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Turtle Beach Roadie Review

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  • Turtle Beach Roadie Review

    I hated my SoundBlaster Live! USB soundcard, and decided to give the Audio Advantage Turtle Beach Roadie USB. Link
    I couldn't find a true review of it anywhere on here (pertaining specifically to CarPC use) so I figured I'd document my thoughts so far. For non-CarPC reviews check this out.

    First, my system specs are in my sig for reference.

    I am by no means an SQ competitor, but I am picky about my sound. I have high quality components and know what they should sound like. I also don't want/need surround sound. I want 4 speaker quadraphonic sound, like a standard deck outputs. So, take this review with that grain of salt.


    -Hibernates with no problems

    -There is no discernable "pop" when the computer finally engages the soundcard. (SoundBlaster’s was terrible)

    -The sound quality seems a lot more powerful than the SoundBlaster. I needed alot less gain on my amps with the unit at full volume to acheive the power I was looking for. And less gain is a good thing.

    - The Roadie, when in 4 speaker mode sends equal signal to all four speakers. There is no simulated surround sound. It seems to do less processing of the signal. I had a problem where the SoundBlaster made it's rear output muddy and clipped in the low range. This does not exist in the Roadie. You get 4 channels of the same signal and volume.

    -The size is significantly smaller than the SoundBlaster.

    -The control panel has, for the most part, all of the options contained in one application. The SoundBlaster had multiple application windows that would pop up.

    -"Per Speaker" equalizer and volume. I have the rear channel feeding my subwoofer, so this means I can change the EQ and volume of my sub indepenent of my front speakers.


    -The unit seems to be USB bandwidth hungry. I had random popping and clicking, like rice krispies in my music. After some reading, I figured out it was because the unit was starved for bandwidth. I added a PCI USB card and dedicated it the Roadie, problem solved. (Note: I switched motherboards at the same time I switched soundcards. The new motherboard could have USB bus management issues. )

    -Some of the sliders within the application are too small to change by hand using the touchscreen.

    -The sliders in "per speaker" EQ screen do not lock to each other for front and rear. I'm not sure of any application when you would want your front/left to have a different EQ than you front/right, so they should be able to be locked together. It's tedious to match them up manually.

    Overall, I would highly recommend the Roadie over the SoundBlaster Live! I have never tried a PCI soundcard b/c of space uses, nor have I used the Audigy, but you can read the woes people have had with that by searching.

    Hope this helps someone.


    Lilliput 7" touchscreen

    AMD Athlon XP 1700+
    1 GB RAM
    Windows XP Pro

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    in progress

  • #2
    Thanks dude, gonna order one from's store now. Will post my thoughts when I get it setup.
    Shotgun! - An Advanced CarPC Software Solution!


    • #3
      I use that sound card too. works great, & I've tried quite a few before this, including the m audio transit.... this one is better that all the rest from what I see..., even hibernates well...
      MY NEWEST INSTALL:modded infiniti fx with big screen

      first windows carpc liquid cooled LVDS screen :D


      • #4
        Thanks, forgot about the hibernation part, added it to the pros.
        in progress


        • #5
          What is the CPU usage on this guy? I am currently using an epia mobo with a 1ghz chip, and my usb turtle beach amigo eats up nearly 50% of it! I am currently searching around for one that does most of the processing itself and doesn't tax the cpu as I barely have any to spare.

          Is this a good recommendation in that case?

          03 Dodge Ram 1500 QuadCab
          Epia SP 1Ghz cpu, 512mb ram, 40gb 5400rpm hdd, 60gb IPOD
          Xenarc 10" touchscreen
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          RoadRunner, LSX Void 800x600 | iGuidance 3.0
          Zyxel P-330W for borrowing wifi


          • #6
            I just installed the roadie yesterday, and it's using, on average, 5-8% CPU w/ WinAmp 5.3 & 256kbps MP3 file. I have it connected to its own USB port, as opposed to a hub, per the manufacturer's recommendation, which warns of the problem you're describing when connecting the Roadie to a USB hub:


            I realize this is an older thread, but thought I should mention it. Good luck with this device. I was one in a growing list of disgusted SB Live owners, and was literally blown away (the output levels are well over twice that of the SB) by the difference.
            3 GHz P4 1GB RAM; Mini-ITX
            250 GB HDD
            Holux GPS; iGuidance 3.0
            Turtle Beach AA Roadie USB (5.1 config)
            Lilliput 629GL-70NP 7" Display


            • #7
              SPDIF to Analog Out?

              I like the Roadie but I can't make the SPDIF input play through the analog output. Is this even possible? Or is the SPDIF only for pass-through?


              • #8
                How do I connect my subs to the Roadie. I wanted to be able to control the sub level and im not sure if this sound card will allow me to do that.
                2002 Volvo S60 Install Website:
                On MP3 Car:


                • #9
                  I don't use rear speakers in my setup, so I just have amp for my subs running off of the rear output of the sound card. Makes it great for controlling the sub level from inside the car. I think you have to have the speaker configuration set to 5.1 to control the sub if you use the subwoofer output of the sound card.
                  in progress


                  • #10
                    I have it also but I get that rice krispies popping and I don't know what to do to get rid of it. I don't have room for a pci usb card as my carpc is indash.
                    CarPC - 90% Complete -Finally almost all done!



                    • #11
                      You might try something like this. Depending on how your board is laid out, this may use different USB bandwidth than the rear ports when connected to internal headers.
                      in progress


                      • #12
                        I just recently switched out my Soundblaster MP3+ for the Roadie and overall it's much better, but I have one huge problem.

                        I'm using StreetDeck with the integrated XM. The XM direct tuner has 2 RCA outs which go to the Line-In port on the Roadie. The problem is when playing XM I only get audio out of the Front outputs on the Roadie. If I switch to MP3 then I get Front, Rear and Sub perfectly, but not with XM.

                        Obviously with the tuner only having a 2ch output I'm not expecting true 5.1 surround, but it seems like when it doesn't have true Front, Rear and Sub audio to output, it should at least send equal signals to all 3 outputs. I've checked all the settings in the Roadie's control panel and haven't been able to come up with a solution. Has anyone else had this issue with the Roadie+XM?


                        • #13
                          My sound output seems low. I am running 5.1 mode and the sub line seems to increase to about 50 but after then it stays the same volume but all the other channels get louder. I can easily set the volume to 100 and it's not that loud. I maxed out all the gains. There seems to be little or no base on all front and rear speakers, only the sub channel.
                          Is there a different eq software I can use? the sliders are too small to use with a touch screen. Especially the individual speaker levels.
                          My BMW E46 carpc
                          My iGuidance 4 skin
                          FS transflective 2008 lilliput


                          • #14
                            I have a Sound Blaster Live, and I frankly love it. There is one issue I hate, and that is the popping when starting up, it is so bothersome. Is there a way to get rid of that issue? i mean mine does it about 3 or 4 times along the course of starting up.
                            Nirwana Project, the Android/Win 7 hybrid system!

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