ASUS Xonar U3 USB Sound Card Review

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Introduction to the ASUS Xonar U3 USB Sound Card

ASUS has been a name many of us have become familiar with when it comes to high quality and performance, be it their motherboards or graphics cards. They have even made OEM motherboards for HP systems, usually which are slightly stripped versions of a retail model and equipped with a crippled BIOS devoid of overclocking options, but still every bit as reliable. They have expanded their reach over the years to include every component it takes to build a complete computer, and even selling turn-key desktops, laptops and tablets of their own. You name it, ASUS dominates it.

Creative may be a far more familiar name to many of you when it comes to computer sound cards, having been around since the early 90s, with the X-Fi line being what many have turned to over the years. MSI, Gigabyte, ASRock, and even ASUS have all incorporated X-Fi into their motherboards in some fashion or other, though typically it is the X-Fi Motherboard software suite, which still uses the standard HD-Audio Codec to do the output of audio. Then a few years back ASUS got an audio itch. Seems the decided that using the same old codec everyone else uses or that building a sound card with rather generic components just wasn't good enough anymore, and so the Xonar line was born. They have offered a wide gamut of audio solutions over the last few years, from the Xonar DS for the more budget conscious looking for an upgrade, all the way up to the new Xonar Essence One for the true blooded audiophile.

If you've decided it is due time to finally time to do away with the onboard audio on your mobile computer, wanting something that makes your music collection worth listening to, then you can turn to ASUS for that as well. The Xonar U3 is a compact USB sound card, not much bigger than a flash drive. The goal is to provide a product for the person who is constantly on the go, loves to listen to their music, but isn't going to settle for the integrated solution any longer. So exactly how good can such a tiny device actually be, can it really deliver anything close to what a larger sibling Xonar can? We plan to answer that, so sit back and dive in!

ASUS' take on the Xonar U3

Turn your NB into a personal Hi-Fi center with Xonar U3 -- Get a BIG UPGRADE from USB audio with Xonar U3’s crisp and clear sound for music, movie, gaming and VOIP enjoyment!

  • Headphone amplifier: Extra bass punches and sound details
  • Dolby Home Theater: Complete Hi-Fi enjoyment
  • GX2.5: for the most immersive in-game experiences
  • Hi-Fi class audio: Powered by exclusive Hyper Grounding technology