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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
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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

Model

Brand
ASUS
Model
Xonar Essence STX

Audio core

Audio Chipset
ASUS AV100
Channels
Virtual 7.1
Sample Rate
192KHz
Digital Audio
24-bit
SNR
118 dB Input Signal-to-Noise Ratio
124 dB for Front-out
110 dB for Headphone-out

Ports

Line In
Yes
SPDIF Out
High-bandwidth Coaxial/TOS-Link combo port supports 192KHz/24bit
MIC In
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

Spec

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

Features

Features
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

FlexBass:
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

Parts
3 years limited
Labor
3 years limited

Quick Info

Warranty

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


Customer Reviews of the ASUS Xonar Essence STX

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  • Taylor B.
  • 7/11/2014 4:54:19 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsSimply Amazing

Pros: Paired this card with DT990 headphones and it sounds amazing. ASUS have made an absolutely stunning sounding piece of hardware. I use this for gaming (CSGO) mostly and can hear everything on the map, enemy positions and what gun they are using, even in chaotic gun game servers!

Cons: Like others have mentioned this card in not plug and play and takes some work to get up and running. Make sure the molex is tightly in the socket and the had is firmly in the pci-e slot. I have this installed on windows 8.1 64-bit and windows required 3 updates before it would recognize the card in device manager. Install unified drivers after those updates install and the card works as advertised.

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

  • MARIO A.
  • 7/7/2014 12:29:32 AM
  • Tech Level: Average
  • Ownership: more than 1 year

1 out of 5 eggsBuy this if you want hearing loss

Pros: I got this on sale when it was only 100$ (not at newegg), which at the time was a very good value for the soundcard.

Cons: * Asus did not honor their 3 year warranty. Sent them a support ticket online and called them when I still had a year left on my warranty; they lied to me and said the warranty expired. I tried explaining them and even sent proof that I bought it on a specific date but they ignored me. Do not trust Asus or their warranty/RMA system.

* This card will likely cause you numerous crashes and BSODs on your computer. It has compatibility problems with many games, and I've tried many drivers ranging from official to custom made ones.

* The most problematic issue is the high pitched screeching noise. I rated this 1 star just for this hardware defect issue, because it is loud enough to potentially damage your eardrums. The only way to stop it is to manually disconnect whatever sound system/headphones is connected to the soundcard ports. Many people are having this issue, do a google search before wasting money on this card. Luckily enough each time it happened, I was fast enough to react and remove my headphones from my head very quickly. With this major flaw, I wonder why no one has started a class-action lawsuit against Asus for this.

Other Thoughts: Would be a fantastic soundcard if it wasn't plagued by driver issues, eardrum blowing high-pitched screeches and absolutely abysmal customer service.
Do yourself a favor and just buy a DAC; you don't really need a soundcard.

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  • Juanita A.
  • 7/4/2014 11:05:23 PM
  • Tech Level: Average
  • Ownership: more than 1 year
  • Verified Owner

1 out of 5 eggsNot worth it.

Pros: It sounds good (while it lasted), looks nice.

Cons: I'll be honest over the year or so that I've owned this card it has been an absolute nightmare. When I first tried to install the card the Xonar Audio Center, the sound control, that came with the card was basically useless. It took an unreal amount of digging to actually find the driver only to find out that It didn't do anything. I tried messing with the settings changing speakers to headphones and to any other combination possible, but nothing worked. After I re installed the driver a few times and tried turning it to headphones again I finally managed to get sound to come out. I had it for about 3 months before I finally got some recording equipment for my card. I was excited to try it out, but then the next problem showed up. I plugged in my equipment and there was no feed. Once again I wen't through a process of re installing drivers and opening my computer up before I gave up and called customer service. Asus had an awful customer service rep that was not very knowledgeable about the card at all. He told me nothing that I hadn't already tried and barely knew what any of the actual parts of the card's were. After a while I figured that the card's quarter inch input was broken or not soldered well and so I asked him about sending it back for an RMA. He told me that he would send me an email for all the proper procedures to send the card in. I waited for a few days and never received and email. I called and waited 2 more times before I gave up and decided to just leave it be and wait until I can buy a new card and probably give this card away to a friend or put it in a different computer build. Flash forward another 6 months and I tried to work with some of the settings in the Xonar Audio Center. I messed with some of the audio effects, but I noticed something odd after I was done. An echoing effect was still on. So I go to the Audio Center and find that no effects are actually active. I try turning effects on and off, but it didn't work. Wen't online and absolutely no one had info on this problem. I once again called customer service and they had no clue what was happening and could not help me. Eventually I just re installed the driver again. I had to do this 3 times and it became apparent to me that I could not go into the effects section of the program with out incurring this echo effect. I eventually decided after fixing it to never touch the Audio Center again. 4 or so more months pass with relative ease and then I decide to wipe my computer to do a duel boot. After installing windows I go to install my driver's again and I install the Xonar driver with little problems and get it up and running in a short amount of time. I was fine until only a few days later I start my computer up and then there is no sound. Everything is plugged in the computer recognizes the card all the settings are the same as they have always been nothing has really changed. Just no more sound. So in conclusion i'm done with this card and would never recommend it

Other Thoughts: I don't think I will ever buy an Asus sound product again. This card was not worth the near 200 dollars that I payed for it. The Driver just does not seem to work very well at all.

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  • Matthew R.
  • 7/3/2014 6:54:07 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

4 out of 5 eggsPowers HD598

Pros: I have no problems with this sound card. Powers my headphones and stereo receiver well with no noise.

Cons: Driver from ASUS is lacking. Try using Unified Driver instead.

Other Thoughts: Using this card with my Sennheiser HD598.

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  • Ronald L.
  • 6/25/2014 4:47:22 PM
  • Tech Level: Average
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsDedicated gaming rig

Pros: Newegg tech support guy nailed it, and my hold time was about 1 minute. Look for an option in the interface to send the sound to the headset output, and make sure you are plugged into the headset output. And yes, my eyes rolled when he said it- but he was right.
And yes, it sounds incredible. I've spent the last 3 days tweaking the setting for BF4 and I must say, its like cheating. I can hear everything. Tho I mostly play Metro 64 player and the explosions are non-stop- if I need to find an enemy that "broke thru" and he moves, I'll hear him. Simply AMAZING!!

Cons: Though it works awesome when gaming (the reason I bought it), I got my first BSOD when clicking play on a video from "you web place". The first BSOD the machine had EVER. Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD7 rev 1, i7 940, hd7970, 6 Gig., win 7-64. And my best guess is the 64 bit OS after much evening research. Removing the card did not stop the BSOD, uninstalling the driver utility did not stop the BSOD. Thank goodness for Windows 7 restore points. I found the restore point from the day before I installed this card and my system is not BSOD'ing anymore. My last hope was BIOS. I am not going to go with beta BIOS in hope of addressing the issue, BIOS is official version up to date. Also, if you google this card with BSOD, the top result is vip dot asus dot com forum with a "solution". There is a guy cranking out drivers to address the issue for all flavors of the Xonar card. If you are running 32 bit OS, fear not this card. But 64 bit, not so much... Also, PCI-E 1X is a teenie tiny little bus. I tried it in both PCI-E 8x and 16X. Card performed the same in each. Sounds INCREDIBLE in-game, BSOD surfing the web watching videos.

Other Thoughts: If I had a second machine up and running for web and email, there is no way I would be returning this card. It is flawless when you ask it to perform. But ask it to do simple stuff- oops. So its 1 of 2 things. Either I got a bad one, or ASUS needs to fix the driver. And there is a VERY good chance I will buy this card again and see if that one can handle the web as well as state of the art games. I spoke with Asus customer support twice, and newegg once. I highly recommend this card if you are a competition gamer and its a dedicated box. One more thing- one of the biggest reasons I choose this card was levelcapgaming's review of this card and his statement that he can "hear an enemy to with 10 degees of accuracy". Wish I had more time with this card, but yeah- it is (nearly) that awesome. And lastly, levelcap's assessment was on a pair of AD700's. Me, I use Sennheiser PC 330 G4ME, 32 ohm, perfection to 22kHz.
Sending this card back is a heart break.... maybe I should just build me an i3 for web browsing.... humm... Newegg, coupon please?
Newegg support (tech/RMA/etc) is why you buy from Newegg. Indisputable fabulous customer service. If you are reading this review and looking to drop this kind of money on a sound card, this IS the place to buy it from. Happy Hunting.

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

  • Kelly J.
  • 6/16/2014 6:52:39 PM
  • Tech Level: Average
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week

1 out of 5 eggsGreat card, terrible drivers

Pros: Sounds great, but you've already heard that. Looks kinda cool too.

Cons: Drivers. Just a tip here: DO NOT USE THE DISK THAT COMES WITH THE CARD. After instaling the drivers it told me to install, I was (and still am) unable to access my control panel. This means that I can't even uninstall it if I want to. The programs on my taskbar have also been rendered useless. I don't know if it's because I'm using Windows 7 Pro or something, but surely a lot of people out there have a similar set-up.

Other Thoughts: I've tried everything to uninstall this thing. Even manually deleting files, which in hindsight was probably a bad idea.Some support from Asus would be greatly appreciated.

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

  • Christian H.
  • 6/11/2014 9:54:57 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: less than 1 day

4 out of 5 eggsGood, but pricey

Pros: Sounds great so far, improved the bass and treble over my last DAC, a Fiio E10. Front audio jack support is very nice for IEM's and short headphone cables; I use it due to my Sennheiser HD25-1 II's short cable. I will update this review with more impressions after 100 hours of listening (or submit a new one).

Cons: The software has a lot of extraneous features that don't really add anything. It concerns me that these extraneous features could affect the sound in a negative way in the future. It's also pricey at 180$, almost as much as I payed for my headphones.

Other Thoughts: I just wanted to say that the drivers worked fine on the first install for me, no problems whatsoever in Windows 7. I see several reviewers saying there aren't even any drivers, but this is very apparently not true. The driver support for this card is just fine, if not excellent, in Windows 7.

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

  • Kenneth H.
  • 6/5/2014 10:37:40 AM
  • Tech Level: Average
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

1 out of 5 eggsDon't bother

Pros: Looks cool

Cons: Not drop in in the least. Tried to install the card in a windows 7 pro rig and was chagrined to find the driver disc in the box for Windows XP and Vista. I tried to find drivers on Asus's website only to find no updated driver support whatsoever.

I tried to install with an older driver and deactivate my onboard sound card and could not get my computer to run in anything but Safe Mode.

My friend bought the Sound Blaster equivalent and I wish I did the same as his was drop in and play with no issues. If you have a modern machine I would avoid this 180 dollar paper weight at all costs.

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

  • Jay M.
  • 5/19/2014 9:03:18 PM
  • Tech Level: Average
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsExcellent Sound & Very low Noise

Pros: I have had this card for over 9 months and it appears to be rock solid. All the output modes are fully functional and headphones sound great as well as the speaker outputs. I upgraded from a Creative Audigy card, and the difference was quite amazing. If you listen to any of the higher quality tracks such as the HDTracks at higher sample/bitrates, you can really hear the difference.

Cons: My one complaint is with ASUS and their drivers. I attempted 3 different drivers and they all failed at the very end of the installation. I finally went to Maxedtech for their moded UNi Xonar Drivers and I couldn't be happier. Their Audio panel is equal or greater than that of ASUS and it seems to have more funtionality. I would recommend it if the ASUS drivers don't work for you.

Other Thoughts: My system is Win 7-Pro(Build 7601), ASUS P8Z77-V-PRO(Thunderbolt) MoBrd,
16GB Ram and Yamaha MS-80 Studio Spkrs.
It appears that not all customers had driver issues so I am including my system information as a possible clue to my issues. Other than the ASUS drivers though, I have had no other driver problems.

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

  • Justin B.
  • 5/16/2014 4:27:34 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: more than 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsLoved it!

Pros: Amazing little card. Very, very, VERY clear sound. With the right speakers, this card will make you smile with any song you listen to. It doesn't throw off much heat, and doesn't require much power. It has all the important inputs and outputs that you really need, like RCA and 3.5/6.5. The card itself looks very clean and beautiful. Feels better put together than most other add on cards, costing several times more.

Cons: I can't complain much. I'd love to see some updated software for Windows 7/8. Or perhaps, an easier installation method. I had to restart my PC about three times before it finally installed as it should have. But the card really made my listening experience significantly better.

Other Thoughts: I unfortunately had to get rid of this card, but not because I wanted to. The Displayport output on my motherboard had stopped working, and being that it was a Mini-ITX build, I bought a new dedicated GPU to replace the card with so I could still use my computer. If you're thinking about purchasing this card, I'd definitely recommend it, but I'd also recommend waiting. ASUS just released a teaser of a Xonar Essence II and Xonar Essence STX II. So, I'd recommend waiting to see how the second generation compares to the first. As it'll probably have better hardware and possibly better software/sound quality.

With the right equipment and sound files, this card will blow you away. I, by no means, have audiophile gear. But my gear is high-end enough to take advantage of the card. (Klipsch Icon KB-15's + Klipsch Icon SW-350, and Sennheiser HD 800 headphones.) Even if you don't use FLAC, just try and use 256/320k .mp3 files and you'll still notice a difference with the card.

A good addition to an HTPC either in place of a dedicated GPU, when using on-die CPU graphics, or in addition to a GPU.

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

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