Sound Cards

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  • Audio Card
  • Multimedia Audio Controller


What Is a Sound Card?

An expansion card or circuit board that is located inside your computer. The sound card plugs directly into your motherboard.  Some sound cards are built (integrated) right onto the board itself or plug into the motherboard as an adapter card. Also, sound cards contains several ports to plug sound devices into it, like speakers or headphones.

What Does a Sound Card Do?

A sound card converts computers signals into sound. This signal is sent to speakers or headphones that might be connected to the device at the time.  When you play your favorite game or are listening to your favorite music CD-ROM, the sound is being generated from the sound card.

Sound Card Ports

The most common ports on a sound card include a port for one or more set of speakers, a microphone port, and an input port for a joystick or for connecting a musical instrument digital interface device (such as an electronic keyboard), also known as a MIDI device.

The diagram below shows the most common ports on a sound card:

Sound Card Ports

Something Extra

Not that you really care but for the sake of adding information to this page, sound cards employ three sound standards:

  1. AdLib – 8-bit sound, which of course is very poor quality sound.
  2. SoundBlaster – 24-bit and above, produces digital or CD-quality sound.
  3. Musical Instrument Digital Interface (called MIDI)- produces the same sounds as an actual musical instrument.

All but the worst of sound cards can duplicate the last two standards.


Who Makes Sound Cards?


Learn More About How Sound Cards Work!