USB Soundcard

There are issues with the soundcard resulting in poor playback (fading high to low intermittently on playback) in my (old) laptop (DELL XPS-15 L501x) which has lasted more than 10 years (so far). I tried updating the audio drivers (Realtek High Definition Audio) as recommended, but this didn’t resolve the issue. The Dell audio system on this laptop supports direct connection to a 5.1 sound system.

I found that it is possible to get an external usb soundcard and opted for this one (available from Amazon for £24.85)

I needed something to connect to my borrowed 5.1 sound system (Cambridge Soundworks Inc, Desktop Theatre 5.1 DTT2200) which I’ve been using for years.

This soundcard seems to fit the bill with support for 5.1 in addition to 7.1 if I ever venture that far. It also enables me link it to my Surface and to try connecting my Denon hifi system to the 5.1 system.

The device is supplied with a USB connection cable, Toslink connection cable, driver CD and Quick Start Guide. Connecting the device seemed to automatically download and install the necessary drivers from the internet and I also ran the installation process from the driver CD to install the USB Multi-channel Audio Device software.

The user manual can be downloaded from

CSL Externe 7.1 USB Soundkarte User Manual (pdf)

and a copy is also available HERE.

Simple to set up and get working. The only thing I noted is that the rear speakers only work when they are plugged in to the “Side L/R” speaker socket rather than the “Rear L/R” socket. 5.1 Sound is clear and unwavering.

I’ll try using it with my Surface and Denon HiFi and report back here with any further comments.

So far, looks (sounds) like a good purchase.