Sound cards, like many other PC components, have a big impact on the general usability and experience.
Most of the times, the default sound card that comes with your PC is pretty basic and doesn’t offer any advanced features. If you’re an average user and don’t mind the basic experience, that’s fine.
But if you’re an audiophile and you’re looking for outstanding audio playback, then you’ll need a sound card with optical output.
Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of the best sound card with optical output deals for Black Friday 2019, so now is the perfect time to upgrade your rig and take it to the next level.
Note: Deals are subject to change. Keep in mind that the price tag often varies. We recommend going on the vendor’s website to check the price. Some of the products may be out of stock by the time you’ve made your purchasing decision. So, hurry up and hit the buy button.
Sound Blaster X-Fi
It is compact, well-built, and very easy to install and use. It also features an optical output for high fidelity sound.
Not only that, but with Dolby Digital Live you can connect to your decoder or home theatre system with a single cable and get 5.1 surround sound.
- Gold-plated RCA stereo and optical digital out.
- Sleek and compact design.
- IR Remote and a convenient volume control knob.
- Good price for what it offers.
- Occasional compatibility problems on Windows 10.
- The microphone can lag sometimes.
More than half of the buyers recommend this sound card for the good price, fair quality, and compact build.
Sound Blaster Z
If features an external dual-microphone array for improved audio recording, an optical output, and is fully compatible with Windows 10.
Despite the fact that is marketed as a gaming sound card, it can be used by media creators, audiophiles, and average users as well.
- Inludes Sound Core3D Audio Processor and 3D surround effects with SBX Pro Studio sound technologies.
- Gold-plated I/O connectivity, 116dB SNR, and a bit rate up to 24-bit 192 kHz.
- You can toggle between headphones and speakers with the flip of a switch.
- Doesn’t have headphone gain settings.
- Drivers don’t always work on Windows 10.
Offering a fair sound quality for the money, most of the buyers recommend it for its compact size, extra features, and the Control software that comes with it.
Sound Blaster X-Fi HD
Maybe the most important feature of this card is the Creative Media Toolbox software that comes with it. You can use this software to record, playback, cleanup and organize your digital music.
SBX Pro Studio technology is also present here, to enhance the audio experience and offer the best quality possible.
- Comes with THX TruStudio Pro.
- SNR of 114dB.
- Convert your vinyl to CD or MP3 with the phono preamp.
- High-quality headphone amp.
- Drivers are inconsistent on Windows 10.
Considering the HiFi experience that you get for the money, there’s not much to complain here. A fair package that is also recommended by the great majority of the customers.
Sound Blaster ZxR PCIe
CrystalVoice Voice Enhancement and Clarity Technology, along with Dolby Digital Live and DTS Connect complete the package and expand the connectivity and the audio quality.
Sound Blaster ZxR PCIe also comes with a desktop Audio Control module to let you easily change the volume or add more inputs.
- Supports headphones with up to 600 ohm impedance.
- Toggle between your headphones and your speakers with a switch.
- High quality analog and optical cables.
- A SNR of 124dB and a bit rate up to 24-bit 192 kHz.
- Drivers are inconsistent.
- The price.
Sound Blaster ZxR PCIe is an amazing sound card. No wonder that most of the buyers recommend it for the incredible sound fidelity and the overall experience.
HT OMEGA Claro Halo PCI
Even though the price is a little steep, this sound card comes with a lot of advanced features and options, including a built in 120db TI headphone amp with selectable impedance levels.
It’s worth mentioning that you need a PCI slot available and the use of a PCI to PCI Express adapter is not recommended.
- Comes with CMI8788/PCI Oxygen HD Audio Processor.
- Has an auto mute option.
- It has a 24-bit/192kHz AK4396VF DAC and a 24-bit/192kHz AK5385BVF ADC line in.
- Features onboard CD digital in, coaxial in/out, S/PDIF optical 5.1ch input/output.
- The price.
HT OMEGA Claro Halo PCI is a complete package that’s worth every penny, according to most of the buyers, and if offers a clean output, impressive sound, Linux compatibility, and it’s easy to set up.
Conclusion on sound cards with optical output
Not all sound cards have an optical output, and if you want the best audio quality, this feature is a must.
Some of the cheaper cards can perform decently, but the more expensive ones bring to the table amazing I/O connectivity, impeccable sound, and dedicated control software.
If you’re in the market for a new sound card, Black Friday is the perfect time to get the best ones at a discounted price and enjoy a next-level audio experience.