Introduction: Cheap Front Audio
Are you cheap? Did you buy a cheap soundcard that doesn't have an external dock? Are you just using the integrated sound-card that came with your motherboard?
Then good news! not only is there no perceivable difference between cheap cards and expensive ones, but you can also have a front dock for cheap.
You'll need a block of wood. Mine was about 3" X 3 1/4" . About 3/4" thick.
Maybe sand the corners and add some finish? Or not. Its up to you.
Step 2: Drill Baby Drill
You'll want to start by drilling holes. err. no. I mean, start by measuring. DO NOT start by drilling holes. Measure your screws. Measure your audio connector. Measure your cat. Measure your self-esteem. Now take all those measurements and get it right. You know what to do, so do it. And THEN you can drill.
Personally my screws had a bore of 1/8" and my audio connector is 7/16" wide. I'm a fricken genius so I didn't measure much of anything, I just eye-balled it. The holes wound up being about 9/16" apart. Which is exactly the width of the connect added to the width of the screw shank.
Step 3: Get the Right Screws
Ok, this is really part of step 2, but I hate it when I can't see the other pictures, and I imagine you hate it too.
Make sure your screws are not too long, neither too short. If you can't find screw that are exactly the right length, use ones that are too long, tighten them into the wood further than they need to go and trim off the end.
Ok, the screws were the hard part. To install the audio connector, make sure the screws are raised above the surface of the wood so that the audio connector can actually fit. The screw treads will cut into the soft plastic as you slide it in. Don't worry about it. It makes it more authentic. Tighten the screws down until they start to squeeze the connected flush to the board.
You're all set! Revel in how this conforms to Dieter Rams' 10 principles of design. Also, revel in how cheap it was. I bought my connect from Hong-Kong off ebay. It was about $2.50 for a 6' cord. That means you can have front headphones, mic-in, and line-in, all for less than $10!
You can also buy one of those super-cheap mics that plug into 1/8" jacks. I got one for $.99
shipped off ebay from Hong-Kong. It works like a charm for in-game chatting.
Share and Enjoy!