[This has been posted in both the Headphones and Soundcard forum as the product straddles both areas.] I recently bought the Asus Xonar U1, an external USB soundcard and thought I'd post my opinions here. The Xonar U1 is a headphone amp and external soundcard rolled into one neat package – ideal for both desktop and laptop use. Many people seem to ignore the sound part when buying or building a new PC. Up until now I have too, although not due to ignorance but due to two issues I had to overcome. 1) I was looking for a soundcard which had a front panel that gave me access to an external volume control. Most of them don't and the main one that does is the X-Fi Platinum Fatal1ty Champion Series which costs £110, quite pricey. 2) Having a young son has meant that most of my PC usage is done with the use of headphones nowadays (so to not wake him in the late hours!) I use a pair of Sennheiser HD 595's with my PC which offers a great open sound and is equally comfy for long gaming sessions! However, I felt that they really needed a headphone amp to get the best out of them but was put off by price again, with many of the decent brands costing over £100. I then came across a device that looked to solve both dilemmas. The Asus Xonar U1. On paper it seemed to solve all of my problems, combining an external soundcard with a decent headphone amplifier, all for just over £60 delivered. When looking to buy mine though, a fortnight ago, I could hardly find any retailers stocking this (I was surprised that some of the bigger technology sites like eBuyer, Scan and OCUK didn't even have it listed!) Komplett saved the day though, delivering it in a timely fashion and in good condition – kudos to them!