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Asus Xonar D1 Review



For this review, I ran a few games that I knew had good EAX effects, and again, ones that I am familiar with from many hours of gameplay. These games are Unreal Tournament 2004, FarCry, and Call of Duty. The ALchemy pages on the Creative website actually use Call of Duty to demonstrate the difference between the sound experienced with and without EAX actually working in Vista. The GX mode of the Xonar D1 is similar to ALchemy in that it provides EAX enhancement for games played in Vista.




















  • Audio Channel: 8 Channels
  • Analog Out: Headphone or 2 Speakers


Game Mode: Enables Dolby Headphone (DH-2: Livelier Room) or Dolby Virtual Speaker (Reference Mode)

This surprised me in that the sounds were definitely a lot more three-dimensional when the Head-Related Transfer Function (HTFR) algorithms of Dolby Headphone or Dolby Virtual Speaker are enabled. It works very well, and I like the resulting sound much more than Creative's CMSS 3D virtualisation DSP.

Game Mode + GX: This enables the EAX support

WHOA! This is so good, the GX makes the games so immersive that I found myself wanting to play them all over again! The GX isn't quite as polished as true hardware EAX, but it is very close, and combined with the Dolby Headphone DSP, this is now my favourite audio setup for games!



  • Audio Channel: 8 Channels
  • Analog Out: 5.1 Speakers
  • FlexBass:
    • LFE Crossover Frequency: 64Hz
    • all speakers: Small
  • Turtle Beach EarForce X-52 5.1 Headphones:
    • Front: 3
    • Rear: 4.5
    • Centre: 4.2
    • Sub: 10


GX Only: (Game Mode disables FlexBass)

It took a while to find the settings that worked the best, but it ended up pretty good! The "baseball bat hitting foil" grenade effect is not nearly as severe as with the X-Fi, but unfortunately it's still there due to the limitations of the speakers inside the headphones. Overall, the sound is pretty immersive, and its very atmospheric, but I didn't really know where some sounds were coming from. I still am very dubious about 5.1 headphones though, and much prefer the gaming experience of using stereo headphones with Dolby Headphone DSP to using 5.1 headphones, or even stereo speakers.


  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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