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ASUS Xonar U3 USB.. or..?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

The 3.5mm headphone output on the front of my computer is busted and I'm looking for a compact USB-based replacement in the 40-60U$D range. There are way too many to choose from, and I was wondering if someone could propose a quality adapter that has
1) proper SQ
2) USB-connection
3) 3.5mm jack out.

If it matters:
The kind of sound I enjoy the most is quite bass-flavored, experienced through a Beyer DT770 or Audio
Technica M50!

 

Would also appreciate your opinion on the following adapters:

 

- Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Go! Pro

- ASUS Xonar U3 USB

- Behringer U-CONTROL UCA222

post #2 of 14

It really depends on your listening habits. If you mainly listen to music, the UCA222 would be the option to go with from your list. If you play games, the X-Fi Go! (non-Pro version is better than the "Pro" version in specs and features). If you watch plenty of movies, the Xonar U3 would suit you better.

post #3 of 14

The FiiO E10 is somewhat more expensive, but is better than the above three choices.

 

post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 

@Roller; I mainly spend my time on the PC playing games. The X-Fi Go! is 30-40$ over there in the US, but here in EU it costs around 70-80$ :( 

 

Are there any other 'good for gaming' USB doongle-type sound cards out there? (One that might be cheaper over here).

 

 

@Stv; The E10 looks great, but blows my budget. :D

 

post #5 of 14

If you are using a desktop PC, how about getting the Xonar DG ? That is, assuming that your motherboard has a free PCI slot.

 

post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 

I've got this motherboard

 Innledning.788x595!.jpg

As you can see there is not much space for anything. :P Hence the need for a USB-based amp.

post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by BassThor View Post

@Roller; I mainly spend my time on the PC playing games. The X-Fi Go! is 30-40$ over there in the US, but here in EU it costs around 70-80$ :( 

 

Are there any other 'good for gaming' USB doongle-type sound cards out there? (One that might be cheaper over here).

 

 

@Stv; The E10 looks great, but blows my budget. :D

 



Well, then you have to go with something with proper gaming features, which more often than not means Creative hardware. The X-Fi Go!, the X-Fi Surround 5.1 and the X-Fi HD USB are basically your only options for proper gaming audio support.

 

The Xonar U3 has light gaming support, but still above regular driverless USB DACs. The USB X-Fi cards are on a entirely different league, though. Basically, the order I listed the X-Fi USB devices goes from the cheapest and lowest quality up to the more expensive but higher quality device. I know that the X-Fi HD USB can be had in the EU for around $100, which isn't too bad a price. For instance, if the X-Fi Surround 5.1 was availble at $80, I would advise you to get the X-Fi HD USB instead, as it is indeed a higher quality product.

 

Also, do you need multichannel support, or 2.0/2.1 is enough for you?

 

Just keep in mind that there are many other products from other manufacturers, but those are focused mainly on audio itself, and have no gaming audio support at all, and since you stated you do a lot of gaming, I focused on that.

 

I understand quite well what you mean about the price differences, but depending on the product and the price difference, I may or may not buy the product.

post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roller View Post



Well, then you have to go with something with proper gaming features, which more often than not means Creative hardware. The X-Fi Go!, the X-Fi Surround 5.1 and the X-Fi HD USB are basically your only options for proper gaming audio support.

 

The Xonar U3 has light gaming support, but still above regular driverless USB DACs. The USB X-Fi cards are on a entirely different league, though. Basically, the order I listed the X-Fi USB devices goes from the cheapest and lowest quality up to the more expensive but higher quality device. I know that the X-Fi HD USB can be had in the EU for around $100, which isn't too bad a price. For instance, if the X-Fi Surround 5.1 was availble at $80, I would advise you to get the X-Fi HD USB instead, as it is indeed a higher quality product.

 

Also, do you need multichannel support, or 2.0/2.1 is enough for you?

 

Just keep in mind that there are many other products from other manufacturers, but those are focused mainly on audio itself, and have no gaming audio support at all, and since you stated you do a lot of gaming, I focused on that.

 

I understand quite well what you mean about the price differences, but depending on the product and the price difference, I may or may not buy the product.

Thanks for a very detailed answer! :) Yes I spend most of my 'computer-time' playing games and listening to music, but I never thought about if the sound card should have features supported by games at all. So thanks for enlightening me on that. I’ll go for a one of those please! Now, you recommend the Creative X-Fi Go! (not the ‘Pro’ version)?

As for output support, 2.0 or 2.1 will be just fine, 90% of the time I have to use a headset, otherwise I have a Logitech Z-2300.

 

post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by BassThor View Post

Thanks for a very detailed answer! :) Yes I spend most of my 'computer-time' playing games and listening to music, but I never thought about if the sound card should have features supported by games at all. So thanks for enlightening me on that. I’ll go for a one of those please! Now, you recommend the Creative X-Fi Go! (not the ‘Pro’ version)?

As for output support, 2.0 or 2.1 will be just fine, 90% of the time I have to use a headset, otherwise I have a Logitech Z-2300.

 



Well, I find the Creative X-Fi Go! (non-Pro version) to be the best USB audio dongle you can get if you do a lot of gaming. The only direct competitor is the Asus Xonar U3, but it lacks the gaming features present on most Creative soundcards (except the XtremeAudio series that aren't true X-Fi cards).

 

At what prices can you get the X-Fi Go!, the X-Fi Surround 5.1 (again, the non-Pro version) and the X-Fi HD USB?

 

Each of the three external Creative X-Fi cards have different advantages. The X-Fi Go! has the smallest form factor and the lowest price of the bunch, the X-Fi Surround 5.1 has a better DAC within along with better I/O connectivity and multichannel support, and the X-Fi HD USB has the best DAC and components, but it only supports stereo output like the X-Fi Go!.

 

Also, have you considered getting a separate headphone amplifier for your headphones? It's not like the headphones you listed require additional amplification to sound proper, but they do benefit from it, having both more controlled bass and clearer audio, depending on the amp choice.

post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hmm. According to the local guide I can get the 

 

X-Fi Go! for 58$

X-Fi Surround 5.1 for 92$ 

X-Fi HD for 220$ 

The X-Fi HD is priced from 130$, but the shops raning from 130-219$ are all sold out, and won't get it back in stock.

 

Kind of depressing news... :/

post #11 of 14

OMG, those are ridiculously high prices, especially for the X-Fi Surround 5.1 and even more so the X-Fi HD USB. I kind of don't want to advise you on getting either at those prices. Is ordering online an option for you?

post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roller View Post

OMG, those are ridiculously high prices, especially for the X-Fi Surround 5.1 and even more so the X-Fi HD USB. I kind of don't want to advise you on getting either at those prices. Is ordering online an option for you?



I'm able to order online, but with the shipping to europe the price will be about the same? :'D

post #13 of 14

Oh, from your location I thought you were in Japan.

 

Well, I know Europe's prices for Creative products can be within reason, depending on where you're at.

post #14 of 14

Hai! Would you recommend the U3, the X-Fi HD, or the E10 for the same purposes as the OP? Would be for 60% gaming, 40% music. I'd be using them with a Mixamp from Astro.

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