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Asus Xonar Essence STX 124 dB SNR / Headphone AMP Card Reviews

Petrol

The STX: An audiophile's soundcard

Posted

Pros: High SNR, Quality components, Swappable OpAmps, built-in headphone amp

Cons: Poor support from Asus

This is a card designed and marketed to the audiophile audience. It should be understood from the get-go that this is NOT a card for gamers and falls fairly short of the EAX processing capabilities of any card from the SoundBlaster lineup. Where this card does excel at is music reproduction, and that is what we're going to talk about now. With names like Burr-Brown, Cirrus Logic and Texas Instruments adorning the spec sheet, aural pleasure seekers will undoubtedly take notice and start to grasp the capabilities of this humble internal soundcard. It connects to the mobo via a PCIe-1x slot, which provides the bandwidth necessary for the card to outsource EAX processing (beyond the...
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hollowtek

Xonar STX

Posted

Pros: New to sound, but I can yell you I've never been happier.

Cons: took ages to figure out driver issues.... HOURS.

I'll start with the cons: The driver support for win 7 64 was so bad. You can look throughout forums for hours and find that no one's resolved this simple issue. After countless screwed up installs, restarts, driver sweeping, I said screw it. I took a break and when my head was right again I simply set the compatibility for win 7. SOLVED. OMG you have no idea how relieved I was. I almost cried... Haha. Pros: Didn't know what to expect initially, but thank god I heard my headphones being driven without the sound card. After I had this installed and fiddled with the settings, my ears literally had a total auralgasm. Set the gain up for 64 ohm-300ohm headphones- I didn't know a good thing...
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Wishmaker

The Spec Sheet is not ... Everything

Posted

Pros: Amazing SNR, low distortions, comfy switch between speakers and headphone, perfect for skype

Cons: Not very good in gaming, Not very good for films, EAX emulation is poor, No THX

In my view, the STX is a bit overrated because every review you read out there makes it perfect. This was not my experience and I learned it the hard way. I purchased this card after seeing it recommended everywhere. The reviews were stellar and I pulled the trigger. The card arrived and I was impressed by the build quality. Asus did a nice job. First thing I noticed is that this thing is huge. I had to re-arrange all my components because the Rampage II Extreme has a very tall heatsink which blocks the STX if you try to use the first PCI-EX. I installed the card and the control centre is very straight forward to use. All the necessary options are in front of you. I have to give this a...
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linkin93

Asus Xonar Essence STX - Quality, Quality, Quality!

Posted

Pros: Excellent quality in all aspects, included software is useful and not difficult to navigate.

Cons: PCI-Express version use a bridge chip (Native PCI). PCI-E version cannot use the 7.1 add-in card. Stock op amps have muddy lows and attenuated highs

The STX is now my de-facto card recommendation for those who are looking for a sound card. Connectivity-wise, the card has 6.3mm TRS connections for headphones & microphones. The remainders are RCA out and optical. Most quality headphones will come with an adapter for 3.5mm to 6.3mm. The advantages of the larger connector are for easier "blind" insertion and for increased durability. Anyone who claims they improve sound quality on their own is fooling themselves. Beware of low quality adapters though. The STX lacks any faculties for more than two channel audio (aside from useless software effects), but most people buying this card will be well aware of its limitations, and will buy under...
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