The first thing we noticed about this clever little box was that without drivers, it worked as a stereo amplifier. That's right! If your laptop can't push out sound at a reasonable volume, this little box will double the potential volume under Windows 7 and Windows 8 without needing to install any third-party software. This is great for when you like to use your big studio-quality cans but your PC or laptop hasn't got the oomph to run them.
Once you install the CM6206LX chipset drivers, the full potential of this USB sound card can be realised. First, you get 5.1-channel surround sound audio output from the main 3.5mm headphone jacks. That's stereo front, stereo rear and centre/sub connections ripe for use with a multi channel speaker setup. Rounding out the analogue jacks are a Line-In and a Microphone input, so it's ready for recording and gaming use as necessary.
TOSLINK DIgital optical audio is represented by both an output socket and an input socket. Output is limited to 48KHz so be sure that your receiving gear can handle it. We hooked it up to our Digital to Analogue converter to make sure the optical link was working, and it was perfect in our steroe testing.
Mac Note: This product only works as a 2-channel analogue audio amplifier under Mac OS 9.1 and higher. Optical and surround sound abilites are not available for Mac OS as no drivers exist.
Inputs & Outputs: