Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Computer Audio › Asus Xonar Essence ST Sound Quality Issues
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Asus Xonar Essence ST Sound Quality Issues - Page 3

post #31 of 49
Thread Starter 

I am using Windows XP, and can't seem to find the settings you described.

post #32 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by zerox202 View Post

I am using Windows XP, and can't seem to find the settings you described.


Sorry they are probably not there on Windows XP. They are there on Windows Vista & Windows Seven.
 

post #33 of 49
Thread Starter 

So, it looks like my hum issue can be somewhat relieved if I upgrade to Vista/7 and configure those settings?

post #34 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by zerox202 View Post

So, it looks like my hum issue can be somewhat relieved if I upgrade to Vista/7 and configure those settings?



Vista or 7 will not fix hum but will fix that noise that sounds like really aggresive tape hiss at very low levels which some earphones are sensitive to.

post #35 of 49

Hi,

 I had the same problem with the x-fi forte.I had to disable onboard sound in my bios settings.

After i did that I no longer had the annoying hiss.

 

Hope this helps. 

post #36 of 49

Ok, I'm not an expert on headphone amps but I have a pair of Shure se530s and an Asus Xonar Essence ST.

 

I've disabled onboard sound and I've changed the settings to both 24 bit in advanced settings and the sampling rate.

 

Result:

1. In headphone out - changing audio quality to 24bit didn't do anything but changing the sampling rate did slightly alleviate the harshness of the hissing noise.

 

2. In line out, there is ABSOLUTELY no hissing whatsoever and plenty of volume.

 

My take:

I want to first point out that I have absolutely no knowledge about headphone equipment so I'd like to ask the experts here:
 

1. Could it be that there is a discrepancy between the impedance of the in ear canals and that of the sound card?

2. Yes the lowest gain level is 0db<64ohms but the in ear phones I'm using is half of 64.

 

What I'd like to know:
 

3. I know you will get a hissing sound if your headphones are underpowered but will it also happen if the impedance from the power source is overwhelming?

 

I hope to hear from you guys soon!

post #37 of 49

RMA the card will just waste the time and money of both you and ASUS. Just buy an attenuator already, there are 2 of us that are quite certain it will fix your issue.

 

http://www.google.com/products?q=headphone%20attenuator&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wf

You probably want to attenuate by 9-12 db, IEMs don't require much power, and even at the low gain Essence puts out a LOT of power.

 

The line out has less power, that may be why it doesn't hiss. The lineout measures better anyways.

If your headphone out sounds fine with full sized headphones, there is absolutely nothing wrong with your card.


Edited by Dalamar - 7/15/10 at 10:58am
post #38 of 49

1.0 Thanks Dalamar, thankfully my se530s actually came with a attenuator and it fixed the hissing problem, just tried one minute ago.

 

2.0 How exactly does attenuation technology work? Just by reducing the volume? If so, why doesn't changing the software volume settings do the same job?

3.0 If you reduce the attenuation settings, does the volume dial act the same as an audio mixer, or does it in fact control the amp power instead? The way I understand it must work is that if you attenuate the sound, it simply decreases power supplied, and then this fixes the problem. You can then compensate for the lost power by changing the volume on your computer sound settings.

 

4.0 All in all, perhaps a better solution is just to use the line out, since it seems to provide ample power to supply to the IEMS anyway, and from what I've been hearing, isn't it also better than the headphone out? I've tried reading through some of the links supplied, but can't seem to understand why. Does it have something to do with the DAC?

 

5.0 I'm also quite a fan of recording audio, does anyone know whether there is a pre-amp at all for microphone in that will support a condenser microphone?


Edited by charlesaudio - 7/15/10 at 11:33am
post #39 of 49

If you had mentioned recording before, I would've told you to grab an Emu 0404 USB instead.

post #40 of 49

Unfortunately, unlike the Zerox, I don't have a high impedance pair of headphones to try it on. I can understand his apprehension to go with an attenuator straight away. I mean, if it is a matter of fixing differences in impedance then that's fine. Hopefully its not what I thought Hybrys was saying, that in fact, it simply decreases the noise rather than decreasing power. If it decreases noise, then all it does is cover up the problem rather than solve it. If it decreases ampage power, then its a problem with sensitive iems to begin with.
I guess I'm wondering whether noise and power are interchangable, i think not.

 

Yes, Hybrys, in retrospect,I realized that the EMU card would have been ideal. So I take it that the inbuilt microphone amp will not support a condenser microphone?

So now, since I have this card, I guess there's no point replicating what functions this card already provides. I assume however, that I can get away with just getting a microphone amp with phantom power and plug that directly into the line out of the Xonar Essence. Someone recommended the M-Audio DMP-3. Can anyone confirm that this would be ok?


Edited by charlesaudio - 7/15/10 at 11:58am
post #41 of 49

Well, it'll support a standard PC microphone, but anything that needs Phantom Power isn't going to work.  It all depends on the mic, though.

 

Theoretically, it does just cover up the noise, not defeat the 'problem'.  The problem is in design, not some easily fixable problem.

 

Also theoretically, if you can RMA the Xonar for 'issues' and get a full refund, you could reinvest in the EMU 0404 USB.  Heck, it might solve your static problems aswell as providing a good ADC.


Edited by Hybrys - 7/15/10 at 12:42pm
post #42 of 49


Attenuation reduces the signal power by reducing the power with resistance, digital volume control "lowers the resolution". I don't think either will be audible much, both lower SNR a bit, but I believe that digital will push the noise floor up faster.

Quote:
Originally Posted by charlesaudio View Post

1.0 Thanks Dalamar, thankfully my se530s actually came with a attenuator and it fixed the hissing problem, just tried one minute ago.

 

2.0 How exactly does attenuation technology work? Just by reducing the volume? If so, why doesn't changing the software volume settings do the same job?

3.0 If you reduce the attenuation settings, does the volume dial act the same as an audio mixer, or does it in fact control the amp power instead? The way I understand it must work is that if you attenuate the sound, it simply decreases power supplied, and then this fixes the problem. You can then compensate for the lost power by changing the volume on your computer sound settings.

 

4.0 All in all, perhaps a better solution is just to use the line out, since it seems to provide ample power to supply to the IEMS anyway, and from what I've been hearing, isn't it also better than the headphone out? I've tried reading through some of the links supplied, but can't seem to understand why. Does it have something to do with the DAC?

 

5.0 I'm also quite a fan of recording audio, does anyone know whether there is a pre-amp at all for microphone in that will support a condenser microphone?

post #43 of 49

I was thinking about that this morning when I woke up using Dalamar's theory. Here's where the paradox lies.

 

The Xonar Essence ST overpowers the IEMS, therefore, we turn the knob down on the attenuator to increase resistance, so as to reduce power to the Iems and fixing the problem. We increase the digital volume to compensate.

 

However, I have heard people use attenuators to fix problems with ipods using the same method. But in this case, ipods actually under power the IEMs right?

So if we turn the ipod volume o max and then increase resistance, this should provide less power to the Iems and should result in a bigger power discrepancy right?

 

I am therefore inclined to believe that as Hybrys said, this is a problem with the sound card's design. If it were a matter of being a mismatch of power, then I would certainly not want a refund. I just wonder if the same problem would occur if i used higher powered headphones. If so, then RMA it is. But for now, I can't be certain.

post #44 of 49

Ok, I've done some research and calculations and this is what I've come up with:

 

So the two formulas that I have taken are:
 

1. Voltage (Constant) = Current x Resistance

a. Impedance = resistance from headphones????

=> Voltage = Current x Impedance from Headphones x Resistance

2. Power = Volume = Voltage^2/Resistance

 

So assuming that a attenuator increases resistance, then I make the following calculations.

 

If we assume that the voltage from the preamp in the card is say set at 60, for a lack of a better reference number, then:

 

1. 60 = current x 36 (impedance from headphones) x attenuator resistance.

 

If we increase the attenuator resistance to equal close to 1.66, then current will be reduced to 1, which is an optimal voltage which minimizes noise caused by impedance mismatch.

 

2. As voltage is constant, increasing resistance, decreases volume.

 

60^2/1.66 x 36

 

Note: An Ipod apparently has an impedance level of 34 or something, which means there should be very little impedance mismatch. Furthermore, I've read that the impedance of the output source should be slightly lower to be optimal. Not to mention that often, impedance measurements are scaled down, so that when it says 34, it could be referring to 40-60. This of course would explain, why an attenuator would work for an ipod as well. However, that is only if impedance = voltage but we know voltage is not measured in ohms, so that's why I'm sure there is another explanation. I'm quite confused as to whether or not impedance mismatching is the cause of white noise, or whether it is from the current, or whether impedance is more or less equivalent to the current.

 

So if we assume an alternative scenario:

 

If the ipod has a voltage of 34 (arbitrary but deliberate so that 34<36) then what we are left with is 34 = Current x 36 x Resistance. Since the resistance from the headphones are too high, the current being pushed to the headphones are too weak, which cause the hissing sound??? Again, can voltage and ohms be used interchangeably?

 

1. We could try and then decrease resistance, but the only way to do that is by using an amp.

 

If so, then 34 = current x 36 x amp (ie. 0.944 reduction in resistance)

Alternatively (1/0.944) x 34 = current x 36

 

2. Volume would also be louder as volume = (34 x amp power)^2/36

 

If any of my calculations are correct, which I'm sure they're not, then it means that you hardly need an amp for portable music players like the ipod, unless you have a pair of power hungry studio headphones.

post #45 of 49

Pretty much.  But that would also be assuming that the iPod is outputting perfectly amplified audio.  That it why people use portable amps.  (Also to drive silly 300-600 ohm fullsized headphones as if they were portable)

 

People use attenuators with iPods because some feel that at low volumes the iPod lacks in quality.  So they max it out, and use a proper attenuator to set the level.  Not a bad idea... And not a worthless one, if you got the attenuator for free (IE: Shure high end IEMs sometimes include them.)

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Computer Audio
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Computer Audio › Asus Xonar Essence ST Sound Quality Issues