(Update: The manufacturer of this device and it’s software driver have stopped providing updates. Windows 10 needs to be put in Developer Mode to install the supplied drivers.) This USB audio adapter will allow you to create an inexpensive dual sound card setup on your DJ laptop (using the laptop’s internal sound card for monitoring and this card for output to the PA). The sound quality is good, the price is low, and the Windows driver is helpful and easy to use (both 32-bit and 64-bit drivers are provided). Although this adapter was designed for Windows PCs, it does work on Macs computers. However, there is no access to special driver features like output equalization. You can still use the equalization in your audio software if it is available. Bottom line, if you use a Mac, you may want to look elsewhere for an audio adapter.
The Windows driver provided comes with a handy graphic equalizer that applies to the output stage (see image to the left). Having equalization in the output stage (after the audio signal leaves your audio software) means that you will hear the effects of changing the equalization immediately. Most audio software buffers a second or more of the audio and applies equalization before buffering. In these circumstances there will be a delay between the time you change the equalization and the time you hear the change by at least the length of the audio buffer.
There is a handy feature that lets you save equalizer settings. When you are DJing at several different venues, you can use this the save the optimum settings for each venue for reuse later.
You will most likely never want to change the Environment and Environment Size settings. These provide various real-time audio effects that seem to show off the capabilities of the electronics rather than do anything useful for real world applications. But if there is ever a need to make your audio sound like it is underwater or coming from a cave, you’ve got it!
The output level is high enough to drive professional grade sound equipment. For example, I have used the SIIG SoudWave 7.1 to drive JBL Eon speakers through a 100 foot long coax cable with no noticeable added noise. For consumer grade equipment you will most likely have to set the output volume to around 20% to avoid overloading your amplifier. The SIIG SoundWave 7.1 has both a stereo analog audio output and a 7.1 digital optical audio output built into the same 1/4″ jack. For DJing you probably will never use the 7.1 digital audio, but you never know.
The main settings window for the SIIG SoundWave 7.1 allow you to set the input and output modes, apply Digital Signal Processing (DSP) and set the final stage output volume. I would not recommend changing any of these settings from the default. The only DSP setting available is a simulated 7.1 audio effect for stereo. It might sound cool at first, but it quickly becomes annoying while listening to it.
Internally, this audio adapter is based on the C-Media CM102 chipset. I have seen plenty of other audio adapters based on this chipset for less that the price of the SIIG SoundWave 7.1. They will most likely come with the same or similar driver software, some may even have Mac specific driver software. However, I like the design of the SIIG SoundWave 7.1 better than others I have seen for the PC.