I recently bought that usb external sound card device and it is vastly superior in its percieved audio quality compared to my existing chip set, which was an integrated virtual chipset instead of hardware. I have a lap top. The device is for the lap top. It makes YouTube videos in standard definition sound as good as CDs on my laptop from when playing CDs with the old chipset.
I tested with classical music using Beethoven's 5th symphony and I have no complaints about lack of dynamic range. The dynamic range is far superior to my on board integrated virtual chipset. I heard no buzzing noise during the quiet parts of the symphony. I think the buzzing is a problem on your end from:
(1) Your headphones suck,
(2) You did not install the drivers correctly,
(3) Your usb port is broken, or
(4) Your device is broken (Return it and get your money back and buy a new one and try it and see if it works).
My on board chipset is "Conextant High Definition Audio". I don't think there's much "HD" about it. If that is "HD" for a laptop for Conextant, then I tremble at the thought of what the standard definition Conextant chip set sounds like.
Its for a laptop. Don't expect desktop quality out of a laptop. For those people who say that their on board chip set sounded better, they probably already had real sound cards instead of virtual chipsets because they have desktops not laptops.
I tested with Esser test tone generator and I found that this usb external sound card device did not produce audible sounds at frequencies greater than 17,400 Hz. I am listening with Seinheiser HD 205 headphones that cost $150. My onboard chipset produced audible frequencies for the full range of human hearing all the way to 20,000 Hz. However, I don't care because I don't listen to music at frequencies higher than 17,400 Hz.
I don't know what people are talking about when they say that the SNR sucks. Well it is the best I have ever heard but I have a laptop and the people who are saying that the SNR sucks probably have desktops.
Edit: I tested a ****ty recording of a guitar cover video that I made and I heard alot more hissing side by side comparison of Sound blaster go pro vs. onboard chipset.
Here is the test video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXQCFgI42kA
The problem is the source not the sound card, because no hissing was present in a better recording for this beethoven recording test video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOk8Tm815lE
I think you are listening to old recordings and that is the cause of the hiss.
The cause of the hiss is from vinly, which audio philes appear to prefer over CD quality for some bizarre reason. You just don't hear the hiss because your onboard chipset doesn't have enough dynamic range to hear the hiss.
My guitar recording is using analog means to interface with the laptop, instead of using an audio interface. Vinly also uses analog means to interface with the studio equipment.
The cause of not everyone hearing the hiss is that some people have hearing with greater dynamic range than others. You lose dynamic range in your hearing with old age as the middle ear bones become less able to perform mechanical impedence matching.
Edited by dietermoreno - 1/10/13 at 1:47am