Do usb sound cards lower audio quality?
I have some speakers (http://www.amazon.com/Cyber-Acoustics-Subwoofer-Satellite-CA-3602a/dp/B0027VT6V4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1402018665&sr=8-1&keywords=speakers) plugged into the audio out on the back of my mobo (http://www.amazon.com/M5A99FX-PRO-R2-0-990FX-Motherboard/dp/B008B6ONXK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1402018704&sr=8-1&keywords=asus+m5a99x+evo+rev+2) and im thinking about getting a headset for gaming (http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-G230-Stereo-Gaming-Headset/dp/B00BFOEY4I/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1402018748&sr=8-4&keywords=logitech+headset), the audio out on the back of my motherboard is used up and im wondering if i used a usb adapter (http://www.amazon.com/HDE-Channel-External-Sound-Adapter/dp/B0027EMHM6/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1402018838&sr=8-3&keywords=usb+sound) for the headset would it lower audio quality? Thanks in advance I know very little about audio.
The USB headset would include the proper adapter. The conversion from digital-to-analog audio would occur in the headset unit so the QUALITY would depend on how well this unit was made.
So you'd really need to read reviews for individual headsets. The quality also is affected by the drivers (i.e. "speakers") in the headphones themselves which may be more important.
I recommend getting regular 3.5mm analog headphones and connect to the speaker unit.
I think the USB in this case is just to power and add a volume control. Now if you wan't a true 5.1 headset http://www.amazon.com/Force-HPA2-Surround-Gaming-Headset/dp/B001BS4YAM It's to bad they are no longer made.
The quality of either 3.5 output or USB adapters can vary greatly, though generally the minimum specifications are equivalent to a CD. You should not hear a difference for most uses, and may actually increase with a high bit-rate adapter, assuming the game provides higher quality audio.
For example: http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B00F7120TQ/ref=dp_olp_new
FYI - When you plug in a USB audio adapter, it will generally automatically override the internal adapter, so even a cheap adapter will turn off the speakers. Using both is not possible, in many cases. There are a lot of cheap adapers out there, such as
The other option is to use an external control to switch the speaker off when you plug in the headset, or just a switch.