Best Optical Sound Card in 2023

Like many other computer parts, sound cards significantly impact user experience and overall usability. The default sound card with your computer is typically simple and lacks sophisticated capabilities. It’s okay if you’re a typical user and are okay with the simplistic experience. However, you’ll need the best optical sound card with optical output if you’re an audiophile and want the best audio playback. Thankfully, the most incredible sound cards with optical output offered for Black Friday 2019 have been assembled, making this the ideal moment to enhance your setup and take it to the next level.

Best Optical Sound Card

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Sound Blaster X-Fi

Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro USB Sound Card

Creative An inexpensive external sound card called Sound Blaster X-Fi (SBX SB1095) seeks to replace your onboard internal sound card and provide a superior experience. It is small, well-made, and simple to set up and use. Moreover, it has an optical output for high-quality audio.

Dolby Digital Live enables 5.1 surround sound through a single cable connection to your decoder or home theatre system. Moreover, Dolby Digital Live enables 5.1 surround sound through a single cable connection to your decoder or home theatre system.


  • RCA stereo with gold plating and digital optical out.
  • Sleek and small in size.
  • A convenient volume control knob and an Infrared remote.
  • Excellent value for the price.


  • Occasional Windows 10 compatibility issues.
  • Sometimes the microphone will lag.

Sound Blaster Z

Creative Sound Blaster Z PCIe

It has an optical output and an external dual-microphone array for better audio recording and is compatible with Windows 10. While advertised as a sound card for gamers, it may also be utilized by media producers, audiophiles, and regular users.


  • The SBX Pro Studio sound technologies include a Sound Core3D Audio Processor and 3D surround effects.
  • 116dB SNR, gold-plated I/O connections, and bit rates of up to 24-bit 192 kHz.

A switch allows you to switch between headphones and speakers.


  • There are no adjustments for headphone gain.
  • On Windows 10, drivers don’t always function.

Sound Blaster X-Fi HD

Sound Blaster X-Fi HD

Mid-range external sound card Sound Blaster X-Fi HD has a built-in phono preamp, dual RCA I/O with gold plating, an optical I/O, a headphone connector, and an input for a microphone. The Creative Media Toolbox software with the card may be its most significant feature. This software lets you record, replay, clean up, and organize your digital music. Specific PC problems are challenging to resolve, particularly when missing or corrupted Windows files are involved.

Your system may be partially damaged if you have problems correcting an error. Installing Restore, a program that will scan your computer and pinpoint the problem, is something we strongly advise. Moreover, SBX Pro Studio technology improves the audio quality and experience. Features THX TruStudio Pro. 


  • 114dB SNR.
  • Use the phono preamp to turn your vinyl records into CDs or MP3s.
  • High-end headphone amplifier.


  • Windows 10 drivers are inconsistent.

Sound Blaster ZxR PCIe

Sound Blaster ZxR PCIe

The Sound Blaster ZxR PCIe is an essential component of excellent audio. Remarkable audio technologies are available with this internal sound card, but the cost is high. Dolby Digital Live, DTS Connect, CrystalVoice Voice Enhancement, and Clarity Technology round out the package, enhancing the audio quality and connectivity. A desktop Audio Control module is also included with Sound Blaster ZxR PCIe, so you can quickly adjust the volume or add new inputs.


  • Supports headphones with an impedance of up to 600 ohms.
  • With a switch, alternate between using headphones and speakers.
  • High-quality optical and analog cables.
  • A data rate of up to 24-bit 192 kHz and an SNR of 124dB.


  • The drivers are erratic.
  • costly.



Professionals should use the HT OMEGA Claro Halo PCI sound card. Despite its slightly high price, this sound card has many cutting-edge features and options, including a built-in 120db TI headphone amp with configurable impedance levels. It’s important to note that a PCI slot is required and that using a PCI to PCI Express adaptor is not advised.


  • Has a PCI Oxygen HD Audio Processor and CMI8788.
  • It has the option to auto-mute.
  • It has an AK4396VF 24-bit/192-kHz DAC and an AK5385BVF 24-bit/192-kHz ADC line-in.
  • Includes 5.1ch S/PDIF optical input/output, coaxial in/out, and onboard CD digital in.


  • costly


Do built-in sound cards work well?

Several new or enhanced capabilities on dedicated sound cards result in more outstanding sound quality overall. Higher signal-to-noise ratios, less harmonic distortion, 24-bit sample rates, 192-kHz resolutions, and more APIs are just a few of the features available.

So, is an internal sound card required?

Strictly speaking, a sound card is an optional component. Still, it’s essential to connect an analog microphone or listen to your PC’s audio through wired headphones or speakers (much like an external DAC).

Is an internal sound card superior to an external one in this regard?

Internal devices should be preferred because they can be more extensive and accommodate more and better components. They can also use more power when necessary, and since USBs use more CPU time, they benefit the processor more theoretically.

What is an internal sound card, another query?

A sound card also called an audio card, is an internal expansion card that allows audio signals to be input into and output from a computer under the direction of the software. External audio interfaces used for professional audio applications are frequently called sound cards—interfaces for audio.


The highest audio quality needs an optical output, a feature not all sound cards provide.Some less costly cards can deliver respectable performance, but the more expensive ones offer excellent I/O connectivity, sound, and specialized control software. Black Friday is the ideal opportunity to purchase the most incredible sound cards at a discount and take advantage of a top-notch audio experience if you’re in the market for a new sound card.

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