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9.3 out of 10

Asus Xonar Essence STX

Industry-leading 124dB SNR - Built-in headphone amp drives eve Read more

Great Deal: $179.89

Reviews and Problems with Asus Xonar Essence STX

Showing 1-10 of 18

Expert Review

Tweak News
22 April 2010
  • Excerpt: Asus' Xonar Essence STX may be pricey, but for audiophiles or those with the money to spend on an excellent sound card, this is the one to get. It looks good and performs even better. It's made with high quality components throughout, right down to the capacitors and EMI shield and this attention to detail becomes evident right from the first listen.
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Overall 9
Value for money 8
Performance 9
Construction 10
Functionality 9
Appearance 10

ASUS Xonar Essence STX PCI-E Sound Card

Benchmark Reviews
15 February 2010
  • Conclusion: As the performance graphs show, the ASUS Xonar Essence STX is a high achiever. It blitzed all tests, bar one, where the Xonar Xense got a slight upper hand in frequency response. The Essence STX absolutely obliterated the onboard solution in all tests, which is a good sign considering the asking price. Despite the lack of native EAX support, the Essence STX does surprisingly well in games.
  • Pros: Crisp audio output, Near flat frequency response, Respectable headphone amp, Very low noise levels on both line-in and line-out, Top-tier components, such as the capacitors, DAC and op-amps, Op-amps are user replaceable, Drivers work flawlessly on Vista and 7, Dolby Headphone works well for movies and games
  • Cons: Need pricey equipment to appreciate the added quality of sound, EAX emulation isn't quite as good as a native hardware solution, No hotkeys to quickly alter settings in Xonar Audio Center
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Overall 9

Asus Xonar Essence STX

maximum pc
23 July 2009
  • Excerpt: There are a few dirty secrets in the tech industry, and one of the best-guarded among them regards multichannel audio—everybody wants multichannel audio but almost no one actually runs the speakers to use it. Sure, we all cheered when PC audio went from 4.1 to 5.1, and then from 6.1 to 7.1, but who actually runs that many satellites around his or her PC? That’s why Asus’s Xonar Essence STX is a soundcard that’s long overdue.
  • Pros: Clean and pure sound output and control over headphone impedance.
  • Cons: Pricey and lacks full EAX support.
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ASUS Xonar Essence STX PCI Express sound card review

Elite Bastards
18 May 2009
  • Conclusion: When we came to the climax of our review of Auzentech's new X-Fi Forte a couple of weeks ago, we labelled it as our new "king of the hill" as far as discrete audio solutions go.  Indeed, it was almost a minor miracle in the way it squeezed so much functionality into such a small board, and without sacrificing audio quality to boot.
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Asus Xonar Essence STX

Overclockers Club
3 April 2009
  • Conclusion: As with most products, I was slightly apprehensive about the Xonar Essence STX before I heard it. I asked myself, how could a small, simple amplifier on a soundcard perform anywhere near as well as a standalone headphone amplifier? The answer is, it performs spectacularly thanks to the high quality components producing the line-level audio signal, as well as the very capable headphone amplification circuitry.
  • Pros: The DAC, capacitors, and op-amps on the card produce an extremely pure and transparent sound, Hugely dynamic and accurate sound on any headphones using the onboard headphone amplifier, Headphone amplification works for the front panel (case) audio sockets, Flawless driver compatibility in Vista 64-bit, The multi-band EQ works much better than the implementations by Creative and Realtek, Large jacks and RCA/phono sockets instead of 3.5mm stereo sockets, Adaptors includ...
  • Cons: The GX mode isn't a 100% exact emulation of EAX
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Overall 8

Expert Review

2 February 2009
  • Excerpt: The Xonar Essence STX sound card offers stellar sound, and it's one of the best choices available if you listen to music over quality headphones.
  • Pros: Superb audio quality, Dedicated headphone amplifier, Swappable op-amps, Direct3D, EAX emulation for XP, Vista games
  • Cons: Analog output is stereo-only
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Overall 10

Expert Review

Tweak Town
13 January 2009
  • Excerpt: The ASUS Xonar line of comprehensive audio solutions has been an impressive option for gamers through to music lovers ever since I took a look at the first Xonar D2 PCI board some time ago. To recap, that was a great board sporting some really good features on top of ASUS' renowned build quality, resulting in a very solid sound card that has proven to be a great building block for their latest range of products.
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Overall 9

ASUS Xonar Essence STX Review

12 January 2009
  • Conclusion: The Asus Essence STX is a bit of a strange creature when you think about it. While it’s obviously not being aimed towards the gamer crowd, the inclusion of Dolby Digital Live!, EAX 2.0, OpenAL and DirectSound3D 2.5 actually makes it pretty competitive in the gamer market. If you are one of the growing numbers of gamers who are running through a receiver and big screen LCD or plasma, then the Essence is an option you should seriously consider.
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Expert Review

23 May 2010
  • Excerpt: In accordance with ASUS philosophy of presenting new devices in short periods of time, not long after the first Fonepad, new models, Fonepad Note 6 and Fonepad 7, have been announced. Unfortunately, f... Mechanical keyboard are conceptual way of going back to the past, in time before we’ve had shallow buttons, notebooks, membrane, macro buttons and much more. Just remember the older computers with mas...
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ASUS Xonar Essence STX

PC Authority
4 March 2010
  • Summary: ASUS' PCIe soundcard - with a built in headphone amp!
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