Asus Xonar U1 USB Audio Processor looks like a flying saucer

We're always interested in unusual-looking USB outboard boxes for PCs, especially when it comes to great-sounding audio. That's because the farther away your audio components are from all that electronic noise and static inside your computer, the better. That's why this Xonar U1 USB Audio Processor makes sense, sitting aside your laptop or desktop PC and raising the quality of its audio with a 5.1 channel digital output. Adding to its appeal is its kooky design, looking like an alien spacecraft that's somehow landed on your desktop.

It also includes a noise-canceling mic for clean input no matter how much racket you have in your environment. It's even able to simulate 5.1 surround sound with ordinary stereo signals, and gives those mp3s a boost with its high-end DAC (digital-to-analog converter). Asus isn't saying when these pretty outboard audio enhancers will ship or at what price, but we're looking forward to hooking one up to an old laptop to use in our home theater.

Via Laptop Logic