USB DAC/Amp with mic input jack?

  1. killeraxemannic
    I am looking for a good quality DAC/Amp that has a mic input jack for my work laptop as it doesn't have one. I am very short on USB ports already so I don't want to get a separate card for the mic. Does anyone know of anything out there that is decent? Lets skip Creative. Not a fan 
     
  2. PurpleAngel Contributor
    USB-DAC/amps do not come with line-inputs (for mics).
    but USB Audio Interfaces and USB sound cards come with line-inputs (for mics).
    Asus has several USB sound cards, like the U3 or U5 or U7.
     
  3. killeraxemannic
    I have found a few. I was eying the Syba Sonic SD-DAC63057 but I am not sure how good it could really be compared to my current Centrance Dacport Slim that I use for work currently. Don't want a massive downgrade in SQ just for the Mic in. I wish my work laptop just had a microphone jack and more than 2 USB ports.
     
  4. Music Alchemist
     
    I was going to say that my Creative Sound Blaster E1 DAC/amp has both a built-in microphone and mic input jack.
     
    Any reason you want to avoid Creative? Contrary to what some think, the extra digital effects are not automatic; you have to activate them with their software. It's capable of bit-perfect output and has decent sound quality. It can also be used as an amp alone. I slightly prefer the onboard DAC of my laptop (which sounds the same to me as the Schiit Modi 2). Haven't used any of the more expensive Creative DAC/amps, but I'll assume they're better.
     
  5. killeraxemannic

    Creative sound cards put out less voltage to the microphone than other sound card brands. For my specific headset this doesn't work well and the mic sounds like crap.
     
  6. Music Alchemist

    It's not a sound card; it's a DAC/amp.
     
    http://us.creative.com/p/sound-blaster/sound-blaster-e1
     
    (That's one of the cheapest ones too. They have more powerful models.)
     
  7. PurpleAngel Contributor
     
    The Creative Labs E1 is listed as a USB-DAC/amp, but with it's software package, it also provides the same functions as a basic sound card.
    But hardware wise it really is just like a USB-DAC/amp.
     
    But as it has a line-input (mic input), maybe it should be listed as a USB-DAC/ADC/amp[​IMG]
     
  8. ProtegeManiac Contributor
     
    Doesn't matter what Creative calls it, if it has a DSP chip of any kind that requires much more than a USB audio driver, it's technically an external soundcard.
     
  9. killeraxemannic

    That's kind of why I asked for a DAC not a Sound card... Don't really want all of the BS... Just a good dac/amp with a mic in. I would even prefer that it didn't have any 3rd party software.
     
  10. Music Alchemist
     
    I repeat: It is not a sound card. The DSP is only done by the software, which is entirely optional. If you don't download, install, and use that software, there is no DSP. The DAC/amp has no DSP and supports bit-perfect output just like any other good DAC/amp. It has plenty of power too. And like I said, the pricier ones have even more power.
     
    See the difference:
    http://us.creative.com/p/amplifiers
    http://us.creative.com/p/sound-cards
     
  11. PurpleAngel Contributor
     
    The Creative E1 does come with a DSP (Digital Signal Processor),
    but it appears to be a very basic DSP functionally, compared to a DSP that you would expect to find on a sound card.
    I believe the E1 will function with your laptop, without having to load on Creative's software.
     
  12. killeraxemannic

    Well either way as I stated before creative cards don't put out enough voltage to the microphone and the mic input sounds like crap so I won't be getting a creative card.
     
  13. killeraxemannic
    Actually if you have the E1 would you mind testing it for me? I guess I haven't tested a Creative USB card yet. If you have a 1/8 in Male to Male TRS cable and a volt meter plug the cable into the microphone input jack and test the voltage you get between the ring and sleeve.
     
  14. Music Alchemist
     
    Wrong. There is a separate, optional software download that does DSP. It has nothing to do with the E1.
     
     
    And as I stated before, it is not a Creative sound card! It is a DAC/amp with more power than that. The microphone input is the same as the left headphone output. I can't find specs for the output power, but it gets extremely loud, trust me. You are thinking about completely different products. They are not the same.
     
     
    Sorry, I don't have a volt meter. My brother might. I can ask him later. But I'm using headphones that aren't so easy to drive, and they get very loud.
     
  15. PurpleAngel Contributor
     
    Have you considered getting a USB hub?
    http://www.monoprice.com/category?c_id=103&cp_id=10307
     
    And a USB mic.
    http://www.monoprice.com/category?c_id=115&cp_id=11502&cs_id=1150204
     

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