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Best External Sound Cards for Laptops in 2022

Astro A40 TR with MixAmp (2019)
Astro A40 TR with MixAmp (2019) (Image credit: Windows Central)

Your laptop already has a sound card inside — that's how you can hear anything at all — but the chances are it's not very good, at least compared to what it could be. Whether you're a music or movie lover, a keen gamer, or a combination of all, an external sound card will make a significant improvement to your experience.

If we had to choose...

When it comes to PC sound cards there is one brand that always comes to mind. Creative's Sound Blaster lineup has been delivering top class audio for decades, and the Sound BlasterX G6 is the current king of the hill. A top-quality DAC paired with 7.1 virtual surround sound all in a little box you can attach to your laptop is hard to ignore.

There are also choices out there for more specific requirements and budgets worth attention. One of Creative's other products, the Sound BlasterX G1 is still capable of delivering virtual surround sound, but in something that fits in a pocket and costs very little.

Keen gamers should look towards the Astro MixAmp Pro TR as well. Besides being a full external sound card with Dolby audio, the built-in controls allow you to adjust the balance and volume of game and chat audio, as well as having tons of connectivity potential and an easy-to-use companion app for customization.

Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.