Dolby Digital Live: Dolby Digital Live encodes any audio signal on PC in real-time to Dolby Digital (AC3) 5.1 surround sounds to your home theater environment through one single S/PDIF connection
Dolby Headphone: Dolby Headphone technology allows users to listen to music, watch movies, or play games with the dramatic 5.1-channel surround or realistic 3D spacious effects through any set of stereo headphones.
Dolby Virtual Speaker: Dolby Virtual Speaker technology simulates a highly realistic 5.1-speaker surround sound listening environment from as few as two speakers.
Dolby Pro-Logic II: Dolby Pro-Logic II is the well-known technology to process any native stereo or 5.1-channel audio into up to 6.1 channel output, creating a seamless, natural surround soundfield.
Smart Volume Normalizer
Normalizes the volume of all audio sources into a constant level and also enhances your 3D sound listening range and advantages in gaming
Xear 3D Virtual Speaker Shifter: Virtual 7.1 speaker positioning
Magic Voice: Xonar Essence STX provides VocalFX, the latest vocal effect technologies for gaming and VoIP, including: -VoiceEX: produces vivid environmental reverberation for your voice in EAX games -ChatEX: emulates different background environment effects when you chat online -Magic Voice: changes your voice pitch to different types (Monster/Cartoon…) for disguising your real voice or just for fun in online chatting
Karaoke Functions: Music Key-Shifting and Microphone Echo effects like professional Karaoke machine
FlexBass: Professional Bass Management/Enhancement system
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The sound quality of the Xonar Essence STX far surpasses any commercially available and viable sound card in it's price category. Barring sound cards costing £200 upwards, the Asus Xonar really is musically the best card you can get at the moment.
At around $200 US, this card is definitely not for everyone. However, anyone that enjoys music, or who wants to enjoy it all over again should be hitting the stores for this. It’s truly a high performance product.
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Great sound as usual from asus. a must buy if you are working with music and have a large set of cans that need powering. the op amps are swappable if you are into that. the stock ones are pretty good already
I was skeptical at first wondering if there was a clear difference between on board audio and dedicated sound. After using this sound card I was amazed at the difference it made when listening to music and gaming. It has a wide range of effects and modes for anything you would want to listen to. I definitely recommend this product for anyone who can spare the money and enjoys high quality sound.
This review was modfied by poster @ 04-13-13 07:53 PM
Overall I'm satisfied with my purchase but I was expecting it to perform better to my expectation. You'd notice a big difference in sound coming from an on board audio w/o dedicated headphone amp but this sound card can just be considered as an entry level audiophile in terms of its headphone amp, however, its DAC chip is proven to be a very high end unit that are sold in ~$1,000 DAC receiver/external unit. You may still consider this a good purchase just for the DAC performance alone and it's got front R/L analog output in case you ever want to pair it with a better external amp.
It's all set up for audio reproduction so out of the box it does sound a little flat, with the included software though there are dozens of preset combinations to choose from, after a few minutes you'll have it sounding just how you want it.
It's so pretty, like honestly this thing looks classy but it's not what's on the the outside but the inside that counts and this thing can count, not litterally but you know what I mean, It's very very good.
The ASUS Xonar Essence STX, You get a 12dB boost for 300-Ohms & 18dB boost for 600-Ohm headphones. You can use it with the 32-ohm headphones like me. I bought it just for the amplifier. The DG sound card gives you 6dB boost I guess. The max windows volume you can set the STX at is between 40%~50% depending on the headphones, Any higher you'll get distortion. Distortion that you really can hear on the Sony MDR-XB500, set the XB500 to 30%-40% windows volume at +18dB gain or, 50% at +12dB gain. You want loud EarRinging bass?!?! ツ The AKG K414P is louder then the XB500 due to it's efficiency, It can be loud on a iPhone or iPod. With the K414P You can set the windows volume to 50% at +18dB gain & You can even turn up the 30Hz & 60Hz equalizer 5 notches by simply clicking on the bar above the adjuster to automatically move it up 5 notches. To get to the equalizers click on the Effect button in the ASUS Xonar Essence STX Audio Center Software & To adjust the gain In Main Tab click on the button that looks like a hammer by the "Analog Out, Headphone select ed" There you can select high Gain 12dB & Extra High Gain 18dB. You can also check boxes for Dolby Headphone & 7.1 Virtual Speakers Shifter, It may give you more bass.
this soundcard is crazy!!! with an even crazier price tag, but the sound is amazing!! it better be the best at this price. dedicated jack for headphones so no need to play with an adapter, it looks funny anyways with all that baggage at the back of the pc lol
Best sound card I have ever owned. I'm 31 yrs old. My first sound cards were 8-bit. I've gone through various Sound cards throughout the ages. This is by far the best sound card I have ever owned.
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