Summary: The Xonar U7 is an interesting product. Between all the Xonars, from the plucky DG to the Essence STU, the U7 is actually high up there in terms of specifications and quality. You get 24-bit/192KHz playback and recording, Dolby HTv4, all kinds of inputs and outputs, knobs, buttons, and lights. The U7 is also understated and compact in design, USB powered, solid drivers, and from my extensive testing, very pleasing sound.
Excerpt: Using external sound cards is a common practice for those who desire higher quality audio from their notebook or even desktop when there are space or technical restrictions in place limiting their options available. Till recently, the only available audio processing via USB from the Xonar camp was the lightweight U3, or the ultra high end Xonar Essence DACs that require the sale of essential body parts and organs to afford.