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obstacleman

  1. Hardware Review: USB-SA Andrea External USB Soundcard & SuperBeam Microphone Bundle

    by , 12-30-2009 at 08:05 AM

    What is it?

    A USB based sound card with SoundMAX Superbeam array microphone.

    The Verdict:

    Most parts for any CarPC tend to run for a minimum of $50. With the bundle coming in at just less than $50, this is a value for anyone looking to add a sound card and microphone to a system. The microphone is clearly the more valuable part in the bundle and works very well in most environments. The straightforward installation and good sound with impressive microphone pickup make this a good buy.

    See this product on the mp3Car Store here.

    What’s in the box?

    PureAudio USB Sound Card
    Soundmax Microphone
    CD Driver(Mini CD – Won’t work in slot load CDRom)

    Description:

    This product is very basic, almost too basic. With only headphone and microphone jacks you are not able to add additional audio in connections. Because of this all testing of the sound card was done on a home PC, the microphone was attached to the internal sound card in my CarPC. This allowed for Audio IN and my HD Radio to continue to work. The cable on the microphone is long(~84”), this is very handy when connecting to a sound card that is in the trunk.

    The Positive:

    The microphone works very well, and the length of cable is very helpful. The install is also very easy once you download the software from their website (http://www.andreaelectronics.com). I tested voice commands with the top down on the convertible in a very loud garage and it recognized all the commands on first try. This is a drastic improvement over most microphones I have used.

    The Negative:

    The shape of the microphone is designed to sit on top of a monitor, but it does not come with any double sided tape or Velcro to keep it in place. The sound card works but without an Audio In, I am unable to connect external radio sources to my PC.

    The Verdict:

    Most parts for any CarPC tend to run for a minimum of $50. With the bundle coming in at just less than $50, this is a value for anyone looking to add a sound card and microphone to a system. The microphone is clearly the more valuable part in the bundle and works very well in most environments. The straightforward installation and good sound with impressive microphone pickup make this a good buy.

    SuperbeamArray Microphone Specifications Acoustic
    Microphone ConfigurationTwo unidirectional microphones with

    individual channels to a stereo outputRecommended operating distance12” - 48” (Varies with application)Acoustic signal reduction @ 1 KHz and 180º>10 dBElectrical Characteristics
    Mic bias Supply Voltage for rated 4 VDC

    sensitivity4 VDCOperating Mic bias Supply Voltage Range 2.5 to 5 VDC

    (with up to 3 dB sensitivity variation)2.5 to 5 VDCSupply series resistor2 KOhms +/- 0.5KOperating Current (each channel)0.6 mAOutput Impedance @ 1 KHz