[section_title title=”Performance”]Performance

The U5 was the first USB sound device I have tested and as someone who always swore by a discrete sound card I wasn’t too sure what to expect audio quality wise from the U5. I was pleasantly surprised however, the U5 sounds very nearly as good as my discrete Xonar DX and it does it with a lot less faff, a lot less bad drivers, and a lot less bloody floppy connector ruining my cable management.

The brings me on to the main point I love about this little thing, its so convenient to use! Before testing this U5 I was used to having to switch outputs in windows between my Xonar DX for my gaming headset and my realtek outputs for my surround speakers but no more; on the U5 I have both plugged in to the back and to switch between the two you just click down on the volume button and it overrides the windows settings which is brilliant. Obviously you cant do this while an application is playing sound but that is Windows’ fault.

There isn’t much negativity I can sling at the audio quality of the U5, there is a small but noticeable difference in clarity and bass response between it and the discrete Xonar DX I am accustomed to but on the whole when you consider the form factor and of course the price the audio quality on offer is more than satisfactory. I wouldn’t go plugging £100< headphones into it but the buyers of high end headphones are not the target audience for the U5; it is pitched a gamers looking for better quality audio and who have multiple audio systems they want on one high source and for that it is absolutely ideal.

Head over to the next page and we’ll wrap things up with a conclusion.


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