Asus Blu-ray Drive Has Integrated Xonar Sound Card and Headphone Amplifier

It may be one of the product categories with less fanfare, but Asus decided to make one anyway. The SBW-S1 is a Blu-ray drive with an integrated ASUS Xonar sound card and headphone amplifier, something Asus boasts as a world's first.

Today, with ultrabooks shipping sans an optical drive, those who still want a big cinematic experience from optical media will find this useful. Asus says that the Xonar sound card will help deliver "clear distortion-free audio output" and that those who like to keep the experience private will appreciate the amplified headset output.

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Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • dgingeri
    hmmm... I kinda like the sound of this. (no pun intended.) I could take the optical drive and the PCIe sound card out of my machine and run them through USB. That makes room for 4 more SSDs and an additional GTX680.
  • bjaminnyc
    Interesting product. I like the idea of hiding the PC entirely and just having that on my desk.
  • warezme
    Interesting how a BD player can integrate a full audio card and headphone boost but a fairly good Reciever like my Yamaha RX-671 does not provide amplification for headphones and unlike my old Kenwood disables the speakers when I plug in a headphone. My old Kenwood boosted the headphones to perfection and gave you the option to disable the speakers in sets or all of them or leave them all on. 1 step forward and 2 steps back.
  • BulkZerker
    Now just make it fit in a 5.25 bay and I'll rip out this LG unit I've had for 6 years.
  • Shin-san
    This sounds interesting to me. A higher-end headphone amp costs $100 by itself. On top of that, I bought 250 ohm headphones (DT 770s, baby!) and with an amp, they sound amazing.