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Old 11-28-2007, 03:23 AM   #1
Rob Williams
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Default ASUS Xonar U1 USB Audio Station

Own a notebook and not impressed with the onboard sound solution? Would you like the ability to be a bit more "hands on" with your audio? Do you want something that's different than what everyone else has? ASUS might just have the answer for you.

You can read Matt's full review here and discuss it here!
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Old 11-28-2007, 07:55 AM   #2
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First I'd like to give my thanks to the kind folks at ASUS that made this possible. Now, before anyone starts telling me I'm an idiot or that I'm way off base I'd like to say that the U1 is outstanding from a hardware standpoint. My issues are with the drivers and more importantly the Dolby effects implementation. I spoke to Eric from ASUS (we emailed back and forth basically) and he suggested that using the virtual speaker shifter to move the speakers further away from the listener icon would help. In a way, yes but not so much. The VSS will lower the effects delivered by those virtual speakers, true, but at the cost of lowering everything from those virtual speakers. In other words you're throwing out the baby with the bath water. It's not a solution so much as a stopgap measure.

The ultimate solution to the Dolby effects miasma would be to put in an effects level slider to let the listener choose anywhere between no effect or full effect so they can achieve the desired effect level. I don't know if it's possible with the hardware but if it is it would be the route to take for the boys (and girls) from ASUS.
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Old 03-05-2008, 01:51 PM   #3
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Hello,

I read the review and want to thank you. Reviews go a long way into helping somebody decide which way to go when deciding on a purchase.

I have some questions on this product and was wondering your opinion.

I am a gamer (CoD4) and sound is EXTREMELY important. I originally had a XFi Fatality running along side and 8800GTX and a Killer NIC PCI Card. When I upgraded to SLI 8800GTX cards I didnt have the room for the Fatality so I got a PCIe XFi card to play with....and notice a small degredation in quality. Now....I just picked up my third GTX for TRI SLI....and have no room at all

Sound is still very important to me however and USB adapter for my headphones just aint cutting it. Do you feel that this will give me some decent gaming quality? I run Vista 32.

Thanks in advance for any help....or any adice you may offer.

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Old 03-05-2008, 04:02 PM   #4
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Well...

Are you using a motherboard with four PCI-E slots or only three? A PCI-E 1x card (like audio) will work in a full-length PCI-E slot, like 16x. So if that audio card fits in -any- PCI-E slots, regardless of it's length, it should work without issue.

I say this only because I use my Xonar D2X in a full PCI-E 16x slot and it works fine.

As for USB... it seems like it's your last resort so you really don't have a choice. PCI will -always- be better, however. While a PCI/PCI-E card is connected right to the motherboard for ultimate speed and high-frequencies, USB audio is connected to an already busy system bus, so it could cause problems and not sound as good.

I am no audiophile, but I don't know of anyone who is one that likes USB audio except for notebook use.
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Old 03-05-2008, 04:46 PM   #5
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I am going from a 680i to a water cooled 780i....losing the extra PCIex1 that I had. So no other slots are available.

After much digging around I found a PCIe connector that goes external to allow 4xPCI slots. Heres a link:

http://www.nextag.com/Startech-com-P...61/prices-html

This will allow me to run what I would like without interfering....of course....lol....its going to cost me.

I would like to ask if you prefer the D2 of the XFi gaming cards? Should I ask this on another thread? Keep in mind that its for gaming.

Thanks again...nice to see people that are into this.

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Old 03-05-2008, 05:25 PM   #6
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WOW, that thing is expensive. There must be a cheaper way... or another motherboard or something. How could NVIDIA boast 3-way SLI if it removes add-in audio? It's meant to be a killer-gaming machine, but maims it at the same time?

Xonar > X-Fi for anything.
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Old 03-05-2008, 06:07 PM   #7
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I guess they figure the onboard sound will cut it if you 3 vid cards. No other Mboard will support TRI SLI.

Very interesting you liking the Xonar over Xfi. I have really been intrigued by the card and toyed with picking one up.

I will have to go take a look at your D2 review.
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Old 03-05-2008, 06:38 PM   #8
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As I mentioned, I am no audiophile and don't claim to be, nor have I owned an X-Fi. I am just going by what our experts on staff have said. Once you read Rory's review of the D2, your decision should be made by the end.

And your motherboard situation really blows... I cannot believe those boards are not designed to allow an internal card. No excuse makes up for that. It makes NO sense to me that an "ultimate" gaming machine has to use on-board audio...
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Old 03-05-2008, 11:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Williams View Post
It makes NO sense to me that an "ultimate" gaming machine has to use on-board audio...
There are a few companies that need to hear this. Back at CES, MSI was showing off their triple crossfire board, and there were literally no other open slots. First thing I asked the guy was if they included an on-board X-fi chip like on their P6N Diamond. Nope.
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Old 07-18-2008, 05:10 AM   #10
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Question Asus xonar U1

I have windows vista inastalled on my laptop. This sound card's wave recording does not work. Any help is appreciated.
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Old 07-18-2008, 08:35 AM   #11
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I have no earthly idea. Have you contacted ASUS about it? I personally never tried it with Vista and I gave it to a friend of mine to use with his Linux laptop.
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Old 07-18-2008, 07:45 PM   #12
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Quote:
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I have windows vista inastalled on my laptop. This sound card's wave recording does not work. Any help is appreciated.
Hm, no idea as I am back to using XP SP3, but you may have to enable it to get wave out to work? You might try: this link
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Old 12-30-2008, 09:30 PM   #13
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Default Your review of Xonar U1 -

In your tests, did you connect to using spdif (digital) or rca (analog).
I assume that the unit can pass the audio unprocessed via the spdif.

This unit also has key shift for karaoke. DO you test that?
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Old 02-11-2010, 07:49 AM   #14
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I bought the u1 about a year ago, as I moved to a fairly powerful laptop, but needed multi channel dolby digital out, in other words, I wanted dd-live as cheap as possible and in usb.

notable that I use at-surround output plugin with winamp, this gets best results, some of the other multi channel output plugins for winamp didn't work as well(speaker setting problems and such). it should be noted that it(the u1) doesn't have an option/way to spread two channel source to 'surround' feel on it's own, so depending on the application it might not use subwoofer at all but pipe everything to l/r channels(so with atsurround, i get surround sound from music, and can select the subwoofer cutoff hz as well).


by the way, optical toslink cables can be had for a fiver, cheap ones do just as well as expensive, it's just bits - trust your tech instinct and ignore the hype.

one thing that I would have liked, would have been coax spdif out.

the product is not as good as the dd-live capable nforce2's were for example, due to not having as much MEANINGFUL configuration options(like adjusting cutoff hz's etc). however, it still fits my need quite perfectly, which is to connect a dolby digital cabaple amplifier to a laptop pc.


-lassi
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