I have relatively high quality audio using TRS 1/4" or XLR (my choice) that I'd like a computer to be able to use as an input device. I'm hoping for it to be 24-bit- is there a way to do this using a sound card? Or are there other methods, such as USB? All of the USB solutions seem to be 16-bit.

Is there a noticeable loss in quality if I simply use an adapter and take in 3.5mm on a decent sound card?

  • Specific product recommendations are off-topic, but a well-focused question about what to look for or how such a thing might help you are certainly allowed. I think your last sentence about an adapter would make a good question. Aug 22, 2013 at 21:57
  • @TND - yes, if you abstract the question out a bit, then it would be answerable and I'd vote for re-open if there isn't another question that answers your generalized question, though since there is no existing answers or comments. It may be easier to simply ask the generalized question as a new one.
    – AJ Henderson
    Aug 26, 2013 at 19:14

1 Answer 1


I know this is a dead thread, but in case anyone else stumbles in with the same question...

A/D (analog to digital) conversion is the most crucial and therefore can be the most expensive link in the chain of quality digital recording.

The highest quality A/D conversion literally costs thousands of dollars per channel!

Therefore, questions like these are most likely answered with whatever you can afford! The more you can afford, the better the conversion. There is no cheapest way.

Now, do you need high quality conversion for a one off? Find a studio with high quality converters and pay them for the job. Another option is to rent the equipment you need for the hour/day/week.

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