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Creative Omni 5.1 or Asus Xonar U7

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I am considering these two usb cards as an upgrade to my X-Fi HD usb.  Both are relatively new to the market.  My primary purpose would be gaming.  I would like to stay usb because my next rig will be mini-itx and will not have room for a sound card.   I like to game on my headphones but I like to watch movies and videos with my speakers so I also would like to switch easily between my headphones and my speakers.  I know you can do this with the Xonar just by clicking the volume knob.  


As far as the Creative Omni goes what I like is the look, some of the features (scout mode, build in microphone, voice changing, 5.1 output), the optical output,   My concern with this is that the SNR is relatively low at only 100.  Does this spec even matter if I am going to use the optical output to go a receiver?  What would be a good budget receiver to pair this with?


Anyone have experience with either?

post #2 of 11

If all your doing it running optical to a receiver, then get a Yamaha receiver, it comes with Silent Cinema, Yamaha's own (basic?) Headphone Surround Sound, run optical from your laptop to the Yamaha.

if your laptop does not have optical, buy a Asus Xonar U3 USB sound card ($40), comes with an optical output.

post #3 of 11

I am also interested, between these two DAC/Amp. I can see both of them doing the same job, same price bracket as well, but Creative seems to be better in terms of amp power though. 

post #4 of 11

Both look remarkably similar. I almost wonder if their underlying hardware is basically the same.

post #5 of 11

I have just ordered the Omni, will post how it performs when it arrives next week.

post #6 of 11

Had the omni and returned, going to try the U7 next.


Quick review from other forum.


Hey, seen this was just released and bought to try. 


I bought this as I was trying to combat the Mic with headphones issue.

Current setup is.

Aune MKII Se -> Headphones also line out to Marrantz amp -> speakers

For mic I am Using a Beyerdynamic dac.

I thought I could get rid of both, and use the inbuild mic of the omni as a mic solution.

Sadly, the mic is sub par, borderline useles. 

Been trying it on mumble with a few mates and in some games. No matter what the setting, everyone was complaining that is sounds like im talking down a cardboard tube.

Maybe I have been spoiled with the Dual Cardoid on the MMX300 I thought, so I plugged in a 99p one from ebay and all was clear again.

The unit itself is well built and comes bundles with a remote and rca - jack cable.

Sound wise, I feel it sounds great. some of the sbx features are real nice and the audio side I cannot fault.

Annoying things.

The volume knob only controls windows sounds.

The line out at the rear only works if headphones unplugged.

overall I am disappointed and shall be returning it once creative get back to me.

Might just keep the Aune and buy a Blue Snowball or simiilar.

post #7 of 11

Well, I am pretty happy with what the Omni is offering because I want a slightly more powerful output for my DT770 and my old HD590.

I guess for you need, it is probably not the best solution. Honestly, I have no use of the microphone on the Omni and I do not usually

use it for in-game communications. 


The only annoying problem of the Omni is, when adjusting the volume control, each click gives you a bit of interference or hiss.

Otherwise, it is fine. I really like the included mini remote control as it works very well with volume adjustment, controls of the

players such as Foobar2k. The claimed 600ohm is indeed very powerful.

post #8 of 11

Omni sounds well and everything, including volume control, just works in Mac. Be sure to download latest drivers, they labeled 10.9 drivers on Creative webpage. 

Edited by StoneJack - 1/2/14 at 5:54am
post #9 of 11

Do you still have the Omni ?  I'm considering picking it up to power my 2.0 Bose speakers.  


(I know everyone likes to rag on Bose, but I just returned a set of Creative T40 2.0 speakers because they sounded absolutely horrible, way too bright on highs, and muffled on mids/lows, compared to my Bose speakers). 

post #10 of 11

I'm not sure how Omni performs with Speakers but I originally purchased it for Gaming on my Bootcamp Windows on my Mac. With the edition to being able to work on mac I went ahead and bought it to use with my Beyerdynamic DT770 & DT880 as it claimed to power 600ohm headphones. 


The Omni unfortunately sounded terrible and muddy. I like my eq's flat and natural sounding as possible. Maybe its just my habit from years of editing records in the studio. The Macbook pro's native sound card sounded better then the Omni. 


As for gaming the 5.1 didn't seem to be that good either. So returned it and decided to try the HyperX Cloud II (As much as I hate gaming  headsets) it came with a usb audio card so I can use the mic as well (Mac only has Line In). To my surprise, the Hyperx USB sound card sounded better then the Omni. Much cleaner and crisp. I tired the DT770 with it for now and it works pretty well with it. It also powers the cans a bit better then the Macbook Pro. Really happy with the HyperX purchase. Now I don't have to have the Apogee Quartette plugged in all the time. =) 

post #11 of 11

Btw, the Kingston HyperX Cloud (and Cloud 2, which are technically the same), are based on the Headphones "Takstar Pro 80".

So they arent "Gaming Headsets" like most others, they are actually real Headphones with a mic on it. And tons of stuff in like adapters :D )


One of the only headsets i like to recommend.


But nice to hear, that this usb soundcard is better, Thx ^^

Edited by Darkseth - 11/11/15 at 3:32pm
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