sound cards

ASUS Xonar U3 Plus soundcard comes in a USB dongle

If you're an audio nut and only have a laptop with you, then you're mostly out of luck when it comes to boosting your rig with a better audio system. Luckily for you, ASUS might have just covered your needs. The latest addition to its Xonar line is the Xonar U3 Plus, an external DAC that can fit snugly into USB ports to deliver the power of a home studio but at a very portable and inconspicuous size of a USB dongle.

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Creative launches new Sound Blaster sound cards for PCs

We can thank GamesCon going on in Germany this week for all the new gaming hardware and peripherals that have surfaced today. At the show, Creative has unveiled its latest line of Sound Blaster soundcards for computer users. It has been a long time since we talked about a Sound Blaster sound card. The Sound Blaster used to be common in gaming PCs, but many people have started using HD integrated audio support on the mainboard rather than a add-on card for audio.

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AudioQuest’s DragonFly is a USB-powered digital-to-analog converter

Sound quality is important, and AudioQuest’s DragonFly is a simple device that anyone can use to bypass the not-so-great quality of a computer’s built-in sound card, turning it into a high-performance sound source to enjoy at home or on the go. DragonFly comes in the form of a flash drive that connects to any Mac or PC USB jack and uses an ESS Sabre DAC—a quality chip found in most high-end Blu-ray and CD players.

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ASUS Xonar DG gaming sound card caters to headphones

ASUS has taken the wraps off of its latest sound card, the gaming-centric ASUS Xonar DG.  Integrating the company's GX 2.5 gaming audio engine - together with Dolby Headphone 5.1 surround and a headset amp - the Xonar DG is targeted at gamers who prefer to use headphones rather than external speakers, and who find regular sound cards produce underwhelming headphone quality.

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ASUS Xonar Xense soundcard & Sennheiser PC350 headphones promise superlative gaming audio

ASUS has outed its latest soundcard, together with a partnership with audio manufacturer Sennheiser, and the two companies reckon their Xonar Xense system is the perfect match for demanding gamers.  Consisting of the ASUS Xonar Xense One audio card and the Sennheiser PC350 headphones, the setup includes first person shooter-optimized surround sound, Dolby Headphone 5.1 and Xonar GX2.5 support, and 6.5mm studio jacks rather than regular 3.5mm sockets.

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VIA Vinyl Envy VT1730 USB 2.0 audio controller drips connectivity

It used to be that you'd need a day-pass to a professional recording studio if you really wanted to do justice to your Human League tribute album, but these days you can do it all in your bedroom.  VIA's latest - the VIA Envy VT1730 USB 2.0 Audio Controller - takes things to the next level, offering 8 channels of 24-bit/192kHz recording or playback with a single USB 2.0 hookup to your host computer.

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Alesis MasterControl audio interface & control surface launches

Audio-specialists Alesis have released their latest combination audio interface and control surface, ideal for musicians looking to incorporate real-life instruments with computer-based synths and mixing software.  The MasterControl connects via FireWire and offers 44.1 to 192kHz recording via multiple inputs, as well as dozens of assignable controls including nine 100mm motorized faders, a jog-wheel, and eight 360-degree pots.

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ASUS Xonar Essence STX audiophile sound card

ASUS have announced a new sound card, the Xonar Essence STX, with a Burr-Brown PCM 1792A Digital-to-Analog Convertor (DAC), integrated headphone amplifier with under 0.001-percent distortion rate, and 124dB SNR (Signal-to-Noise Ratio).  Intended for audiophiles, the Essence STX is also capable of driving home theater setups with Dolby Digital Live technology.

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Numark MixMeister, OMNI CONTROL & NS7 USB DJ control surfaces

If you're more reliant on your computer for your digital music than Numark's standalone DJ products would allow, the company has three new control surfaces to offer.  The MixMeister, OMNI CONTROL and NS7 all offer varying degrees of hands-on tweaking for use in both studio and live situations.  The MixMeister Control is a USB-powered surface that comes with MixMeister's Fusion software; all 94 knobs and buttons correspond exactly with those on-screen, with Fusion handling the technical side of beat-matching, setting cue points and re-pitching.  Power and connectivity is handled by a single USB cable.

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