Snap, Crackle, Pop
Originally Posted by tedtropy
So all the usual things I'm acustomed to from onboard audio (feedback, hiss, etc) would still be present with the Audigy 2?
To be fair, the latest drivers Creative released for the Audigy 2 ZS PCMCIA soundcard definitely helped reduce the annoying noises between tracks that plagued earlier versions. Depending on what your onboard soundcard is now, the Audigy would almost certainly offer a significant improvement for you. Still, it is not a good soundcard for music compared to alternatives that are available, which fall roughtly into 2 categories: PCMCIA cards or USB cards/devices. For gaming, the Audigy 2 ZS is a good card.
Good PMCIA sound cards like the Indigo are nice if all you need is good sound straight out of the headphone jack. I don't own one of these--so someone correct me if I'm wrong--but my understanding is that they do not offer digital-out. Therefore, if you want something that will give you the option of porting your tunes digitally to an external DAC someday, the Indigo is no help. There are very few PCMCIA cards that offer digital output in comparison to PCI cards for desktop PC's, and they are all pretty expensive.
For USB, there are jillions of choices, and I am too new at this to give you good advice. Do a search for USB on the computer as source forum, and you will be as overwhelmed as I am. I know from personal experience that the 2006 TotalBithead is one "hella-good" all in one solution for a convenient, immediate, substantial upgrade in soundquality for a laptop. It is nowhere near as nice as the MicroStack, but it's small and 1/3 the cost of the MicroStack. If I weren't such an obsessed nutcase, I'd have stayed with the 2006 Total BitHead.