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3.8 out of 5 stars
430
3.8 out of 5 stars



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on 14 August 2014
Superb value product and I'm delighted with it.

I bought this to use with a Raspberry Pi. I wanted better analogue audio out than was possible with the built in RPi sound and this was the cheapest option. It just needed to work and sound OK and I would be happy.

I can report that it works seamlessly on the RPi and is about the only RPi accessory I have bought for which this is actually true (I hear it said a lot but it's rarely that simple). No faff, no reliability problems and no messing about with weird software configs (any more than any other audio in Linux of course).

I did initially have great problems but they were not related to this product, but in the process of diagnosing the problem I did comparative testing with other audio outputs and this scores surprisingly well. For reference I used common AAC sources (128k radio streams and 250k-ish VBR files) and an Arcam amp. I found as follows in increasing order of cost and quality:
1. Raspberry Pi audio out was poorest. I found it better than FM radio but without trying I could tell the difference between this and other DACs. This was much better than I expected based on the poor reputation of RPi audio. It's really not that bad.
2. This product. Far better than the RPi and more than adequate. I could happily sit and listen to it for hours and would have no complaints (in fact I do this a lot with Radio 3 on iPlayer and it's great). The radio streams do sound marginally better on the more expensive DACs but I only noticed this because I was switching back and forth testing and listening carefully for audio glitches.
3. A USB PCM2704 board I got from eBay (£13, loose PCB no case). This sounds *amazing* and my higher rate sources did sound better. Since my application was radio and Bluetooth streaming anyway I stick with item 2 with my RPi, however for my general music applications which I run from a laptop I go with the PCM2704.
4. A Cambridge Audio DACMagic. This sounds wonderful of course but with the source and other kit there was no discernible difference from the PCM2704. Naturally I await the sarcastic comments from self-appointed audio gurus outraged at my not using FLAC. But the use case is AAC.

So I conclude that if you want a USB stereo audio DAC in 90% of cases this product is the best possible answer. If you are really uptight about your music get a 2704 or similar, it is better but it is 10x the price and not 10x better. I put a bit of black electrical tape over the LEDs as they were literally the only thing I didn't like about this item.

Not "3D 7.1" in any way useful to me but I don't care about that. Best of all the seller actually sent me 3 so they are almost free.
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on 30 August 2011
I have seen these products get so many bad reviews, many of which seemed to be talking as though they had paid a small fortune for the device and it then didnt live upto the HUGE price tag

Thing is though, theyre CHEAP.

So bearing that in mind here are my views

I have a HP Microserver which doesnt have built in sound at all, it does have two PCI-e slots but have you seen the cost and limited choice of PCI-e soundcards?

So I figured for the price I would give this a go

First impression was that considering how cheap they are theyre packaged surprisingly well in a blister pack (I half expected them to arrive in a ziplock bag tbh)

On insertion under both windows XP and Windows 7 windows recognises them on the fly and no drivers or reboot is required

I run creative 2.1 speakers and to be perfectly honest the sound from these is nothing short of surprising.

I get some loud clicking when the machine is booting up, but to be perfectly honest I also get that from the built in sound on my £90+ Asus M4A87td-EVO boards too so no problem there

Once booted though the sound is crisp, well rounded and the sound stage is wide and well seperated making stereo content sound very good.

Due to the amount of people who have complained about these and similar items "falling apart" or suffering mechanical breakdown I decided to plug the module into a short USB hub rather than the PC itself which also helps to leave other ports free for use as its a bit chunkier than a flashdrive

But once in place it wont be accessed so it cant really "fall to bits" and I do wonder whether those reviewers carried theirs around and repeatedly inserted and removed them tbh as my two seem surprisingly solidly built for such a low price

Its probably worth not risking it by using the built in buttons though as everything can be controlled from within windows anyway. And the only potential weakspot I can see is the speaker and microphone sockets. But to be perfectly honest I may consider buying short extension leads and then as "icky" as it might look just securely taping them into the device so I never have to insert or unplug anything into the soundcard itself just to avoid damage over time

Basically though this device cost about the same as a pint of lager, gives surpsisingly good well rounded sound for music, video and voice so I am extremely impressed with the purchase and might purchase a couple more as spares incase theyre not still available when the one I am using now does decide to die

Taking the price into consideration and what it sounds like for that price I honestly cant find a single flaw or criticism of this device for my personal requirements on a machine that has no native sound at all.

So I have given it a full 5 stars without reservation

You normally get what you pay for, but with this item it really does feel like I got a bargain
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on 28 January 2013
I thought 'what the hell, it's less than 5 quid.'

I gave it a go. It's just arrived. Yep, it's chunky. I could feel that shoving it into the back of my machine was a very tight fit and would lead to straining. Either the usb socket would snap, or the audio dongle would crack. Difficult to say which would go first, as they're in competition with each other. If anything - this item needs to be made slimmer. But this really is commonsense after that squeeze. If you get yours and you notice it "don't fit nice"... read on...

Here's a tip, if you want to put it amongst the usual-crowded rear of a pc... get yourself one of those few-inches-long usb extension leads, with a male-end into the pc and a female-end to take this. You can get them for about a quid on Amazon, I suppose.

I had (on the front of my pc) two usb slots, both a little further apart from each other, when compared to the ones at the back of the pc. It slotted in snugly, but not strained-and-ill-fitting-snugly. It slotted in there, just right.

It works!

It gives the impression of immersive sound. The bass is made more distinct. The feeling is of the sound being all around your head. For a fiver - brilliant.

Can't complain. And you get two of them.

Good one.

======

UPDATE:

As I said - you get two... The first review dealt with the pc I have in my bedroom. Here I have two little tweeters and a bassbox.

I have now tried the second usb card in the pc in the lounge. Here I have a pc connected to a stereo system; with two giant speakers going from the floor to your bellybutton, about a foot wide. I did have a £50 plus usb soundcard from a well known manufacturer fitted on this, for this purpose. I disconnected the expensive soundcard and uninstalled its software, to see what would happen with this little thing.

I rebooted the machine and plugged the cheap little soundcard into a well vacated usb area. It went onto Windows 7 Update and found the generic drivers.

So what happened next...?

WOW! I'd have saved myself nearly £45 if I had known sooner... that's what happened.

Great improvement in sound.

Guitars crash around your head, vocal echoes feel like they're shooting past you.

Best fiver I've spent to get this experience, better than when I went raving in the nineties.

Can't complain.
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on 9 August 2012
Great buy and got another one free! These sound cards are great quality and have great sound. Bought for recording from other external source and they do the job very well. Recommended if you want a second sound card or a better sound card for your computer.
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on 17 February 2014
Great price and works really well with the Raspberry pi.
Follow the advice on Adafruit site for setting up audio device with the Raspberry Pi.
This allows you to use a microphone too.
Would recommend
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on 14 December 2010
Two PC's and one laptop all running Windows 7 plus two sets of expensive speakers all produced horrible sound with the volume randomly up and down all the time. PC and Laptop manufacturers did not help nor did any suggestions found on the web.

I bought this expecting it to be cheap and chirpy. It solved the problem, and I do not care why, this little device truly rocks!
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on 28 February 2011
I bought this after buying at least 3 different versions of the
cheap little blue usb sound cards (which broke after a day or two).
I got so annoyed at the tacky design and poor sound quality of those
and decided to get something a little it more expensive with this one.

I am really happy with this product; It it fairly cheap and is definitely worth it;
it has really good sound quality compared to the little blue ones which
create a muffled static noise in the background.
I also like that this one has a more solid design and definitely doesn't
look tacky.
It fits neatly into one of my usb ports (the cheaper blue usb destroyed one of my
usb ports because it didn't fit well into it) and I am geniunely happy with this.
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on 4 March 2014
OK, just received my 2/1 USB2 Sound cards -

Set up is easy - Plug it in and WIN8.1 recognizes it immediately... GREAT!

then I found it only made a buzzing noise and it didn't seem to work!!!
I then tried the 2nd one, so thats why 2-1, good idea, but then FOUND the 2nd one did the same...

Ummmm - something is wrong here...

Found the problem, !!!! It now works GREAT!!!!

THE 3.5mm JACK IS VERY STIFF TO PUSH HOME, I HAD PUSHED IT IN, BUT HADN'T PRESSED IT IN HARD...
BEFORE YOU GIVE UP, LIKE I NEARLY DID - PUSH THE 3.5MM JACK IN HARD!!!

IT NOW WORKS GREAT - BEST OF ALL I HAVE 2 OF THEM!

i hope you have found this info useful, and please do not be afraid to buy this product...

it does take a couple of weeks to arrive, it may not be brilliantly packaged, but it is packed well enough to survive the journey from China...

So BUY IT, wait a couple of week and remember to PUSH THAT JACK IN REALLY HARD, otherwise it will not work!
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on 13 February 2016
The functionality is alright, I use it with my raspberry Pi and whilst it seems to work fine, I have a problem in setting it up with Raspian OS. Works immediately on OpenElec, though. However, it might be my Pi or it might be the product, but sometimes (albiet rarely) it'll suddenly output static at the loudest it can, almost bursting eardrums.

It says "Buy One Get One Free" and I only got one instead of the two I'd expected, which while annoying, isn't too bad considering the low price in the first place.

The worst thing was the delivery though. It took around two months to arrive, which is absolutely ridiculous.
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on 6 December 2015
Finally after waiting what seems like an eternity, the post man came with these yesterday and they are perfect for my PI 2.
You get a volume up and down on them, though that part does not work on the Pi, but does work in Windows and in Linux.
Also though have not fully tested it, it is a Bluetooth dongle too, I think. The sound I'm getting out of them though is spot on, so I highly recommend these, though postage is free it is a long wait as they come from Hong Kong way, but you cannot fault them. Don't drop them as they'll fall apart as the design is very loosely made and if you shake them, you can hear something rattling inside, so beware, what do you expect for a Quid Fifty? I like them a lot.
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