Summary: I just installed this sound card on my Alienware aurora A4 and I highly recommend it. I use them with separate Eagles Arion sound system and my Sennheiser PC 360 headset. The reason I bought this sound card was mainly for music and it also greatly benefits my gaming as well. After installing the driver I immediately noticed a great change in my music. The sounds seemed to flow together more nicely and just flat out sounds great.
Summary: I bought this with a pair of AKG 702s for a entry level audiophile experience. I use it for music, movies, and gaming. The optical port works with my old Sony STR K790 5.1 system perfectly, it sounds better than ever. The 2 channel speaker driver makes my old old computer speakers sound way better. And of course the headphone driver makes my AKG 702's sing.
Excerpt: If you have high end headphones, enjoy online gaming, or watch movies at night, I cannot recommend the Essence STX highly enough. It is now my favorite soundcard and has taken the crown from my modified X-Fi XtremeMusic, so if you love sound and love headphones, do yourself a favor and get the Xonar Essence STX.
Pros: Easy To Install, Easy To Use, Hugely Dynamic And Accura, Quality Output, Reliable Performance, The Dac Capacitors And
Very good sound card if you know what you want to get out of it.
Nossy "Nossy", Amazon
16 December 2013
Summary: I will add my two cents to this sound card. First off, this card performs better than any card in its price range, I'm not sure there is a direct competitor other than the X-fi Titanium models from Creative. Basically you are paying for two things here, the Texas Instrument headphone amplifier and the Burr Brown DAC. So to get the most out of this, you should be using a high quality headphone because it is engineered specifically for that.
Summary: I have used Creative Soundblaster sound cards for years just replacing one top of the line card with another. I have read about these Xonar sound cards but I was in something of a rut with the SB cards. I finally decided it was time to try out the Xonar Essence SC. I had read all of the difficulty loading drivers. I always load new drivers from the devices support page.
Summary: This is a great sound card ,with 24 bit you cant get any better than this in sound quality, I bought this card for my Music Apps and this card works with them beautifully recreating true to life sounds. If you need an ASIO sound card look no further.
Summary: Here's my AutoHotKey script that switches from 2 Speakers to Headphone mode automatically when you hit Control+Shift+Q Nod to P Str who write the parent script that I just modified: http://www.amazon.com/review/R1GAHL4DSDSHI9/ref=cm_cr_rev_detmd_pl?ie=UTF8&asin=B007TMZ1BK&cdForum=FxQ4EBOZFN8UWG&cdMsgID=Mx2S6D6AMK6AEHV&cdMsgNo=7&cdPage=1&cdSort=oldest&cdThread=Tx1KLI54HINAW28&store=pc#Mx2S6D6AMK6AEHV Quite the URL.