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winlonghorn

Upgrade from on-board audio on a laptop?

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Is there any way that I can upgrade from the on-board audio on my Toshiba laptop with a 1.0 Ghz AMD CPU? The sound is incredibly tinny and I want to be able to correct that without having to get a whole new laptop if possible. Any help would be greatly appreciated. 

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All you would be able to do is through a PCMIA (IIRC) or USB.

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All you would be able to do is through a PCMIA (IIRC) or USB.

 

Ok, so is there a particular USB sound card that you can recommend that would run on my 1.0 Ghz CPU in that case?

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You're CPU does not matter. USB works on RAM.

 

It all depends on your budget. Me personally, though, would go with Creative.

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You're CPU does not matter. USB works on RAM.

 

It all depends on your budget. Me personally, though, would go with Creative.

 

Oh ok, That is awesome to hear! Thank you! I will go ahead and look at some Creative products. I have always enjoyed their internal cards with my desktop computers in the past.

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http://uk.creative.com/p/sound-blaster

Filter by "interface" to USB, any of the 3 cheaper ones will be fine unless you want 5.1

 

Then you just need to get a nice set of speakers to go with it, again creative is very good, Logitech is also not bad if you don't want to pay a premium.

 

Can I ask what your doing on a laptop so old its only got a 1GHz CPU that requires such good sound?

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just to be clear...the sound is tinny even when using external speakers?

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http://uk.creative.com/p/sound-blaster

Filter by "interface" to USB, any of the 3 cheaper ones will be fine unless you want 5.1

 

Then you just need to get a nice set of speakers to go with it, again creative is very good, Logitech is also not bad if you don't want to pay a premium.

 

Can I ask what your doing on a laptop so old its only got a 1GHz CPU that requires such good sound?

 

I have a laptop that has only 1.0 GHz because it was a cheap Toshiba that was bought at Kmart. It was the only one that I could really afford at this point. I need it to run a sound system (playing mp3 files using a mixer and virtual dj software).

just to be clear...the sound is tinny even when using external speakers?

 

yes, that is correct. It sounds very flat and a bit distorted. My mother commented that it sounded like a harpsichord. lol

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that's kinda odd.  even the cheapest sound chips generally sound 'fine' using headphones / external speakers.  nevertheless, the following might be good options, especially on a budget:

 

http://uk.creative.com/p/sound-blaster/sound-blaster-play-2

 

http://uk.creative.com/p/sound-blaster/sound-blaster-x-fi-go-pro

 

http://uk.creative.com/p/sound-blaster/sound-blaster-play

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that's kinda odd.  even the cheapest sound chips generally sound 'fine' using headphones / external speakers.  nevertheless, the following might be good options, especially on a budget:

 

http://uk.creative.com/p/sound-blaster/sound-blaster-play-2

 

http://uk.creative.com/p/sound-blaster/sound-blaster-x-fi-go-pro

 

http://uk.creative.com/p/sound-blaster/sound-blaster-play

 

Yeah, I thought that was odd as well honestly. I don't know what is going on there. I will look at the suggestions that you posted to see what they look like. Thank you.

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Strange it sounds tinny on external speakers as well. My laptop (Dell) has pretty awful speakers in the laptop but using external speakers and it sounds pretty good. I had a Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Go Pro External USB Soundcard but in a blind test I could not tell the difference so I returned it. Make sure you are using decent external speakers (I have some M-Audio AV-40 which sound a lot nicer than the Logitech ones I had before) and that you are using line-out.

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Strange it sounds tinny on external speakers as well. My laptop (Dell) has pretty awful speakers in the laptop but using external speakers and it sounds pretty good. I had a Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Go Pro External USB Soundcard but in a blind test I could not tell the difference so I returned it. Make sure you are using decent external speakers (I have some M-Audio AV-40 which sound a lot nicer than the Logitech ones I had before) and that you are using line-out.

 

The speakers that I am using are really good actually. On other laptops, I have been able to get great sound out of them. Could this be an issue with drivers maybe? It is baffling me.

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one thing to do before anything else...remove, then reinstall the audio drivers (unless you have already done this, of course).

 

http://support.toshiba.com/drivers

 

no matter the software or hardware, many problems can be resolved simply by updating / reinstalling.

 

edit:  just noticed with your last post your mind is heading down that route by itself!

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one thing to do before anything else...remove, then reinstall the audio drivers (unless you have already done this, of course).

 

http://support.toshiba.com/drivers

 

no matter the software or hardware, many problems can be resolved simply by updating / reinstalling.

 

edit:  just noticed with your last post your mind is heading down that route by itself!

 

Ok, thank you! I appreciate it. I will give that a try as well. I had updated the drivers recently, but I haven't uninstalled the old drivers first. I will try that.

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Update: The suggestion to uninstall and reinstall my audio driver worked like a charm! Thank you!

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Update: The suggestion to uninstall and reinstall my audio driver worked like a charm! Thank you!

 

Wow, that was unexpected.  I was reading this thread, thinking the driver stuff was good recommendation, but didnt expect any real difference.  Good for you.

 

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Wow, that was unexpected.  I was reading this thread, thinking the driver stuff was good recommendation, but didnt expect any real difference.  Good for you.

 

 

Thank you! I appreciate that a lot. Yeah, it surprised me too. I also uninstalled all of Toshiba's so called audio enhancement software, so that may have played a role as well. I can't pinpoint exactly which solution it was that actually fixed it, but it is fixed and that is all that matters. :)

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Update: The suggestion to uninstall and reinstall my audio driver worked like a charm! Thank you!

i'm sure you feel the same, but i love it when a simple (especially free) solution can be arrived at.

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i'm sure you feel the same, but i love it when a simple (especially free) solution can be arrived at.

 

Absolutely! It saved me $99 on the sound card I was going to buy for it. I am sure that it would have made the sound even better, but I don't need it that badly at this moment. Thank you again! :)

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The only horrible sound quality on laptop I find is mainly from Acer. No matter which cheap or expensive laptop you buy, Acer always has very low powered poor quality audio. I had returned one laptop of Acer made after being totally dissatisfied with the audio quality even though rest of it had impressive specs. I found Asus to have much better overall quality in audio and in general build. 

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The only horrible sound quality on laptop I find is mainly from Acer. No matter which cheap or expensive laptop you buy, Acer always has very low powered poor quality audio. I had returned one laptop of Acer made after being totally dissatisfied with the audio quality even though rest of it had impressive specs. I found Asus to have much better overall quality in audio and in general build. 

Acer, Dell, and Toshiba are brands to stay away from since they typically make subpar laptops.  They're cheap for a reason. ;)

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