Just like Chico mentioned there are alternatives. Granted, I don't feel that you'd be "stuck" with the Recon3D USB as I feel it's a quite capable device. The link he gave you has Asus's 3 models for surround processing. The U3 is excellent on a budget. And many places will offer it with a Mail In Rebate from time to time. When you factor in the MIR, I got the U3 myself a while back for $15. Hard to argue with that price. I haven't heard the U1, though I've always wanted to as I love the design. And I've only heard the U7 briefly so I don't have any strong opinions one way or another on it. But I liked what I did hear.