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Old 22nd August 2009, 02:19 AM   #1
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Default Turtle Beach Micro USB "Soundcard"

Has anybody tried one of these??? To me, for $30 it doesn't seem like you could go wrong.

Any comments, problems, tips, etc would be appreciated.

Thanks,
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Old 22nd August 2009, 03:05 AM   #2
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I tried one based on many favorable comments I saw on the web. I was very disappointed. The sound just seemed flat (I mean lifeless) with an uncomfortable edge to it. In this case I think you get what you pay for. A $30 DAC sounds about like you'd expect a $30 DAC to sound. There is no free lunch here IMHO.
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Old 23rd August 2009, 12:23 PM   #3
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I fully understand that a $30 device would not compare to a full-featured, all-the=bells-and-whistles DAC. Nevertheless, my question was pretty vague... Let's try again

Does the Turtle Beach Micro sound better than the typical 'soundcard' built into a modern mid-level priced LapTop???

Thanks,

- Ray
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Old 25th August 2009, 01:08 AM   #4
CBRworm is offline CBRworm  United States
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I have used one of the turtle beach USB adapters with optical out. Using the optical out It sounded better than the analog out of my dell laptop. I did not try to analog out.
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Old 25th August 2009, 04:45 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by CBRworm View Post
I have used one of the turtle beach USB adapters with optical out. Using the optical out It sounded better than the analog out of my dell laptop. I did not try to analog out.
Same. Bought one years ago for SPDIF out of a laptop - 16bit/48kHz limited optical worked fine and passed DTS/DD. Analog out works but I never really used that or listened to it seriously. The rubber coating got weird and gummy after a few years.
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Old 29th August 2009, 06:07 AM   #6
dangus is offline dangus  Canada
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The chip inside the Turtle Beach "Audio Advantage Micro" is supposed to be the C-Media CM102S. I ran across this chip in a cheap USB sound adapter from Radio Shack. It sounded OK with headphones, although the volume control didn't have enough steps. The chip has an S/PDIF output pin, and the pins are big enough to connect to fairly easily. It's encouraging to hear that it should do DD/DTS passthrough, so I may just convert that dongle into S/PDIF only.

There's a RightMark test of the TB AAM here:
http://166.70.233.190/rmaa/Turtle%20...ge%20Micro.htm
Not bad, although IMD is relatively high.
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Old 29th August 2009, 08:10 AM   #7
dangus is offline dangus  Canada
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Devices based on the Burr-Brown USB audio chips may be better. Those are used in some boxes priced in the hundreds of dollars, if that means anything. Specs are better than the C-Media chips. About the cheapest thing I've found that uses Burr-Brown is the ADSTech "Instant Music" USB sound thing, or there's also the Behringer UCA-202 that uses the identical chip. From looking inside the ADSTech box, it is very close to the evaluation design that Burr-Brown describes, down to the resistor values in the low-pass filters. It includes RCA line-level in and out, and Toslink S/PDIF in and out, and was made in Taiwan, not China. The Behringer UCA-202 also has line in and out, S/PDIF out (only), and headphone out. Someone did RightMark analog loopback tests on them both, and the ADSTech performed slightly better.
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Old 11th November 2009, 02:01 AM   #8
gychang is offline gychang  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandbasser View Post
Does the Turtle Beach Micro sound better than the typical 'soundcard' built into a modern mid-level priced LapTop???

Thanks,

- Ray
I have one running in my home reference system (linux with optimal output to the receiver) video clip here.
YouTube - DIY speaker demo

I am more than satisfied of the sound from my flac-TB - speakers. Definitely worth the $$ IMHO. I will guarantee it will be better than builtin laptop sound chip.

gychang
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Old 11th November 2009, 04:48 AM   #9
luzhu is offline luzhu  China
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Originally Posted by dangus View Post
Devices based on the Burr-Brown USB audio chips may be better. Those are used in some boxes priced in the hundreds of dollars, if that means anything. Specs are better than the C-Media chips. About the cheapest thing I've found that uses Burr-Brown is the ADSTech "Instant Music" USB sound thing, or there's also the Behringer UCA-202 that uses the identical chip. From looking inside the ADSTech box, it is very close to the evaluation design that Burr-Brown describes, down to the resistor values in the low-pass filters. It includes RCA line-level in and out, and Toslink S/PDIF in and out, and was made in Taiwan, not China. The Behringer UCA-202 also has line in and out, S/PDIF out (only), and headphone out. Someone did RightMark analog loopback tests on them both, and the ADSTech performed slightly better.
dangus is right!No doubt about it,the Burr-Brown USB audio chips is better than the C-Media chips.but the prices also higher than the C-Media.
For the better sound effects,I think use an External DAC and USB-SPDIF device is a good idea.
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Old 14th November 2009, 11:12 PM   #10
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FYI - There's a mini-review posted on the Anything But iPod site (Anything But iPod - MP3 Player Reviews & News).

I am NOT a shill for them - or anybody else
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Last edited by sandbasser; 14th November 2009 at 11:14 PM. Reason: added disclaimer
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