Summary: I have used this card in a few customer builds. They have all been more than satisfied. In the 50 dollar price range, this is the upgrade to get when going from onboard audio. This card is certainly not audiophile grade, but is more than enough for the average user wanting better than onboard. The added bonus is the ability to upgrade the opamp section on the card. I recommend it to people on a budget.
Pros: Sound quality for price, and ability to upgrade opamp section.
Pros: I thought that the onboard Realtek audio chip sounded good, until I installed the Xonar a couple of hours ago. I no longer like the Realtek because this thing sounds amazing. The sound quality is crystal clear and sounds natural, going through a Pioneer receiver and Klipsch speakers. I am hearing things in the music that I had never heard before, too.
Cons: Like other people have already mentioned, installing the 64 bit Windows 7 drivers obtained from ASUS's website is a pain. The only thing that worked for me was to boot into safe mode and then install them. They installed in mere seconds and after rebooting, the Xonar card works perfectly. I have not and doubt that I will install any of the software from the CD that came with the card. It works fine as it is.
Summary: Do these things and you will not have a problem with this card: 1. Delete all traces of your current audio drivers. Use the free version of Revo uninstaller or similar. 2.Download and save the most recent applicable driver from the mfg website. 3.Install the card in the proper slot. If you have no experience with these things, google it. 4.Power up the computer, install the driver you downloaded.
Greatly Improved Sound Quality For Such a Low Price
30 October 2012
Pros: What is so good about this card is that for the price of $54 you get high quality sound from using this card. I used this card in combination with a pair of $100 5.1 surround sound Logitech speakers and it improved the sound quality so much that the speakers sound like they are a lot more expensive. It takes a little playing around with the playback mixer, flex bass, and to adjust the decibel sliders for each sound effect under effects, but once you have it right it s...
Don't use the drivers included on cd for win7pro x64
25 September 2012
Pros: Nice card with quality components. The ability to swap out certain audio components on the card may appeal to some. Front panel pins on the soundcard match right up with the plug from the case.
Cons: If you using this in a Windows 7 64 bit (and it may affect 32 bit as well), do NOT use the included drivers on the cd. Go to the asus website and download the latest. Why? Upon installing the cd version of the drivers, it caused my Windows installation to throw up error messages like "Explorer.exe execution failed" or something to that effect. A reboot to safe mode to uninstall the drivers fixed that situation. The newer drivers did not cause the "Explorer.exe executi...
Summary: At first i was using this card with a stereo headset and oh my gosh the sound was so crisp and clear. I played bf3 and me3 and both sounded great. Then my 7.1 Razer Tiamats came. Took a long time to adjust to the 7.1 and flex bass has to be on or else it sounds like crap. MAKE SURE TO DOWNLOAD DRIVERS FROM ASUS WEBSITE.
Summary: Very nice card ! I upgraded from my 5.1 rocketfish and it is awesome for my 7.1. I wanted to buy a 7.1 soundcard for the razer Tiamat 7.1, but I didn't get the chance to test it, because Tiamat are still Back order. I didn't want to pay a lot for a soundcard and I was really surprise ! so many options and drivers and it work very good. There are so many other soundcards that cost more for less options and quality. I recommend this sound card !
Pros: Good price, nice drivers and very good overall