Story behind the Masterpiece Thousands of years ago, our ancestors
crystallized their knowledge of the materials and music into the Chime
of Tiger, one of the first audio masterpiece in human history.
Gold-plated on the EMI shield, the Chime of Tiger totem not only
represents Xonar team¡¯s new footnote in audio innovation, but also
mankind's endless pursuit of the Essence of Sound.
Industry-leading 124dB SNR (Signal-to-Noise
Choosing only the best components and finest design, Xonar Essence STX
achieves unprecedented 124 dB SNR ¨C 64 times clear than on-board
solutions, bringing top-o-the shelf audio experience for audiophiles.
Built-in headphone amp
A high-quality TI TPA6120A2 headphone driver supports headphones up to
600ohms of impendence with lower than 0.001% distortion. Drive your
headphones as intended without additional amplification.
Hyper-Grounding circuitry design
This exclusive ASUS technique utilizes multi-layer PCB design to
separate signal and noise, ensuring only the cleanest signals are passed
to sensitive components.
Perfectly sealed analog output path
EMI and shielding seals all analog output signals perfectly from noise,
offering distortion-free audio enjoyment.
High quality DAC
The Burr-Brown PCM 1792A Digital-to-Analog Convertor (DAC) converts
signals at 127dB signal-to-noise ratio.
Nichicon "Fine Gold" professional audio
Using state-of-the-art etching technology, Nichicon "Fine Gold"
capacitors deliver rich bass and crystal-clear high frequencies.
Swappable OPA Sockets
Tune up your unique sound - OPAMP sockets allow simple, solder-less
alteration for user-preferred sound color.
Package Contents Xonar™ Essence STX 2 Channel PCI Express Audio Card
RCA to 3.5mm Y cable
6.3mm to 3.5mm adaptor
S/PDIF TOSLINK optical adaptors *1
Quick Start Guide
Audio Precision test report
System Requirements One PCI Express 1.0 (or higher) compatible slot for the audio
Microsoft® Windows® Vista(32/64bit)/XP(32/64bit)/MCE2005
Intel® Pentium®4 1.4GHz or AMD Athlon 1400 CPU or faster CPU
>256 MB DRAM system memory
>60 MB available HDD space for driver installation package
CD-ROM drive (or DVD-ROM drive) for software installation
High-quality headphones, powered analog speakers, or a Dolby Digital
decoder, to enjoy the ultra-high fidelity sounds of the card
- by Shu_M @Nov 15, 2013
Output Signal-to-Noise Ratio (A-Weighted) (Front-out) : 124 dB
Output Signal-to-Noise Ratio (A-Weighted) (Headphone-out) : 117 dB
Input Signal-to-Noise Ratio (A-Weighted) : 118 dB Output THD+N at 1kHz (Front-out) :
>0.0003 %(-110 dB) Output THD+N at 1kHz (Headphone-out) :
>0.001 %(-100 dB)
Frequency Response (-3dB, 16bit/44.1KHz input) : 10 Hz to 90 KHz
Output/Input Full-Scale Voltage :
Unbalanced Output : 2 Vrms (5.65 Vp-p)
Analog Playback Sample Rate and Resolution :
44.1K/48K/88.2K/96K/176.4K/192KHz @ 16bit/24bit
Analog Recording Sample Rate and Resolution :
44.1K/48K/88.2K/96K/176.4K/192KHz @ 16bit/24bit S/PDIF Digital Output :
44.1K/48K/88.2K/96K/176.4K/192KHz @ 16bit/24bit ASIO Driver Support :
44.1K/48K/88.2K/96K/176.4K/192KHz @ 16bit/24bit
1 x 6.3 mm jack (1/4") Headphone out
2 x RCA (Un-Balanced) Analog Input
1 x 6.3 mm jack (1/4") (Line-in/ Mic-in combo) Digital 1 x S/PDIF out (1 x Optical / Coaxial combo)
1 x Front-Panel Header
1 x Aux in (4-pin header)
Dolby® Technologies : Dolby® Digital Live/Dolby® Headphone /Dolby® Virtual Speaker /Dolby® Pro-Logic II
GX 2.5 Game Audio Engine
S/PDIF adaptor x 1
3.5mm-to-RCA adaptor cable (8-ch) x 1
6.3mm to 3.5mm stereo adapter x 0
Quick Start Guide x 1
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Reviews from the Web
Below are reviews found on other web sites for this product submitted by customers.
The sound quality of the Xonar Essence STX far surpasses any commercially available and viable sound card in it's price category. Barring sound cards costing £200 upwards, the Asus Xonar really is musically the best card you can get at the moment.
At around $200 US, this card is definitely not for everyone. However, anyone that enjoys music, or who wants to enjoy it all over again should be hitting the stores for this. It’s truly a high performance product.
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Great sound as usual from asus. a must buy if you are working with music and have a large set of cans that need powering. the op amps are swappable if you are into that. the stock ones are pretty good already
I was skeptical at first wondering if there was a clear difference between on board audio and dedicated sound. After using this sound card I was amazed at the difference it made when listening to music and gaming. It has a wide range of effects and modes for anything you would want to listen to. I definitely recommend this product for anyone who can spare the money and enjoys high quality sound.
This review was modfied by poster @ 04-13-13 07:53 PM
Overall I'm satisfied with my purchase but I was expecting it to perform better to my expectation. You'd notice a big difference in sound coming from an on board audio w/o dedicated headphone amp but this sound card can just be considered as an entry level audiophile in terms of its headphone amp, however, its DAC chip is proven to be a very high end unit that are sold in ~$1,000 DAC receiver/external unit. You may still consider this a good purchase just for the DAC performance alone and it's got front R/L analog output in case you ever want to pair it with a better external amp.
It's all set up for audio reproduction so out of the box it does sound a little flat, with the included software though there are dozens of preset combinations to choose from, after a few minutes you'll have it sounding just how you want it.
It's so pretty, like honestly this thing looks classy but it's not what's on the the outside but the inside that counts and this thing can count, not litterally but you know what I mean, It's very very good.
The ASUS Xonar Essence STX, You get a 12dB boost for 300-Ohms & 18dB boost for 600-Ohm headphones. You can use it with the 32-ohm headphones like me. I bought it just for the amplifier. The DG sound card gives you 6dB boost I guess. The max windows volume you can set the STX at is between 40%~50% depending on the headphones, Any higher you'll get distortion. Distortion that you really can hear on the Sony MDR-XB500, set the XB500 to 30%-40% windows volume at +18dB gain or, 50% at +12dB gain. You want loud EarRinging bass?!?! ツ The AKG K414P is louder then the XB500 due to it's efficiency, It can be loud on a iPhone or iPod. With the K414P You can set the windows volume to 50% at +18dB gain & You can even turn up the 30Hz & 60Hz equalizer 5 notches by simply clicking on the bar above the adjuster to automatically move it up 5 notches. To get to the equalizers click on the Effect button in the ASUS Xonar Essence STX Audio Center Software & To adjust the gain In Main Tab click on the button that looks like a hammer by the "Analog Out, Headphone select ed" There you can select high Gain 12dB & Extra High Gain 18dB. You can also check boxes for Dolby Headphone & 7.1 Virtual Speakers Shifter, It may give you more bass.
this soundcard is crazy!!! with an even crazier price tag, but the sound is amazing!! it better be the best at this price. dedicated jack for headphones so no need to play with an adapter, it looks funny anyways with all that baggage at the back of the pc lol
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