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Sound Card Question


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#1 stevealmighty

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 08:59 AM

I have a SB live 24 bit sound card in my comp. When I'm on voice chat with yahoo (or xfire or teamspeak) I notice that the quality is somewhat lacking, specially on yahoo. it usually makes me (and whomever I'm talking to) sound like a chipmunk, really high pitched voice). Now, a sound card is supposed to run the sound for the entire computer right? Does that include USB? I use a usb headset w/mic and it sounds like crap. I tend to stay away from the ones that plug directly into the card itself because a ruined sound card due to static electricity (shocked the volume control and ruined the card). Not to mention that it's a pain to reach in the back and unplug the headset/mic from the sound card when I want to listen to music with regular speakers ( I have 4.1 surround speakers, so I have to unplug them to plug in the headset/mic and vice versa). Oh, and I don't have my CD drive hooked up directly to my sound card...that shouldn't make a difference though as I never listen to a music cd on my comp, all the music is on my hdd.

All of my drivers are up to date. I have cable internet. Any suggestions on what I can do to help improve the sound quality? I'll list my puter specs below so you know it's not my comp lagging.

celeron 2.93ghz w/533mhz fsb
abit mobo
200gb western digital hdd 7200 rpm 8mb cache
sb live 24 bit sound card
radeon 9500 pro vga card w/aftermarket cooling fan (hurricane/pci exhaust type)
400w psu w/dual fans
120mm fan rear exhaust/80mm fan side exhaust
cdrw drive/dvdrw drive
and a partirdge in a pear tree :thumbsup:
War produces veterans, wounded both physically and mentally. They have sacrificed for us.....and it is now our job to help these veterans, as they have already helped us in ways we will never know, in ways that we cannot fathom, and in ways that we take granted every day.
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#2 Sprite_Feedback

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 02:48 PM

If you are using a usb mic then your sound card will have nothing to do with encoding your voice but will only be involved in the output to your speakers.

A sound card will only deal with sound signals that are passed through it.

Usually you should get a decent sound from a usb mic, AFAIR most voice recognition applications tend to reccommend them over one plugging directly into your sound card.

Have you tried recording your voice using sound recorder or the like and see if it is always that way?

Also I presume you are pluging a standard jack into an adaptor rather then there being a usb plug on the end of the headset? You may just have a bad headset. If it is a jack i would try it in the soundcard directly to see if it sounds better.

Never heard of that problem blowing up a sound card. Found mine pretty robust even had one short out the pc with a nasty smelling black smoke :thumbsup: come off it but work fine, and the pc, for many years afterwards.

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#3 stevealmighty

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 03:22 PM

Ugh...I think that I uninstalled the sound drivers for my mobo when I installed the soundcard...should I reinstall the onboard sound drivers to help that run the headset?

It doesn't sound bad all the time, only when I'm doing online gaming it tends to sound like crap. I don't think that my computers that slow that it can't handle a game and the voice chat. I know that it's not a bad headset cuz when I'm not gaming it sounds fine. Even when I am gaming online, it sometimes sounds bad....maybe just for a few seconds or a few minutes.

I don't have the headset w/mic that plugs into the jacks on my soundcard anymore...I returned them along with my soundcard when the static electricity fried them :thumbsup:
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#4 Klinkaroo

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 04:58 PM

You said in your post that you have to unplug your speakers to hook in your headset but you can do like I did and put a splitter that you can buy at RadioShack (or The Source if you live in Canada) that takes the one plug and makes two. Then all you have to do is when you want to use your headset press the power button on the speakers and turn up the volume on your headset and vice versa to switch.

How much RAM do you have? VoIP doesn't use that much but if you are running high demanding games with high graphic settings and all that (like CoD2, BF2 or AoE3) it might not work all that well with only 512Mb of RAM.

Edited by Klinkaroo, 15 February 2006 - 05:02 PM.


#5 stevealmighty

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 05:08 PM

My comp is ram happy--> 2 gb pc3200 ddr 400 :thumbsup:

My old headset, the one that I zapped when I touched it plugged into the back of the soundcard. After I replaced the soundcard (and returned the headseat) I went back to using my usb headset. That's great idea though, I think I'll do that, get a headset and get those jacks. I've used them at work a bunch of times....dunno why I didn't think of that :flowers:
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#6 Klinkaroo

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 05:19 PM

I just spent an afternoon in RadioShack (or The Source) looking around and saw them and slapped myself. I love going there you can spend hours just looking around. They got adapters, wire, splitters and all that geeky stuff we just love.

#7 stevealmighty

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 07:14 AM

I just spent an afternoon in RadioShack (or The Source) looking around and saw them and slapped myself. I love going there you can spend hours just looking around. They got adapters, wire, splitters and all that geeky stuff we just love.


:thumbsup: Gotta love the stores that you can go into "just to look around" and walk out wondering how you spent that much money!


Sooooo.....should I or shouldn't I reinstall the mobo sound drivers for when I use the usb headset? Not sure if that'll help or not (which is why I ask!!), seems like in theory it would run the usb headset seeing how the usb headset doesn't run through the soundcard........?

Edited by stevealmighty, 16 February 2006 - 07:16 AM.

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#8 Klinkaroo

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 06:28 PM

Installing the mobo sound drivers won't doing anything because the mobo sound card is well a sound card and is just soldered to your mobo. The USB headset doesn't have anything to do with it. Everything goes thru the USB ports and not the sound cards...

I just thought of this if you have a powered usb hub try plugging into that. I have read in some places that having a hub with a power adapter often helps out usb devices.

#9 stevealmighty

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 09:36 PM

Nope, no powered usb adapter. I think that I'll just end up buying a headset/mic that'll plug right into my soundcard and get a "Y" adapter for it like was mention earlier.

Thanks for all the help :thumbsup:
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