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  • ASUS Xonar Essence ST Headphone 7.1-Channel Audio Card for Audiophiles
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ASUS Xonar Essence ST Headphone 7.1-Channel Audio Card for Audiophiles

by Asus
8 customer reviews

Available from these sellers.
  • Form Factor:Internal
  • Interface Type:PCI
  • Device Type:Sound card
3 new from $227.66

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Product Description

Sample Rate:44.1 kHz (min) - 192 kHz (max), Signal-To-Noise Ratio:124 dB, Sound Output Mode:Stereo, DAC Resolution:24-bit, Audio Modes:Playback : 24-bit 192 kHz - 124 dB ¦ Record : 24-bit 192 kHz - 118 dB, Compliant Standards:DirectSound, A3D 1.0, OpenAL, Dolby Digital Live, Dolby Virtual Speaker, Dolby Headphone, DirectSound3D GX 2.5, Dolby Pro Logic II, Frequency Response:10 - 90000 Hz, Interfaces:1 x audio line-out - RCA x 2 ¦ 1 x headphones ¦ 1 x audio line-in/microphone ¦ 1 x audio line-in - 4 PIN MPC ¦ 1 x SPDIF output - RCA, Cables Included:1 x audio (optical) adapter, Signal Processor:ASUS AV100, OS Required:Microsoft Windows XP, Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005, Microsoft Windows Vista


Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 7.5 x 2.4 inches ; 1.8 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • ASIN: B002BZIZ04
  • Item model number: XONAR_ESSENCEST/A
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 38 people found the following review helpful By garbulky on March 19, 2010
I thought I'd try to give a layman's view of this sound-card who has dabbled a bit as Im sure you will get plenty of audiophiles talk about this card and in my past experience that has left me baffled as I didn't relate to it.
let me give you a background: I have used onboard audio and an audigy 2zs.
I can't comment on the gaming part of this card as I have not tried it. I bought this card purely for two channel audio on speakers and headphones.

I was attracted to this card as this is one of the few cards I've seen that were genuinely dedicated towards proper two channel audio. I have a Sennheisser HD600 powered by Xenos H3A and pair of Axiom M80ti's towers powered by a decent power amp and also a regular tv sound. Have also used Cambridge Megaworks 510D for many years (and loved it!) and experienced many different PC speakers like Logitech Z-5500, Klipsch promedias etc.
If you don't have a really good set of speakers or headphones, don't bother buying this card because you won't find much of a significant difference from this and any other regular decent soundcard out there.
So to make this very clear, if you have a good PC speaker system like Logitech Z-5500 or a Cambridge Soundworks Megaworks, the sound quality you will get will be decent but the upgrade over a mid-range PC soundcard like an Audigy 2 that you own will probably not be worth it to you (10%-20 in my estimation).

On the other hand, if you own a good set of headphones like a sennheisser HD600 or similar or a proper set of speakers and amplifier, the sound quality increase you are going to get is exceptional and very worth it!
I thought my audigy 2zs was worlds above the onboard sound card, Live! and Monster sound MX300 cards I owned. I also really enjoyed the sound.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By John Smith on May 18, 2010
I am writing this review to let you know that ST sounds better than STX which is designed for PCIE interface. I purchased two versions and auditioned them carefully. Both sound far superior to Creative Elite Pro, Fatal1ty professional and HT Omega Claro Plus that I have listened before. But vocals of STX sound nasal and rugh compared to ST. ST sounds more natural and refined with much deeper and more realistic bass sound reproduction. The Stereophile magazine reviewer said ST and STX appear to be identical, but they "indeed" sound different. They are not merely designed for different interfaces. No wonder ST is priced higher. I decided to keep ST and return STX for refund.

My speaker system is Creative GigaWorks T3. It sounds excellent with ST and STX. Today I will receive Razer Mako. Can't wait to see how it will play with ST.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By King Neptune on November 19, 2012
Verified Purchase
Before I pulled the trigger on this audio card, I had doubts. I knew it would probably sound better than any onboard card, but would it sound better than the Creative card I was using. The answer is a definitive yes. No contest. The ASUS Xonar Essence ST is outstanding!

Installation was a piece of cake. Just plug into the PCI-E slot and hook up the molex connector. I had none of the problems people had described in earlier posts about old drivers. I just went to the ASUS website and downloaded the current drivers. Piece of cake.

The sound is just incredible. There are so many different options for how the sound is delivered. You can set up for music, movies, so forth... all on the fly. There are a variety of different sound effect options to enhance your sound, such as: room, concert hall, padded cell, etc. The interface is very user-friendly and won't require you to be tech savvy in order to achieve the desired sound.

After using this ASUS audiophile card, I can't see myself ever settling for the Creative cards again. I'll be enjoying the best audio card I've ever found, the ASUS Xonar Essence ST Headphone 7.1-Channel Audio Card for Audiophiles
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sigpaw on December 4, 2011
Verified Purchase
I got this for my new HTPC build. My previous HTPC builds concentrated more on TV, video and storage space for the same. But my new build is my final attempt to get it ALL right (TV, video, sound AND gaming performance).

I am still using my MoBo sound chip and its associated optical output for surround sound output for movies, TV and Games. But am using the Xonar Essence analog stereo outputs into my stereo audio system (which is connected to a pair of Martin ESLs) for audiophile quality sound. All my audio files are now in lossless FLAC format and many are Hi-Def 96khz 24 bit / 192khz 24 bit recordings. This card has stellar sound quality and NO detectable noise at all. Its quite nice to be listening to something LOUD and after the song ends and fades to silence there is NOTHING. Simply AMAZING.

The current driver (7.1281794) does have an occasional problem on "return from Sleep". The internal relay that selects between Headphones and Line Out sometimes doesn't return to its previous "before Sleep" state. But opening the driver applet and manually selecting always seems to fix it. I suspect this may be because the driver is restoring the relay state before the power supply can reliably restore all supply rails from the "Sleep/Powered Down" state.
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