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ASUS Xonar Essence One DAC & Headphone Amplifer

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#1
ASUS Xonar Essence One is the name of a brand new DAC & Headphone amplifier combination from ASUS. The unit can decode 192 kHz source material and features a well performing headphone amplifier stage that allows for op-amp swapping.

Show full review
 
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#2
I was wondering about the listening tests. I am more interest in the line-out quailty than the internal amp which is not likely to be used.

Is the final score judged by only the headphone amp without the line-out to higher end headphone amps or speakers setup?
 
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#3
heh about time you tested this one :p
My main disappointment with it is that lack of a microphone in port.
 
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#4
I was wondering about the listening tests. I am more interest in the line-out quailty than the internal amp which is not likely to be used.

Is the final score judged by only the headphone amp without the line-out to higher end headphone amps or speakers setup?
I tested the quality of the line-out to a RSA The Protector briefly to see how the performance for in-ears compares and it is a very transparent source. With the Protector and a balanced cable to the UE IERMs the sound was amazing. It is leaner sounding than the HM-801 but has a better sound stage rendering and a little more control in the lower regions.

The final score is based upon the use as both a source and an integrated headphone amplifier.
 
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#5
The logo on-top is the golden dragon we have seen on a lot of ASUS sound products
It's a tiger ;)
 
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#6
the volume imbalanced due the volume control... is a deal breaker!. that is a serious issue!.

500 dollars!... check out the USA made and manufactured headphone amps at www.headphone.com ( headroom the company) :toast:
the site is great for it's selection of headphones (from super high-end to cheap_but_good), and more importantly they measure them and give a good idea of the sound of the headphones.
 
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#7
Hm, any way to mod/replace that volume controller? Should be possible to replace it with something custom, or am I wrong? Except this it sounds like nice piece of audio HW..
 
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#8
is it imbalanced throughout the volume range?
or just at the lowest turn level of the pot?
 
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#9
I tested the quality of the line-out to a RSA The Protector briefly to see how the performance for in-ears compares and it is a very transparent source. With the Protector and a balanced cable to the UE IERMs the sound was amazing. It is leaner sounding than the HM-801 but has a better sound stage rendering and a little more control in the lower regions.

The final score is based upon the use as both a source and an integrated headphone amplifier.
Hmm, no proper desktop amps or other non portable setup?

About the volume pot, even the not so expensive Alps RK27 pot is not that much of a problem. Not sure why they didn't use the Alps RK27, at the range, pair of the RK27 should be well within reach.
 
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#10
heh about time you tested this one :p
My main disappointment with it is that lack of a microphone in port.
your joking right lol
 
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#11
I was wondering about the listening tests. I am more interest in the line-out quailty than the internal amp which is not likely to be used.

Is the final score judged by only the headphone amp without the line-out to higher end headphone amps or speakers setup?
If you're not going to use the amp on here, then you'd be better off just getting a standalone DAC and saving some money. I like my HRT MusicStreamer II+
 
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#12
If you're not going to use the amp on here, then you'd be better off just getting a standalone DAC and saving some money. I like my HRT MusicStreamer II+
If you haven't noticed, a DAC at the price hardly comes in Balanced. Hearing how nice the Essence ST did as source only with higher quailty opamp installed, I am just looking for another bargain. I mainly use my class A desktop amps but sometimes you just don't want the heat in summer, a lesser amp is useful too.
 
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#13
If only it looked as good as an Onkyo DAC-1000...
 
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#14
If you haven't noticed, a DAC at the price hardly comes in Balanced. Hearing how nice the Essence ST did as source only with higher quailty opamp installed, I am just looking for another bargain. I mainly use my class A desktop amps but sometimes you just don't want the heat in summer, a lesser amp is useful too.
Sorry, I didn't realize you needed balanced output. Good point about the heat output too btw.
 
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#16
this is my modded version of the essence one. all op-amps are replaced.

 
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#17
Very interesting which metal can op-amps did you choose?

Cheers,
Frederik
 
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#18
Hmm, no proper desktop amps or other non portable setup?
About the volume pot, even the not so expensive Alps RK27 pot is not that much of a problem. Not sure why they didn't use the Alps RK27, at the range, pair of the RK27 should be well within reach.
Will be doing an update once the new test amplifier is in place.
 
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#19
Very interesting which metal can op-amps did you choose?

Cheers,
Frederik


2x LME49710HA for the sockets that can fit a dual single-channel op-amp adapter
1x LME49720HA for the sockets that can't (lack of space)

also had to raise the sockets over the headphone op-amps since they interfere with the volume controller and the headphone connector
 
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#20
2x LME49710HA for the sockets that can fit a dual single-channel op-amp adapter
1x LME49720HA for the sockets that can't
also had to raise the sockets over the headphone op-amps since they interfere with the volume controller and the headphone connector
Looks lovely! The metal can versions of that LME op-amps are definitely on my "need to try"
list for the Essence.
 
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#21
Looks lovely! The metal can versions of that LME op-amps are definitely on my "need to try"
list for the Essence.
highly recommended :)

one thing you'll notice is the airy highs, detailed mids, and increased low end bass.

on a side note, this is also my essence stx modded the same way, but now it only serves as a digital pass-through to my essence one. which im running in coaxial mode atm.

 
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#22
http://www.pbase.com/arterius2/image/140332079/medium.jpg

2x LME49710HA for the sockets that can fit a dual single-channel op-amp adapter
1x LME49720HA for the sockets that can't (lack of space)

also had to raise the sockets over the headphone op-amps since they interfere with the volume controller and the headphone connector
Another fellow LME49720HA user! I am using 3 x LME49720HA on my Essence without using adapter so I can keep the EMI shield on. Replacing all the Opamp on the Essence One looks pretty expensive! I don't think you can get away just using samples on that.

Glad to hear there is another add on to this, and yes the opamp really makes a massive difference.
 
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#24