Choosing an USB Stereo Audio AdapterThe Syba SD-CM-UAUD USB Stereo Audio Adapter is almost the same thing with some any other USB sound card. You can use it on both Windows and Mac, it have a very qualitative construction, ad it has no other additional features that would probably distract you. It only does what it is supposed to do.
For both Mac OS X 10.5 and 10.6 the adapter was tested and works just fine. You will see the adapter under the name of C-Media USB Audio Device. You don't need any additional things you install, after plugging the adapter you will see that the device will immediately recognize it, but the thing you have to do is to manually select is as the input/output device from the Sound settings. After you do this, OS X and Skype will both be automatically switched from the regular audio settings to the C-Media USB when you plug it in.
If you want to make sure that what you have is actually the device we are talking about, check the sticker on the outside that confirms the fact that the chipset as the C-Media, with a USB 2.0 device.
Considering that you can find it for only $10, the design of the adapter seems pretty booming. You will see the two pink and green standard mic and headphones jack, with a great white symbol on top of it to be sure that you recognize them correctly. The elegant design goes even further, you won't have a Christmas tree lightning up your room when using the adapter, it only has one green LED that will blink anytime sound is transmitted or received.
A problem that you might find disturbing is that the microphone input is mono, which would be a problem for a pro audio recording. But you will probably won't do that on your $10 device.
The cousin of this adapter is the 7.1 Channel USB External Sound Card Audio Adapter which provides an external volume control buttons.
The differences between them are the following:
1. The 7.1 one seems thicker and more resistant, and it is therefore more likely to block the other USB ports.
2. The 7.1's buttons are redundant, you don'[t need them at all, only for changing the volume.
3. The jack is hard to connect because it doesn't respect the all known green and pink s, but it has yellow and black. And the tiny icons don't help as much as they should.
4. The 7.1 will be seen by the other device under the name of Unknown USB Audio Device.
5.There was one 7.1 unit that somehow had the USB port angled on one side.