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Understanding PC Audio

Sound on a computer system is generated by a dedicated audio circuit. On most older PCs, this circuit was contained on a separate expansion board, called a sound card. On some newer PCs the audio function is built into the motherboard. In either case, you can upgrade a PC's built-in audio by adding a new, higher-performance sound card.

Your PC's audio circuit or sound card only generates the electrical signals behind the sound; to hear this audio, you need to connect a set of speakers, or a pair of headphones. As with your home audio system, the better your speakers, the better the sound.


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