ASUS Xonar U7 USB Sound Card and Amp Review

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ASUS Xonar U7 USB Soundcard and AMP

xonarU7_01_boxfrontWe got an early look at an upcoming affordable USB powered sound card from ASUS called the Xonar U7. Its compact form makes it easy to setup or use with laptops which normally can’t have their audio solutions upgraded. At the same time, we’re expecting it to pack a big sound based on our very positive assessment of other ASUS Xonar cards. Clearly ASUS has remained confident in maintaining their audio products despite it being one of their smaller ventures within their varied portfolio.xonarU7_02_boxback

We’ve listed out the features and technical specifications of the Xonar U7 below. The card will be priced at $89.99 and will be available at Newegg and Amazon in a couple of weeks marking its North American launch.

ASUS Xonar U7 Features

  • True 7.1-channel, 192kHz/24-bit high definition sound from a compact USB-powered device
  • 114dB signal-to-analog ratio (SNR) ensures pure sound
  • Integrated headphone amplifier pumps up every sound detail
  • Latest Dolby® Home Theater V4 delivers likelike surround via an intuitive interface
  • Dedicated microphone volume control for instant adjustments right in the heat of gaming action

ASUS Xonar U7 Specifications

  • Audio Performance
    • Output Signal-to-Noise Ratio (A-Weighted): Up to 114dB
    • Input Signal-to-Noise Ratio (A-Weighted): 110dB
    • Output Total Harmonic Distortion + Noise at 1 kHz (A-Weighted): Up to 0.0006% (104dB)
    • Input Total Harmonic Distortion + Noise at 1 kHz (A-Weighted) : Up to 0.001% (-100dB)
    • Frequency Response (-3dB, 24-bit/96kHz input): 10 Hz – 46 KHz
    • Output/Input Full-Scale Voltage: Rear output (Speaker) 1Vrms (2.828 Vp-p)
    • (Headphone) 1.3Vrms (3.677 Vp-p)
    • Line in 1Vrms (3.677Vp-p)
  • Bus Compatibility
    • USB audio class: USB Audio 2.0 for all functions / USB Audio 1.0 for playback 
  • Main Chipset
    • Audio Processor: Cmedia 6632A High-Performance Sound Processor (Max. 192KHz/24-bit)
    • D-A Converter of Digital Sources: Cirrus CS4398 (120dB SNR, Max. 192kHz/24-bit)
    • Cirrus CS4362 (114dB SNR, Max. 192kHz/24-bit)
    • A-D Converter for Analog Inputs: Cirrus CS5361 (114dB SNR, Max. 192kHz/24-bit)
  • Sample Rate and Resolution
    • Analog Playback Sample Rate and Resolution: 44.1K/48K/88.2K/96K/172.4K/192KHz @ 16/24-bit
    • Analog Recording Sample Rate and Resolution: 44.1K/48K/88.2K/96K/172.4K/192KHz @ 16/24-bit
    • S/PDIF Digital Output: 44.1K/48K/88.2K/96K/172.4K/192KHz @ 16/24-bit
    • ASIO 2.0 Driver Support: 44.1K/48K/88.2K/96K/172.4K/192KHz @ 16/24-bit

xonarU7_03_flapThe Xonar U7 comes with a multilanguage quick start guide, a driver CD, a USB cable, and a TOSLINK adapter. The sound card is itself has a number of connectivity options as will be shown on the next page.xonarU7_04_contentsWe’ve got quite a bit to share about the Xonar U7 including the experience of using it. Read on as we go into greater detail about what when on with this USB powered sound card.

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  • GaborB

    Thanks for the great review. In games though, did you run Battlefield 4 in surround mode or in stereo mode (Options/Audio)? I find that stereo mode works well with an onboard sound card, but once I started using the Xonar U7 I had to enable surround mode in battlefield itself and the experience was much better. For all games I switch off the equalizer and the volume leveler and only leave the Surround Virtualizer on 50%. I use the Sennheiser PC360 stereo headphones and the results a more realistic experience to the point that I took off my headphones the other day to hear if a chopper was flying above my house or was in game. It was in game. :-D

    • David Yee

      My BF4 is set to Surround. I tried out the setting you recommended and listened carefully. I really only got that surround immersion with aircraft. I also tried this one out again, but didn’t notice too much difference with Surround Virtualizer turned on or off.

      Dolby Home Theater V4 always samples from all available channels so that’s why using Surround Virtualizer isn’t super necessary. I give it to you that the U7 DSP is much better at downsampling BF4′s surround channels than the game does.