- Brand Name: Asus
- Model Number: XONAR_ESSENCEST
ASUS Xonar Essence ST 24-bit 192KHz PCI Interface Audio Card
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- The ASUS Xonar Essence ST is a PCI audio card is the worlds first audio card to focus on precision clock tuning to minimize audio jitter. The result is extensive musical details and lively sound image that presents a revolutionary experience.
- Equipping the Xonar Essence ST with the best components and the finest design, the ST delivers a top-of-the-line audio experience with a 124 dB SNR rating.
- With a built-in headphone amp that can power headphones up to 600 ohms and 6.3 mm headphone jacks, the STX makes a perfect pair with high-end headphones.
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Top Customer Reviews
In order to get the best performance out of the card I suggest the following settings for headphone playback:
--Install the latest driver from the Asus website (currently "Beta Version 18.104.22.1681", for Win 7 x64). In the Asus control panel select: "2 Channel", "PCM 192 kHz" and "Headphone". Also, click the "HF" button in the DSP section which puts the card in Hi-Fi mode and disables all sound effects.
--From the Windows control panel open the 'Sound' panel. In the 'Playback' tab you should have 'Speakers (ASUS Xonar Essence ST Audio Device)' as the default device. Right-click 'Speakers' and select 'Properties'. In the 'Speakers Properties' panel that opens select the 'Advanced' tab. Select '24 bit, 192000 Hz (Studio Quality)' from the drop-down menu in 'Default Format', and make sure both boxes are checked in the 'Exclusive mode' section and click 'Apply'.
--Install the free and excellent foobar2000 player with the WASAPI output support component which allows exclusive control of the audio driver, bypassing the mixing/resampling layers of DirectSound (DS). To do so, after you install foobar, go to the 'Components' section of the foobar preferences and click 'Get more components'. In the webpage that opens find 'WASAPI output support', download and double-click the module installer and then click 'Apply' in the foobar 'Components' window. It will restart foobar and if everything goes well you should see 'foo_out_wasapi' in the list of modules.Read more ›
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.
I replaced a good sound card (HT Omega Striker) because I was missing the fuller sound I used to get with the Claro Halo. The Halo is a great card but it's not as good as the ST. The ST turned my $300 Logitech THX stereo speakers into beautiful, layered, room filling sound.
I've read many reviews where people are extolling its virtues but you have to hear it for yourself. It's spectacular. Under cons people often say the price. Au contraire. For under $500 (speakers plus the ST) I've turned my computer into a high end stereo. Like I said you've really got to experience it to believe it.
The installation was no big deal though you do have to hook it up to your power source. I downloaded the Win 7 driver from their web site. Good to go.
I don't use head phones or play video games. For what I wanted, great sound and great music from around the world, this is the promised land. I couldn't be happier with it.
My power supply is an Antec with very low electrical noise and a large RF choke filter on the card's power cable also. My UPS/power strip is also noise filtered.
I can hear an ocean of sound, from the deep dark depths to the rippling, curling, crashing tips of the waves of audio coming forth. No static hiss at all unless it was in the track itself. So clear that when you watch a movie you swear you can hear the director breathing behind the camera.
The stock JRC opamps are bassier, good for music. They lack the razor sharp sound of the LME's though in the high-end and mid-range.
Used with Harman Kardon Signature 2.1 amplifier
Ed Frias Modified BIC DV62si and DV62Clrs- All with NHT 6ohm silk tweeters
NHT SW2p Sub enclosure with Infinity 4 ohm (same FS) 10" and KG5150 amp
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I found two major issues with the card:
1) There is a constant low audible static(with no sound playing | and Smart Volume Off) for more sensitive phones(32 ohm). Read more
When it's working, I have been pleased with the sound, both for gaming and music. BUT, at least once a month the card just 'goes away' and I have to re-install the drivers, with... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Athletic Anchovy
First a caveat. I have replaced the stock opamps with Burson V5i opamps. It does improve the sound. Now Derek and the Dominoes (Layla) does not sound so distorted. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Classic Rock Fan
As good as it gets. Fantastic headphone amp too, not the most powerful, but more than enough for 95% of peoplePublished 13 months ago by Andrew Watson
Listen people if you got a high end laptop or computer (anything over a grand or under)it should be able to play all your 24/192 files stock,so don't waste your money on a... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Dmac
Probably the best sound card I've owned in a while. Matched with Grado headphones, this thing delivers!Published 14 months ago by H. Switalski