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I was going to buy a cheap USB Headset for skyping, and was suggested the Logitech H330 USB Headset.

Before buying the headset, I was checking the reviews, and on Amazon, someone has mentioned that your sound card should support usb headsets. Is this True? Or does the OS directly pass on the sound to the headset without a sound card in between?

I have win 7 Home premium, 32 bit, if it makes any difference.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Short answer: Yes, it will work, but possibly with slightly lower quality than a dedicated sound card.

Long answer: Typically, USB speakers/headphones will use software acceleration, i.e. built-in Windows drivers. However, it is possible to have hardware acceleration, but I'm not sure if your sound card needs to explicitly allow it. In any case, since you're buying a cheap headset, sound quality isn't such a big problem, so software acceleration should be fine.

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Hardware accelerated sound is only good for offloading the CPU, which is only really relevant when playing games; it does not affect the sound quality. I don't play games, but it is my understanding that even EAX 5.0 is no longer hardware accelerated from Vista onwards. – paradroid Aug 14 '10 at 1:35
EAX. Blast from the past. +1 – Rafael Rivera Aug 15 '10 at 1:21
I have marked your Answer as Accepted, since you gave a better explanation. – Devdatta Tengshe Aug 17 '10 at 2:00
@jason, @Rafael: Well, I only have real experience with configuring audio on Windows XP with a very old (even for the time) sound card. – Hello71 Aug 17 '10 at 2:17

USB Headsets are soundcards. Only 1/8" jack type headsets go through the onboard soundcard.

Source: regularly configuring PulseAudio on Linux.

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Yay for sources! – BloodPhilia Aug 14 '10 at 10:02

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