Simple Plug n Play USB Audio Device for OS X

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Super Moderator
Mar 31, 2010
Gigabyte z690-AERO-G-DDR4
RX 6900 XT
  1. iMac
Classic Mac
  1. Power Mac
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS

One of the last optimization steps in patching your CustoMac is to get audio working, however it can be a bit tricky. By now, we know that Realtek audio is the best built-in option for OS X. MultiBeast contains a slew of ALC audio kexts that contain support for several variants of Realtek audio CODEC. On the flipside, some motherboard manufacturers opt to not use Realtek audio and choose to go with VIA audio CODEC. The problem with VIA is that it is not exactly as compatible as Realtek, and normally requires installing VodoooHDA. The problem with VoodooHDA is that it can cause issues such as kernel panics and may not always work correctly. You may also have to install different versions until you find the right one; this is not exactly desirable. Another downside is that many people have complained about audio stuttering with flash video playback with VoodooHDA paired with VIA audio. I have also experienced this with my first ASUS CustoMac build and have tried to find a viable fix without having to add on another piece of hardware. I did find a fix by getting a rather inexpensive USB audio device.

The SABRENT USB-SBCV USB 2.0 External 2.1 Surround Sound Adapter is a wonderful alternative to VIA audio CODEC and confirmed to run out-of-box with OS X. It allows a 2.0 or 2.1 speaker setup. I've paired my SABRENT USB-SBCV with Logitech LS21 speakers.

The product comes with a USB 2.0 extension cord and also has some volume control functionality on the device via buttons. I got an extra volume boost with it as well. It also has a Mic input.

Here are a few screen shots from my 1156 ASUS CustoMac.

Sabrent 1.pngSabrent 2.pngSabrent 3.png

Sabrent External Sound Box USB-SBCV
Amazon Newegg

Official Product Page:
These devices are precious and priceless. I remember I once bought a cheap c-media usb audio dongle and it has saved my bacon numerous times. I haven't been able to find any like it in a long time, and the closest I got to it was a 5.1 USB break out box, a bit overkill. Then there's always the risk that any given device might not work. Thanks for the post!
I use Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro USB Sound Card, works OOB with Mountain Lion. I can play movies with 5.1 DTS audio layer with VLC player, works fine with Logitech 5.1 series THX speakers like Z-906, Z-5500. :headbang:
Thanks for the feedback everybody. I think these options have been a bit under the radar and it's nice to see other people's work arounds. Keep them coming!
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