Streaming doesn’t need any top-quality of sound cards. It depends on the type of sound system a person might be planning to use. For instance, if a person uses a normal stereo system any kind of sound card would do the job of streaming high-quality sound.
However, for home theater or a 7.1 sound system, expensive models of sound cards are required. One popular way to stream is from the smartphone directly with the help of clean audio and controller.
You will have to use a plug-in sound card to get good quality audio. Hence, having an idea about the best sound cards for streaming is very important.
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Also Read: Best Sound Cards for Audiophiles
A Guide to Choosing Best Soundcard for Streaming Content
What is streaming? Streaming refers to any content, be it live or recorded to be played back in real-time across various devices. Some content that is usually streamed, includes music or videos.
Why Should You Use External Sound Card For?
Are you an audiophile or music enthusiast? You might need to do audio testing or recording before playing them live on various devices. This is where the need for a sound card for streaming comes.
However, there are other reasons to use an external sound card are many. They are:
- For connecting up to 7.1 surround sound system
- Connecting to a Home Theatre sound system
- Improve the streaming quality offered by the existing sound card
How to Choose the Right Sound Card for Streaming?
Audio lovers don’t get a proper 5.1 output form laptops to their home-theatre systems. The reason is simple. A laptop supports only 2.1 outputs, which is just like a basic stereo.
To play beautiful content, the need for an external and best sound card for streaming is significant.
Lately, people are more enthusiastic about soundcards. Hence, coming with questions about these cards is quite obvious. One shouldn’t just go and pick a sound card randomly. Rather, one should take a look at certain factors.
A sound card is also known as an audio MIDI interface. However, one needs to ask for what purpose they would be using. The type of sound card will vary depending on your requirement.
For instance, if someone wants to do DJ-ing in a club they will need one kind of a card; similarly, for recording, one would need some other sound cards.
The basic features that one needs to take a look into for the sound cards are mentioned below:
- Sample Rate: The audio quality greatly depends on this feature. It’s measured in kHz. When kHz is on the higher end, the audio quality will improve.
- Channels: A sound card for a speaker system should support 7.1 channels. Only then one would get good quality sound.
- Impedence Support: It decides the functionality of a speaker system.
- DNR: A sound card’s dynamic range is known as DNR.
Other Things to Look At
Budget is a crucial factor when one considers buying a sound card. Some sound cards are budget-friendly. On the other hand, some cards might be on the higher end.
Professional audiophiles of those who are into music production should go for costly alternatives. But those who want to enjoy a surround sound experience at home from their home theatre could use the cheap ones.
The sound system needs to be taken into consideration when buying a sound card. A normal stereo system will require one type of sound card for streaming; whereas a 7.1 sound system will need high-quality sound cards.
Internal or External
Soundcard for streaming audio is available in two types; i.e. Internal and External. A card should be picked as per the requirement of the audiophile.
List of Best Sound Cards for Streaming in 2020
Here is a list of the best sound card for streaming that would meet your streaming requirements very easily.
- Creative Sound Blaster Audigy – A Recommended Mid-Range Option
- ASUS XONAR SE – Affordable Solution
- Creative AE-5 – High Performance Sound Card
- Creative Sound Blaster Omni – High Performance External Sound Card
- Creative Sound BlasterX G1 – Budget External Sound Card
1. Creative Sound Blaster Audigy – A Recommended Mid-Range Option
This is a mid-range sound card that features a decent quality and support for upto 7.1 sound system.
The Creative Sound Blaster Audigy is a mid-range sound card available in the market. Going by its low-cost, the sound offered by this card is a pretty decent one. It allows one to control and adjust the sound with the help of a control panel.
- It provides support for a 7.1 multi-channel audio system.
- It allows a decent DNR rate of 106Db for improved audio and offers 24-bit 192kHz sample rate for playback.
- Reliable studio-grade monitoring is available. Thanks to its 600 Ohm headphone amplifier.
- Creative Multi Speaker Surround or use Stereo Mixing allows hear the recording and get instant feedback.
- Creative Wave Studio allows audiophiles to create their audio content.
- Adding effects to the music is possible through EAX Studio.
- The E-MU chipset allows users to enjoy great cinematic effects, without affecting the performance of the system.
Hence, why it is regarded as one of the best sound card for streaming content is comprehensible.
2. ASUS XONAR SE – Affordable Solution
A highly affordable internal sound for those who are looking for the most minimal dedicated sound card. Offers excellent DNR and support for 5.1 channel.
The ASUS XONAR SE 5.1 is a pocket-friendly sound card in the market. It is ideal for gamers who want the best multimedia and gaming experience.
- It offers an immersive sound with 116dB SNR ratio. This lets you enjoy crystal clear sound than the onboard chips.
- Minimal audio distortion is guaranteed because of the Hyper Grounding Technology. It offers reduced cross –over interference.
- XONAR Audio Center allows full-audio control due to intuitive interface.
- Offers support for 192kHz/24bit high-resolution audio. This lets a user enjoy a cinematic experience while listening to music or while playing games.
- It comes with an inbuilt 300 Ohm headphone amplifier that offers a rich and detailed sound. Due to the integrated headphone amplifier, listening to the detailed sound is easy.
- XONAR SE offers to support up to 5.1 channels and is completely compatible with Windows 10.
- To ensure great audio experience, it offers Windows Hardware Quality Labs support.
3. Creative AE-5 – High Performance Sound Card
An excellent high quality internal sound card for streamers. Offers a very high dynamic range as well as sample rate.
One of the first sound card that features Xamp, a custom-designed headphone amplifier from the house of Creative.
It is a premium-quality sound card in the market. Users can enjoy clear sound as each channel are amplified separately.
- The Creative AE-5 sports a powerful internal AMP, as well as SABRE32 DAC that delivers 32-bit audio and 384kHZ sample rate for playback. The SABRE32 DAC is perfect for enjoying high-resolution audio.
- The 122db DNR is apt for a low-level of distortion.
- The Scout Mode allows listening to details precisely; hence, very useful when playing any combat game.
- It even comes with an RGB LED strip. Thanks to Aurora Reactive Lighting System.
- Offers support for headphones with impedance range of 16-600 Ohms.
- It provides a new level of audio immersion experience due to its total customizable audio processing technology.
The Creative AE-5 can be rightly called as one of thebest sound card for streaming content as it offers crystal clear sound, without any distortion or disturbance. One can stream content from any high-quality home theatre system.
4. Creative Sound Blaster Omni – High Performance External Sound Card
A high quality external sound card that you can you can carry around and use it for a highly quality 5.1 sound system.
Audiophiles or gamers who are looking for an external sound card can try this card. The pricing of this card makes it the best sound card for streaming. It allows a great playback experience.
- Installation of this sound card is easy. Being powered by a USB, it needs a single USB to work.
- It comes with gold-plated RCA outputs for improved responsiveness from the audio system.
- It comes with a built-in dual microphone.
- Supports both PC and MAC OS so that one can enjoy superb surround-sound effect.
- The Dolby Digital live technology offers support for 5.1 channels with great sound quality.
- It supports the 600Ohm amplifier to enjoy the sound.
- It provides support for 100dB DNR. The audio fidelity is up to 24-bit / 96kHz
- Sound Blaster Omni Control Panel allows leveling up the audio.
- The Sound Blaster software offers more customization options for the sound.
5. Creative Sound BlasterX G1 – Budget External Sound Card
An affordable, highly portable sound card for supporting upto 2.1 stereo system. This is for those who want quality on the go.
The Sound BlasterX G1 from the house of Creative is a portable USB DAC sound card. It is touted to be the best sound card for streaming in the market at present.
The BlasterX Acoustic Engine offers a great level of performance and makes it very suitable for gaming. It allows enjoying crystal clear and accurate sound.
- It provides support for 7.1 channel audio input signals. This helps to get audio cues with complete accuracy.
- It comes with an inbuilt headphone amplifier and it supports up to 300 Ohm.
- The headphone/mic combo jack allows connecting to MAC or Windows very easily.
- It even provides support for PlayStation 4 with the help of an integrated USB 3.0 cable.
- The X-plus mode allows gamers to hear even the footsteps or gunshots from a distance. Hence, while playing any virtual game, it is going to provide a great gaming experience.
Going for this sound card would always be a great idea for gamers. It allows them to hear crystal clear sound.
A sound card for streaming can easily change a music listening experience into a crystal clear and noise-free one.
Even gamers who want to get submerged in the virtual gaming world with real-like sound effects should choose a good sound card.
Even though one gets to see many sound cards in the market; still, going with the best sound cards for streaming is highly recommended. Only the best soundcard can provide the ultimate entertainment experience.
Various kinds of sound cards for PC is available that would allow streaming audio and even help with gaming.
While some cards might come soldered with the motherboard; whereas some might come as a separate component. It’s best if one goes for the external ones as it could be used with multiple devices.