my bad) is that there is actually no driver software available from Sabrent. This thing is supposed to have 7.1 sound? but if so, how do I initiate or adjust it? I have another gaming headset with an adapter just like this one and it comes with excellent software.

I guess it won't matter as it goes back anyway. Already have a slightly upscale USB card coming but that one does unfortunately not have the buttons like the Sabrent. I guess I need another solution for "mute".
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on April 25, 2015
I love these things! I am always coming across motherboard audio ports that don't work or I can't find a driver for. Stick this sucker into an open USB port, select your audio out/in to the USB audio, and BAM!!!!! - it just works. It has never failed me. I've bought different USB audio devices, and I find Sabent is the best. For the price of USB audio with no controls, go with the USB audio that has additional controls on the USD stick end. It is useful in case you cannot control the audio volume through your onboard software. I will tell you honestly, these little devices save me a lot of time from troubleshooting motherboard audio issues. I will no longer waste my time (sometimes hours) trying to figure out MB audio drivers and settings. My time is billed at a high $$$ rate, so I don't waste time with MB audio issues. Just buy a Sabrent Audio adapter and be done with it. You cannot beat the price. And - you can take it with you. I always carry extra's wherever I go for tech support.
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on August 15, 2013
Pros:
- Nice, solid construction with a matte finish.
- Buttons seem sturdy.
- Operates at a crisp 16-bit 48,000Hz.
- Seems as though it can push more volume than stock card.
- Comes with a USB extension cord.
- Plug N' Play.

Cons:
- Those indicator lights are BRIGHT.

I have a Windows 7 Compaq/HP laptop. No problems with the sound card, just wanted to try and see if this would produce a clearer sound.

I'm pleased to announce that when using the Sabrent .... everything sounds LARGELY the same, but is slightly more crisp on the highs and clearer on the lows. Enjoyable/noticeable only if your headphones can respond to a wide range of frequencies (mine are 15 - 25k, I believe). There was absolutely no difference for me using my stock iPhone 5 headphones, although those are very good. Overall, the volume is louder, which was a plus for me but may be negligible for others.

A couple segmented rave sentences: Build quality is EXCELLENT, especially considering the price. There is a soft, matte coating to the plastic. The rubber buttons don't feel cheap and have a satisfying click when pressed. The extension cord comes in handy when the USB hub is crowded.

BUT... the indicator light that tells you the unit is in use is a VERY bright blue, and the microphone mute indicator light is an EXTREMELY brightER white. Was annoying in a room filled with light during the day... would imagine it being downright nightmarish having this thing strobe at night.

Overall, this unit would be great if your onboard sound card has static or noise in the background or if it's just being awful to you. As for you audiophiles, you're still going to have to shell out a pretty penny to get the most out of your FLAC files and your amplified $300 headphones.
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I do a little home transcription, and recently I purchased an aluminum headset to replace one that had been hurting my ears. The one that had been hurting my ears was a USB one, but the new aluminum ones just had a regular audio jack. I didn't realize there was going to be a huge difference in sound volume, but there REALLY was. The USB one was SO much louder! But it hurt my ears because of the earpieces, so I was unable to wear it for long periods. So I purchased this in hopes that it would make the more comfortable aluminum headset louder without having to spend a lot more money on yet a third headset or a more expensive external sound card.

I just did a comparison and this does indeed make the aluminum headset much louder! Yeah! I don't think it's quite as loud as my original USB headset....but it definitely adds the volume I needed to my aluminum set, for an affordable price. I won't need it turned up to maximum volume anymore, but it's available in case I want to turn it up briefly for some reason.

Great purchase!
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