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Hardware Asus Xonar Xense Audio Bundle Review

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Lizard, 31 May 2010.

  1. Lizard

    Lizard @ Scan R&D

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  2. snooky32

    snooky32 Member

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    Not a fan of them dictating what headphones we should use, if someone's going to buy and install one of these cards they surely have enough sense to make their own choice.
     
  3. [ZiiP] NaloaC

    [ZiiP] NaloaC Well-Known Member

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    I have a pair of PC 350's and I think the sound out of them is absolutely perfect.

    People complain about them not having enough bass, but personally (which is what it always breaks down to) I think it's spot on, not too much, not too little.

    As a wearer of glasses, good headphones are hard enough to find and since they are full-ear covering, they sit really well and I barely notice them when wearing. Also, they shut out pretty much all external noise which is a good and bad thing. The amount of phone calls I have missed....

    I'm actually looking to get a good sound card for Sui Generis as I intend on hooking it up to a HD projector to act as a HD cinema centre soon. Need to look around more, but Xonar seem to be the only style around worth the salt...
     
  4. The boy 4rm oz

    The boy 4rm oz Project: Elegant-Li

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    Really is a bummer that you can't really use lower impedance headphones on them. Realistically if you wanted high end sound with high end headphones you would run them through a headphone amp instead. Then again, I bet my Sennheiser HD595s un-amplified sound better then those 350's running through the sound card, and they cost me much less then this bundle.
     
  5. GravitySmacked

    GravitySmacked Mostly Harmless

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    I'm loving the replaceble op-amps that are appearing on the latest round of sound cards. Saves a lot of hassle with the soldering iron.
     
  6. The boy 4rm oz

    The boy 4rm oz Project: Elegant-Li

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    Some Auzentech sound cards have had replaceable op amps for ages now. I got my Xplosion Cinema 7.1 January last year and that has replaceable op amps on it. The only thing I had trouble with was finding the replacements in Australia.
     
  7. memeroot

    memeroot aged and experianced

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    what is the absolute best soundcard?

    I have a cyrus heaphone amp.
     
  8. The boy 4rm oz

    The boy 4rm oz Project: Elegant-Li

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    Most people would say the Creative X-FI, however the ASUS Xonar range and the Auzentech offerings are both very good as well.. It really depends what you will be using it for. For gaming probably Creative cards because most games support them without issue, for music/movies the ASUS and Auzentech cards are pretty evenly matched IMO.
     
  9. GravitySmacked

    GravitySmacked Mostly Harmless

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    I replaced the op-amps on my X-Fi, the sound quality was much improved and as mentioned Creative cards are great for gaming.

    I didn't realise some cards had been released well over a year ago with removable op-amps; must have slipped under the radar for me.
     
  10. stonedsurd

    stonedsurd Is a cackling Yuletide Belgian

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    And they'd be wrong. The best headphone soundcard is easily the Essence STX. That thing can drive monster cans and do it well. If you're got Foobar set up properly, there is nothing better except a dedicated external DAC/amp.
     
  11. gcwebbyuk

    gcwebbyuk Dib Dabbler

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    +1

    Love mine :)
     
  12. bogie170

    bogie170 New Member

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    So whats the best sound card to get? I currently have a Creative X-Fi

    Auzentech or Asus Sonar? And which model?
     
  13. gcwebbyuk

    gcwebbyuk Dib Dabbler

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    What do you want it for - games? movies? music?

    For 2 channel music - Essence STX

    Not sure on the others....
     
  14. Emon

    Emon New Member

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    Bull****! Unless you have real tests to back that up, for example RMAA results, you are talking out of your ***.
    Stop visiting Head-Fi. That place is full of handwaving morons.

    Unless there is something WRONG with your onboard sound, or it's a particularly poor implementation (which you can TEST) then you don't need a dedicated soundcard. Wanting integrated amps or other useful features not withstanding.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 1 Jun 2010
  15. Aterius Gmork

    Aterius Gmork smell the ashes

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    For music a dedicated dac / amp combo.

    For games the Asus Xonar STX will be all you need, it offers spectacular performance for a sound card if you ask head-fi (sound wise, fps gain I don't know). The weak link here won't be your headphones or the sound card actually, but the sounds included in the game and the way Windows processes sound output.

    Edit: Emon: lol? Op-amps don't inprove sound quality necessarily, but change it slightly to cater to different tastes. Head-fi are really over the top sometimes, but have you ever listened to top-end or even middle end headphones through your onboard soundcard and a dedicated amp? It doesn't even have to be a headphone amp connected to your computer, a better CD player and a stereo amp will do. There is a difference.
     
    Last edited: 31 May 2010
  16. GravitySmacked

    GravitySmacked Mostly Harmless

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    Yeah and there's nothing wrong with those cheap ass speakers they sound just as good as the expensive ones.

    On another note thanks for sharing your opinion in such an aggressive and unhelpful way.
     
    Last edited: 31 May 2010
  17. frontline

    frontline Punish Your Machine

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    X-Fi Xtreme Music & Sennheiser PC350 headset has been great for me, a lot better than the onboard SupremeFX solution on my motherboard. There are better dedicated sound cards out there but it does everything i need it to do well (games, music, bluray movies etc). Driver support was patchy at best in Vista, but the Windows 7 drivers are fine.
     
  18. gcwebbyuk

    gcwebbyuk Dib Dabbler

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    I started with the on-board sound, upgraded to a Xonar DX (noticed the sound quality increase with Logitech X230 speakers). Bought a set of Grado SR80i headphones, instead of buying a headphone amp I upgraded to an Essence STX - blown away by the sound quality through the headphones listening to Apple Lossless files. I can apparently change the DACs on the card to even further improve the sound quality.

    At the end of the day it comes down to three things:
    1. Budget
    2. What you listen to - games / music / movies
    3. What you listen to it through - headpones / gaming headset / speakers.

    But at the end of the day, the onboard sound cards aren't THAT bad, they just aren't THAT good
     
  19. The boy 4rm oz

    The boy 4rm oz Project: Elegant-Li

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    On board sound has come a long way in the past few years and the only reason I really upgraded to my Auzentech card as so I could hook my PC into my home theater system for movie watching. I could have done it with onboard but 3.5mm connections don't cut it for me with movie/music listening. Toslink all the way :D.

    Something that people sometimes get confused with is that the OPAMPS will only effect your analogue audio such as 3.5mm or RCA connections (on most cards), they won't effect digital audio like digital coaxial or Toslink.

    If you are looking for a card particularly so you can hook it into a receiver then the Essense STX would be overkill for most because you aren't getting the amplification through the digital connectors, only the headphone jack. Most people would be paying for features they on't need, unless they rather plug their headphones into the card directly rather then the receiver.
     
  20. rickysio

    rickysio N900 | HJE900

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    Or you guys could just save all these trouble and plonk down for a HiFi Man HM801, which serves both as pretty much the BEST DAP money can buy, and one of the best DAC's in the market.

    I mean, seriously, most people who claim that changing components is useless (like how a certain agressive poster did) haven't heard anything. If you haven't heard it, you don't have an opinion. Stop using those dollar store headphones, and maybe you'd hear a difference. After all, GIGO - Garbage In, Garbage Out.

    RMAA results prove nothing, mon cheri, other than just showing how a machine views a sound. Cowon players fair not so well in RMAA, and Apple's products do better, but which PMP has more people liking it's audio output? Adjusting for population size, it'd be a bygone conclusion that most would favour Cowon's.

    Opamp's colours the sound - changing it changes the sound signature in subtle ways ignoramuses are incapable of detecting.
     
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