Send to Readability
+ Pocket
Send to Instapaper

The new Xonar U7 from ASUS gives you instant access to better audio using nothing but USB. There’s no standalone power supply, so it’s all very compact and portable. Why would you need better sound you ask? Well, we all know that, although much improved compared to previous years, motherboard and laptop audio is still somewhat lacking when put next to dedicated audio components.

For desktop PCs the U7 is perfect in case (pun alert) your build is packed to the gills inside. No PCI/PCI Express slots for an internal soundcard? No problem, plug in the U7 to any USB port and there you go. Laptop user? Sure thing, hook up the U7 and sound immediately gets a boost.

In both scenarios, the sonic quality delivered by U7 surpasses that of even the best integrated audio. The 114dB SNR rating of U7 means clear and precise sound which is super for gaming, allowing you better audio intelligence in first person shooters and the like. This is especially useful when pinpointing the direction from which shots and movements come can mean the difference between a win and crushing defeat.

If you love music, then U7′s high quality Cirrus Logic audio processor drives lush and lively reproduction and has the headphone amplifier power to allow premium headphones to shine. So if you feel your current integrated audio performance is too quiet, too tinny, or somewhat muddy, maybe consider this little guy.

Also, being external means master and microphone volume controls are within easy reach. You don’t have to load up any software menu, which saves you seconds at a time – and that quickly adds up.

There’s Dolby Home Theater v4, and most importantly, immersive 7.1-channel surround, unlike other USB soundcards, which typically stop short at the older 5.1-channel configuration.

And trust ASUS to bring some of their motherboard expertise into, hmmm, play. The PCB is multi-layered with Hyper Grounding technology translating into reduced noise and distortion even in higher volumes. Caution though: U7 can pump up the volume, so if you’re used to onboard/laptop audio, take it easy and crank it up gradually. Going to 11 right from the outset may not be so good for your ears!

The very cool and portable Xonar U7 manages to bring even more Xonar Series quality to a USB device, much like its predecessor, the U3 which was a nice offering for headphone amplification, but didn’t have the surround capabilities.

Xonar U7 is going to launch worldwide in the next month or so – look for it at your favourite retailer!

▼ You might also like..
ASUS Xonar DG – A dedicated gaming core on a budget soundcard
( Relevance » 20 )
Which Xonar audio card is right for you?
( Relevance » 17.5 )
Xonar U3 – Big volume from a little stick
( Relevance » 17.1 )
The ROG Xonar Phoebus soundcard launches
( Relevance » 17.1 )
news #30594 | 743
More in Multimedia, News, Post Types, Products (122 of 973 articles)