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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

3.6 stars (5 reviews) |
  • Full 7.1 audio outputs via 3.5mm mini-jacks
  • Optical S/PDIF input (pass through) and output
  • Dual microphone input
Your price
$70.99CAD

In stock: CA: 206 | US: 2767

Where to buy StarTech.com products
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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.

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

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

Partner Numbers

  • Ingram Micro Canada 17724L
  • Tech Data Canada 5Z8303
  • SYNNEX Canada 4478390
  • ASI Distribution Canada 84640
  • D&H Canada ICUSBAUDIO7DCN
  • UPC 065030835466

Compatibility

  • Windows 8 logo
  • Windows 7 logo
  • Windows 10 logo
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)

Specifications

Warranty Information Warranty 2 Years
Connector(s) 1 - Connector Type(s) USB B (4 pin)
1 - External Ports Toslink (SPDIF, Optical)
Toslink (SPDIF, Optical)
3.5 mm Mini-Jack (3 Position)
5 - External Ports 3.5 mm Mini-Jack (3 Position)
2 - External Ports 3.5 mm Mini-Jack (2 Position)
Environmental Operating Temperature 0°C to 55°C (32°F to 131°F)
Storage Temperature 0°C to 70°C (32°F to 158°F)
Humidity 20 to 80% NC RH
Hardware Chipset ID C-Media - CM6206
Indicators 1 - LED Indicators Power/Activity
Microphone Mute
Packaging Information Package Height 1,3 in [32,0 mm]
Package Length 5,7 in [14,4 cm]
Shipping (Package) Weight 7,2 oz [204,0 g]
Package Width 6,5 in [16,4 cm]
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
Physical Characteristics Weight of Product 3,2 oz [90,0 g]
Color Silver
Material Steel
Product Length 3,9 in [100,0 mm]
Product Width 2,4 in [60,0 mm]
Product Height 1,0 in [25,0 mm]
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 sound card's SPDIF optical pass-through port supports two-channel audio, this port does not support 5.1 or 7.1 audio.
What's in the Box 1 - Included in Package USB to Audio Adapter
USB Cable
Installation CD
Instruction Manual

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Drivers/Downloads

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Driver(s):

Manual(s):

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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.

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.

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.

Compliance and safety

Compliance letters

Safety Measures

  • If product has an exposed circuit board, do not touch the product under power.
  • If Class 1 Laser Product. Laser radiation is present when the system is open.
  • Wiring terminations should not be made with the product and/or electric lines under power.
  • Product installation and/or mounting should be completed by a certified professional as per the local safety and building code guidelines.
  • Cables (including power and charging cables) should be placed and routed to avoid creating electric, tripping or safety hazards.
*Product appearance and specifications are subject to change without notice.

Customer Reviews

(5 reviews)
3.6 out of 5 stars
  • 5 (2)
  • 4 (1)
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(4 Stars)

When you get it working it's great!

By: DaveE1 - 12-14-2020
I got this to reuse a 7.1 surround sound system that was collecting dust in my loft. I plugged it in on my Win 10 machine (Version 1909) and it seemed to auto install. Problem is it would only output as "headphones" no options to output in any other way. I then installed the startech drivers from the website, still nothing. After half an hour of troubleshooting I contacted support, long story short you need to install the drivers from the Startech website which will install the app "Cmedia Xear Audio Centre", open the app, right click on the "Headphone" icon, select the second option "headphone settings" then in the top right select the drop down box that says "Headphone" then you can select "speaker" or "SPDIF Out" . once you select "speaker" the "headphone" icon will grey out and "Speakers" will be selected. You can then output in 5.1, 7.1 etc! No mention of this un-intuitive "feature" in the manual but support were great!
| Helpful?
(1 Stars)

dont buy this

By: kurts - 04-25-2021
the audio station that comes with it decided it will no longer recognize 5.1 - no support articles, etc. speakers are fine, used different usb ports, uninstalled and reinstalled - only a few months old.
| Helpful?
Dan, Customer Support on 2021-04-27 7:43:31 AM
Hi, We are sorry to hear that the audio interface is no longer working for you. We'll reach out to see if we can offer some assistance to get things working again.
(5 Stars)

Perfect (once I got new drivers online)

By: jjk13 - 05-06-2021
I just this box and, so far, it's been working great. I needed to download new drivers off of the Startech website to make it work with Windows 10, but once I did, no problems. I have a Dell laptop and I got some 5.1 speakers secondhand so I needed a USB solution to give me 5.1. This was exactly what I needed. The sound quality seems fine, although the speakers I'm using are not great. Works nice with games, Netflix. Very pleased.
| Helpful?
(3 Stars)

Monophonic line-level input!!!!

By: Dreamer of Pictures - 06-24-2021
I bought this a couple of years ago while seeking a sound device to use with an iPhone through an OTG cable. I tested the mic inputs and headphone output at the time. On 6/24/2021, I plugged it int my Win10 box. The Sound dialog window showed it as Line-In USB Audio Device. I sent stereo sound in through the Line-in. Win10 Audacity recorded it as monophonic audio. I installed the USB driver available on this StarTech.com site, rebooted Win10 as instructed, and once again, Audacity recorded the sound input as monophonic audio. Two stars lost because Line-in is mono and the docs do not say either stereo or mono. IT would be far more useful to provide stereo line-in.
| Helpful?
(5 Stars)

Fantastic Customer Support!!

By: Howie - 07-22-2021
I had a connection issue. I contacted customer support and first chatted with "Chris". I am not computer savvy like I'd like to be, so he took over my computer and installed the software that was necessary. That didn't completely solve my problem, so I re-contacted them and got connected to "Justin". He troubleshooted my problem and figured out my issue was a setting on my computer. I am now enjoying fantastic sound form my laptop. This sound card is a MUST HAVE if you enjoy music!!
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