Originally Posted by SgtHawker
The STX is also a 2 speaker sound card by design. It uses "virtual" surround for up to 7.1 audio. If you have surround speakers investigate hookup options to ensure that your speaker setup will connect to the output available from this card.
Please stop bringing up this "Virtual Surround." This is just what it is , "Virtual." The card synthesizes a surround environment by playing with the right and left audio channels. The STX is not a real surround capable card because it does not output each channel independently of one another.
The STX was designed for audiophiles, primarily focusing on headphones, and other 2.0 setups. While the D2X was designed for 5.1 to 7.1, not headphones. Not to mention, the STX uses a bit better components in its build.
If you plan on primarily using headphones or any other 2.0 setup, than its the STX all the way.
EDIT: Let me rephrase what I said about the Surround implementation.
For gamers and only gamers, the Xonar Essence STX supports EAX 2.0, as well as the Asus DS3D GX 2.0, when using digital output. This lets both XP, Vista, and 7 users play both EAX HD 5.0 and DirectSound 3D games with full surround audio. The EAX 5.0 emulation isn't perfect—we heard occasional quirks like voices picking up unintended echoes—but overall the 3D effect remains convincing and true to the original intent." The card isn't designed to be a gamers card, but for the casual gamer who would want excellent stereo or EAX 2.0 audio, it will fit the bill.
However, this still is not true surround as it is still synthesized and you must hook the output up to the digital out on the card.Edited by Moltar - 4/6/11 at 7:49am