Asus this week unveiled its Xonar Essence STX, which is a sound card the company claims is squarely for high-end audiophiles. The new card will be available on store shelves roughly a month from today and come in the form of a PCI-express 1X slot.
Some of the defining features of the new card are:
- Burr Brown 1792A DACs
- LM4562 and JRC 2114D’s stock build opamps
- Swappable opamps
- Discrete power source motherboard bypass
- Nichicon caps
- EMI shielding
- Separate power sources for line, and headphone output
Asus claims that the card supports and outstanding signal-to-noise ratio of 124 dB, which is on par with some of the best audio equipment for the home theater market. Thanks to the Burr Brown DAC, users can expect realistic high quality performance that matches Asus’ claims. Those who are familiar with the Burr Brown name knows that the company is reputable for high quality audio electronics.
The card physically does not come with typical 3.5mm mini-jacks, and instead come with gold plated stereo RCA outputs, and a pair of larger TRS jacks found on high-end studio headphones. Asus claims that the new Xonar Essence STX is aimed at both audio purists and headphone junkies alike. Hopefully we’ll get this bad-boy in for a comparison soon.