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Item#: N82E16829132010

ASUS Xonar Essence STX Virtual 7.1 Channels 24-bit 192KHz PCI Express x1 Interface 124 dB SNR / Headphone AMP Card

  • PCI Express x1 7.1 Channels
  • 124dB SNR Rating
  • Built in Headphone Amp
  • 3.5mm and 6.3mm Headphone Compatibility
This product qualifies for the Iron Egg guarantee. We'll match any qualifying competitor's price.
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The ASUS Xonar Essence STX is a PCI-e audio card that is designed for the music enthusiast. Equipping the Xonar Essence STX with the best components and the finest design, the STX delivers a top-of-the-line audio experience with a 124 dB SNR rating. With a built-in headphone amp that can power headphones up to 600 ohms and 6.3 mm headphone jacks, the STX makes a perfect pair with high-end headphones.

  • newegg High Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) A high SNR rating means less unwanted noise. Therefore the audio is cleaner which translates to better sound quality. The Xonar STX is the world’s first sound card to achieve a 124 dB SNR rating for crystal clear audio.
  • newegg Built-in Headphone Amp A high-quality TI TPA6120A2 headphone amp supports headphones up to 600 ohms of impedance with lower than 0.001% distortion. This allows users to drive their headphones as intended without additional amplification.
  • newegg EMI Shield EMI shielding seals the RCA/headphone signals from noise and offers distortion-free audio.
  • newegg Nichicon “Fine Gold” Professional Audio Capacitors Using state-of-the-art etching technology, Nichicon “Fine Gold” capacitors deliver rich bass and crystal clear high frequencies.
  • newegg 6.3 mm Headphone and Mic Jacks The 6.3 mm headphone jacks offers compatibility with high-end headphones. An adapter is included for the usage of headphones with 3.5 mm connectors.
  • newegg Upgradeable Op-amp The Xonar Essence STX can be upgraded with the Xonar Op-amp Upgrade Kit for a blend of natural sound and enhanced quality.

Learn more about the ASUS Xonar Essence STX


Xonar Essence STX

Audio core

Audio Chipset
Virtual 7.1
Sample Rate
Digital Audio
118 dB Input Signal-to-Noise Ratio
124 dB for Front-out
110 dB for Headphone-out


Line In
High-bandwidth Coaxial/TOS-Link combo port supports 192KHz/24bit
1 x 6.3mm Jack (Shared by Line-In/Mic-In)
CD/Aux In
Aux-In (4-pin header on the card)
Other Ports
Analog Output Jack:
RCA jack *2 (Front R / Front L), 6.30mm jack*1 (Headphone out)

Front-Panel Header:
Shared by Headphone out / 2 channels out / Microphone in

S/PDIF Header:
Connects to compatiable graphic cards for HDMI output


PCI Express x1
Operating Systems Supported
Windows Vista/XP(32/64bit)/MCE2005


Dolby Digital Live: Dolby Digital Live encodes any audio signal on PC in real-time to Dolby Digital (AC3) 5.1 surround sounds to your home theater environment through one single S/PDIF connection

Dolby Headphone: Dolby Headphone technology allows users to listen to music, watch movies, or play games with the dramatic 5.1-channel surround or realistic 3D spacious effects through any set of stereo headphones.

Dolby Virtual Speaker: Dolby Virtual Speaker technology simulates a highly realistic 5.1-speaker surround sound listening environment from as few as two speakers.

Dolby Pro-Logic II: Dolby Pro-Logic II is the well-known technology to process any native stereo or 5.1-channel audio into up to 6.1 channel output, creating a seamless, natural surround soundfield.

Smart Volume Normalizer

Normalizes the volume of all audio sources into a constant level and also enhances your 3D sound listening range and advantages in gaming

Xear 3D Virtual Speaker Shifter:
Virtual 7.1 speaker positioning

Magic Voice:
Xonar Essence STX provides VocalFX, the latest vocal effect technologies for gaming and VoIP, including: -VoiceEX: produces vivid environmental reverberation for your voice in EAX games -ChatEX: emulates different background environment effects when you chat online -Magic Voice: changes your voice pitch to different types (Monster/Cartoon…) for disguising your real voice or just for fun in online chatting

Karaoke Functions:
Music Key-Shifting and Microphone Echo effects like professional Karaoke machine

Professional Bass Management/Enhancement system

3D Sound Engines/APIs:
Vista: DirectSound3D GX 2.5, DirectSound HW, DirectSound SW, A3D1.0, OpenAL generic modes, 128 3D sounds processing capability
XP: DirectSound2.5 SW, A3D1.0, OpenAL generic modes, 128 3D sounds processing capability

Manufacturer Warranty

3 years limited
3 years limited

Quick Info


  • Limited Warranty period (parts): 3 years
  • Limited Warranty period (labor): 3 years

Customer Reviews of the ASUS Xonar Essence STX

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  • Steven S.
  • 4/19/2015 5:39:51 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

1 out of 5 eggsDont Believe the Hype

Pros: -Eye candy inside case
-Built in amp

Cons: The drivers were a pain to use. Each output does not show up in the Sound section of the control panel as I expected but rather its one output and you have to use their proprietary software that looks like its a decade old. There were some issues with my mic in some games where people were just unable to hear me but with onboard audio everything worked fine. My other issue is that the drivers seemed to alter the sound too much. I get that they were trying to make the sound specifically for games better but it is poorly implemented.

-Needs separate molex power connector
-Drivers are down right awful

Other Thoughts: I am a big believer in ASUS products but the fact that they thought this product was ready to be put on sale baffles me. If you want audiophile sound, do yourself a favor and get an external DAC/Headphone Amp combo instead. I am much happier with that set up

Newegg was awesome and refunded all my money and even paid for return shipping. I will continue to come here first for my various computer part needs.

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

  • Charles C.
  • 2/13/2015 12:31:23 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

1 out of 5 eggsDO NOT BUY THIS CARD

Pros: NONE

Cons: the drivers do not work for Win 8.1 and are BETA drivers

Other Thoughts: CAREFULLY read the specs before purchase if you have to purchase from Newegg. SInce I have a local dealer I will get my new sound card from them

Manufacturer Response:

Dear Chasmo,

In behalf of ASUS I want to apologize for the inconvenience this issue may have caused you. I understand that frustration and I know that your disappointed with the unit. It's unfortunate if you think the "Product" is a huge disappointment. On the contrary, there are lots of very satisfied customers that are having positive experience using the product. I want to help you with the issue so if you can please provide me with further details and email it to me at and put case # N150262518 in the subject line for your reference.

ASUS Customer Loyalty are dedicated in providing a good customer experience.

Thank you for choosing ASUS.

ASUS Customer Loyalty

3 out of 6 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Timothy M.
  • 1/30/2015 9:56:07 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsAwesome Reproduction!

Pros: This card is mechanical - it clicks its way to life as you start up the computer. When you switch outputs it clicks, it gives you a feel of quality that you would not have with a regular sound card you could buy.

Plug a decent set of headphones into the jack and your ears will light up with music you have not heard before. Clarity is the word I would use to describe it, there is no coloration with the sound out of this card.

Cons: The software is pretty clunky, like it was designed in the late 1990s. Once you figure it out you can switch outputs and get groovy sounds, yo.

Other Thoughts: Do you need a card like this? Not really. Do you want a card like this? Yes, yes you do.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Tanner P.
  • 1/30/2015 5:25:58 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

2 out of 5 eggsGood sound, bad drivers, and input latency

Pros: Sound is great! Works fine for me with music, movies, and games. I plugged my guitar into the input and it sounded 100x better than my onboard sound. Also a very nice looking card.

Cons: Two major problems:
1. I can't get past an issue where I get BSODs (DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL) upon waking from sleep. It only happens about 1 out of every 8 times, but I'm not willing to just live with a problem like that. I tried installing the most recent ASUS drivers and several versions of the UNi Xonar drivers but didn't have any success. Note: this is for Windows 7 64-bit.
2. There is a very noticeable input latency when you play the line-in through your speakers. It's probably about 0.1 seconds which is super noticeable if you're trying to record music or just play guitar along with another song.

Another note: the different EQ settings in the audio center program are really bad.

Other Thoughts: There are a lot of good things about this sound card, but the two issues I mentioned were dealbreakers. I had 2 months to try to resolve these issues (thanks to the Iron Egg guarantee) but couldn't, so I had to RMA the card for a refund.

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

  • Tyler M.
  • 1/20/2015 12:58:57 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: less than 1 day
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsCannot Go Wrong

Pros: Well, expect this review to update; however, the card is amazing! So far I have yet to recieve my DT880's 600OHM impedance; coming today too. Without top of the line headphones one may think that simply hearing a difference would be challenging. On the contrary, they turn horrible logitech speakers into pure gold, or at least the shiniest of two turds. I would highly recommend this card not simply because of the sound quality it delivers, but design and proper shielding too. I apologize for any spelling or grammatical errors, I just cannot think straight with this awesome sounding clear and concise music blasting.

Cons: None so far, besides maybe the molex connector needed, but that was no problem. Although, the molex connector did not seem to fit too well, but it fit none the less.

Other Thoughts: Expect this review to update over the course of a couple of weeks.

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

  • Andre S.
  • 1/18/2015 7:05:38 PM
  • Tech Level: Average
  • Ownership: more than 1 year

5 out of 5 eggsGreat No Problem

Pros: I am using this card to power a DT880 600 ohms headphone. So far using the highest gain, it gets no problem at all.

No hissing no lag, and it works wonder. Better than Fiio external amps that I have owned. Fiio and other even O2 external amp and DAC will have slight hissing noise at the gain to match 600 ohm. So I like this card so far.

Cons: For those using logitech 5.1 or 7.1 speakers, you have to modify the cable so that you can use this sound card. even so, this xonar STX is optimised to stereo. So it will work really great for those headphone and stereo speakers users.

Other Thoughts: You can of course custom change the DAC and amp components, but the stock works true and great for me.

It will make "short circuit" sound as you change the source ie headphone- speaker and etc. but I have made that changes hundred of times, and the card is still ok and going strong. So do not worry.

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

  • Adam F.
  • 1/14/2015 6:16:44 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: more than 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsAwesome in a box

Pros: I can't say enough how much I love this amp. I pair it with my Sennheiser HD650 and am astonished what I was missing. The clarity and sound stage is so impressive.

Cons: None

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

  • Keven H.
  • 12/30/2014 9:24:46 AM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsSwitched from X-Fi to Xonar

Pros: I've had good experiences with other Asus products. Reviews of the Xonar looked like it was the better product for me (compared to the latest Creative offering).

Cons: Sound card makes an odd clicking noise at times. Seems to happen most often while the system is booting. Hasn't caused any disrupting while listening to music or playing games, but a bit disconcerting to hear this at all.

Other Thoughts: I've been a loyal Creative sound card user for 20+ years. I've also been happy with many Asus products.

My latest motherboard purchase did not have a PCI slot so I could no longer use my X-Fi. In comparing reviews of the latest Creative card to the Asus Xonar I decided to try the Xonar. So far I've been pleased with the sound from the Xonar.

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • DREW W.
  • 12/20/2014 11:23:11 AM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month

5 out of 5 eggsOutstanding card after you get it to work

Pros: This card is constructed very well and absolutely beautiful to look at. The sound quality puts every other sound card I've owned to shame, even with mid range speakers and headphones. The Audio Center software that is included allows you to customize the sound in just about every way imaginable.

Cons: Nothing that is a deal breaker, but a few issues I ran into while installing:

Installing the drivers was a little more complicated than it should have been. Go to the website for driver downloads if the included CD doesn't work for you.

Seems to be a common issue that a prompt saying "Sound card requires more power" pops up while installing drivers. If your connections are good hit ignore and continue.

I got no sound out even after ensuring Bios and playback device settings were correct. Go into the Xonar audio center and make your adjustments in there.

Other Thoughts: Other than the software hiccup this card is outstanding. I would definitely buy this card again for another build.

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

  • 11/28/2014 6:13:06 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

2 out of 5 eggsGreat Card, but Very Incompatible

Pros: This card is a gem, it has the potential to provide a near studio quality experience. For the price it could be a great buy (see cons).

Cons: Where to begin...

This card has been an absolute nightmare to work with. After a lot of setup headache, I managed to get sound from it, but that sound was quiet (as if there was no supplemental power going into the card). It wasn't a power problem as the 4-pin molex connector was as tight as could be, and it also wasn't a driver issue as I have used both the newest drivers from ASUS and the 3rd party UNi Xonar drivers to test with. I RMA'd the card thinking it was defective (perhaps a transistor had burnt up), however after getting a new card I was facing the same problems.

After >10 hours of troubleshooting, reading over a dozen threads related to this problem, spending hundreds of reboot cycles and going through thousands of configurations, I have to say that this card is not worth the pain. I may have missed something stupid, but at this point I am just interested in a refund. Hopefully NewEgg will at least pay for the return shipping THIS time.

Other Thoughts: Like I said, this card is a gem, if you can get it to work. I think with my system it may be a compatibility issue, so I will leave my significant components so that someone else may get a better idea of whether or not the card will work for them.

Intel Core-i7 4930k @ ~4.4GHz



16 GB G.Skill Ripjaws X (4x4GB)

Zalman 1250W 80 Plus platinum (Fully Modular)
(>45A on the 12 volt rail)

0 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

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Item#: N82E16829132010
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