Asus has announced a new audio product; the Xonar U7. The Xonar U7 is a USB soundcard and headphone amplifier. The device is USB powered and can provide 7.1-channel surround sound and high definition 192kHz/24-bit sound for desktops and notebooks. It can deliver powerful and clear 114dB SNR audio, has support for Dolby Home Theatre v4 and has dedicated microphone and volume controls.
With the device being powered off a USB, there is no need for a separate power supply, making the device portable with its compact dimensions. The Xonar U7 uses the Cirrus Logic CS4398 DAC (digital to analog converter) to provide clear audio. Asus claim that the Xonar U7 uses Hyper Grounding PCB fabrication which ensures strong signal insulation to reduce distortion and interference otherwise known as component crosstalk.
The dedicated controls allow for users to quickly adjust the master and microphone volume, saving the need to pause games or use software menus. Asus say the master volume control also serves as a clickable switch for selecting between headphone input (front panel) and speakers (back panel).
Unfortunately there is no word on availability and pricing.
The information given in this article is correct at the time of writing.