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Currently i am using a Asus Xonar U7. Sound output is working perfectly, but the audio input is not working at all (expected behaviour as of other users experiences).

Previously I tried a Creative sound card (Edit: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro), without any luck. I really do not want to try out each available external sound card.

-> Is there any supported external sound card with working microphone input? Any "according to this list it should be" replys are (probably) of no help, I am looking for experiences. Thanks!

Edit: It would be needed to connect my "Antlion ModMic 4.0" for voice chatting (Teamspeak). My laptop comes with a very shitty onboard-soundchip (far worse than my desktop pc onboard sound). The Asus Xonar U7 was doing a pretty good job on windows, and I am looking for some similar performance now.

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I've got a Soundblaster X-Fi HD USB card, which works mostly under Pulseaudio. The mic however works only through ALSA, you can select "USB Audio hw:0,1" as source in Audacity (if you set ALSA as your driver). Signal is quite low, I had to use a mic preamp. Try that on your X-Fi Surround?

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  • The information, that the mic of the X-Fi HD only works under ALSA, is crucial. Forgot to mention it. Also this could cause trouble in future if applications drop support for ALSA, like Firefox did. – Gartenzwerg Aug 18 '17 at 12:34
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I purchased the Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi HD. It is working pretty good with linux (in and out!). Actually, I couldn't get it to work under windows, so this is a bonus for linux I guess - lol!

Btw I tried the Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro before, without any luck. Therefore I was really surprised that the other model works.

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You didn't say what you want it for. But in Ubuntu 16.04 for Skype I am using a König CMP-SOUNDUSB12 USB 3D SOUND 5.1 (5.1 must be the version, it is definitely not surround sound) made in China with a headset connected to it. It is low budget and works fine for voice communication with a barely audible hiss (white noise) in the background. Can't recommend it for anything else than skyping though.

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  • Hey, if possible could you please compare it with a desktop-pc-onboard audio input? Prior to the Asus Xonar U7 i was using the usb-stick-version Xonar U3, which had a similar bad audio input quality like my notebooks one. – Gartenzwerg Jun 17 '17 at 11:57
  • Sorry, can't compare. Ubuntu shows only the digital input of my on-board sound card, not the analogue one. I tested: Recorded music via this USB sound stick is mono only and in soft parts (classical music) you hear the added hiss. The result for recorded music (with sound recorder app) is not something I want to listen at for pleasure (the output of existing music is acceptable stereo though). I think it is typically low budget design for stereo headsets with mono microphone. – Gus in The Netherlands Jun 19 '17 at 17:47
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I use a Xonar U7 for a while, it works perfectly for me. ASUS claims the U7 had a microphone input. That is not the full truth. You can switch the combined input to "Mic" but there is no hardware amplifier that amplifies the microphone signal. What the Windows driver does is just a simple software multiplication, nothing else, then it looks like a level of 0.9 V gets full scale. That is not the case if you use Linux/ALSA, therefore the mic level is low under linux. The full scale level for Line and Mic input is 2.82 Vp at the input jack. The switching to mic changes the input impedance a little and causes serious distortion for levels above 0.9 V input. I run a mic with a sensivity of 6 mV/Pa on the Line input. That means that recording sound pressure levels of 140 dB result in a mic output in the magnitude of 2 V, which fits perfectly in this case. Nevertheless, the U7 has exceptionally low noise. review in German

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    Interesting and also sad to hear, that the Xonar U7 kind of as no real Mic input, but just a combined line in plus software amplifier. The mic input sound was quite nice under Windows. On the downside that means, that there is probably no luck that future Linux kernels would support it properly. – Gartenzwerg May 6 at 15:13

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