Compatible USB Sound Card for use with Audacity

Hey guys,

I have a simple question that needs a simple answer:

Which is the best USB (external) sound card to use with my Toshiba laptop (windows 8.1)
and is compatible with Audacity Version 2.0.6 ? My internal sound card is really poor quality.

I just want to get a half decent recording using Audacity through the laptop to start putting my demos together, that’s all.

I currently don’t have the time to learn other complex recording software programs, please help.


The current version of Audacity is 2.1.1. It’s not much different from 2.0.6 but has bug fixes and some enhancements that you may find useful. It is available here: Audacity ® | Free, open source, cross-platform audio software for multi-track recording and editing.

Not a simple question. It depends what you want to do with it.

What are you wanting to record? Keyboards plugged direct into the sound card? A large diaphragm condenser (studio) microphone? A $10 computer mic? Recording a 12 piece soul band? One vocal + Ukulele ?
How much is your budget?

Thanks for the quick reply Steve.

And apols for not giving enough info, just wanting to keep it as simple as possible.

Over the past 5 years, I have been using an AKG dynamic mic plugged direct into my desktop computer (which had a good sound card)
and was using an early version of Audacity with great results every time. Enough quality for demos anyway.

That’s all I’m wanting to do with my laptop, using the same mic, nothing fancy.
I have always recorded all my instruments using just this one mic successfully.
To the point where I have been asked by sound professionals how did I achieve such a great quality recording.

So to clarify, I’m looking for an external sound card that works well with
a dynamic mic and is compatible recording with Audacity. that to me is the most important part.
So it’s quite simple - Dynamic mic to Sound Card to Laptop / Audacity.
No worries about which version, I’m happy to upgrade to the latest if need be.

I just want to get recording again without having to muck around with the big stuff.

As far as budget goes, I’m happy to pay up to a couple of hundred? If a bit more, so be it.
I’m trusting your judgement on that one.

Cheers, P

Do you know the model number of your AKG mic?
Does it have a 3 pin “XLR” connector? (if it has a detachable lead, then the connection at the microphone end is likely to be 3 pin XLR even if the other end of your lead isn’t.

Hi Steve,

Yep, it’s a standard AKG with 3 pin connection - not that you need to know that.
That has nothing to do with the question - as I said, it’s a simple question wanting a simple answer.

Can you suggest a sound card that is compatible with Audacity? Yes or No?

Hi again Steve,

No need for me to look into this further.

I got the info I needed from another source.

I’m sorry it was so complex for you.

Have a great Christmas


Sure I can recommend an inexpensive sound card that is compatible with Audacity. I use a Behringer UCA-202.
It is compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and Audacity. It is NOT compatible with your microphone. That is why I was asking what you want to use the USB sound card with. A suitable USB sound card for your microphone should have at least one XLR input socket, and adjustable input gain. “ART” make several models at reasonable prices that fit the bill.

OK. Sorry you wasted my time.

And to you :slight_smile: