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Topic: Looking for a sound card for a linux pc (Read 1435 times) previous topic - next topic
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Looking for a sound card for a linux pc


I would like to mount a sound card on a desktop PC.

The intended use is for listening to music, therefore NOT for connecting a microphone or any instrument. Just to connect a couple of good speakers (and possibly an amplifier) ​​and listen to music with Foobar.

The PC operating system is Linux.

Could you recommend some sound cards?

Or maybe a DAC/amplifier?

Thank you.

Re: Looking for a sound card for a linux pc

Reply #1
...I'm a Windows guu.

Most "USB soundcards" are class compliant so they should work with Linux-supplied drivers.

Many DACs are too.   It's probably a clue if the manual/installation instructions say "no drivers required".  (Not really true, but no custom or manufacturer-specific drivers are required.)

If you want an internal card you might have to check on a Linux forum.

Re: Looking for a sound card for a linux pc

Reply #2
It really depends upon how much you want to spend.  You can get cheapo USB dongles for practically nothing.

I've been using a SMSL SU-1 DAC with Mint Linux.  It's been working good.  Can take Optical, coaxial and USB inputs.  Has MQA support if you, for some reason, you ever needed it.

Re: Looking for a sound card for a linux pc

Reply #3
Most desktop PCs include sound hardware built into the motherboard. Does your PC have anything like that? Does it work in Linux? If it does, it should be just as good as any sound card.

Re: Looking for a sound card for a linux pc

Reply #4
Since my sound on the motherboard died back in 2020 (I had my motherboard since May 2012) I just disabled it in the BIOS and got one of those cheap USB based sound cards with a 3.5mm jack (about $10-20) and it works well on Linux Mint. it shows up as 'Audio Adapter (Unitek Y-247A) Analog Stereo'. I use that for my PC Speakers (Klipsch Pro-Media) and for the TV it's connected through HDMI port and I just toggle between the two depending on what I want to use.

but generally the sound you already got on the motherboard is likely good enough for most people as I would still be using mine if it did not die.

p.s. I also use Foobar2000 which I currently have setup through PlayOnLinux using Wine v6.13-staging(64-bit). because no native Linux program can touch Foobar2000, at least none that I am aware of.
For music I suggest (using Foobar2000)... MP3 (LAME) @ V5 (130kbps). NOTE: using on AGPTEK-U3 as of Mar 18th 2021. I use 'fatsort' (on Linux) so MP3's are listed in proper order on AGPTEK-U3.

Re: Looking for a sound card for a linux pc

Reply #5
I'm not sure if I'm reading this right, but are you looking for a PCIe sound card, or something to plug into USB?

When it comes to USB, most things will work, even the cheapest DACs. Linux works fine with the super-cheap USB-Dongle-style DACs, like the ones you can get for under 10 bucks on AliExpress, to something like a Behringer UCA222.
I have an FX-Audio DAC-X6 which I take places, when I need "better audio" from my laptop, as it has line outputs and as well as an OK-kinda headphone amp.
That aside, anything with ASIO will work ootb.

When it comes to PCIe cards, I've yet to find one that doesn't work on Linux, but I also haven't used one for a while. Anything that has an AC'97 soundchip should work just fine.
If unsure, check what soundchip the device you're interested in uses, and check if the kernel has support for it. Most likely it will, as pretty much everyone just uses the came C-Media soundchips...
Or, just post what sound card you're interested in, and me or someone else might check for you if the Kernel supports that chip.