I'm considering getting a "real" sound card since the one I have now is on-board. The one I have in mind is the Creative Sound Blaster Audigy SE.
My question is - would I be able to have two sets of 2.1 speakers hooked up to it? (logitech z-2300's, just normal 3,5 mm jack sticks) I can of course get a splitter if there's only one normal audio output, but some say that reduces the sound quality.
Yes it is possible to connect two sets of speakers like you are saying thru a splitter but it will reduce the volume and sound quality because that output puts out a certain amount of power to be amplified by the speaker system. If you connect another set of speakers you will be cutting that power in half since it has to run two sets.
Thanks for the fast reply
Then it shouldn't be a problem if I connect one the sets to the onboard sound card, and the other one to the audigy SE?
And would that make it sound weird since one of the the speaker sets is playing better quality sound than the other?
You could also check if you could change the output on the jacks through windows or creative's software. The Realtek sound cards which are the common onboard sound cards could change the line-out to rear-speaker-out, and mic to center speaker.
Try to see if you could do that instead with the Audigy SE
...um...Windows can't output sound to multiple sound devices at the same time, as one device has priority over the other. [Minus a few cases where you can force the output device through a program, but i've never seen a truly stable implementation]. You CAN use one device for sound input and the other for output, but outputting to two devices at the same time isn't easy [or in 99% of cases, possible] in Windows.
Heck, Creative cards tend to crash if another sound device is open, so getting both sets of drivers working will probably be more trouble then its worth...