X-Tube DTS Surround Sound Sensation Laptop Dongle Gets Reviewed With Surprisingly Positive VerdictS

Curse the fact (again) I don't live in Japan! Akihabara News has greased their mitts all over Hanwa's dongle, which upgrades the audio on your laptop to that of DTS surround sound sensation.

After admitting they were—understandably—skeptical about what the dongle would do to a laptop's audio, the Windows-only peripheral comes with DTS headphones, an installation CD and detachable USB port.

Akihabara News says the dongle is "stylish and well-built," but "you won't get a sound like that produced by a real tube headphone amp since it's not a real vacuum tube." While the dongle may've gone down well with the site, the headphones were derided as being "cheap" (though with the whole bundle costing the equivalent of $45 it's not surprising really), so they used their own headphones instead.

After installing the software, you have to set the surround effects for either music or movies, with both formats working well—"the result is far from being bad," though it's "more of an amplification of the sound than a surrounding simulation."

It may only be available in Japan so far, but with Akihabara News saying it "may be the best alternative to your laptop built-in audio system," I can already sense all the Japanese export sites buying up stock. [Akihabara News]