The newest sound card from Asus works with desktops and laptops.
One of the limitations of a notebook is that only select parts are upgradeable. The sound system isn't usually one of them, though external sound card solutions provide an end-around to achieving superior audio. One of the newest options is Asus' newly introduced Xonar U7, a compact and external USB sound card and headphone amplifier that you can use with your notebook or desktop system.
The Xonar U7 is targeted at gamers who prefer to use headphones over speakers, though Asus says it's also an ideal solution for listening to music.
"While other USB audio devices leave out hardware features in order to maintain a small form factor and are typically only capable of 5.1-channel surround due to limited power supply, Xonar U7 engineering overcomes these constraints to offer strong and immersive 7.1-channel performance," Asus says .
Asus rates the Xonar U7's signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) at 114dB. The sound card uses a Cirrus Logic CS4398 DAC and "Asus Hyper Grounding PCB" fabrication that's supposed to insulate the signal to reduce distortion and interference (crosstalk).
No word yet on when the Xonar U7 will be available to purchase or for how much.