I'm not sure about the latency since I can't even measure it but I'd
go to USB.  Being tied to a PCI(e) slot is an awful nuisance these
days.  Many machines have multiple USB busses, try putting the sound
card on a bus without much else if there's a problem.  I'm not sure if
your application is closer to a language lab or speech recognition.

Startech is generally a good company, you can also get these cheaper
and faster through Amazon.

I also have a few Chinese clones bought through Aliexpress that seem
to work fine for general playback and recording.

Preamps aren't just gain but supply operating power to electret
microphones.  I do amateur nature recordings with home-built 4
transistor preamps and generic electret capsules, maybe $5 parts cost

On 6/14/21, Maarten Duijndam via Alsa-user
<alsa-user@lists.sourceforge.net> wrote:
> Dear alsa users,
> We are looking for a replacement card for PCI(e) audio that we are using
> in our linguistics laboratory. We have been quite happy with the older
> ASUS Xonar D2 pci and ASUS Essence STX II PCIe cards. Unfortunately,
> these are out of stock in the Netherlands, I don't know whether they are
> still being made. We need quite a number of those devices in roughly
> 15-25 pc's in our labs. So they were good value for money at roughly 200
> euro or dollars each. The xonars worked out of the box on recent
> versions of Ubuntu and this great to have so we do not have to make
> small adjustments to the all pc's in the lab.
> Some background on psychology/linguistics research. We are looking for a
> sound card that is easy to use, and without many "expert" features. For
> quality speech recordings we are looking for devices that has a high
> signal to noise ratio (in practice we used an analog mic preamp and put
> the preamps output in the line out of the preamp in the line in of the
> xonar cards). Also we like to record as naturally as possible and we
> don't value Digital signal processors (DSPs) that mimics special preamps.
> Additionally, cards using DSPs might have an internal buffer in which
> they do there processing and take additional latency. In artificial
> grammar learning or other types of experiments in which speech stimuli
> are presented to participant in our lab we greatly value the timing of
> the presentation of those speech stimuli. That is: we try to schedule a
> stimulus (speech or another sound) with 1ms accuracy. So If we know that
> ALSA or another backend uses a eg. 20ms playback/software buffer, we
> schedule the stimulus 20 ms ahead of time. We would like to keep any
> buffering delays as short as reasonably possible.
> So coming back to the original question, the Xonars we were working with
> ran fine in for example Ubuntu-18.04 and even some older distributions.
> We would like to find a nice replacement that meets the requirements of
> a linguistics lab and are relatively easy to maintain. I don't know if
> this is the right place to ask, but I hope to get some input for we have
> tried quite a number of PCI(e)  devices from expensive RME equipment to
> cheaper Creative Sound BlasterX AE-5 Plus or very cheap TERRATEC Aureon
> devices. Perhaps we should move to USB class 1 and/or 2 compliant devices.
> Hopefully some of you have experience with such equipment and is willing
> to give us a nice suggestion.
> Best regards and thank you for your time,
> Maarten
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