USB devices with good headphone out?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Tsal, May 16, 2005.

  1. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    Hey guys,

    I want to upgrade the lousy sound chip in my laptop and am looking for a relatively inexpensive USB sound to be used with laptops and whatnot, and the prime criteria is good headphones/line out quality as I do most of my listening with a pair of AKG 240M's.

    Also, the unit will be carried in a backpack with the notebooks and also needs to be both PC and Mac compatible.

    I've been looking at such USB units under $200 as SB Audigy NX Notebook, M-Audio Fast Track / Mobile Pre / Transit and Yamaha UW10.
  2. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    M-Audio MobilePre is a good choice. I've been using mine for several months. It only has a 1/8" headphone out connector, which could be a shortcoming. Drivers are a bit wonky, but when they are working sound is pretty good - very low noise for such a value unit.

  3. Hawkeye

    Hawkeye Canuck Amateur

    Will you need mic preamps? This makes a difference in what you may want to look at.

    If you want two preamps for mics, I'd try the USB 1.1 Edirol UA-25. Very stable and high performance for the price (around $240). M-Audio also makes a couple of well-regarded USB cards (Audiophile USB and Mobile Pre USB)

    If you just want a better soundcard for line in / line out and are not shy using PCMCIA, I would try the Echo Audio Indigo I/O. It has had very good reviews.

    If your laptop has firewire, you open up a whole series of additional selections (Edirol FA-66, M-Audio Firewire Audiophile, Firewire 410, Presonus Firebox.... the list goes on).

    Some of these interfaces also come with sequencing / digital audio software if that's interesting to you.