"marginal improvement for the music listener"3.0 starson by golem3
Pros: great pre-amp for movies, games & all DVD's
Cons: grey protrusion from side, drivers sometimes faulty
Summary: For the music listener, like me, you won't see that great of an improvement, even on external speakers. I enjoy classical, world and jazz music; it does, however, boost the volume (via built in pre-amp) and helps as such.
For games and DVD's you can expect a spectacular boost in sound volume and dimensionality.
The problems are rooted around the drivers, which are periodically updated. The first iteration of drivers (bundled with the device) are faulty with WinXP. You will just crash repeated and hang your notebook with it. BE WARNED. Download the updated drivers, and you will experience less problems.
On the whole, you are better off just never removing it from your CardBus slot. This could be irritating for some users. The unit protrudes significantly from the notebook, and if you are unlucky to have a non-silver notebook, your aesthetics will drop seriously. Its a cheap looking grey, but I can't complain since I have a steel grey Acer tablet.
The included dongle allows you to have 7.1 surround, and there is an input for recording audio. This is very useful for those people who have a lot of records (LP) or cassettes that need to be converted.
I DO NOT, however, reccomend this product for musicians. There are much higher priced alternatives that are better choices, and in retrospect, I wish I purchased on of those cards with DSP processing on an physical processing chip.
You shouldn't be too dissatisfied if you are not a heavy music listener.