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.
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.
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.