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Asus Xonar Essence STX Review

hardnrg    -   May 14, 2009
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Testing:

After the addictive gaming session, I was eager to find out what pre-recorded multi-channel audio sounded like!

I watched The Matrix trilogy, and the THX Demo Disc II.

 

Settings:

  • Audio Channel: 6 Channels
  • Analog Out: Headphone or 2 Speakers
  • Movie Mode: Enables Dolby Headphone (DH-2: Livelier Room) or Dolby Virtual Speaker (Wide Mode)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As with the gaming tests, the Dolby Virtual Speaker mode is good, but the virtualisation effect of Dolby Headphone is much more impressive. It is as if the movies have been re-recorded as a binaural audio track, specifically for headphones, to make the sounds appear to come from around the room rather than directly from the earcups on either side of your head. It makes sense that if anyone is going to nail headphone surround virtualization, it would be Dolby Laboratories. You really have to hear it to appreciate how well Dolby Headphone works, but suffice it to say, the surround sound simulation works better than Creative's CMSS and the headphone virtualisation modes found in ffdshow and Cyberlink PowerDVD. It is literally the best surround sound effect through headphones that I have ever experienced, and I prefer watching movies this way when at my desk, or when watching loud action movies late at night when playing sounds through speakers would be unfair on the neighbors!

 




  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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