Laptop running a DAW program - needs better sound

  AllThumbs 19:11 12 Nov 2009

I'm running a pretty low spec laptop with a Digital Audio Workshop program (FL Studio). The program runs fine but I've run it on both a desktop with a decent sound card and the laptop, using headphones, which has onboard sound and have come to the not overly surprising conclusion that the laptop's sound sucks.

I know that there are a variety of external (either usb or PCMCIA card) devices which can boost the sound but the reviews for these are mostly game orientated. The surround sound that these offer is of no real boon and nor is the improvement of mp3 tracks by packing out the sound (as promised by the blurb on a soundblaster device).

What I want to know is do any of these cards (under £100) actually produce good sound when used with headphones?

(I can provide more spec on the laptop, it just seems irrelevant as the actual program runs fine...or at least I'm yet to discover its limitations under the processor, ram etc. The machine runs under XP)

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