The ASUS Xonar Essence One MUSES Edition USB digital-to-analog converter and headphone amplifier carries on the award-winning tradition established by previous Xonar Essence products. It includes acclaimed MUSES 01 Op-Amps from New Japan Radio Co. Ltd., generating bigger, bolder, and livelier sound to meet the highest audiophile standards. The product maintains a swappable Op-Amp approach, and includes highlights such as WIMA capacitors, linear power delivery, XLR connectors, symmetrical 8X upsampling, a dedicated 600ohm headphone amplifier, and 120dB SNR. Xonar Essence One MUSES Edition proves ASUS Xonar products continue to lead the way in marrying audiophile-grade hardware with PC-based multimedia. Follow up to winner of CES Innovations Awards The latest Xonar offering improves on Xonar Essence One, winner of a 2012 CES Innovations Award in the audio component category. Xonar engineers and product managers continuously aim to improve sound quality, resulting in Xonar Essence One Plus Edition launching in June 2012 with an Op-Amp DIY kit, which allows customers to easily tune sound to their preference. The third Xonar Essence One offering, Xonar Essence One MUSES Edition maintains this pursuit of sound excellence, integrating some of the best audio components in the industry. MUSES 01 Op-Amps help deliver premium audio Xonar Essence One MUSES Edition includes six MUSES 01 Op-Amps, produced by the New Japan Radio Company. MUSES 01 are the top-of-the-line Op-Amps from the brand, which is considered a leader in quality audio components. Together with ASUS Xonar engineering, MUSES 01 Op-Amps take audio to new levels, with lifelike reproduction capturing every nuance. Swappable Op-Amp design caters to most demanding audiophiles Xonar Essence products have garnered greatly positive response from the audio enthusiast community and professional media, chiefly due to their DIY-friendly changeable Op-Amp arrangement. Xonar Essence One MUSES Edition presents the result of close cooperation between Xonar audio experts and one of the world's most respected sound component providers, creating a premium USB DAC that challenges market standards. Xonar audio engineers chose MUSES 01 Op-Amps for their impressive sound, as they furnish multi-faceted audio quality and are capable of satisfying the most discerning audiophiles. In preparing to combine ASUS Xonar Essence One hardware with MUSES 01 Op-Amps, engineers worked hard to optimize audio reproduction. New Japan Radio team members were very impressed with Xonar Essence One hardware: "We've been constantly looking for well-designed audio devices to really make MUSES shine, and found the ASUS Xonar team has the expertise to create them. What really impressed us was their focus on the digital, PC-based audio realm", said Ichiro Kashiwagi, Second Marketing Department Manager, Semiconductor Sales and Marketing Division, New Japan Radio Company. Op-Amps critical to quality audio Operational amplifiers, or Op-Amps, serve to amplify analog signals and define tone, treble, and timbre. MUSES 01 components are notable as the first to use oxygen-free copper interconnects, allowing for better circuit conductivity and thus improved reproduction. They use exclusive fabrication techniques, including advanced symmetry die-bonding, a custom layout that lowers component crosstalk and generates better-balanced left/right channel symmetry. It is one of the main features responsible for the wider sound fields offered by Xonar Essence One MUSES Edition. Xonar advantages produce the Essence of high-fidelity audio In addition to premium MUSES 01 Op-Amps, Xonar Essence hardware employs genuine audiophile-grade design throughout. Symmetrical 8X 32-bit upsampling and a built-in 600ohm headphone amplifier boost personal audio enjoyment. An internal linear power supply ensures excellent voltage regulation, while Hyper Grounding technology is employed to reduce noise, resulting in an impressive SNR of 120 dB. For capacitors, Xonar Essence USB DACs use German-made and audiophile-respected WIMA parts. Engineers have also added optical, S/PDIF, and USB inputs, featuring asynchronous data transfer for low jitter alongside fully-balanced XLR and single-ended outputs. All these features mean Xonar Essence products create balanced and true to life sound.