The Raspberry Pi has an on-board audio jack, which is super handy for all kinds of sound effects and speech, just plug and go! However, for when you want better audio for music playback, a USB audio card can greatly improve the sound quality and volume. That's because the on-board audio is generated by a PWM output and is minimally filtered. Don't get Adafruit wrong, it's a great thing to have audio on board but this USB audio card will make it even better.
Adafruit like this particular dongle for not being too bulky, you can plug it in without blocking the secondary USB port. It also works great with a Raspberry Pi! Adafruit have tested it successfully with Raspbian Wheezy & Jessie, but Adafruit don't have tutorials for any other OS's.
At this time Adafruit have a tutorial for setting it up for audio output and audio line-level input.
This device also works great with Windows machines and should also function for Macs, but Adafruit are carrying it specifically for Pi usage.
Documentation and Resources:
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