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Asus Xonar U7 Sound Card Has a Built-in Headphone Amp

Asus is releasing a new USB sound card, the Xonar U7. The Xonar U7 is targeted at gamers, but that hasn't stopped Asus from jamming some high-end audio features into it.

For starters, one of the main selling points of the U7 is the built in headphone amplifier. Asus recognizes that most sound cards and onboard audio solutions do not carry a headphone amplifier, and that most consumers aren't willing to buy a separate headphone amplifier. The advantage of a good headphone amplifier can be very broad, and its purpose is not only to make the headphones louder, but also to dramatically increase the sound quality of the signal, as a system without a headphone amplifier may provide enough power to drive headphones to be loud, but not in a controlled manner.

The DACs (Digital to Analogue converters) in the device are Cirrus Logic CS4398's, which are renowned for crystal clear conversion.

Beyond this, Asus also mentions that the device has a signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of a staggering 114 dB, and it features Dolby Home Theater V4 with a coaxial S/PDIF output. The unit also has a 3.5 mm headphone out jack, as well as a 3.5 mm microphone jack.

The Xonar U7 is also fully powered by the USB only, so there is no need for any extra adapters.

So far there is no word on pricing or availability.

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Niels Broekhuijsen

Niels Broekhuijsen is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He reviews cases, water cooling and pc builds.

  • of the way
    If it's at all reasonably priced then this will be a good replacement for my DG once I get a motherboard without a PCI slot.
    Reply
  • of the way
    Apparently refreshing the page after a successful post now results in reposting. Interesting.
    Reply
  • TheBigTroll
    nice to see a update for the u3 usb sound card. the price might sway me if its good
    Reply
  • halcyon
    Its nice to see Asus giving all us audiophiles all of this love as of late. However, I'd recommend Fiio, HeadRoom, and others before Asus for this type of gear. This is, of course, great for the average audio joe.
    Reply
  • knowom
    wow a headphone amplifier yeah that really almost makes me want to pay out the *** for it lol
    Reply
  • chicofehr
    I wonder how this compares to their STX/ST series in terms of sound quality.
    Reply
  • fat_panda
    This should be great for anybody that has an ITX gaming rig. Of course at a reasonable cost.
    Reply
  • TheBigTroll
    10679189 said:
    I wonder how this compares to their STX/ST series in terms of sound quality.

    it probably wont come too close. there is only so much you can jam into a usb stick sized dac
    Reply
  • merikafyeah
    10679829 said:
    10679189 said:
    I wonder how this compares to their STX/ST series in terms of sound quality.

    it probably wont come too close. there is only so much you can jam into a usb stick sized dac

    You do realize that a DAC is just a small chip the size of your thumbnail right? I don't know where you get the idea that you need something really big to output a high quality signal. For example, the Philips TDA1543, one of the best DACs there is, is smaller than most coins, but produces virtually unbeatable sound. If you have an audiio receiver, try disassembling it and examine the DAC. It's much smaller than most people would believe, yet it is responsible for producing the analog signal that is sent to your speakers. Certainly its importance cannot be understated, but its size on the other hand, is a different matter.
    Reply
  • shin0bi272
    Are they not making 7.1 sound cards anymore?
    Reply