Saturday, May 16th 2009

ASUS Xonar Essence ST Audio Card with World’s First Precision Audio Clock Tuning

In its search for the purest essence of sound, ASUS have broken the boundaries with the newest soundcard on the market, the Xonar Essence ST. This PCI card is the world’s first audio card to incorporate precision clock tuning to minimize audio jitter, bringing the user a clearer, crisper listening experience. The Xonar Essence ST card can also be upgraded to 7.1 channel output with the use of the Xonar H6 multi-channel extension board, which will be sold separately in the near future.

The Xonar Essence ST is capable of achieving an industry-leading 124dB SNR (Signal-to-Noise Ratio) in signal clarity and offers a built-in headphone amplifier to obtain the best performance out of any available pair of headphones. Thanks to ASUS’ exclusive Hyper-grounding and EMI Shield design, even the most demanding audiophile will be satisfied with the unprecedented sound quality.

World’s First Precision Tuning Down to the Picosecond for Ultra-accurate Audio Details
Xonar Essence ST is the first soundcard in the world to focus on precise audio clock tuning. Using a technique that was once only seen on top-tier living room equipment, PC users can now experience 31% less audio jitter interference and enjoy ultimate sound quality that frees the audio signal from unsynchronized input streams and results in extensive music details and lively sound image for the ultimate listening experience. The improvement is most significant during general audio CD playback where the sample rate is 44.1kHz.

Industry-leading 124dB SNR for Pure Sound, Pure Music and Pure Listening Pleasure
Utilizing only the finest components and design, ASUS has delivered a soundcard that is able to reproduce truly pure sounds at an industry-leading 124dB SNR (Signal-to-Noise Ratio). This is 64 times clearer the most onboard audio solutions (85–88 SNR). It also features the ASUS exclusive Hyper-grounding circuitry design that utilizes a PCB design to separate signal and noise—ensuring that only the cleanest signals are passed on to ultra-sensitive components for decoding.

The Finest Component Selection to Deliver Crisp, Clear Audio
With a top-of-the-line Burr-Brown PCM 1792A Digital-to-Analog Convertor (DAC) to convert audio signals at 127dB SNR, users will be able to enjoy minimum loss from the process of converting digital signals to analog sound. Additionally, Nichicon “Fine Gold” capacitors deliver rich bass and crystal-clear high frequencies (like the sounds from a piano or violin), allowing the Xonar Essence ST to achieve an amazing <10 Hz–90 kHz frequency response and 124dB dynamic range. Furthermore, The Xonar Essence ST’s EMI shield protects all analog outputs perfectly from any exterior electronic magnetic interference—resulting in the cleanest sound generation and delivery for the user's enjoyment.

High Density Sound Performances with Built-in Headphone Amplifier
Most quality headphones usually require additional driving power. Without it, the sound quality becomes bland. The Xonar Essence ST is equipped with a built-in headphone amplifier capable of driving every available headphone with up to 600ohms of impedance to their full extent and less than 0.001% of distortion—all without additional amplification. This ensures that only the highest density sounds can be heard from these headphones without the need to purchase an extra amplifier. Furthermore, the Xonar Essence ST also comes with swappable OPamp sockets to help tune up unique sounds effortlessly, complete with Dolby Home Theater technologies and the latest DS3D GX2.5 3D gaming engine technology.

Beefing Up Performance with Expansion Capabilities
The Xonar Essence ST is not a stand-alone product that will become obsolete with time. In fact, it is designed to be scalable so that users can enjoy fuller sound. With the high fidelity Xonar H6 multi-channel extension board, users can enjoy full 7.1 surround sound. The Xonar H6 is sold separately from the Xonar Essence ST.

Whether it is about wanting that full home theater experience, enjoying the thrills of gaming, or even just listening to music, audio quality has become a defining feature for PC users. So why should you settle for anything less than the crispest, clearest audio to ever come out of a PC?

Source: ASUS
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18 Comments on ASUS Xonar Essence ST Audio Card with World’s First Precision Audio Clock Tuning

I do not feel I am missing anything.
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I don't know what all those specs mean lol, but dam that is a sexy card :D
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Can it ru.... oh nevermind
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v12dock said:
I like the box
I'd like to buy 1 just for the box :toast:

Asus should make this product PCI-Express
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so, let me get this straight . . . $400 - for a card that is only speced 124db SNR for FRONT outputs . . . SPDIF/Optical ports which will necessitate either speakers that support these connections, or a reciever (which, many times negates the output quality of the card) . . . for "integrated" multi-channel outputs, you still need the standalone expansion card . . . a claim of fast audio processing capable of reducing clipping and other erroneous issues, while still running PCI? . . . and why, oh why, is the 124db SNR rating such an important spec to keep harping on? TBH, the vast majority of users (and audiophiles) wouldn't be able to tell the difference between a card with 117db SNR and 124db SNR . . .

I'm really starting to wonder about ASUS' marketing campaigns with their Xonar line . . . it seems with every new release, they're becoming more and more like Creative in the "features" that they're advertising, and muddying the descriptions to make the sale . . .

I don't truly see anything on this card that makes it stand out from the other major Xonar cards (DX), and the offerings from Auzentech. :wtf:
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Looks pretty awesome:)
Gold and Black FTW!!
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its just that add on extension board ??? i mean for 400$ or even 199$ i mean 7.1 channel become a standard in onboard sound cards and i'm not comparing but it'll be nice to have it all in one.
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Bird of Prey
Where the hell are ya'll seeing it costs $400?!?!??!? I cant see it in the news posting!
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z1tu said:
Can it ru.... oh nevermind
yes it can run solitare!
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