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

4.5 stars (4 reviews) |
  • Full 7.1 audio outputs via 3.5mm mini-jacks
  • Optical S/PDIF input (pass through) and output
  • Dual microphone input
Your price
$48.99USD

In stock: US: 1260 | CA: 29

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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

  • Tech Data 10546600
  • ASI 84640
  • D&H ICUSBAUDIO7D
  • Ingram Micro USA BH3280
  • SYNNEX US STA-ICUSBAUDIO7D
  • 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 Microphone Mute
Power/Activity
Packaging Information Package Height 1.3 in [32 mm]
Package Length 5.7 in [14.4 cm]
Shipping (Package) Weight 7.2 oz [204 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 g]
Color Silver
Material Steel
Product Length 3.9 in [100 mm]
Product Width 2.4 in [60 mm]
Product Height 1.0 in [25 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 audio adapter’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

  • RoHS
    • Language: English
  • WEEE
    • Language: English

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

(4 reviews)
4.5 out of 5 stars
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(5 Stars)

Works Perfectly But Easy To Think It Doesn't

By: - 08/22/2020
I've just inherited a new PC which unfortunately has no native support for the 5.1 surround sound set up I had with my previous computer. Received this external sound card today and it's working a treat within 20 minutes. Connected using the USB provided in the box, tried running the driver install from the provided CD but received an error message as it appears windows 10 drivers aren't on the CD so downloaded the drivers from the startech website instead. Once everything was installed and showing in device manager, I was only getting 2.1 sound, with the front speakers only showing in the Xear Audio Centre. After messing around for 15 minutes thinking that the sound card didn't work, I discovered that you simply have to right click on the speaker in the Audio Centre to change the set up...now works perfectly!
| Helpful?
(3 Stars)

Sound works amazingly, drivers are hard to find.

By: 3V0_0fficial - 09/21/2020
I've had this for about 3 months now and it works great as my PC's built in sound card did not work at all when I built it. The quality of the sound is great, however there are some caveats. I am using Windows 10 as an operating system. The drivers are not on the disc for Windows 10 and on the website, the drivers do not fix the issues that are present. Line in doesnt work, the speaker output doesnt work, and the microphone inputs are annoying to deal with as i am a DJ and need ONE direct line in, but since the line in doesnt work, I have to split the audio in two ways just to get Stereo sound, and even when i do set it up, every little sound going through the inputs will sound clipped and too loud on the outputs no matter WAHT KIND of adjusting you do in software. I have not tested the fiber-optic inputs/outputs so I can not give a definitive response on that front. However if we can get a driver update to make sure that this device works wholeheartedly, this review will go STRAIGHT to 5 stars. The only output that works are for the headphones and while the quality is great and it does partially what i need it to do, the lack of Windows 10 driver support and the fact that i can not use a Line input for my DJ mixes takes this to a 3 star. Practical and usable, but you will need something better to record any form of audio with it.
| Helpful?
(5 Stars)

Customer service helped solve my issues with the e

By: 3V0_Official - 09/25/2020
I am here writing again because i left a decent review of this little device. It almost didnt work for my DJing applications as the line in port didnt work. They contacted me and i was able to work out EVERYTHING on how to get this item to work. I would recommend buying this product and if you have issues, contact their customer support. They were very helpful and amazing at their jobs. I thought this was going to be some cheap product that would only partially work but they have put work into this device and drivers even for Windows 10. Please. Get this thing if your sound card doesnt work.
| Helpful?
(5 Stars)

Just what I needed - Line In

By: dlld - 10/18/2020
I have my own preamp and needed something to digitize line-level signal. Startech does it fairly well, with excellent low-frequency response - which is great for my application.
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