Sound card comparison test results: The best products at a glance 2023

Make up your own mind: audio cards? Advice from experience

If you want to listen to your favorite music or films in the best possible quality, you can't avoid a high-quality sound card. The best sound cards not only offer high playback quality, but also features such as surround sound or the ability to create different sound profiles. In our guide you will find the best sound cards that meet the needs of beginners to professional users. We will introduce you to the different models and give you tips on which features you should pay attention to when making your selection.
Best recommendation
Sound cards CREATIVE Sound Blaster X3 Hi-Res 7.1, USB DAC
Price-performance winner
Sound cards CSL-Computer CSL, external USB sound card
Sound cards ASUS Xonar AE internal 7.1 channel PCI-E, cards Sons
Sound cards CREATIVE Sound Blaster Z SE internal PCI-e Gaming
Sound cards ASUS Xonar SE internal sound card, PCI-Express
Sound cards CREATIVE Sound Blaster AE-7 Hi-Res internal PCIe
Sound cards CREATIVE Sound Blaster Play!3, USB DAC amplifier
Sound cards CREATIVE Sound Blaster Audigy FX PCIe sound card
ModelSound cards CREATIVE Sound Blaster X3 Hi-Res 7.1, USB DACSound cards CSL-Computer CSL, external USB sound cardSound cards ASUS Xonar AE internal 7.1 channel PCI-E, cards SonsSound cards CREATIVE Sound Blaster Z SE internal PCI-e GamingSound cards ASUS Xonar SE internal sound card, PCI-ExpressSound cards CREATIVE Sound Blaster AE-7 Hi-Res internal PCIeSound cards CREATIVE Sound Blaster Play!3, USB DAC amplifierSound cards CREATIVE Sound Blaster Audigy FX PCIe sound card
BrandCreativecsl computerAsusCreativeAsusCreativeCreativeCreative
The Best productscoreprice.com1,5Very good!sound Cards
Price-value for moneyscoreprice.com2,2goodsound Cards
TOP Productsscoreprice.com1,6goodsound Cards
TOP Productsscoreprice.com1,7goodsound Cards
TOP Productsscoreprice.com1,8goodsound Cards
TOP Productsscoreprice.com1,9goodsound Cards
TOP Productsscoreprice.com2,0goodsound Cards
TOP Productsscoreprice.com2,1goodsound Cards
max sample rate192kHz44,1kHz192kHz192kHz192kHz384kHz96kHz192kHz
outputs3,5 mm jack3,4 mm jack3,5 mm jack (5x), S/PDIF3,5 mm jack3,5 mm jack (x3), TOSLINK3,5 mm jack3,5 mm jack3,5 mm jack (3x)
design typeexternexterninternalinternalinternalinternalexterninternal
signal-to-noise ratio115 dBkA108 dB116 dB116 dB127 dBabout 90 dB106 dB
inputs3,5 mm jack3,4 mm jack3,5 mm jack3,5 mm jackFront panel header, 3,5 mm jack (1 x line/mic combo)3,5 mm jack3,5 mm jack (2x)3,5 mm jack (2x)
  • very good sound quality
  • Headphones up to 600 ohms are supported
  • Function keys for quick audio management
  • Drivers will be installed automatically
  • clear sound
  • variable modes for games and music
  • very good sound quality
  • very good sound quality
  • Headphones up to 600 ohms are supported.
  • variable modes for game and music
  • very good sound quality
  • particularly low noise
  • very good sound quality
  • Support for headphones up to 600 ohms
  • Small and handy
  • easy installation: plug & play
  • built-in amplifier.
  • 2 slot brackets (flexible mounting)
  • good EAX for ambient noise in games
  • good shots.
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The best sound cards in the test & comparison:
Choose your test winner from our top recommendations.

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To buy the best sound cards 2023, we recommend taking this guide into account.
Some criteria can help you choose the right sound card. You will find all the important information in our purchasing guide.

At a glance
  • A sound card is a hardware or software device that converts digital audio signals into analog signals in order to play music and sound in a high-quality reproduction. Sound cards can be used in both desktop computers and laptops and are an important part of gaming, music production and audio streaming.
  • Modern sound cards usually offer several input and output channels and support high-resolution audio formats such as FLAC, DSD and ALAC. They also often come with an integrated amplifier and signal converter to provide a crystal clear audio experience. For gamers, sound cards can also offer special features such as spatial sound and virtual surround sound to enable an immersive gaming experience.
  • There are different types of sound cards on the market including internal and external sound cards. Internal sound cards plug directly onto the computer's motherboard, while external sound cards can be connected via USB or Thunderbolt. When choosing a sound card, it's important to pay attention to the audio quality, channel count, and supported audio formats for optimal performance.
sound card

How to find the best product in the sound card comparison

Sound cards enable PCs, laptops and tablets to process analog and digital audio signals and sounds. Typically, these tasks are performed by onboard sound cards that can be installed in most computers. Alternatively, many computers have built-in sound cards; USB models are also available on the market. By your sound card upgrade, you can improve the overall quality of the sound in your system. For example, buying a Raspberry Pi 3 sound card will improve the sound quality for Raspberry Pi 3 devices. Additionally, purchasing an external or built-in sound card can improve sound quality for PCs, laptops, Tablets and improve game consoles like the PS4. By comparing different versions and models of sound cards, you can learn more about them through test results and user reviews. Then you can make an informed decision when purchasing a sound card.

Find more sound Cards Recommendations see our table with our sound Cards buy recommendations. If you choose the sound Cards Reviews interested and which ones sound Cards Bestsellers there is, this guide will give you a lot of useful information about it.

Our sound card recommendation on Amazon:

ASUS Xonar AE internal 7.1 channel PCI-E cards Sons (7.1 channel, 32 bit, 110 Db, 103 Db, 24 bit/192 kHz
  • The Xonar AE is equipped with the latest Sonic Studio software suite
  • 192kHz/24-bit Hi-Res audio in cinematic 7.1 surround format. Signal to noise ratio (A-weighted)...
  • Replaceable operational amplifiers - an upgrade to the audio experience


Overview of different types of sound cards

There are basically three different types of sound cards. These differ in sound quality. Below we describe these three types in more detail.

Onboard sound card

Sound cards are usually installed on PCs as well as tablets and laptops. They are placed on the motherboard of the respective device and usually do not offer particularly good sound quality.

Internal sound card 

You can now remove the integrated sound card frequently without professional problems. Then you can replace it with a new sound card. This gives you the opportunity to get better sound quality. In addition, the built-in sound card usually has more than one sound card connection compared to the onboard sound card. However, you need to install the sound card yourself or install the sound card before using it.

USB sound card

USB sound card is the sound card of an external PC or a laptop. Therefore, you do not need to install this sound card. If the sound card is external, it can save a lot of time accordingly. Because if the sound card supports USB, you simply connect it to the USB slot.

Pros and cons of different types of sound cards 

The sound quality of the integrated sound card is often poor. However, you can retrofit them. If you have a external sound card want to connect, it makes sense whether the sound card supports USB. You can also install an internal sound card if you have the necessary expertise feature. Basically, each type has its own advantages and disadvantages. We show you these in the following overview.

Internal sound card advantages & disadvantages


  • Better sound quality
  • Contains more audio connections



  • The installation of sound cards is more extensive

USB sound card advantages & disadvantages


  • No installation required
  • Easy connection



  • USB connection required


Our sound card bestseller on Amazon:

CSL - External USB sound card with virtual surround sound, plug and play
  • Type: external USB sound card | Interface: USB 2.0 | Connections: line-out and microphone-in / line-out for connecting...
  • Features: virtual 5.1 sound | compact design and light weight
  • Details: Mini USB sound card with speaker output and microphone input | no driver installation necessary / Plug & Play /...


When do I need to replace the integrated sound card? 

Internal sound card or external sound card not always useful. For example, if you use your PC or laptop primarily for work, you do not necessarily need a built-in sound card or an external USB sound card. Instead, the onboard sound card is usually sufficient here. On the other hand, if you choose a PC model with an integrated sound card for your Home theater or a sound card USB variant for a variety of video games, if so, it might be worth it. A professional sound card is also recommended if you are a DJ, recording music, mixing or editing videos.

Do you need a sound card oscilloscope? 

To a PC as oscilloscope to use it, you can install sound card software that provides data for a digital oscilloscope. Alternatively, you can build your own oscilloscope with a built-in circuit.

Is the sound card compatible with the motherboard and operating system? 

When purchasing PC variants with a built-in sound card compatibility is important. The sound card should be able to connect to the motherboard. If you have an older model, the motherboard may only have one sound card PCI slot. In this case, the sound card should be able to connect to PCI. On the other hand, modern mainboards usually offer PCIe slots for sound cards. If this is the case, you can of course also look around for the sound card PCIE variant. You should also make sure that the shell enough space for the sound card offers. A distance of four centimeters between the graphics card and the sound card makes sense. It is also important that the sound card is compatible with the operating system. For example, if you are using the Windows 10 operating system, you should make sure that your sound card is compatible with Windows 10. 

How low should the volume be? 

If you want to know how good the volume of the sound card is, you should check the model resolution view. Manufacturers usually indicate this in bits. The lower the volume, the more you hear each volume. Good sound cards usually offer a 24-bit resolution. However, depending on the intended use, a 16-bit sound card can also be sufficient. If you are after a professional sound card search, it is best to choose a 32-bit sound card.

sound card

Where do you want to connect the sound card? 

The required connection depends on the device you want to connect to the sound card. to a external playback device To connect, you need a line-in connection. The line-out connection is also important. This allows audio files to be played through the speakers. Even multiple line-out ports make sense if you're using a surround sound system. Sometimes RCA connections are used instead of line-in and line-out connections. There should be a microphone input for you to use Microphone can connect. The speaker connection required for connecting headphones is also practical. But HDMI ports and SPDIF ports are also an advantage because they enable digital playback of the signal. MIDI ports are also interesting for musicians. This connector can be used to external instruments to connect.

You can also check if the model supports 5.1 or 7.1 sound system by checking the connection of each sound card.

The most common sound card manufacturers

You can e.g. B. Buy a Raspberry Pi 3 sound card. Sound cards are in different Electronics-specialty shops and specialist dealers. There are different brands of sound cards. Popular manufacturers are: 


Our sound card insider tip on Amazon:

CREATIVE Sound Blaster X3 Hi-Res 7.1 Discrete External USB DAC and Amplifier Sound Card with Super X-Fi for PC and Mac
  • CINEMA SOUND HOLOGRAPY WITH SUPER X-FI TECHNOLOGY | The world's first multi-channel USB DAC with Super X-Fi technology. Direct...
  • 7.1 DISCREET, VIRTUAL AND WITH DOLBY DIGITAL LIVE ENCODING | The X3 supports up to 7.1 discrete surround sound for...
  • DIVERSE CONNECTION OPTIONS | The X3 is versatile and compatible with many devices - from the latest...


Buying recommendations for sound cards

There are different types of sound cards. If you want a good sound card, the specifications of the device are important. SIt is also useful to take a closer look at the sound card test. This is usually where you can view leaderboards or rankings and various reviews read. This way you can find the sound card that suits your needs. If you want to shop as cheaply as possible, you should also carry out a price comparison. The prices can sometimes vary greatly. However, your decision is best not to do it. Just look at the price. Finally, the sound card should also best possible quality ready. There are many different brands of sound cards. 

  • AD and DA converters: A crucial criterion in the sound card test is often the audio-to-digital converter (AD converter). This can process analogue audio signals. Pay particular attention to the data size. This size mainly depends on the speed of the input data transmission and the sampling rate. The following applies: the larger the amount of data that the converter can process, the better the sound. Also check whether your sound card is equipped with a DA converter. In this case the sound card can do it convert digital signal to analog signal.
  • Sampling rate: Before buying a sound card, check the sample rate of the model. This represents the sample rate, given in kHz. The sampling rate should be as high as possible. Higher frequency transmission is better due to the higher sampling rate. Therefore, the sound card should be equipped with a sample rate of at least 44,1 kHz. However, there are also sound cards with significantly higher sampling rates.
  • Signal to noise ratio: Signal-to-noise ratio is usually measured in decibels (dB). It shows the difference between a useful audio signal and a noisy signal. Make sure that the signal-to-noise ratio of your sound card at least 90 dB amounts to. But the same applies here: the higher the signal-to-noise ratio, the better.
  • Driver: The sound card driver often plays a major role in testing sound cards. There are now even one or the other model of Windows 10 sound cards with Windows 10 drivers, so they also work with the Windows 10 OS. But even if you use another operating system, you should make sure that the sound card compatible with it. That's why it's important to take a look at sound card drivers before you buy one.

How long does it take to publish a Stiftung Warentest sound Cards Selection?

At the Stiftung Warentest, there are currently various items in the test phase and are being examined on the test bench from various points of view. If a Stiftung Warentest sound Cards Test is included, it will be published in the month of its testing in the magazine "Test" or can be accessed online at  

Our sound card bestseller on Amazon:

Bestseller no. 1
UGREEN External USB Sound Card Jack USB Adapter for Computer, PS5, PS4, USB Audio Stereo Adapter External Sound Card (Black)
  • External USB sound card: USB stereo to audio adapter is for USB interface for 3,5 mm headphones, speakers and...
  • USB connection: External USB sound card can replace your faulty sound card or audio connection and adds a ...
  • Fantastic sound quality: USB sound card Protects against electromagnetic interference and enjoy the stable...
DiscountBestseller no. 2
Asus Xonar SE internal sound card (PCI Express, Headphone Amplifier up to 300 ohm, 116 dB)
  • 192kHz/24-bit, 5.1-channel playback and 300-ohm headphone amplifier for enhanced bass and clear, detailed...
  • Immersive hi-fi sound with a signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of 116dB
  • The Xonar audio center software offers user-friendly operation via an appealing and intuitive interface
Bestseller no. 3
CREATIVE Sound Blaster Audigy Fx PCIe sound card with SBX Pro Studio
  • The perfect Sound Blaster upgrade - The Sound Blaster Audigy Fx is a half-height sound card with the powerful...
  • Independent line and microphone inputs - The Sound Blaster Audigy Fx is equipped with independent line and microphone inputs...
  • Multi-channel sound like in the cinema - Audigy Fx is equipped with 5.1-channel audio outputs so that your multi-channel speakers...

Youtube video recommendation for the sound card test & comparison:

Which sound card is currently the best and which one do you really need? (PS4, Xbox, Switch and PC)


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Which manufacturers supply the best-selling products in the sound card comparison?

So that you have the best possible selection of sound card bestsellers, you can find out which manufacturers and brands are behind them in our sound card comparison. Here you will find such successful companies as: Creative, csl computer, Asus, Creative, Asus, Creative, Creative and Creative

How expensive or affordable are the products from the sound card comparison?

High-quality sound card products have their price. You have to expect costs of up to approx. €226,22. More affordable products are available from us starting at around €5,99.

Who had the best price-performance ratio in the sound card comparison?

Customers who want to shop particularly price-consciously will benefit from the price-performance winner in our sound card comparison Sound cards CSL-Computer CSL, external USB sound card in which the price and the offered service are presented in a particularly favorable relation.

What placement did the editors determine in the sound card?

After a thorough determination of the task and purpose of the article as well as research into the test results of the Stiftung Warentest and other specialist portals, our editorial team determined the following ranking: The article received first place Sound cards CREATIVE Sound Blaster X3 Hi-Res 7.1, USB DAC, followed by Sound cards CSL-Computer CSL, external USB sound card, Sound cards ASUS Xonar AE internal 7.1 channel PCI-E, cards Sons, Sound cards CREATIVE Sound Blaster Z SE internal PCI-e Gaming and Sound cards ASUS Xonar SE internal sound card, PCI-Express.

In our sound card test & comparison, we not only value the comparison winner and the price/performance winner. Our editorial team also evaluates based on other criteria such as handling, design, durability, customer satisfaction and technical features. This comprehensive review allows us to provide a detailed recommendation for our readers and ensure we consider all aspects of a product

In addition to the top sound card items and our price-performance winners, we also have other outstanding products in our selection such as Sound cards CREATIVE Sound Blaster X3 Hi-Res 7.1, USB DAC, Sound cards CSL-Computer CSL, external USB sound card and Sound cards ASUS Xonar AE internal 7.1 channel PCI-E, cards Sons considered.

Additional links and sources for sound cards

  • Wikipedia: More information about the sound Cards can be found on Wikipedia, a well-known free encyclopedia on the Internet.
  • Youtube: Look on Youtube to learn more about sound Cards to experience.
  • Amazon: Discover the variety sound Cards products on Amazon.
  • ebay: has a large selection of other products for sound Cards Products.

How did you like our sound card comparison?

4.1/5 - (44 reviews)

  1. alex fisher says:

    Can I use the sound card for professional audio recording?

    1. Customer Support - Advisor says:

      Hello Alex Fischer,

      Your commitment to our sound card comparison is very important. Thank you for your valuable contribution and your opinion!

      Yes, the sound card can be used for professional audio recording. A high quality sound card provides accurate audio playback and recording with low latency. It is ideal for musicians, sound designers and professional recording studios. However, be sure to choose a sound card with the necessary input and output connectors to meet your specific needs.

      A greeting from the helpdesk to Woltersdorf.

  2. Mattias says:

    Which sound cards are compatible with Windows 10?

    1. Customer Support - Advisor says:

      Hello Mattias,

      Your participation in our sound card test & comparison is a valuable enrichment for us. Many thanks for your dedicated participation!

      Most sound cards on the market are compatible with Windows 10. However, there are some older models that may not be fully supported. Before purchasing a sound card, it is advisable to check the product description and ensure that Windows 10 is included in the list of supported operating systems.

      Communication from the support team for Bad Orb.

  3. Fabian Hoffman says:

    What connections does the sound card have?

    1. Customer Support - Advisor says:

      Hello Fabian,

      We really appreciate your comment and your interest in our sound card test & comparison. Thank you!

      Our sound cards have common connections such as 3,5mm jack, RCA and optical output. However, before purchasing, please check the product details to ensure they meet your needs.

      Best regards to Marburg.

      support specialist

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