Asus Xonar U7 DAC/AMP Impressions Thread

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by pcharouz, Jun 21, 2013.
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  1. S.V.
    I am deciding about buying a Xonar U7 Mkii. In this process I am having some noob questions.
    Most of the new receivers don't have 7.1 multichannel in plugs. They are using HDMI In.
    How can I connect the Xonar U7 to a 7.1 receiver ? Is the s/pdif only used for 5.1?
  2. Leopardi
    Does the MKII have a real volume knob, or does it act like a keyboard volume roller that just controls windows volume? Really disappointed there's no DAC's with decent surround sound software and a real volume control... not going risk my hearing by relying just on software.
    HAWX likes this.
  3. Mystic Mac
    what do you guys think of the microsoft windows driver instead of the asus whql driver ? you can install the windows driver by deinstall the actual driver and restart the pc after that the windows driver will be installed
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2017
    Hello guys! Thats my first post, please let me know if I did something wrong.

    I'm an u7 owner that is facing the same problem as you are.

    I've bought a Dell 7567 laptop which have 3 usb3.0 and the u7 is blinking when connected to it. The u7 still works on my desktop on usb2.0.

    I have search a lot about that problem and then I remembered I have a usb current meter which I used to measure the current on my phones chargers and cables.

    Testing on u7 I've got these currents: desktop usb2.0 = 130mA and laptop usb3.0 = 40mA.

    Well, I didn't find anything to change or increase or fix the current on the usb3.0 ports on my laptop. I don't know if its my laptop that is giving less power to the u7 or if the u7 not working well on usb3.0.

    Does anyone have any idea if I can increase/change the current on usb port? I'm already using high performance profile for battery and I'm connected to the power. I also disabled the sleepmode for usb on device manager.

    Here are the pictures:
    on desktop


    Any idea is welcome to try to solve the current problem. I ordered a powered usb hub, probably need wait a month or more to get it... I will try to remember to post back here.

  5. mmans0n

    Unfortunately, i have the same problem and the powered hub did not solve the issue. But under w7 and ubuntu works fine. So the problem came from w10 Creators Update...
    EXTREME_ likes this.
    Hi! So the powered hub will not fix it? Ok, at least I will use it anyway. Which version of Windows should work? I'm on 1607 version and don't know if that is before that Creators Update.
    Another question.. will it works on Win7? I'm just waiting my ssd to install it... win10 sux..
  7. mmans0n
    That's Anniversary Update (but maybe my laptop did not have that, before this update). Anyway I have a another desktop computer with W7 professional and another old laptop with Ubuntu 16. On both, the Xonar, works fine. I even reinstalled the w10 on my laptop and didn't solved anything. I'm hopping that maybe the fall update solves the problem before i ditch the xonar. I did not have the time to experience very much with the problem, 2-3 days most, but because i have a Fiio Dac, I use that instead of xonar. Maybe someone who have more info can help us...
  8. disfunktor
    It has nothing to to with USB connectors, Windows10 or drivers. Most Asus Xonar U7 sound cards are faulty from the get go. There is a bad chip, or bad soldering process involved. What you are experiencing (and me too btw) is the "blue blinking led of death". When you start to get those, you know it started to go downhill from there on. The cause (and workaround solution) is;

    Asus doesn't aknowledge the fault. So there you go. It's a pity, because the sound is very good, when it works. And there is really not much alternative. Still, that's Asus for you. Good value (when it works), decent product (when it works) and 0% customer care (when it stops working).
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2017
  9. redjazz
    Bought the Xonar U7 MkII today, mainly for recording vinyl.

    I was very disappointed to find that my recordings are clipped. I've set the input to Line In, lowered the recording volume in the GUI, but my recordings are getting a haircut.


    Am I missing something?
  10. TheClubman
    This product is great! The noise floor is nonexistent, fantastic quality, great features for home theater and equalization.
    HAWX likes this.
  11. HAWX
    Have a nice day people,
    I just wanted you guys to know some bugs I have found with Windows 10 with U7 Echelon, and some long term usage report for today and future potential buyers.

    1) Interestingly, sometimes gain options don't appear when right clicked on the Headphone symbol.
    I try restarting my computer or restarting Xonar software, sometimes It works sometimes It doesn't.

    2) Some games don't start while the Xonar program is open in the background. Or says stopped working because of it. Eg: Age of Empires 2 HD, BF3.
    I do close the Xonar software before entering game.

    3) Volume with the Windows and Xonar software does not match. This does happen such as when I plug headhpones, unplug headphones, when I just restarted my computer etc. But I think mostly Xonar program's volume is correct, sometimes Windows shows the actual volume wrong.
    I do zero the volume all the way down turning the U7's wheel, and turn it even more for Windows volume to catch up and both Windows and Xonar volume level to be zeroed, then I higher the volume as much as I want. They increase equally.

    4) (Using it with foobar2000, with Asio) While clicking on other track, or clicking somewhere in the seekbar, foobar2000 stops, audio cuts, and foobar2000 stucks like that for about 10 seconds, and then says exactly "Unrecoverable playback error: Timeout" and then becomes functional again. This happens to me for say once in changing 40 tracks. If I do unplug and replug U7E in while the foobar2000 was unresponsive my computer won't detect it probperly afterwards, I need to restart my computer to solve that problem. Or If I force close foobar from task manager while the foobar2000 is frozen, again, I need to restart my computer to use U7E.
    I couldn't find a solution to that problem. Dicking with the buffer length might work for you, It gave me some inconsistent results. Or It might be related to CPU is not enough. It happens to me more often while my computer is slow because of some programs or games open in the bacground.

    Other than that device is still great, I have been using it for close to 3 years I guess. I did not have blinking light or kind of problem like some unfortunate people had in this forum. (I feel sad for them and I hope same problem does not happen to me). I really like the USB cable come with it, bending It doesn't make it mark,scar. You know after bending It just forgets how you bent it and becomes linear again. (I sometimes carry it in my bag) Headphone jack port didn't become loose and It's quite tight for industry standarts which is really good. Turning wheel on the device haven't corroded. Minor problem dust collected between the turning wheelI and just around it a bit hard to clean. I am happy and satisfied with this device.

    Extra: If you're going to use with Windwos 7 only install original Xonar U7 (not echelon) WQHL drivers. All the W7 drivers for U7E have problem.

    EDITED Sections for being more understandable.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2017
  12. Zblarg
    Hello everybody,

    I'm considering buying a Xonar U7 for my laptop and would like to have some feedbacks about its s/pdif output.
    I'll be using it with a separate DAC so I'm not really interested about its headphone output or analog output performance. I recently tried some audio interfaces (some very expensive) and always prefered the toslink output of my realtek integrated sound card which was more warm and smooth. So I thought "maybe if I buy another sound card, and not an interface, with a good digital output, I could increase my sound quality without sacrificing the warmness/smoothness of my sound".
    Should I expect an improvement in sound quality with the U7 over my Realtek chipset using the digital output? And if yes, what kind of improvement?
    Best regards.
    HAWX likes this.
  13. caspadan
    I've been looking for something to help drive my headphones (AKG K702) a bit better and just came across the Xonar U7 MKII. I first saw the SoundBlaster Omni and thought maybe that would be decent. Then I saw this Asus one, and now not sure which way to go. I'm leaning towards the U7 MkII though.
    I like clean (close to neutral) sound, but I only use these headphones on the PC and don't really listen to music through the PC, so it just needs to be decent I guess. I mostly game and watch youtube on the PC. I like the microphone addition on the Omni (I use the microphone usually when gaming), but I do have a microphone integrated in my Logitech C920 webcam which I use, so it's not like I need it.
    What do you think?
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
  14. raoultrifan
    Hi Caspadan,

    None of the above soundcards will drive your K702 correctly, though Omni seems to have a better output stage and could probably do the job better.
    AKG K702 likes dedicate headphones amplifiers, so U7 is definitely not the best choice for that.
    caspadan likes this.
  15. Kitmellow
    Hey there!

    It's important to keep in mind that a lot of people often overestimate the kind of amp/power needed to be able to drive most headphones "properly" (I used to be guilty of this too), but it mainly just boils down to clipping and adequate loudness. Clipping rarely ever occurs in normal cases, and even if it does, it's pretty obvious (you can hear it) and pretty much only happens when an amp cannot provide enough power to certain power hungry headphones that are already being played at loud volumes. Both the U7 and the Omni will drive your K702 fine, and as loud as you would reasonably want it to be, especially if you care about hearing loss or damage. The 702's are really not particularly difficult to drive dynamics either.

    When people ask about properly driving a headphone, they often get it confused with "pairing", which refers to using the subtle tonal characteristics each DAC and amp to best complement the tonal characteristics of a given pair of headphones, but that is a whole different thing of preference in itself, and is quite subjective in practice.

    If you had to choose between the Omni or the U7, it would depend on the features you are after. The U7 offers slightly better, known to be more neutral-sounding hardware with more useful features overall, and at a better price point. But it also has quite a bad reputation for terrible driver support and less consistent performance as a result of it. The Omni does have a more powerful amplifier though, which could be very helpful for future-proofing, especially if you decide to own actually-hard-to-drive headphones like Planar Magnetics in the future. The Omni does have two stereo microphones integrated, but they are poor, if unusable in quality; without a doubt worse than your webcam.

    If you don't need all the features of 7.1 or 5.1 surround, SPDIF (Optical), better than 24-bit depth 96Hz sampling rate (things like YouTube and most games are limited to 16-bit 44Hz), and the software digital sound processing (EQ), you would be better off buying a standard DAC amp combo that works plug-and-play without any need for drivers. You can still use free software tools like Equalizer APO to add EQ to them too.

    Best of luck :)
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
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