4 best Windows 11 sound cards to choose from

by Afam Onyimadu
Afam Onyimadu
Afam Onyimadu
Author
Afam is a geek and the go-to among his peers for computer solutions. He has a wealth of experience with Windows operating systems, dating back to his introduction... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • This list comprises the best Windows 11 sound cards and will be great for you whether you are an audiophile or a gamer.
  • One of our picks comes with a Sound Blaster Audigy Fx Control Panel that will afford you complete control of SBX Pro Studio’s settings.
  • Before making a purchase, we have prepared for you important elements to take note of, with an aim of helping you make the best buy. 

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To obtain perfect sound quality on your computer a few years ago, you required a specialized sound card. Modern computers have evolved and no longer require sound cards since audio hardware is now built into the motherboard.

Although this built-in audio hardware is adequate, upgrading to a high-end sound card can improve sound quality, particularly if you plan to connect your surround sound system to a Windows 11 PC.

You will be able to enhance the audio experience with the right sound cards for your computer. In this article, we will explore the best Windows 11 sound cards.

What should I look for in a sound card?

If you don’t know the most important factors to consider, finding the most-suited sound card for Windows 11 might be difficult. Here are essential elements to think about when buying one:

  • Channel audio: Support for 5.1 channel audio should be a benchmark. You can go as high as 7.1 channel audio.
  • DAC quality: A DAC (digital-to-analog converter) is the critical component that controls audio sampling rate, bit depth, and playback. The higher the digital-to-analog converter quality, the less noise the audio will have.
  • Many connection ports: Look for a sound card with multiple ports to accommodate all your audio gear. Most headphones and headsets operate perfectly with 3.5mm audio output or input ports on basic sound cards.
  • Overall sound quality: Good sound cards have an SNR of above 100dB, while the better ones have an SNR of 124dB.

Software options like Virtual Surround Sound, complex audio capabilities like equalization settings, and configurable frequency response are all things to think about. 

What is the best sound card for Windows 11?

Sound Blaster Audigy Fx PCIe 5.1

  • SBX Pro Studio
  • Compatibility with Windows Vista up to Windows 11
  • Audio fidelity of up to 24-bit / 96 kHz
  • It is not so much better than the in-built sound cards

The Sound Blaster Audigy Fx is a tiny step up from your original motherboard’s audio.

It produces top-notch 5.1 cinematic sound for music, movies, and games, thanks to its SBX Pro Studio tech. The device comes with a Sound Blaster Audigy Fx Control Panel that will afford you complete control of SBX Pro Studio’s settings.

A 106dB SNR, 24-bit 192kHz DAC (playback), and a top-level 600-ohm headphone amplifier are all included in the Sound Blaster Audigy Fx.

It also comes with full and half-height metal brackets, allowing you to set up the sound card in a variety of tiny PCs.

Sound Blaster Audigy Fx can produce a perfect audio quality of 106dB SNR through your speakers.

It offers 600 ohms, exceeding the needs of today’s most demanding headphones, so you can delight in movies without disturbing others.

It also has a separate mic and line-in connections, allowing you to pair two distinct audio sources to a Windows 11 computer.

Asus Sound Card Essence STX II

  • D-A Converter
  • 7 Vrms ( Vp-p) headphone output
  • Powerful ASUS AV100 processor
  • It is quite pricey

The Essence STX II sound card gives 124dB SNR audio clarity, up to 64 times your normal onboard audio hardware.

A TCXO (temperature-compensated crystal oscillator) clock source prominently features in the Essence STX II. It’s an ultra-precise timing system with minimal jitter.

Instead of pulling power from expansion slots, the Essence STX II has a separate four-pin connector, which means a cleaner power supply. High-fidelity LDO (low-dropout) regulators ensure an optimized power supply.

Its famous MUSES 8820 and 8920 op-amps produce expansive sound imaging and perfect tonality to capture the rich musicality that Essence listeners demand.

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You will enjoy the experience of the built-in headphone amplifier that can handle up to 600-ohm impedance. This allows audiophiles to use the best high-impedance headphones to hear the Essence STX II’s pristine sound.

Sound Blaster Z

  • Sound blaster command software
  • Dolby Digital Live / DTS encoding
  • 24-bit / 192 kHz stereo direct playback resolution
  • Driver suite consumes much memory

This Sound card is upgraded with Sound Blaster Command application, giving you access to some of the most cutting-edge audio technology in one convenient location.

Sound Blaster Z is a great all-around option for your Windows 11 PC entertainment and gaming demands. In addition, you will appreciate the Sound Blaster Beamforming Mic that is included to deliver crystal clear voice transmission.

With this device, you will have audio that is 99.99 percent clean, which is almost a 35 times improvement on the motherboard audio, with an SNR (signal to noise ratio) of 116dB.

Stereo Direct allows you to listen to any music at a staggering 24-bit 192 kHz bit rate, which is clean and unedited. It features SBX Pro Studio sound technology to provide unrivaled audio delivery, including spectacular 3D surround effects for your headsets and speakers.

Sound Blaster AE-9

  • Asio support for 2.3, Playback, and Recording
  • Dolby Digital Live / DTS
  • Sound Core3D audio processor
  • It requires a 6-pin power

The Sound Blaster AE-9 is a headphone amplifier that brings out the best in any pair of headphones.

It includes the Xamp Headphone Bi-amplifier, which independently amplifies each audio channel, providing exquisite music to every earcup.

With an ultra-low 1-ohm headphone output impedance, this sound card can drive audiophile-grade headphones to 600 ohms.

Sound Blaster AE-9 uses Nichicon capacitors, which employ cutting-edge etching processes to provide a deep bass sound.

It also comes with Sound Blaster’s entire suite of audio upgrades, such as Crystallizer for improved dynamic range, Surround for a more immersive experience, and Bass for more low-end punch. 

CrystalVoice Technology, on the other hand, improves voice clarity for crisp recordings and chats during gameplay. The Sound Blaster Command software package for Windows allows you to customize all upgrades completely.

The Sound card supports DTS Connect Encoding and Dolby Digital Live in addition to Sound Blaster’s native processing capabilities.

There you have it – our list of Windows 11 compatible sound cards. Windows 11 is relatively new, and we expect this list to expand as manufacturers improve production for this OS.

The list goes from less pricey to expensive sound cards. If money is not a factor, you may want to buy a sound card that has all the features you admire, but in the end, we expect that your personal preferences guide your final decision.

For more options to pick from, do not hesitate to take a look at this list of best sound cards for immersive sound.

We love to hear from you in the comments section. We want to know what you think about the sound cards discussed.

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