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Written by Vito Cassisi - Edited by Olin Coles   
Wednesday, 15 December 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
ASUS Xonar Essence STX PCI-E Sound Card
Closer Look: ASUS Xonar Essence STX
ASUS Xonar Essence STX Detailed Features
ASUS Xonar Audio Center Software
Features and Specifications
Listening Test Results
RightMark Audio Analyser Results
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Closer Look: ASUS Xonar Essence STX

The Essence STX uses a slick black PCB to house its components. The bracket is coloured gold to match the gold plated TRS sockets, which adds a touch of class.

ASUS_Xonar_Essence_STX

A black brushed-metal electromagnetic shield covers the analogue components to ensure quality output.

ASUS_Xonar_Essence_STX_Shield.jpg

From left to right are the right/left RCA connectors, TRS (6.35mm) line out/in, and optical S/PDIF out.

ASUS_Xonar_Essence_STX_IO.jpg

Included is a S/PDIF TOSLINK adapter, and a 3.5mm to 6.35mm TRS adapter. There's also a 3.5mm-to-RCA adaptor cable to allow 3.5mm devices to use the RCA connections.

ASUS_Xonar_Essence_STX_Adapters.jpg

Along the top of the card are the auxiliary input and front panel connections. The auxiliary connection is used for input from other devices such as TV tuner cards.

ASUS_Xonar_Essence_STX_FrontAux.jpg

The molex connection provides power to the Texas Instruments TPA6120A2 headphone amp. Beside it is an alternate S/PDIF out header.

ASUS_Xonar_Essence_STX_Molex.jpg

All considered, the Essence STX has a great selection of inputs. It's nice to see 6.35mm TRS jacks being used instead of 3.5mm connections.



 

Comments 

 
# RE: ASUS Xonar Essence STX PCI-E Sound CardMack 2010-12-15 22:45
Good Review.
I am curious about the THD peak at 1Khz.
Is this something commonly seen?
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# RE: ASUS Xonar Essence STX PCI-E Sound CardVito Cassisi 2010-12-18 05:26
Yes, that peak is normal.
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# RE: ASUS Xonar Essence STX PCI-E Sound CardJoe 2010-12-22 03:09
If the purpose is just for headphone listening, how this would compare to a similarly priced external DAC/Headphone Amp like a Fubar III or Fire-eye?
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# For MusicDouglas 2012-09-25 18:24
My self i dont game much but i love my music i do have to admit this card will test your sound system and if you set yourself up right you'll listen to sound with the highest quality..My sound system is average the Logitech 5500 but i set up my system the right way them i go as far as converting to Flac music which is 24 bit/96khz 6 channel with the kbps in the 8640 range so thats extreme HD sound also true surround its what you call.. ear candy...
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# Very clean and impressive SoundAmit Karmakar 2012-11-29 10:26
Before this sound card I am using Creative audigy 2 Zs card after change my old creative card and installed Asus card my denon AVR & spk like live sound output it is amazing. Many more different sound quality bit win creative and Asus. Ma is Asus are making STX card for special for Indian music. Grate sound card of nominal price. Then I love Asus product. I all so love creative sound cards but listen Asus card it was a very bad for creative sound card (just launch 3d recon. Finally Asus was grate sound quality Music?s or DVD movies
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# For best quality MusicDouglas 2012-11-29 10:58
If you really would like to hear what this card can really put out try listening to some music that was ripped from a dvd Audio disc..Now your listening to the best of quality 24bit 96khz 6ch 8000kbps if your wondering how find this type of quality drop me a line
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