updated 04:00 pm EST, Thu November 13, 2008
ASUS Xonar Essence STX
ASUS on Wednesday announced a new range of Xonar Essence STX PCI-express audio cards with an industry-leading 124dB Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) that delivers clean, clear sound. The cards also offer an uncommon feature with their built-in headphone amplifier that delivers less than 0.001 percent distortion. ASUS used its Hyper-ground technology and EMI Shield design in the construction of the cards to help it achieve the high SNR score and protect its analog outputs from external magnetic interference.
ASUS' AV100 high-definition sound processor lets the card play back digital files encoded at sampling rates as high as 192KHz and 24bits, and includes 24-bit Burr Brown PCM 1792A D-A converters for digital sources and 24-bit A-D converters for analog inputs. Nichicon Fine Gold capacitors allow the Xonar STX cards to reach a frequency response range of less than 10Hz to 90kHZ along with a 124dB dynamic range.
The cards include an optical digital output in addition to two pairs of RCA jacks and input and output 6.3mm stereo jacks. They support ASIO 2.0 drivers along with Dolby Digital Live, Headphone, Virtual Speaker and Pro-Logic II home theater sound technologies. For gamers, the cards are compatible with DS3D GX2.5 3D gaming engines.
The Xonar Essence STX cards are compatible with X1 through to X16 PCIe slots in systems that run Windows Vista, XP or XP Media Center 2005 operating systems.
ASUS has not released prices or release dates for the Xonar Essence STX PCIe sound cards.