Question Can a sound card give a Microphone better quality?

Nov 2, 2020
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Ever since I got a new motherboard, I noticed that my microphone settings have perished, since it does not include RealTek chips and stuff on it, my microphone sounds rather... bad?
I started considering if I should get a sound card, but I'm not sure if it will compensate for the lack of customization that RealTek gave my microphone.
And to add onto it, my mic is a BM800 (not sure about the brand), it has decent quality, but without the RealTek audio settings I can't use it to it's fullest, as it lacks echo suppression and etc...

Can a soundcard help my situation? And if so, which one would be the best one under a budget? (kind of broke rn)
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
What motherboard brand and model do you have? When you swapped motherboards did you do a clean Windows setup on it and downloaded all the drivers from the motherboard support site? That microphone you have is one of the generic Chinese brands that use a poorly done XLR connection to 3.5mm. It is OK but not really a good one.
 
It’s not something I know much about but I have been looking at reviews of external DAC’s and the gaming ones usually include reviewing the mic quality. So I would say yes a soundcard/DAC can have an effect on mic sound quality.
 
Nov 2, 2020
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What motherboard brand and model do you have? When you swapped motherboards did you do a clean Windows setup on it and downloaded all the drivers from the motherboard support site? That microphone you have is one of the generic Chinese brands that use a poorly done XLR connection to 3.5mm. It is OK but not really a good one.
It's one of those Fujitsu brand-PCs that often come with their own motherboards, and yes, I did a full wipe on my disks.
I seemingly can't find drivers for the motherboard, not even sure if they make drivers for it anymore.
And to add to the microphone part, it isn't that bad, it's lasted me for a while now and only started being a problem once RealTek enhancements disappeared.

I will try to get the exact model of the motherboard, and I will update you on it once I find it

Update: I found the model alongside a few other things, hope it comes to use
 
Nov 2, 2020
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Take a look at something like a Focusrite Solo. It will let you use the XLR microphone without an adapter. I actually have one of those mics and the phantom power makes a world of difference.
How big of a difference, will it somehow help with it picking up the background noise or any other common mic problems?
 
Agree it will help quite a bit, I am using a cheap lapel mic on my DIY headset and when using on-board mic I also had a lot of static and hiss

I got a cheap Sound Blaster Play!3 for $20 and now the static / hiss / noise has been completely eliminated, it was a major improvement

If you want something with echo & noise cancellation check out the Sound Blaster G3 where you can enable Crystal Voice (SB's version of echo & noise cancellation) it works very well and is around $50
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
It's one of those Fujitsu brand-PCs that often come with their own motherboards, and yes, I did a full wipe on my disks.
I seemingly can't find drivers for the motherboard, not even sure if they make drivers for it anymore.
And to add to the microphone part, it isn't that bad, it's lasted me for a while now and only started being a problem once RealTek enhancements disappeared.

I will try to get the exact model of the motherboard, and I will update you on it once I find it

Update: I found the model alongside a few other things, hope it comes to use
The fact your don't have proper drivers for the motherboard can be an issue, you have one of the more obscure brands which can cause issues with finding drivers.

You may be better off buying a sound card for that thing with proper drivers. You may also have an issue with the 3.5 power output going to that mic from the computer.
 

Corwin65

Honorable
Condenser microphones need 48v Phantom Power to work properly and a traditional computer soundcard does not supply that. You really need a digital audio interface to get the best out of a condenser microphone. Just make sure it is one that has at least one XLR with +48v Phantom Power. The Focusrite Solo I previously mentioned has it.
 
Nov 2, 2020
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The fact your don't have proper drivers for the motherboard can be an issue, you have one of the more obscure brands which can cause issues with finding drivers.

You may be better off buying a sound card for that thing with proper drivers. You may also have an issue with the 3.5 power output going to that mic from the computer.
I see, I will do a bit of testing to see if there's a problem
 
Nov 2, 2020
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Agree it will help quite a bit, I am using a cheap lapel mic on my DIY headset and when using on-board mic I also had a lot of static and hiss

I got a cheap Sound Blaster Play!3 for $20 and now the static / hiss / noise has been completely eliminated, it was a major improvement

If you want something with echo & noise cancellation check out the Sound Blaster G3 where you can enable Crystal Voice (SB's version of echo & noise cancellation) it works very well and is around $50
From what I know, the SB G3 is a console DAC, would it work on a computer as well?
If it isn't compatible, I might get the Play! 3 instead
 

Jason H.

Distinguished
How big of a difference, will it somehow help with it picking up the background noise or any other common mic problems?
Im a home audio engineer.

A interface like the Focusrite Solo will allow you to get better quality overall through the xlr using 48v phantom power jack however it will not give you the added benefits of any "live effects" like Reverb Reduction, Compression, Etc. It will be more of a gain boost overall and some coloration added from the tube inside the focusrite interfaces and it will pick up even more background noise with the added gain. Interfaces that give you "live effects" will be quite a bit more pricey and you dont really sound like your really trying to dump a lot of money into a simple mic setup.

Do you have some sort of in line preamp that converts the 48v xlr connection to a usb connection similar to something like the Blue Icicle? Because if not Im not sure how your even powering the mic without the 48v phantom power.

My setup is Blue Spark Mic, a Focusrite solo as my interface but I also have a external preamp / effects rack. My mic plugs into the external preamp which also has effects like compression, noise reduction, de-esser, simple eq knobs. It is a dbx286s. Costs about 219$. Then there is a 1/4 inch jack that goes from the back of the effects rack and into the 1/4 jack in the focusrite. The focusrite has its own preamp but its a cheap tube inside, and it sounds great if your just starting out or just using for conference calls and such, but when you start getting high on the gain a lot of coloration occurs. Which is solved by the higher quality external preamp.

So if your really looking to get a tad more serious about the quality of your microphone, I would get a cheap interface and pair it with a dbx286s as the 286x is the most budget friendly preamp/effects rack I have found that delivers the type of quality it gives.

But honestly, your cheap microphone is still going to sound cheap, no matter what its ran through and if this is fine for you then yes buying a dedicated soundcard could definately give you those simple options like noise reduction and such if your just using it for skype calls and stuff like that. I wouldnt use it for music but, we all start somewhere if thats the case.
 
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Nov 2, 2020
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Im a home audio engineer.

A interface like the Focusrite Solo will allow you to get better quality overall through the xlr using 48v phantom power jack however it will not give you the added benefits of any "live effects" like Reverb Reduction, Compression, Etc. It will be more of a gain boost overall and some coloration added from the tube inside the focusrite interfaces and it will pick up even more background noise with the added gain. Interfaces that give you "live effects" will be quite a bit more pricey and you dont really sound like your really trying to dump a lot of money into a simple mic setup.

Do you have some sort of in line preamp that converts the 48v xlr connection to a usb connection similar to something like the Blue Icicle? Because if not Im not sure how your even powering the mic without the 48v phantom power.

My setup is Blue Spark Mic, a Focusrite solo as my interface but I also have a external preamp / effects rack. My mic plugs into the external preamp which also has effects like compression, noise reduction, de-esser, simple eq knobs. It is a dbx286s. Costs about 219$. Then there is a 1/4 inch jack that goes from the back of the effects rack and into the 1/4 jack in the focusrite. The focusrite has its own preamp but its a cheap tube inside, and it sounds great if your just starting out or just using for conference calls and such, but when you start getting high on the gain a lot of coloration occurs. Which is solved by the higher quality external preamp.

So if your really looking to get a tad more serious about the quality of your microphone, I would get a cheap interface and pair it with a dbx286s as the 286x is the most budget friendly preamp/effects rack I have found that delivers the type of quality it gives.

But honestly, your cheap microphone is still going to sound cheap, no matter what its ran through and if this is fine for you then yes buying a dedicated soundcard could definately give you those simple options like noise reduction and such if your just using it for skype calls and stuff like that. I wouldnt use it for music but, we all start somewhere if thats the case.
I'm not really into serious audio stuff, I mainly need decent quality for conference calls and etc, and to answer the question, my Microphone is pretty simple, XLR with a 3.5mm going straight into the Mic port on the motherboard, no external power supplies

I will check out for preamps and other stuff if I ever get into more advanced audio if I ever solve my own ear problems :LOL:
 
From what I know, the SB G3 is a console DAC, would it work on a computer as well?
If it isn't compatible, I might get the Play! 3 instead
Yes it will work on PC / Mac / Switch / PS4 via USB-C port (and should also work with an adapter for USB3/USB2)

If you are going to use it with external speakers and a mic for gaming or telephony then the G3 would be the better pick since the Play!3 lacks the echo/noise cancellation, although I admit it works well enough for my headphone / mic setup. The G3 also has a cool mixamp feature for chat so that may be another benefit.
 
Nov 2, 2020
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Yes it will work on PC / Mac / Switch / PS4 via USB-C port (and should also work with an adapter for USB3/USB2)

If you are going to use it with external speakers and a mic for gaming or telephony then the G3 would be the better pick since the Play!3 lacks the echo/noise cancellation, although I admit it works well enough for my headphone / mic setup. The G3 also has a cool mixamp feature for chat so that may be another benefit.
Interesting, I will try to get my hands on 1 soon, thanks for the info
 

Jason H.

Distinguished
I'm not really into serious audio stuff, I mainly need decent quality for conference calls and etc, and to answer the question, my Microphone is pretty simple, XLR with a 3.5mm going straight into the Mic port on the motherboard, no external power supplies

I will check out for preamps and other stuff if I ever get into more advanced audio if I ever solve my own ear problems :LOL:
Not sure how the mic is even being powered then tbh lol.
 

Jason H.

Distinguished
Not well, those cheap XLR mics with 3.5 adapters are not really a good setup.
I mean how its even getting an output signal at all because XLR condenser mics need to be powered to even work. So Im not sure how his mic is being powered via a 3.5mm adapter. I mean Im an audio engineer but Ive never had to use an adapter like that so maybe theres some mysterious magic at play that Im unaware of.
 

Jason H.

Distinguished
Behringer has some decent budget audio interfaces, the UM2 can be had for under $50 and you can just get a RCA/3.5mm cable to plug in to your sound card mic input to get the benefits of the echo cancellation features.
I think you need to re read his post. He doesnt have a soundcard and 3.5mm adapters are garbage for any decent audio quality.
 
I think you need to re read his post. He doesnt have a soundcard and 3.5mm adapters are garbage for any decent audio quality.
I had meant to plug into the G3 I had mentioned earlier in the thread, just to take advantage of the noise and echo cancellation it provides - or sure just go USB if you don't need that...

Have used decent shielded cables for a small premium to connect up Edifier 980T speakers, sound quite good IMO
 

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