[pulseaudio-discuss] Recommended sound hardware?

Lennart Poettering lennart at poettering.net
Sun Feb 22 17:40:59 PST 2009

On Sun, 22.02.09 17:34, J.B. Nicholson-Owens (jbn at forestfield.org) wrote:

>> I have added a a few paragraphs to the end of
>> http://pulseaudio.org/wiki/BrokenSoundDrivers.
>> If you have a sound card in question where timing seems to be
>> unreliable, please follow what.
> Any recommendations on what sound hardware we /should/ use?

That's a difficult question actually. 

> It's useful to know what to avoid, but it's more helpful to know what to  
> get instead.

The problem is that due to the very nature of bug reporting I have
a good idea what doesn't work but not so much about what works.

Generally I'd stick to UAA hardware:


I.e. that's HDA which should mostly be supported very well. Some
implementations are flakier than others, but if you want something
that is PCI then this is generally a good choice.

HDA is usually built into mainboards, not sure if you can get
non-mainboard cards.

The predecessor of HDA, i.e. chips that implement something that works
with the intel8x0 driver are probably a good choice too, if the bug
pointed out in this thread gets fixed:


The other option is USB. That works quite well, although the driver
has some issues regarding the accuracy of the timing. That might
affect applications that rely on stable timing alhtough PA should work
fine with this. Picking a USB card from a well-known vendor is
probably a good idea, since they tend to implement the USB interface
more correctly and stuff like dB reporting might be available which is
something cheap devices usually don't get right.

The Firewire cards are probably no good choice on Linux. 1394 on Linux
is a bit of a chaos and they are not supported in ALSA.

One last thing: I don't give guarantees: take what I wrote above as a
hint, but you get no warranty on this. ;-)


Lennart Poettering                        Red Hat, Inc.
lennart [at] poettering [dot] net         ICQ# 11060553
http://0pointer.net/lennart/           GnuPG 0x1A015CC4

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