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Asus Xonar 'Essence' card in the works

post #1 of 62
Thread Starter 
Just spotted this over at Guru3D, seems Asus have another high-end card in the works... and might be aimed at headphone use, not too sure at this point.

Guru3D news article

News article was sourced from Japanese website PC Watch:

PC Watch Japanese article

Anyway, looks interesting. Thoughts?
post #2 of 62
hdav has been in the works for a while, but haven't seen essence until now

maybe this is a sign that audio card manufacturers are going to start competing with the USB D/A market, or at least starting to target headphone users, by bringing high quality bits to market, instead of having one or two options at most, all from Creative, having 5 or 6 options, from a number of manufacturers (which we're currently at, this would just add more)
post #3 of 62
Seems quite nice, but I'm afraid I'll keep my WA6 for the moment to stick my headphones in.
post #4 of 62
The HDAV 1.3's are already on the market in various places.
post #5 of 62
I was on Newegg today and saw that Auzentech (who I guess is just going by Auzen now) had released some new cards. And then there was this, which seems to be the HT Omega but with a focus on the stereo analog output (they claim a high end headphone amp right on the card and they put beefy RCA outs on it).
post #6 of 62
the Claro Halo, yes, theres a thread on head-fi discussing it already

which new auzen cards? the re-work of the xplosion? or did I miss something?

edit:
here's the thread on claro halo:
http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f46/ht...ndcard-364721/

so far none of the users have received them, or at least posted reviews (afaik), this will probably change by the end of the week
post #7 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post
the Claro Halo, yes, theres a thread on head-fi discussing it already

which new auzen cards? the re-work of the xplosion? or did I miss something?

edit:
here's the thread on claro halo:
http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f46/ht...ndcard-364721/

so far none of the users have received them, or at least posted reviews (afaik), this will probably change by the end of the week
They had a USB one, a firewire one (looked the same as the USB but firewire), and then a PCI card (4 channel was in the title). They seem geared toward pro audio though. Just look at Newegg, it'll bring all of them up.

I figured there would be a thread for that Claro. If it wasn't for the fact that I'm going for an external amp, I'd probably seriously consider it, although I don't know for sure if I'll be building a new computer or not, so I've been leaning more towards the 0404USB.
post #8 of 62

More details about the Essence...

Look at the picture...

Xonar Essence STX
post #9 of 62
It's an interesting looking card... I wonder why some of these newer cards have build-in headphone amp. People who purchase these kind of sound cards usually have their own HP amp...
post #10 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenneth View Post
It's an interesting looking card... I wonder why some of these newer cards have build-in headphone amp. People who purchase these kind of sound cards usually have their own HP amp...
not neccisarily, a large majority of head-fi'ers aren't the ones with the nice rigs, thats just the mass posters and old-timers

the audio board manufacturers are finally realizing that they've lost A LOT of ground to the USB DAC/amp segment, and they want some of it back

besides, this is only the second card with an HQ headphone amp built into the circuitry, and both of them appear to offer super nice line outs as well
post #11 of 62
Yep, most certainly the majority of people buying such cards do NOT have a headphone amp. Most haven't even heard of 'em.

And seeing (or rather hearing) that the Prodigy 7.1 HiFi - now returned - did a perfectly fine job driving what I threw at it (HD580, HD590, K26P doesn't count), I believe that it is absolutely possible to integrate a good headphone out into such a card that makes an external amp largely redundant.
post #12 of 62
Gamers use headsets/'phones a hella lot (and don't necessarily care for dedicated headamps) so better integrated hp performance is a good feature for guys like Asus to flog their cards
post #13 of 62
however, most headsets targetted at gamers, at least of yesteryear, are very low quality and don't really require amplification, although I have seen a slight shift in many gamers I know, away from the garbage Logitech, Zalman, and other "computer" brands, towards things like Audio-Technica (A500's and AD700's), and Sennheiser (HD-515's and HD-555's), as high quality has started to reach around the $100 mark and become relatively available, and as "gaming" headphones have slowly started to move towards the $100 mark as well

so, it is a good point, guess its a sign of the future to come?
post #14 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post
I have seen a slight shift in many gamers I know, away from the garbage Logitech, Zalman, and other "computer" brands, towards things like Audio-Technica (A500's and AD700's), and Sennheiser (HD-515's and HD-555's)
True enough. I remember some pro-geek CS clan YEARS ago that were already using HD-650s
post #15 of 62
Wow, this Essence card offers incredible 124dB dynamic range? What about its THD+N? Eager to listen how the symphonic music and Blu-ray disc sounds over my Sennheiser 300 ohms headphones :-)
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