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Asus Xonar D1 Review



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

I watched Silent Hill, Matrix Revolutions, and the THX Demo Disc II.



  • 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)













Dolby Headphone just sounds amazing. My Eee PC has Dolby Headphone, but it doesn't sound as good as the Xonar D1. In DH-2 mode, it works extremely well in taking the sound away from between the headphones, or directly from each speaker, and creating virtual surround sound around the room. DH-3 mode takes it further for an even wider surround, but it starts to sound a bit metallic, as if you have big metal pipes on your ears. DH-1 goes the other way and makes the virtualised surround more subtle. But, for me, the effect is too subtle and ends up too similar to plain stereo. So, the suggested DH-2 mode when clicking Movie Mode does indeed work the best.

Dolby Virtual Speaker is equally as impressive, creating sounds to the sides and even slightly behind your listening position. But, you need to be fairly central between the speakers for the effect to work, so this virtualisation mode is best suited to a few people in a room where it's possible to sit as near dead-centre as possible. People off to the side won't benefit from Dolby Virtual Speaker and it actually ends up sounding a bit worse.


  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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