StarTech.com

7.1 USB Audio Adapter External Sound Card with SPDIF Digital Audio

Turn your laptop or desktop computer into a 7.1-channel home theater-ready sound system

Product ID: ICUSBAUDIO7D

  • Full 7.1 audio outputs via 3.5mm mini-jacks
  • Optical S/PDIF input (pass through) and output
  • Dual microphone input
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  • Built-in volume control buttons
  • Full-duplex recording and playback
  • Supports 44.1 and 48 KHz sampling rates for analog playback and recording or 48 KHz for SPDIF
  • High Speed USB 2.0 compliant host interface, with transfer rates up to 480 Mbps
$62.99 CDN
227+ In stock
In stock
CA: 43 | US: 184
227+
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Overview

This versatile External USB Sound Card/Audio Adapter offers a high quality solution for upgrading desktop or laptop sound.

Providing a robust USB audio experience, the USB sound card connects to a host computer through a single USB 2.0 connection, to deliver impressive external audio capability that can instantly be swapped between systems, without having to open the computer case for installation.

Supporting analog and digital audio for 2 to 7.1 channel audio applications, the external USB sound card provides a cost-saving upgrade from built-in/on-board sound that turns desktop/laptop sound into a home theater-ready audio solution.

The external USB sound card features easy-to-use volume control and two external microphone inputs - a convenient solution for any audio application requiring high quality sound with multi-input capability with support for 44.1 KHz and 48 KHz sampling rates for analog playback and recording or 48 KHz for SPDIF.

A more than suitable solution for home theater, gaming or multi-media presentations, the External USB Sound Card is easy to install with plug and play support in Windows XP and Windows Vista operating systems.

Designed to deliver a long-lasting and dependable sound solution, the External USB Sound Card/Audio Adapter is backed by our 2-year warranty and free lifetime technical support.

Note: The audio adapter’s SPDIF optical pass-through port supports two-channel audio, this port does not support 5.1 or 7.1 audio.

The StarTech.com Advantage

  • Full 7.1 audio output support in a compact and portable external sound card
  • Connect to external speakers through 3.5mm mini-jacks or optical S/PDIF
  • Backed by a StarTech.com 2-year warranty and free lifetime technical support

Applications

Add 7.1 audio support to laptop or small form factor system with no internal expansion options

Replace or upgrade the existing integrated audio on a laptop or portable computer

Connect your computer to an home theater audio receiver through optical S/PDIF

Technical Specifications

Warranty Information
Warranty 2 Years
Hardware
Chipset ID C-Media - CM6206
Performance
Audio Specifications 8 16-bit DAC Channels (7.1 Surround Sound)

Supports 44.1 and 48 KHz sampling rates for analog playback and recording or 48 KHz for SPDIF

3.5mm output connectors for Front, Surround, Rear, Centre/bass
Connector(s)
Connector Type(s) 1 - USB B (4 pin) Female
External Ports 2 - Toslink (SPDIF, Optical) Female
8 - 3.5 mm Mini-Jack (3 Position) Female
Software
OS Compatibility Windows® 10 (32/64), 8 / 8.1 (32/64), 7 (32/64), Vista (32/64), XP (32/64), 2000
Windows Server® 2008 R2, 2003 (32/64)
Special Notes / Requirements
Note The audio adapter’s SPDIF optical pass-through port supports two-channel audio, this port does not support 5.1 or 7.1 audio.
Indicators
LED Indicators 1 - Microphone Mute
1 - Power/Activity
Environmental
Humidity 20 to 80% NC RH
Operating Temperature 0°C to 55°C (32°F to 131°F)
Storage Temperature 0°C to 70°C (32°F to 158°F)
Physical Characteristics
Color Silver
Product Height 1 in [25 mm]
Product Length 3.9 in [100 mm]
Product Weight 3.5 oz [100 g]
Product Width 2.4 in [60 mm]
Packaging Information
Shipping (Package) Weight 0.5 lb [0.2 kg]
What's in the Box
Included in Package 1 - USB to Audio Adapter
1 - USB Cable
1 - Installation CD
1 - Instruction Manual

Compatibility

View full OS compatibility
Windows® 10 (32/64), 8 / 8.1 (32/64), 7 (32/64), Vista (32/64), XP (32/64), 2000
Windows Server® 2008 R2, 2003 (32/64)

Certifications

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Product Support

Frequently Asked Questions

Installation

Before you install the device, make sure that your operating system is current (for example, the most recent service pack is installed).

  1. Download the latest drivers from the StarTech.com website at http://www.startech.com/Support. The part number and product ID are on the product packaging.

Note: Windows usually saves the files to the Downloads folder that is associated with your user account (for example, C:\Users\your_name\Downloads).

  1. After the download is complete, right-click the zip folder that you downloaded, click Extract All, and complete the instructions.
  2. In the list of extracted files, right-click the Setup.exe file and click Run as Administrator.

Note: If the Run as Administrator option is not available, you might be trying to run the installer from within the zipped file. Complete the instructions in step 2 to extract the files.

  1. Complete the instructions to install the device drivers, and restart your computer when prompted to.
  2. After your computer restarts, connect the USB sound card to your computer.

Your computer automatically finishes installing the driver and your device should be ready to use.

Before you install the device, make sure that your operating system is current (for example, the most recent service pack is installed).

  1. Download the latest drivers from the StarTech.com website at www.startech.com/Downloads. The part number and product ID are on the product packaging.

Note: Windows usually saves the files to the Downloads folder that is associated with your user account (for example, C:\Documents and Settings\your_name\My Documents\Downloads).

  1. After the download is complete, right-click the zip folder that you downloaded, click Extract All, and complete the instructions.
  2. In the list of extracted files, double-click the Setup.exe file.
  3. Complete the instructions to install the device drivers, and restart your computer when prompted to.

Your computer automatically finishes installing the driver and your device should be ready to use.

How to

To confirm that Windows detects your USB device, complete the following:

  1. Press the Windows key+R, type devmgmt.msc, and press Enter.
  2. In Device Manager, under the appropriate heading, confirm that your expansion card is listed and that there isn't an exclamation mark next to it.  For example, a USB controller card would be under Universal Serial Bus controllers.

Your USB device is listed according to the name of the chipset. To determine the name of the chipset of your USB device, navigate to www.StarTech.com and look on the Technical Specifications tab for your product.

Troubleshooting

If the USB device does not work after your computer has been in extended hibernation, it is likely that Windows has automatically turned off the USB Root hub to save power. 

The steps below outline how to configure the USB root hub to stay on during hibernation, to prevent this from happening.
 

Windows 10 / 8

  1. On your keyboard, press the Windows key + X and select Control Panel.
  2. Click Hardware and Sound, then click Power Options.
  3. Click Change plan settings for the plan you want to change.
  4. Click Change advanced power settings.
  5. Click the plus sign (+) next to “USB settings” and “USB selective suspend setting” to expand the options and change the setting to Disabled.
  6. Click OK to apply the setting.

Note: You may need to disconnect and re-connect your USB device after applying these settings to re-establish the connection.

Windows 7 / Vista

  1. Click the Start button and select Control Panel.
  2. Click Hardware and Sound, then click Power Options.
  3. Click Change plan settings for the plan you want to change.
  4. Click Change advanced power settings.
  5. Click the plus sign (+) next to “USB settings” and “USB selective suspend setting” to expand the options and change the setting to Disabled.
  6. Click OK to apply the setting.

Note: You may need to disconnect and re-connect your USB device after applying these settings to re-establish the connection.

Windows XP

  1. On your desktop, right-click the My Computer icon and select Properties.
  2. Click the Device Manager tab.
  3. Expand Universal Serial Bus controllers by clicking the arrow to the left of it.
  4. Right-click the first USB Root Hub device and select Properties.
  5. Click the Power Management tab.
  6. Clear the box next to Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power.
  7. Click OK to apply the setting.
  8. Repeat steps 4-7 for any remaining devices in the Universal Serial Bus Controllers section with “Root Hub” in the name.

Note: You may need to disconnect and re-connect your USB device after applying these settings to re-establish the connection.

The audio format of your source media may be uncompressed (lossless). Uncompressed surround sound audio is not supported by digital (S/PDIF) connections due to bandwidth limitations. When your lossless 5.1 or 7.1 audio content is sent through the Digital S/PDIF connection, data will be lost which can result in limited 2-channel audio playback.

This issue is not an isolated limitation of this StarTech.com audio adapter, as uncompressed surround sound is universally incompatible with digital (S/PDIF) audio.

Digital (S/PDIF) audio supports:

  • 2-channel PCM audio
  • Compressed surround sound audio (Dolby Digital, DD+, DTS, DTS-ES)

Digital (S/PDIF) audio does NOT support:

  • More than 2-channels of PCM audio
  • Uncompressed surround sound audio (DD-TrueHD, DTS-Master Audio)

Playback of digital surround sound is dependent on a variety of factors, including the audio format of your source media, your playback software, and your audio receiver. Digital (S/PDIF) channel settings are managed by the source and playback devices, and cannot be manually configured like analog audio.

When you troubleshoot issues with a sound card, there are some quick tests that you can complete to rule out potential problems. You can test to make sure that the following components are working correctly and are not the source of the issue:

  • Stereo audio cables

  • Speakers or headsets

  • Sound card

To test your setup components, try the following:

  • Use the stereo audio cables, speakers or headsets, and sound card in another setup to see if the problem is with the components or the setup.

  • Use a different set of stereo audio cables, speakers or headphones, and sound card in your setup to see if the problem persists. Ideally, you should test a component that you know works in another setup.

When you test your cables, it is recommended that you do the following:

  • Test each cable individually.

  • Use short cables when you are testing.

When you test the speakers or headsets and sound card, it is recommended that you do the following:

To check the default playback device on a computer that is running a version of Windows XP, do the following:

  1. Click Start.
  2. Click Control Panel.
  3. Click Sound and Audio Devices.
  4. Click the Audio tab.
  5. In the Default device drop-down menu, click the sound card.

To check the default playback device on a computer that is running a version of Windows Vista or Windows 7, do the following:

  1. Click Start.
  2. Click Control Panel.
  3. Click Hardware and Sound.
  4. Click Sound.
  5. On the Playback tab, right-click the sound card and click Set as Default Device.

To check the default playback device on a computer that is running a version of Windows 8, do the following:

  1. Press the Windows key + X.
  2. Click Control Panel.
  3. Click Hardware and Sound.
  4. Click Sound.
  5. Click the Audio tab.
  6. On the Playback tab, right-click the sound card and click Set as Default Device.
7.1 USB Audio Adapter External Sound Card with SPDIF Digital Audio

Customer Reviews

4.5 (10 reviews)
4.5 out of 5 stars
Quality of Product
3.4
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1 - 10 of 10 Reviews

(5 stars) Raspberry Pi

By:
My mate bought this for his windows system and I had my raspberry pi with me... Plugged it in and it worked without installing additional drivers... It doesn't say in the manual anything about Raspbian OS so thought I would let everyone know it worked...
Comment Helpful? Yes - 2 No - 0 Report

(5 stars) Wow finally plug & Play

By:
Bought this fix a Realtech audio problem that wasted MANY hours of my time I plugged this in and it M$ Win 7 picked it up immediately and the volume nightmarish issues are gone the lack of vocal clarity is gone For 20 years as a tech been happily using Startech products but this was a sweet easy and could not be faster install. For anyone wanting an optical out - stop right here this is the one. Outstanding
Comment Helpful? Yes - 1 No - 0 Report

(1 star) Not working at all

By:
I got this as a Christmas gift from my parents last year. I'm finally getting around to using it and it is not sending a signal to my receiver. I can see the blue light blinking on top of the box but there is no red light coming from the S/PDIF.
Comment Helpful? Yes - 0 No - 1 Report

(4 stars) Easy install, no added software

By:
Was installing this on a Windows 2008 Server, and was concerned about having to install extra software that might cause some issues with the software we are currently using. Thankfully, the driver was already in Windows, so no added software, which meant that no ill effect to the system. Just, now we have sound. Very nice.
Quality of Product (4/5)
Comment Helpful? Yes - 2 No - 1 Report

(5 stars) for the audiophile

By:
turns your laptop into a sound studio. am able to control so much
Quality of Product (5/5)
Comment Helpful? Yes - 2 No - 0 Report

(5 stars) powerful and simple

By:
I broke my headphone jack on my laptop and this product fixed all my problems quickly with no effort other than to plug it in and change a couple of settings in the sound options. Very happy customer right here!
Quality of Product (5/5)
Comment Helpful? Yes - 1 No - 0 Report

(5 stars) Better than any internal audio card

By:
I have had one of these for over a year now. Best thing about this card is the ability to have more than one input working at the same time. Windows DRM since Vista has disabled the ability to have Line in and Microphone working at the same time. Since I have two computers, one connected to line in on this and a microphone for talking to friends it does exactly what I need. I have purchased several audio cards and spent hundreds on some that couldn't perform as well as this one.
Quality of Product (5/5)
Comment Helpful? Yes - 8 No - 1 Report
By: Dman
There is no way this is better than in internal sound card. An internal sound card has a high end processor that just eats this thing for lunch. I work for a hearing company and we did test this and other options. Unless it is on board sound you meant? On board and internal dedicated higher end sound card is completely different thing. We use these for 5.1 audio as they need no driver. They just work for what we need at the price point. I would definitely recommend these but not on the basis that it is better than internal audio card. This misleading.
Helpful? Yes - 0 No - 0 Report

(5 stars) Works as promised!

By:
This is an excellent audio addition with a 5.1 or 7.1 speaker set. I can work much longer when listening to music through this unit.
Quality of Product (5/5)
Comment Helpful? Yes - 0 No - 0 Report

(5 stars) Perfect First Time

By:
I lost all sound to my computer a week ago. Saw this item on you tube.Set it up today.Didn't need any instructions at all.Though I might need a new internal sound card replacement or motherboard.Up and running perfectly in 10 minutes.Thanks guys.Saved me service call that would or could have cost hundreds.Highly recommended.Purchased at Future Shop Thanks Again Wayne
Quality of Product (5/5)
Comment Helpful? Yes - 2 No - 1 Report

(5 stars) Startech, a smater Choice

By:
I bought this USB sound card a week ago, its amazing!
Quality of Product (5/5)
Comment Helpful? Yes - 0 No - 2 Report