- Specifications and Product Pictures
- Connectivity and Initial Impressions
- Sound Quality
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Connecting the U7 was the simplest thing in the world. Find a free USB port and plug in the bundled USB cable to the U7 and voila it is powered up.
The U7 is, however, not plug-and-play like most USB sound cards, and you need to install the drivers in order to use the sound card.
There is very little in the way of bundled software with the U7. Creative is known to bundle a ton of sound tweaking software that works only with their sound cards.
ASUS decided to bundle only one software besides the drivers which are Dolby Home Theatre v4. Dolby Home Theatre features a 10 band equalizer with different profiles for games, music, movies etc with the option of creating up to 6 different profiles for different games. The software comes with 2 enhancements called ‘Dialog enhancer’ and ‘Surround Virtualization’ which does a decent task.
The bundled drivers also offer their own surround tweaks, but that, of course, will only work with the U7 plugged in. The driver software UI seems almost like an afterthought and seems too basic though frankly, it has a good amount of tweaks. Creative driver UI is generally more polished.
One advantage of the Dolby software is that it works with any sound card. So if you use the Dolby software regularly you can continue to use it when you upgrade your sound card in the future.
ASUS U7 comes with a hardware switch so you can rotate between headphone, speakers and digital speakers.
If you plug in a headphone it will automatically switch to a headphone. However connecting headphones create a new instance of ASUS U7 in the Windows Device manager, and while Windows should automatically select the new sound card, some music software (like the popular Foobar) will not and you will have to manually select the new sound card. There is also a built in volume control which is very useful.
The build quality of the card is very good and while I did not open it to see the internals there are photos on the internet which show it to be a well made PCB.