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Asus Xonar Essence STX Review

hardnrg    -   May 14, 2009
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Specifications:

 

Audio Performance Output Signal-to-Noise Ratio (A-Weighted):
124dB for Front-out,117dB for Headphone-out (600ohms) dB
Input Signal-to-Noise Ratio (A-Weighted):
118 dB
Output THD+N at 1kHz:
0.0003% (-110dB) for Front-out, 0.001% (-100dB) for Headphone-out
Input THD+N at 1kHz:
0.0002% (-113dB) for Line-in
Frequency Response (-3dB, 24-bit/192kHz input):
<10Hz to 90KHz
Output/Input Full-Scale Voltage
2 Vrms (5.65 Vp-p)
Bus Compatibility PCI Express:
116dB for front-out, 112dB for other channels dB
-PCI Express Rev. specification compatible
-Compatible with X1, X4, X8, X16 PCI Express slots
Main Chipset Audio Processor:
ASUS AV100 High-Definition Sound Processor (Max. 192KHz/24bit)
24-bit D-A Converter of Digital Sources:
Texas Instruments PCM1792A*1 for Front-Out (127dB SNR, Max. 192kHz/24bit)
24-bit A-D Converter for Analog Inputs:
Cirrus-Logic CS5381* 1 (120dB SNR, Max. 192kHz/24bit)
High Fidelity Headphone Amplifier:
Texas Instruments 6120A2*1 (120dB SNR, 100dB THD+N @ Vcc±12V, RL=600Ω, f=1kHz)
Sample Rate and Resolution Analog Playback Sample Rate and Resolution:
4.1K/48K/96K/192KHz @ 16/24bit
Analog Recording Sample Rate and Resolution:
44.1K/48K/96K/192KHz @ 16/24bit
S/PDIF Digital Output:
44.1K/48K/96K/192KHz @ 16/24bit, Dolby Digital
S/PDIF Digital Input:
44.1K/48K/96K/192KHz @ 16/24bit
ASIO 2.0 Driver Support:
Supports 44.1K/48K/96K/192KHz @16/24bit with very low latency
I/O Ports Analog Output Jack:
RCA jack *2 (Front R / Front L), 6.30mm jack*1 (Headphone out)
Analog Input Jack:
6.30mm jack *1 (Shared by Line-In/Mic-In)
Other line-level analog input (for CD-IN/TV Tuner):
Aux-In (4-pin header on the card)
Digital S/PDIF Output:
High-bandwidth Coaxial/TOS-Link combo port supports 192KHz/24bit
Front-Panel Header:
Shared by Headphone out / 2 channels out / Microphone in
S/PDIF Header:
Connects to compatible graphic cards for HDMI output

 

Features:

 

Driver Features Operation System:
Windows Vista/XP(32/64bit)/MCE2005
Dolby® Technologies:
Dolby® Digital Live
Dolby Digital Live encodes any audio signal on PC in real-time to Dolby Digital (AC3) 5.1 surround sounds to your home theater environment through one single S/PDIF connection

Dolby® Headphone
Dolby Headphone technology allows users to listen to music, watch movies, or play games with the dramatic 5.1-channel surround or realistic 3D spacious effects through any set of stereo headphones.

Dolby® Virtual Speaker
Dolby Virtual Speaker technology simulates a highly realistic 5.1-speaker surround sound listening environment from as few as two speakers.

Dolby® Pro-Logic IIx
Dolby Pro-Logic II is the well-known technology to process any native stereo or 5.1-channel audio into a 6.1- or 7.1- channel output, creating a seamless, natural surround soundfield.
Smart Volume Normalizer™:
Smart Volume Normalizer™
Normalizes the volume of all audio sources into a constant level and also enhances your 3D sound listening range and advantages in gaming
Xear 3D™ Virtual Speaker Shifter:
Virtual 7.1 speaker positioning
Magic Voice™:
Xonar Essence STX provides VocalFX, the latest vocal effect technologies for gaming and VoIP, including:
-VoiceEX: produces vivid environmental reverberation for your voice in EAX games
-ChatEX: emulates different background environment effects when you chat online
-Magic Voice: changes your voice pitch to different types (Monster/Cartoon) for disguising your real voice or just for fun in online chatting
Karaoke Functions:
Music Key-Shifting and Microphone Echo effects like professional Karaoke machine
FlexBass™:
Professional Bass Management/Enhancement system
3D Sound Engines/APIs:
Vista: DirectSound3D® GX 2.5, DirectSound® HW, DirectSound SW, A3D®1.0, OpenAL generic modes, 128 3D sounds processing capability

XP: DirectSound2.5 SW, A3D®1.0, OpenAL generic modes, 128 3D sounds processing capability

DS3D GX2.0:
DS3D GX 2.5 gaming sound effects and DirectSound 3D hardware enhanced functions on Windows Vista. (DirectX/DirectSound 3D compatible)
Bundled Software Utility  
Accessories 1 x 3.5mm-to-RCA adaptor cable
1 x S/PDIF optical adaptor

 

  • All specifications are subject to change without notice. Please check with your supplier for exact offers. Products may not be available in all markets.
  • PCB color and bundled software versions are subject to change without notice.
  • Brand and product names mentioned are trademarks of their respective companies.

 




  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Closer Look (The Sound Card)
  3. Closer Look (Drivers & Programs)
  4. Specifications & Features
  5. Testing: Setup & Listening Gear
  6. Testing: RightMark (RMAA)
  7. Testing: Subjective Listening (Music)
  8. Testing: Subjective Listening (Games)
  9. Testing: Subjective Listening (Movies)
  10. Conclusion
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