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

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by , 12-30-2009 at 08:05 AM (2904 Views)

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 output
Recommended operating distance12” - 48” (Varies with application)
Acoustic signal reduction @ 1 KHz and 180º>10 dB
Electrical Characteristics
Mic bias Supply Voltage for rated 4 VDC

sensitivity
4 VDC
Operating Mic bias Supply Voltage Range 2.5 to 5 VDC

(with up to 3 dB sensitivity variation)
2.5 to 5 VDC
Supply series resistor2 KOhms +/- 0.5K
Operating Current (each channel)0.6 mA
Output Impedance @ 1 KHz<200 Ohms
Max SPL Input @ 1 KHz115 dB (3% THD @ 3.7V)
Max Output (THD <3% @ 1 KHz)120 mV rms
Sensitivity (Re: 1V @ 0.1 Pa)-44 dB, +/- 4 dB
Frequency Response50 Hz - 8000 Hz
Noise20 uV
Operating Temperature0O C to + 70O C
Connector3.5 mm jack, left mic power and left audio

on “tip”, right mic power and right audio on

“ring”. Sleeve common ground.
Size4.3” length x 1.7” width x 0.9” height




See this product on the mp3Car Store here.

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Comments

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Last 3 Posts

For echo cancellation to work you need the andrea usb dongle set as your microphone in and your audio out. This has been answered in dozens of threads on the forums.
IS it normal to hear yourself through this mic at all times ??
Quote Originally Posted by BlackStealth View Post
My carpc uses the onboard audio for my 4 channel amp, and the andrea USB sound for stereo microphone in. Windows can handle this no problem, you just have to change the settings in the control panel. ie. Let windows know that computer generated voice and music will come out through the onboard audio, and microphone input will come from the other sound device.
Does the echo cancellation still work with it set up like this? Like if you were to use for phone use?