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Item#: N82E16829132023

ASUS Xonar Essence One 24-bit 192KHz USB Interface USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier

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  • 24-bit 192KHz
  • USB Interface

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  • Overview
  • Specifications
  • Warranty & Returns
  • Reviews

Redefine High Fidelity and Clarity. 

Digital music sources are an important source for audiophiles. Catering to the needs of the user, the ASUS Xonar team launches its first hi-fi USB DAC, the Xonar Essence One, and commits to subvert the low quality digital music stereotype. It is the industry-leading, high-end USB DAC with the world's first 8x symmetrical upsampling, an extremely high 120dB SNR, audiophile class headphone AMP with a full op-amps swappable function.

  • newegg Hi-Fi audio through the world's first 8x symmetrical upsampling The Essence One preserves faithful details of your music collection. While common upsampling USB DACs just transfer whatever audio source to 192kHz indistinguishably, the Essence One upsamples 44.1/88.2/176.4kHz input to 352.8kHz and 48/96/192kHz input to 384kHz in a symmetrical manner. The Essence One also supports to increase data volume by upsampling the bit-rate to 32bit corresponding to the original content. (Note: 44.1*8=352.8kHz; 48*8=384kHz)
  • newegg Extreme audio clarity with 120dB SNR and Balanced XLR output The average SNR of other USB DACs is about 110dB. With the extremely high SNR (120dB), the Xonar Essence One provides audiophiles clearer sounds with every detail while significantly reducing noise level. The Xonar Essence One also features balanced (XLR) outputs. This is a higher quality output that is useful for eliminating unwanted noises and interference. Since a balanced line contains two signal carrying conductors of equal magnitude but opposite polarity, noises induced along the cable path cancel each other out when they reach the destination load. This makes balanced lines perfect for professional applications where long cable connection with induced noises might be a problem. XLR connectors should be wired as follows: Pin 1- Ground; Pin 2- Hot (in-phase); Pin 3- Cold (phase-inverted).
  • newegg Built-in headphone amp and a dedicated internal power supply The Xonar Essence One integrates an audiophile-class headphone AMP circuit which powers up ALL Hi-Fi headphones and grants 100% performance, even with impedance up to 600ohms. It offers extra dynamics, sound details and low distortion. The internal power supply supports all international voltages and has generous margins for over and under voltage conditions. It provides the cleanest power for the cleanest sound with excellent immunity to noise on the AC line.
  • newegg 11 swappable OP-amps and Dedicated Volume Controls Op-amp is the key part that amplifies the analog signal in your DAC and affects tone characters (darker, brighter, sound image, etc.) Xonar Essence One allows user to swap almost every OP-amps for a fully customized sound. The ASUS Xonar Essence One is fitted with two dedicated volume controls: one for the headphones and another for speakers. Unlike most USB DACs which use only one volume control for the output level of both headphone and speaker (or even no volume control), Xonar Essence One allows users to set the headphone and speaker volume level separately.
  • newegg Toslink and Coaxial S/PDIF inputs and bit-perfect with ASIO 2.2 Driver The ASUS Xonar Essence One is fitted with a set of digital inputs, Coaxial and Toslink, which enable the connection of source components. The digital inputs accept data formats at sample rates up to 192 kHz. Bit-perfect is how the audio stream will come from your PC. The ASUS Xonar Essence One’s ASIO 2.2 driver simplifies the process of multiple audio streams, bypassing latency issues in Windows, to deliver a low-latency, high fidelity sound file that is identical to the original audio file.
  • newegg Low Clock Jitter with Asynchronous Data Transfer Most USB audio uses Synchronous Data Transfer mode to adjust the internal clock to compensate different data transfer rates between PCs and USB audio devices. But the jitter is worse if the transfer rate is different between a PC and the audio device. To avoid this issue, the ASUS Xonar Essence One supports Asynchronous Data Transfer mode. This mechanism feedbacks the buffer status to the system, and the system is based on buffer status to adjust to the speed of the data transfer, which leads to a low amount of jitter in the Xonar Essence One.

Learn more about the ASUS Xonar Essence One

Warranty, Returns, And Additional Information
  • Warranty
  • Limited Warranty period (parts): 3 years
  • Limited Warranty period (labor): 3 years
  • Read full details

Customer Reviews of the ASUS Xonar Essence One

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1 out of 5 eggsNot worth the $

Pros: Sounds great when it works

Cons: After first installing sound would get all digitized & there was a ton of feedback. Had to continually restart my computer to fix. After 6+ months of it working, but being extremely problematic it is now an ugly paper weight on the desk. Windows 8 won't connect to it anymore & provides an error saying there are no speakers plugged into it. Not worth 20% of the price.

Other Thoughts: Just annoyed - no good support for this stuff. All trial and error error error.

0 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Michael B.
  • 3/11/2013 4:07:22 PM
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

3 out of 5 eggs

Pros: -The sound quality is amazing!
-speaker and headphones are separately controlled and run at the same time
-a bunch of digital input options
-The inside of this thing contains one of the most neatly laid out mainboards I've seen on anything. (excluding desktop motherboards, those usually look better than everything else)

Cons: -If it is turned off then back on while the computer is on, there are extra steps required to make it work again.

1. Turn it off
2. unplug the usb
3. turn it on
4. wait about 5-10 seconds
5. plug the usb back in
6. press the input button to cycle through all the options back to usb

(-1 egg for an annoyance that even cheap usb dacs don't have)

-After about 4 days of computer uptime, it started having issues with the sound quality. Restarting the dac did not fix the quality, I had to restart my computer which I normally only have to do once every 4-6 weeks. (-1 egg for this... an expensive dac is worth drivers that remain stable for more than a few days at once!!)

Other Thoughts: Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I don't have a clue what the term is for the loss in sound quality was that I was experiencing, but it made a person's voice sounds like it was crappily digitally processed to sound like a robot. Maybe a future reviewer can enlighten me if they know what that is called.

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

  • Anonymous
  • 9/22/2012 1:32:46 PM
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week

1 out of 5 eggsOSX Lion compatability

Pros: sounds great except for the jitter

Cons: Jitter

Other Thoughts: Asus tech support couldn't provide any support for osx and had little knowledge of their DAC

Manufacturer Response:

Dear Valued Customer,

The Essence One works with OSX (via the generic OSX driver), please check the review here by 6 Moons in which the editor used the Essence One with an Apple Mac:

In the cons you list the term “jitter”, the jitter of our DAC is low as the Essence One works in USB async mode (local master clock), which means it is not slave to the PC clock.

ASUS Customer Support

0 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • James R.
  • 8/1/2012 10:24:22 AM
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year

5 out of 5 eggsIncredible Audio

Pros: For those that want to upgrade from an in-case audio board, this is the DAC to get. High quality, good drivers, awesome sound.

Cons: The only negative I would give it is using some plastic buttons instead of keeping all controls aluminum. Other than that, awesome device.

Other Thoughts: I love playing my .FLAC files bit perfect with Foobar on this baby! Incredible sound in games too.

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

  • Oscar G.
  • 7/10/2012 2:09:09 PM
  • Ownership: less than 1 day

4 out of 5 eggsVery pleased!

Pros: Great sound and build quality.

Cons: Plastic knobs.

Upsampling is terrible, if the button is enabled, you can clearly notice a drop in everything above 14Khz (or around).

I'm using the latest firmware and drivers, hopefully this will be fixed in a future update!

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

  • Eric N.
  • 2/29/2012 5:31:15 PM
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsPhenominal if you don't need it quiet

Pros: Unparalleled THD and SNR. Each one comes with individual specifications for how that individual unit tested. My THD was -114 DB from 20Hz to 20KHz. Channel separation was 132 dB at 1KHz and varied from 115 to 142 DB from 20Hz to 20 KHz.

This device has presented music to me in a way I have not heard before. My previous DAC used a cs4398, which is a respectable chip, but this device goes above and beyond. The clarity is unreal.

Cons: I have only one gripe with the unit, but it is almost significant enough for me to knock an egg off. Listening at very low volume levels, the potentiometer does not keep the volumes of each channel the same. The bottom 2 notches on the volume control (for both headphone and speaker) will have the audio come out significantly stronger on one channel than the other. On the quietest notch, one of the channels is essentially muted and I get to listen to mono. Interestingly enough, the channel that gets quiet is reversed between the speakers and the headphones.

Other Thoughts: If you don't listen at very quiet levels, I would be unable to find a flaw with this unit. If, however, you find yourself listening to quiet music at your computer right before bed, you will have to lower your volume on your computer to enable you to have the volume of the device set higher.

Headphones Used: Denon AH-D2000
Amplifier Used: Anthem MCA 2
Speakers Used: Polk Lsi9
Subwoofer Used: SVS PB12-NSD

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

5 out of 5 eggsSuper Awesomo 4000

Pros: -Bought elsewhere- Newegg out of stock-

1) It is a nice heavy piece of sound equipment. Quoting Boris the bullet dodger - Heavy is good, heavy is reliable. If it doesn't work you can always hit them with it
2) USB DAC -this is where it shines (in ASIO bit prefect mode)
It upgrades digital music stored on your computer into clear and detailed, life-like sounds. 120dB SNR
3) Stand-alone DAC
4) 11 OpAmps upgradable. (Manual has easy to follow directions)
5)Totally unique price class, certainly not entry-level, it has an absolutely impressive toroidal transformer
6) Built using feedback from many HiFI boards.
7) Sound incredible using Foobar2000 with Asio driver. I mean crazy good. Seriously crazy good at this price point.
8) Unbalanced RCA outputs, AES/EBU balanced outputs by 3-pin XLR ,S/PDIF coaxial and Optical input plus an asynchronous USB input.
9)Excellent headphone Amp drives 600ohms
10) Controls Volume of output and headphones separately. Has mute, upconvert

Cons: Power:
- Toroidal transformer, output +5 V 0.9A, +12 V 0.7A,-12V 0.7A
- 1x PM06AVE3 -5.0 P + LM2940CT (National Semiconductor Voltage Regulator)
- LM2990T -12 P + 2x JM13ABE3 (National Semiconductor Voltage Regulator)
- Capacitors OEM for Asus.
- DSP: Analog Devices ADSP-21 261 (150MHz SIMD SHARC Core, 900MFLOPS)
- USB: C-Media CM6631 (Asynchronous USB up to 24bit/192khz)
- S / PDIF: AKM AK4113VF (the most powerful AES/EBU transmitter from AKM)
- DAC: 2x BurrBrown PCM1795 (32bit/192khz, 123db SNR) These chips can be found, for example, in the top of the range of Onkyo receivers, the TX-NR5008 model.
Analog speakers:
- 3x JR12ACE3 LM 4562NA (National Semiconductor OPAMP)
- 6x 13AE08W NE 5532P (Texas Instruments OPAMP)
- Nichicon and WIMA capacitors.
Analog headphones:
- 2x EM13ABE3 LME 49600 TS(National Semiconductor High Current Audio Buffer)
- 2x JR06ABE3 LME 49720NA (National Semiconductor OPAMP)
- Nichicon and WIMA capacitors.
Takes about 100 h

Other Thoughts: Why would you want this?

Besides being a external sound card. It allows your PC (with amp'd speakers) to become an audiophile Awesome 4000 machine. The sound is incredible in ASIO bit perfect mode. Clear, layered and solid, truly a PC perk.

You can still use your (ie xfi card) using s/pdif line from your internal SB card to your Essence one DAC so you can use all cmss3d, thx, DD and DTS effect.

Excellent price point for a hi-quality DAC for your PC.

If you don't care what your audio sounds like then save your money. If you do care and want to hear sounds like you never heard before , then buy this.

I love mine I hope you do - It is specifically designed for bit perfect USB ASIO output.

Side note - Tested stock USB and Audioquest Cinnamon USB cable. It did improve the quality. The 0 and 1 are there in both however far less jitter (timing) with Audioquest. Audioquest Forest -Copper (Cu) , Cinnamon -Cu with 1.25% silver(Ag), Carbon Cu & 5%AG

12 out of 14 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

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Item#: N82E16829132023
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