What is it?
A sound card (also known as an audio card) is an internal computer expansion card that facilitates economical input and output of audio signals to and from a computer under control of computer programs. The term sound card is also applied to external audio interfaces that use software to generate sound, as opposed to using hardware inside the PC.
Features and functions...
- The digital-to-analog converter (DAC), which makes it possible to convert digital data to analog sound
- The analog-to-digital converter (ADC), which makes it possible to make digital recordings from analog sound inputs
- An interface to connect to the motherboard, typically using Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI)
- Input and output connectors so you can plug in headphones, speakers or a microphone - many computer systems have speakers and microphone built-in, but connectors allow you to use higher quality external devices to play or record sound.