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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A much needed appraisal - Where are the others?!
The Xonar U7 is a great bit of hardware especially for laptop users.
I decided to go for this card as the specifications looked great on the Asus website and fits my needs perfectly. I own the Aego M 2.1 speakers and a Sony Vaio F series Laptop. With a monitor, keyboard and mouse connected to the laptop at all times, it has become a desktop replacement. The U7...
Published 23 months ago by AdamM

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I think there is a design defect with this model ...
I think there is a design defect with this model in that the mic/line input is incredibly noisy, making the unit unfit for purpose for input. The headphone/speaker sound, by contrast, is very clear and noise-free. I say that this is a design defect because I bought the unit at Amazon after buying another one off eBay, which also has the noise problem, and which I...
Published 3 months ago by Matthew Stannard


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A much needed appraisal - Where are the others?!, 8 Aug. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Asus Xonar U7 Compact 7.1 Channel USB Soundcard Integrated Headphone Amplifier (Accessory)
The Xonar U7 is a great bit of hardware especially for laptop users.
I decided to go for this card as the specifications looked great on the Asus website and fits my needs perfectly. I own the Aego M 2.1 speakers and a Sony Vaio F series Laptop. With a monitor, keyboard and mouse connected to the laptop at all times, it has become a desktop replacement. The U7 sits within hands reach for volume control and is a perfect addition to the desk. It has given a great boost in audio over the onboard laptop hardware, and is solidly built. I plan to buy a higher end set of headphones/headset in the near future, which the U7 will be able to accomodate. (EDIT: Bought the Sennheiser PC 360 Headset to accompany this - incredible jump in sound quality over plugging the headset straight into the laptop).

Things to know before purchase:

-This card is best suited (provides the most value) to a user who requires both speaker and headphone use - although not at the same time of course. There are other external usb soundcards that can serve the purpose of just headphone or speaker use.

-The headphone amplifier ranges from 32-150dB. This snippet of info was actually quite hard to find for me before purchase but shouldn't affect many users except for those with higher impendance headphones - the sort that would require a higher quality amplifier to get the most out of them anyway.

-If you are looking around the net or elsewhere on how to improve the sound quality of your music and have stumbled across soundcards and other hardware, before you jump straight to checkout try reviewing your music library first. The quality of the music being played can have a big impact on what you hear. Having your tracks in high quality MP3 (320kbps) or even better, FLAC/ALAC/WAV etc. may bring you the increase in quality you desire, without even touching your wallet. (instructions to improve your music library are easily found using a popular search engine on the net).

-Last but not least, as a GENERAL rule of thumb, if your speakers/headphones cost less than the soundcard, then it would be more worthwhile upgrading them, than the soundcard.

I probably have missed something of which I will add later. Just wanted to provide a quick customer review of this great product as there are no others out there yet!

PROS:

- Great increase in sound quality on my Aego M speakers over both my laptop onboard sound, and the X-Fi XtremeMusic card in my desktop.
- Master volume control very useful and accessible.
-Various outputs from the Xonar U7 and just a click of the button to switch between them.
-USB, easy plug and play and the Asus website makes it easy to update software.

The Xonar U7 is competitively priced and has a great range of useful functions and in the first few weeks of use I cannot find any cons for its price.

Any questions, just comment on this review.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great, 1 Nov. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Asus Xonar U7 Compact 7.1 Channel USB Soundcard Integrated Headphone Amplifier (Accessory)
The ASUS Xonar U7 is a nice piece of kit, I wanted an external soundcard as I was concerned about reports of interference on the mic with internal cards, I haven't been disappointed. The sound quality is great and really brings my headphones to life, I also like having mic and sound volume controls on the box and you can conveniently switch between speakers and headphones by pushing down the volume knob. The main left/right speaker outputs are RCA style so you will need an additional cable if your speakers are 3.5mm like mine, this is cheap and easy enough to get.

It does exactly what I wanted and I would have given it 5 stars except it took hours to get working properly, now this isn't a fault with the Xonar U7 but more general problem with the whole concept of usb soundcards, I was getting popping and crackling on the audio and at first I thought the U7 was faulty, but trying it on my laptop showed no problems. After several hours of troubleshooting including the use of some advanced performance analysis tools I isolated the problem to my wifi card driver, which was causing delays for several ms for the usb controller (and several other devices) resulting in streaming audio dropping out and manifesting as pops and crackles.
Google "DPC latency" if you want to know what this is about, it can be a fairly common issue for usb sound devices and I recommend you test your DPC latency before buying a usb sound device, there are tools you can download to do this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for transferring vinyl to high-res digital but slightly lacking in playback., 15 Aug. 2014
By 
R. Cowlin (London, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Asus Xonar U7 Compact 7.1 Channel USB Soundcard Integrated Headphone Amplifier (Accessory)
I purchased this soundcard because I wanted to take advantage of it's analogue-to-digital converter and record my vinyl records to digital. This is one of the few soundcards on the market that can handle 24 bit / 192 kHz recording under £100. I already own a Creative X-Fi HD soundcard, which can record 24/96, but I wasn't satisfied with it's usability (driver issues) and found its recording quality a little hard or edgy. The U7 had some good reviews and Asus are generally known for their quality soundcards, so I pulled the trigger.

I am very pleased with the recording performance of the U7.

Here's what I like about the U7:

The software and drivers run flawlessly. Every time I connect the soundcard it's recognised instantly (Windows 7, 32 bit) and it's really easy to set the rec/play sample rate in the Asus software.
You can set the line level rec gain to whatever you want using Asus' software. I have it set to -6 dB, which I've read is a good level for needledrops. I've compared some new 'drops with older ones of the same title, and I'm getting more dynamic range with the U7 than I was previously with the Creative.
There's no noise or hum or anything annoying going on in the background.
The recordings sound very clean and transparent. I record at 24 bit / 192 kHz and there's a lot of airiness to the sound.

So far, there's nothing I don't like about the U7 and it's giving me the best results I've ever had for needledrops. It retails at around £60, so it's cheaper than the X-Fi. I believe it's recording quality and ease of use is better than the X-Fi.

HOWEVER. I conducted a playback shoot-out between the Asus Xonar U7, the Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi HD USB External Sound Card with SBX, and a professional Technics CD player. The Creative beats the Asus hands down at playback. Neither are as good as the CD player (though, the Creative comes *very* close), but it was clear that the Asus struggled in the playback arena against the Creative.
In terms of playback performance, when compared to the Creative, the Asus was thinner sounding and had a slightly smaller soundstage. Unfortunately, the Creative is let down by it's inability to output at 44.1 kHz, you must upsample to either 48 or 96. Personally, if you're looking for quality Hi-Fi playback, I couldn't truly recommend either model. You'd have to look at something like the Audioquest Dragonfly 1.2 USB Digital To Analogue Converter (at the very least).

Regardless, the Asus Xonar U7 handles recording very well, which is what I bought it for, so I'm happy!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Asus U7 USB Sound Card., 17 Aug. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Asus Xonar U7 Compact 7.1 Channel USB Soundcard Integrated Headphone Amplifier (Accessory)
OK is it better then the U3 yes by miles.

Drivers work well on Windows 8 64Bit no problems at all.

Headphone AMP? paired with Shure 1440 fine though could be louder overall.

Not tried the above AMP for gaming so Can't say to much.

Music and Games come to life to the point that this is the best Sound Card I've ever used from Creative products and other Asus Cards.

It also has Asio unlike the U3 at 16/24 Bit 4/50 ms Latency.

If your thinking of this or a U3 spend the extra cash and get this myself having got both.

Great Product if I must say so.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My ears just imploded with joy, 17 Jan. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Asus Xonar U7 Compact 7.1 Channel USB Soundcard Integrated Headphone Amplifier (Accessory)
I have never found myself compelled to write a product review before but I just bought this little box of wonders to replace my awful on board laptop sound effects. I do not pretend to be a sound quality expert but I certainly know enough to appreciate that sound is something that should be invested in...

THIS THING JUST BLEW MY MIND. I can't put in to words how many more layers of complexity I can hear in my music. It feels like I'm actually stood in a room in front of the artist.

Simple to set up. Worked instantly.

Buy it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good product, but the sound quality is just so so, 19 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Asus Xonar U7 Compact 7.1 Channel USB Soundcard Integrated Headphone Amplifier (Accessory)
I was looking for a usb sound card which will work both in windows and mac osx, the most important part is the volume control. I previously owned a creative sound blaster x-fi surround pro, that one is ok for win but in mac os x, the volume is not controllable.
I've looked into the decoding chip for U7 - CS4398 which is a top class dac, I'm so disappointed that the sound quality is not as good as creative sound blaster - CS4361. I feel bizarre when listening to the music. Maybe I'm not used to this kind of sound. My headphones is K551.

The knob is really good, you can adjust the volume with it in Win or OSX probably Linux. When you press it, it will switch between headphones and your speakers, it's really convenient.

5 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this is possibly the best choice. Sound quality is great, 4 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Asus Xonar U7 Compact 7.1 Channel USB Soundcard Integrated Headphone Amplifier (Accessory)
To start with, there aren't many 7.1 USB sound cards available. I have been looking for a quality DAC for a while, however most of them will be stereo only. If anyone is looking to upgrade sound coming from the laptop and needs surround sound with DSP, this is possibly the best choice.
Sound quality is great. I wish there was a little bit more control over the DSP side (not much to play with compared with my Asus Xonar HDAV 1.3 Deluxe in my desktop), however as mentioned at the time of me writing this review, this is most likely the best choice if you want more than 2 speakers and some Dolby magic with it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I think there is a design defect with this model ..., 12 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Asus Xonar U7 Compact 7.1 Channel USB Soundcard Integrated Headphone Amplifier (Accessory)
I think there is a design defect with this model in that the mic/line input is incredibly noisy, making the unit unfit for purpose for input. The headphone/speaker sound, by contrast, is very clear and noise-free. I say that this is a design defect because I bought the unit at Amazon after buying another one off eBay, which also has the noise problem, and which I originally thought must be a production fault, But no, they both suffer from exactly the same problem. And yes, I've loaded the latest drivers and tried an assortment of input devices, all to no avail.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars best ive seen in a while, 16 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Asus Xonar U7 Compact 7.1 Channel USB Soundcard Integrated Headphone Amplifier (Accessory)
I needed a external sound card since my jack o nthe motherboard had gone bad . and all the decent internal cards used pci-e which I could not use due to having a double width graphics card . First of all usal good service from amazon arrived on time . downloaded the latest drivers from Asus as I usally do and then I was away . so far so good I cannot see any difference between this and the xonar d2x which I used before
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great sound, am very happy with this, 9 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Asus Xonar U7 Compact 7.1 Channel USB Soundcard Integrated Headphone Amplifier (Accessory)
Great sound, am very happy with this. I have upgraded my external speakers to match the quality - I had problems with USB bus-powered speakers, but that is not the Xonar's fault. Better now I have a mains-powered pair. Easy to use and the auto-recognition of speakers/headphones works well. Any issues (no sound at all on occasion) are the fault of Windows not the U7.
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