Sandberg USB Sound Box 7.1 Review: Transform Your PC Into An Audio Heaven

The Sandberg USB Sound Box 7.1 is a USB sound card by Sandberg that aims to transform a USB port of your PC into an all singing, all dancing audio port. The real ace up its sleeve is that it offers you the ability to connect up to 8 speakers at any one time.

StarTech.com 7.1 USB Sound Card - External Sound Card for Laptop with SPDIF Digital Audio - Sound Card for PC - Silver (ICUSBAUDIO7D)
  • This 7.1 USB sound cards offers a high quality solution for upgrading desktop or laptop sound. Home Theater-Ready Audio Solution Providing a robust USB audio experience, the external sound card for your laptop or PC connects to a host computer through a single USB 2.0 connection, to deliver impressive external audio capability that can instantly be swapped between systems, without having to open the computer case for installation. Cost-Saving Solution Supporting analog and digital audio for 2 to 7.1 channel audio applications, the SPDIF output sound card provides a cost-saving upgrade from built-in/on-board sound that turns desktop/laptop sound into a home theater-ready audio solution. The audio to USB adapter features easy-to-use volume control and two external microphone inputs, for applications requiring high quality sound with multi-input capability with support for 44.1 KHz and 48 KHz sampling rates for analog playback and recording or 48 KHz for SPDIF. Easy Setup A more than suitable solution for home theater, gaming or multi-media presentations, the External USB Sound Card is easy to install with plug and play support in Windows XP and Windows Vista operating systems. The USB stereo audio adapter is backed by our 2-year warranty and free lifetime technical support. Note: The audio adapter’s SPDIF optical pass-through port supports two-channel audio, this port does not support 5.1 or 7.1 audio.
  • 7.1 Sound card: This 1.7 USB Sound card turns your laptop or desktop PC into a 7.1-channel home theater-ready sound system through a single USB 2.0 connection.
  • Cost-saving upgrade: With support for analog and digital audio output for stereo to 7.1 channel audio applications, the audio to USB adapter upgrade the existing integrated audio on a laptop or portable computer.
  • Built-in features: The external sound card features easy-to-use volume control and two external microphone inputs. It also supports 44.1KHz and 48KHz sampling rates for analog playback and recording or 48KHz for SPDIF.
  • Easy installation: The digital audio adapter is easy to install with plug and play support in Windows XP and Windows Vista operating systems.

Sandberg USB Sound Box 7.1 Review: Product features

The information in the product features section is taken directly from the Sandberg website. I take no credit for the following information.

Get top quality sound on your computer! The Sandberg USB Sound Box 7.1 allows you to connect speaker systems with up to eight speakers – you can even choose whether to use analog or digital connection. For recording purposes, you can connect two microphones, as well as one analog and one digital audio source. You can easily check all connected devices via the user-friendly software provided, which offers a whole host of functions. USB connection means easy installation and good access to ports and buttons.

  • USB 2.0 interface
  • USB audio device class spec. 1.0
  • USB HID class spec.1.1 compliant
  • Support 48/44.1 KHz sampling rate for both playback and recording
  • 1 x 3.5 mm jack for headphone connection
  • 4 x 3.5 mm jack for multi-channel speaker set connection
  • 1 x 3.5 mm jack for line-in connection
  • 2 x 3.5 mm jack for microphone connection
  • 1 x S/PDIF Toslink optical digital input
  • 1 x S/PDIF Toslink optical digital output

Compatible with:

  • Windows 10
  • Windows 8
  • Windows 7
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows XP

Sandberg USB Sound Box 7.1 Review: Design

If you love to have space by your PC, then you’ll be happy to know the Sandberg USB Sound Box 7.1 is a small device, with dimensions of just 2.1cm (H), 9.8cm (W) and 5.7cm (D). In simpler terms, it’s just a bit bigger than the palm of my hand.

The top of it is home to two status lights and four buttons. One of the lights is the power indicator, while the other is a mic muted indicator. There’s a volume up button, a volume down button, a mic mute button and a volume mute button. Each of the buttons is highly responsive and provides a nice feedback click to confirm your push.

Along the front of the box are six ports, which are all clearly labeled. The first two ports consist of a headphone jack and a line-in jack. The next four ports are used as a 7.1 setup, while the first three ports of this section are used for a 5.1 setup. The first port of the four I mentioned first is used for a typical 2.1 setup.

Around the left side are two jacks. One is marked L for left and the other R for right. If you are using a stereo setup, then you use both these jacks, but if you are using a mono setup, you just use the left jack, which is marked ‘mono’. The right side of the box is bare of any jacks or ports.

The back is home to an S/PDIF in port, an S/PDIF out port and a USB port for power and audio transfer from the connected PC.

The overall appearance of the box is rather basic, but this means it does have a neutral effect to it. Meaning no matter what type of PC you have, it will look good enough, without trying to make an over the top statement.

Sandberg USB Sound Box 7.1 Review: Setup and software

Setting the sound box up with my Windows 10 PC wasn’t too hard of a task. I simply used the provided software CD and installed the software and drivers. This process took no longer than 5 minutes to do.

The included software known as Xear is a pleasure to use. It’s well laid out and there’s nothing overly complicated about it at all. Within minutes I was able to easily change settings, select between different audio modes and different audio outputs.

While easy to use and certainly a pleasure to use, the software does look a bit outdated. Not a problem for some, but it does lead me to the question of whether or not the software will see many updates over its time.

The software is accessed from the system tray icon, which only appears when the device is connected to the PC. Clicking the icon in the tray will open the software up to be used.

Sandberg USB Sound Box 7.1 Review: In use

Having a basic sound port selection on my motherboard means, that when listening to music directly from the ports of the PC, I am faced with some issues where quality is concerned, such as poor audio quality and not as much bass. Things have changed since introducing this sound box to my PC. Audio now comes out a lot better. It’s crisp with a noticeable increase in quality when compared to my PC’s basic 3.5mm jack.

Of course, there’s also the fact this allows me to connect up to 8 speakers at once to my PC, whereas a single jack, doesn’t allow this. While I don’t own this many speakers myself, I was able to borrow some from a friend to give it a try. I must admit I was blown away by the results. It was like my PC had all of a sudden been turned into a dedicated HiFi system. I loved it so much I am actually buying my own speaker setup, just for this.

If you also like to record, you’ll be pleased to know that two microphones can be connected to the Sandberg USB Sound Box 7.1 at once. The recording feature works really well and I must admit, it just wouldn’t have been as much fun to test if I didn’t have it set up for karaoke.

Sandberg USB Sound Box 7.1 Review: Overall

A box that is dedicated to turning your PC into an audio heaven. What’s not to love? It’s a well-made product, that’s easy to use and very well made. It does a wonderful job of upgrading the audio quality without having to actually change any parts in the PC. A must-have for anyone who enjoys good audio through their PC.

Last update on 2021-04-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API