Summary: This card was a waist of money. The card did not amplify audio but degraded it. When I took it out of the box all the tiny pieces on the board were bent. When I tried to straighten them it didn't fix my audio issues. The card was really flimsy inside the slot before you put it in. the audio kept popping every second when you played audio. Thought it was the drivers so I installed windows 7 (vs 8 instead) just to see if that made a difference but no luck.
Summary: Definitely enhanced my music experience. I realized that there was more to quality sound than good headphones and high bitrates once I installed this guy. I have it paired with a pair of Sony MDR-V600 (old headphones I got for about $60) and it's simply the best thing I've heard. And it's cheap too! I'll admit I'm not a hugely experienced audiophile, but I'm far from disappointed with this purchase. If you're in the same boat as me, I definitely recommend these.
The card works and the sound is great, it's just the driver issue in windows 7
gadget geek, Amazon
15 January 2015
Summary: Problem with this card is the drivers are not digitally signed and I've been unable to locate on internet where one is available. It is not available from ASUS(the official ASUS driver isn't digitally signed). The card works and the sound is great, it's just the driver issue in windows 7. Which is really a Microsoft issue.
Summary: defective out of the box- What else is there to say? I sent it back and decided to spend a little bit more, and get some quality and maybe a little bit more dependability. I went with the Traktor audio 2 usb sound card and couldn't be happier.
Summary: Originally I would rate this 2 stars because I bought it to use the toslink connection and like everyone else all I could get it to do was play 2 channels. Finally after spending about 2 hours messing around with it, I tried installing the bundled software + driver, then uninstalled the audio control panel. I then went into Windows audio to configure the optical audio out and was able to get 5.1 surround working!! It sounds great too.
Summary: Asus drivers completely wasted a fresh Windows 8.1 64bit installation (Gigabyte X79-UP4 with a GeForce NVIDIA 610 dual monitor graphics card). Asus may make good electronics, but in my experience the supporting stuff shows questionable engineering. For example, an Asus motherboard that requires Internet access to initialize, but the Asus Internet page won't render on resolution available from the board's built in video adapter.
EXCELLENT Budget sound card, better sound than cards costing a LOT more.
3 May 2014
Summary: I mostly got this for the OPTICAL output. I have used 5.1 and 7.1 with very high-end amps and found no diff. So, seriously, unless you have a REALLY big living room, those 2 extra channels are not going to add anything. IMHO, Xonar beats Creative Labs (Sound Blaster) for sound quality. If you can't afford a high end discrete DAC, the Xonar line is a good option. I had the Xonar Essence and then moved up to a discrete DAC.
Summary: This card does all of what you would expect, but with a few other key features often reserved for much more expensive cards. The headphone amp is great. It can easily drive a pair of studio monitors (MDR-V6) without any distortion, even when turned to 100%. It also has the option to boost the signal depending on the impedance of the headphones (or speakers) you're using. It has three settings: <32 ohms, 32-64 ohms, and 64 ohms.