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Xonar U3 USB DAC - Page 5

post #61 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Formula350 View Post



Um... no he didn't rolleyes.gif

I wasn't going to get into this flame fest, but you implying that was a bit too much.

Which on that note: Sky, it's not that he doesn't understand English as he seems to do that quite well, it's just his reading comprehension skills are a bit lacking redface.gif
 


 

No he didn't? He didn't say that he prefered Xonar U3 with DSP effects turned off rather than the X-Fi Go! Pro with Crystalizer turned on? (yes, Crystalizer is a DSP effect). Comparisons are only fair if everyone is on the same playing field.

 

 

And from that review, there are a few things that should be noted, specially the fact that Asus GX feature only increases the number of simultaneous voices, not enabling any effects contained on EAX 3 and above, so while it's an interesting effort, it's still under par compared to even EAX support of USB X-Fi cards.

 

There's one thing that should be clear, I strongly hope for Asus to release full blown soundcards with a complete gaming feature set that can actually dethrone Creative, as that would force Creative to get off their lazy behinds and start doing things the right way, like they used to.

post #62 of 77

Got my U3 today. Gotta wait till of get off work tonight to play around with it though. :(

post #63 of 77

Finally got my U3 last night after a UPS screw up and it taking an extra ~3 weeks to deliver.

 

These were tested with my 600ohm DT990's.  I am not expecting this to drive these exceptionally well for music.  This was bought purely for gaming on my gaming laptop. I have another setup for movies and music.

 

Right out of the box, using it for Dolby Headphone blows away the THX TruStudio Pro Surround that comes on my laptop's sound card.   I have used Dolby Headphone before on my desktop via an ASUS sound card, and have used Yamaha's Silent cinema via my receiver.   This is by far the best option I've heard for gaming.  Despite the fact that Dolby Headphone should be Dolby Headphone, this implementation seemed to have less audio timbre distortion that the one on my previous sound card. The THX flavor, which is now replacing Dolby Headphone on creative cards, is great for movies, but horrible at placing rear/side sounds in games.  It does a great job of preserving the sound quality however.    I used Left 4 Dead 2 to test positioning as it one of the better games I own for sound placement.

 

The Dolby Headphone settings let you pick between DH-1, DH-2, and DH-3.    DH-1 is the "reference room" seems the best for gaming.   The sounds seems almost clinically places in the sound stage, and very easy to pin point.   I liked DH-2 for movies, and single player games for the "home theater" feel. There is more crossfade between the virtual 5/1/7.1 channels, and a tad more echo/reverb feels   DH-3  is a little over the top for me, and only seems like it would be good to replicate an arena concert or music hall feel.  Maybe some types of 5.1/7.1 encoded music would work here.

 

There was a gain option in the control panel.   These were marked <32ohm, 32-64ohm, and >64 ohm.    The 32-64 ohm setting  more or less replicated the volume level of my laptop's built in card.  With it set to the >64 ohm setting, I could drop the volume to 70% and still have the same output as my laptop built in with the volume maxed.    Maxing the volume on the highest gain didn't produce ear bleeding levels, but restored the volume controls usefulness to me.   Previously, I had to max the volume settings to get workable output, and still felt something lacking in a few games (notably New Vegas).   Now, I have a comfortable range to trim up or down with a little headroom.   I didn't notice any clipping when I maxed the volume and gain and played some music for a bit, but I wasn't especially trying to find some ear bleeding song's either.  

 

Nothing was obviously lacking in the sound, but I certainly don't have a golden ear.   Using a 600 ohm set of headphones, I was not expecting the sound to get "thin" as my phones don't need much current at all to drive well.   I was expecting the voltage swing to be a little lacking, and to some level, it is.   This doesn't compare to my E9 or even a 2x9v cmoy for that.  That said, for my gaming setup, it's a huge improvement over my built in sound card, both the processing and the output.

 

 

post #64 of 77

I have had a U3 for a few weeks, and my experience is pretty much exactly the same as Shadow's.  Nice little card.

post #65 of 77

NwAvGuy has one of these on his list of things to measure and review.  It will be interesting to see how it fares as a DAC.

post #66 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by maverickronin View Post

NwAvGuy has one of these on his list of things to measure and review.  It will be interesting to see how it fares as a DAC.



I don't think it is fair to judge it too much on it's analog output. Not by headfi standards, anyway, because of that all important spdif output. But it will still be interesting to see.

post #67 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Duck View Post

I don't think it is fair to judge it too much on it's analog output. Not by headfi standards, anyway, because of that all important spdif output. But it will still be interesting to see.


I figure there's a decent chance it will measure well enough when unloaded but we'll have wait and see.

post #68 of 77

hey..make sure you post here once the measurements are out.. :)

post #69 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by redwarrior191 View Post

hey..make sure you post here once the measurements are out.. :)



Can't anymore.  He's now officially persona non grata...

post #70 of 77

Bumping this old thread up. 

 

Would you recommend this as a cheap alternative to a FiiO E7?
Is the improvement in sound quality (as a DAC) noticeable when plugging the U3 in?

 

I'm aware that nwav's going to make a U3 soon, maybe this month or the coming month,

but I really can't wait that long :O Or should I get a usb DAC which costs about the same

as the U3, if there's any? 

 

Max price is 60 USD.

 

thoughts? 

post #71 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by koolkat View Post

 

...

 

thoughts? 


 

You buy the U3 for movies and games to get dolby headphone output. Run spdif out of the U3 into a real dac for good sound quality.

post #72 of 77

What do you call a thread if it's necro'd twice :)

 

I'm curious about this little unit myself, as I recently built a mITX gaming PC and find the onboard sound to be a little lacking.  This Xonar U3 looks to fit the bill almost perfectly as it's pretty cheap and looks to be the best option available for external sound cards with gaming in mind?  On my desktop PC I just have a simple cheapo 2.0 computer speakers and there is some occasional noise in the left channel although I can't tell if it's mobo EMI or something else.  Hopefully the Xonar U3 would be able to address that, for the times when I game casually with speakers.

 

I'm also looking for a sound card that has DDLive encoding in case I want to hook my PC up to my surround setup in the living room (long HDMI + optical cables = gaming on my PC using TV and surround sound).  The DH processing also is of interest because I am thinking of getting a headphone/headset setup and would like DH Processing.  I also game on consoles too which I was thinking to get an Astro Mixamp 5.8 and be able to hook everything into it and get DH processing + wireless for all my audio sources, for which I'd need DDLive on the sound card, correct?  Or would the mixamp be redundant for PC gaming since the U3 has DH in it already?  That way I would not have to run optical cable out to the mixamp (again will be located in the living room) and just plug in the headset cables straight into the U3?

 

One aspect that concerns me is the apparent "built-in" processing that ASUS says gives the audio "pop", and which seems (?) to be reflected in the frequency response measurement done in the Tech Report review (http://techreport.com/articles.x/21256/2)?  Is this a correct interpretation and can it be defeated or removed?  Or is the observed freq. response just a limitation of the card's hardware and there is no built-in "pop" added to the sound?

 

At $40 on amazon looks to be the right price to give a try.

post #73 of 77

just got one a few days ago.

 

very nice as a usb sound card. this thing is dead silent, no hiss or floor noise whatsoever. drives most headphones well, though my 600 ohm 240m was a little lacking. deep sub bass and extreme highs seemed slightly lacking, but this seems to be the case with all c-media chipset sound cards i've heard. includes the normal xonar software and effects. overall a great bargain for 30$, better than most dacs i've heard (i've only had sub 200$ dacs), and the best usb sound card i've tried 

post #74 of 77

Hi, I just bought the ASUS Xonar U3 from EggHead, and after 13 straight hours (not kidding) of tweaking the EQ settings, I finally perfected the setting for my ears.

This product is a good buy for me, but don't purchase it thinking that it's an audiophile-grade equipment. It can only support CD-quality sample rates. At least ASUS doesn't lie about it.

I just wanna share with you guys the EQ I did, for other owners of this USB soundcard. I'm using Sennheiser HD202 - II, it has a laid-back and dark sound signature, I think it's the perfect tone if you prefer turning up the volume without getting irritated by too much treble. My brother has an ATH-M50, I listened to some tracks using both of them before I bought the Senn from our local music store. I preferred the laid-back sound of the Senn, and I had small ears that made the Senn fit as a circum-aural can.

**Notes on this setting:
I NEVER USE DSP - had to emphasize :D

For music and movies, I disable Dolby Headphone and 7.1 Virtual Speaker Shifter, unless you want to feel like watching in a cinema complex

For gaming, (I play FPS by the way), I simply enable Dolby Headphone and 7.1 if there are many walls and open space in the game
then under Effects tab, I set Environment Size to either Large or Medium
(tested in Battlefield 3, Tomb Raider 2013, Resident Evil 6)

the EQ setting:
http://i273.photobucket.com/albums/jj213/kamotecure/Equalized.png

These are some of the tracks I used to calibrate my U3 Equalizer settings, pls. take note that I'm no audiophile, just a guy who loves bass but doesn't want to lose the mids as well

For soundstage:
Callum Graham - The Channel
Antoine Dufour - These Moments
Jon Gomm - Passionflower

For Airiness and Echo balance:
Redline Barbershop Quartet - Wonderful Tonight(Youtube)
- yeah I know Youtube only provides stereo audio, but still..

For da Bass:
Naughty Boy ft. Sam Smith - La La La
Chase and Status - Time(Queensway Remix)
Madcon - Beggin
Jason Derulo - Talk Dirty
Dirtyphonics - Walk in the Fire
The Lonely Island - Jizz in my Pants

post #75 of 77

Hi guys,

 

I know this thread is a bit old.  Can somebody confirm if the U3 outputs it's dsp effects/DH/ etc. over the S/PDIF output?

 

Looking for solutions to run virtual surround to my external DAC and headphones without adding an internal pcie card.

 

Thanks!

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