Pros: Excellent sound quality; Most awesome positional sound through Dolby Headphone; Low-Price; Stable and Low-latency UNi drivers with accurate 7.1 sound
Cons: Difficult to make it fit into PCI-E slot while keeping it fully attached to case
First of all the other reviewers may have had issues with drivers for this card, but I had 0 problems. It was as easy to install as pressing "Install". It required nothing more and at the moment, UNi drivers are of the highest quality, offering Low-Latency installation and very accurate Dolby Headphone 7.1 profile, far more accurate than official ASUS drivers provide. Do not download or use official ASUS Xonar drivers - install UNi Xonar drivers ONLY.
The UNi Drivers Dolby Headphone Surround Sound 7.1 profile is truly a miracle for gamers. You can spot your enemies just by listening to their foot-steps or gun-fire, knowing instantly from which direction they are coming and how far they are. It truly immerses one into gaming, as if being right then and there. I find UNi Xonar 7.1 Dobly Headphone profile more accurate than CMSS-3D and SBX Surround Sound technologies, but it does produce slight echo and reverberation that some people dislike. The sound quality itself is excellent. There is no crackling, noises, hissing, or latency issues that I experienced with Sound Blaster cards like X-Fi Titanium, no matter how updated drivers were. This card is rated @ 10ohms impedance, so for the best quality sound, please use headphones rated@ 80ohms or higher. However, this card performs extremely well even with 64ohm headphones, such Sennheiser HD-280 Pro.
The worst aspect of this card is that it often comes with inaccurately positioned metal tab, on which resides a hole needed for attaching the card to the case with a screw. It may affect only some cards, but I know several people with this exact issue. There was no way for me to keep the card fully inserted into PCI-E slot, while being tightly attached to my PC case with a screw. I had to pick to either have it fully inserted into PCI-E slot that would prevent me from attaching the card to my case or I could attach to my case, but the card would be inserted about 70% into PCI-E slot. I left the card attached to my case without it being fully inserted into PCI-E slot simply because the card still worked without any issues, which means all the contacts worked in PCI-E slot. Another solution is to manually bend the metal tab that attaches to the case in a manner that would allow both - full insertion into PCI-E slot and complete attached to my PC case, but the metal tab would be bent and it would be visible on the back of the case.
I recommend this card to any gamer on the budget who wants to experience truly high-end sound quality, accurate surround sound quality, problem-free performance, and the best value sound card their money can buy!