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USB Sound cards

Test Setup


OS: Slackware 13.37,. 64-bit.
Mixer: Rexima, curses-based.
Player:  Mplayer 20101218-4.5.1
Sample: mp3, 44100 Hz, 2 ch, s16le, 128.0 kbit
Phones:  Sony MDR-605


PD552 dongle



Cost:  £1.38, free delivery

dmesg:
usb 5-1: New USB device found, idVendor=1130, idProduct=f211
usb 5-1: New USB device strings: Mfr=0, Product=2, SerialNumber=0
usb 5-1: Product: USB  AUDIO 
input: USB  AUDIO   as /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:13.0/usb5/5-1/5-1:1.3/input/input6
generic-usb 0003:1130:F211.0001: input,hidraw0: USB HID v1.10 Device [USB  AUDIO  ] on usb-0000:00:13.0-1/input3
input: USB  AUDIO   as /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:13.0/usb5/5-1/5-1:1.4/input/input7
generic-usb 0003:1130:F211.0002: input,hidraw1: USB HID v1.10 Device [USB  AUDIO  ] on usb-0000:00:13.0-1/input4


lsusb
1130:f211 Tenx Technology, Inc. TP6911 Audio Headset

Rexima:
Pcm:  0->100%
Mic: 100% only, [R] only

Build Quality:  Good
Linux compatibility:  Partial, no working mixer device so software has to reduce the volume, which may be tricky on embedded systems.
ConclusionAVOID!

White 'Mac-look' adapter with USB connector on flying lead




Cost: £4.49, free delivery

dmesg:
usb 5-1: New USB device found, idVendor=0d8c, idProduct=000e
usb 5-1: New USB device strings: Mfr=0, Product=1, SerialNumber=0
usb 5-1: Product: Generic USB Audio Device  
input: CM109 USB driver as /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:13.0/usb5/5-1/5-1:1.3/input/input9

lsusb
0d8c:000e C-Media Electronics, Inc. Audio Adapter (Planet UP-100, Genius G-Talk)

Rexima:
Pcm:  0->100%
Mic: 100% only, [R] only

Build Quality:  Poor.  USB socket housing came apart the 3rd time it was unplugged.  Easy to put back together though.
Linux compatibility:  Full, only playback tested.
Audio:  Lacks bass.
Conclusion:  Overall best buy, but pricey :).  OK if you're going to be gentle with the connector.  Take it on the road anywhere and it'll just annoy you.

7.1 Channel Sound, HF209-B



Cost: £2.75, free delivery

dmesg:
usb 5-1: New USB device found, idVendor=0d8c, idProduct=000e
usb 5-1: New USB device strings: Mfr=0, Product=1, SerialNumber=0
usb 5-1: Product: Generic USB Audio Device  
input: CM109 USB driver as /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:13.0/usb5/5-1/5-1:1.3/input/input24

lsusb:
0d8c:000e C-Media Electronics, Inc. Audio Adapter (Planet UP-100, Genius G-Talk)


Rexima:
Spkr:  0->100%
Mic: 0->100% only, [R] only
PhoneOut: 0->100%
PhoneOut and Spkr seem to do the same thing (alter volume), but are independent

Build Quality:  Reports on the net suggest poor, but no problems seen.  Buttons look flimsy.
Linux compatibility:  Full, only playback tested.
Audio: Lacks bass.
Conclusion:  Poor dynamic range, but does the job.


Virtual 7.1 Ch Sound




Cost: £3.69 + £0.69 delivery

dmesg:
usb 5-1: New USB device found, idVendor=0d8c, idProduct=000c
usb 5-1: New USB device strings: Mfr=0, Product=1, SerialNumber=0
usb 5-1: Product: C-Media USB Headphone Set 
input: C-Media USB Headphone Set   as /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00                                                    :13.0/usb5/5-1/5-1:1.3/input/input5
generic-usb 0003:0D8C:000C.0001: input,hidraw0: USB HID v1.00 Device [C-Media USB Headphone Set  ] on usb-0000:00:13.0-1/input3
usbcore: registered new interface driver usbhid
usbhid: USB HID core driver
usbcore: registered new interface driver snd-usb-audio


lsusb:
0d8c:000c C-Media Electronics, Inc. Audio Adapter


Rexima:
Pcm:  0->100%
Mic: 100% only, [R] only

There are four jacks on this device.  Two headphones and two mic inputs.  The headphones both produce the same sound output, didn't test the two mic inputs, but suspect they're joined together.

Build Quality:  Good.
Linux compatibility:  Full, only playback tested.
Audio: Not bad.
Conclusion:  Very poor dynamic range.  Pcm on 6% is the highest you want it for headphones.


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