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Asus Essence One Headphone Amp/DAC (CeBIT 2011) - Page 182

post #2716 of 3011

 

is it just me or the new Essences are getting uglier! :(

post #2717 of 3011

It's just you :wink:

post #2718 of 3011
Definitely a different style. I do appreciate the newer models being flat on top so stacking is a possibility. That was impossible with the original e1
post #2719 of 3011

I think the E1 has more of a computer peripheral look while the new one looks like a proper audio component. For $1600 (which is NOT confirmed) I think it faces stiff competition from the reference class such as the Benchmark DAC2 and Grace Audio M903. That will be a tough nut to crack for Asus in my opinion.

post #2720 of 3011
Quote:
Originally Posted by palmfish View Post
 

I think the E1 has more of a computer peripheral look while the new one looks like a proper audio component. For $1600 (which is NOT confirmed) I think it faces stiff competition from the reference class such as the Benchmark DAC2 and Grace Audio M903. That will be a tough nut to crack for Asus in my opinion.

I think they already have E1 muses vs Grace M903, to my ears anyhow

post #2721 of 3011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gandah View Post
 

I think they already have E1 muses vs Grace M903, to my ears anyhow

 

Well, they are both well engineered pieces so I would not be surprised if they sound basically the same. But the M903 has higher quality components, balanced and unbalanced analog inputs and a remote control, among other features. I'm over simplifying, but I would say the M903 is a professional reference class DAC and headphone amp and the E1 Muses is a high quality consumer grade DAC and headphone amp.

post #2722 of 3011
Umm, looking at the unit I now have quite a few questions. I'll be glad if anybody can help!
 
1- What is Vr-Bypass and Ex-IrDA?
2- Shouldn't the Phono-Out be an input instead so we could connect directly a turntable, unless it is totaly pointless to use a DAC for what would be already Analog to Analog?
3- EBU/AES input that looks like a balanced input, is it for microphone recording through XLR?
4- Why a USB 1.0 // 2.0 switch?! I could understand at most 2.0 vs 3.0 but now...
5- Is it me or their "Synchronious Symetrical 8x" upscalling feature they bragged so much about is now gone even though it cost 3x more?!
post #2723 of 3011
Quote:
Originally Posted by PanzerIV View Post


Vr-Bypass: I dont have a clue
Ex-IrDA: looks like a socket for an external IR receiver for a remote control
Phono Out: the terms "phono" and "RCA" both refer to the type of plug only.
EBU/AES: its another digital input
USB 1//2: i dont know why they would have a switch. USB 1 is a driverless standard limited to 24/96. USB 2 goes up to higher bitrates but requires a driver.
8X upsampling: we dont know until they release specs
post #2724 of 3011
Quote:
Originally Posted by palmfish 
USB 1//2: i dont know why they would have a switch. USB 1 is a driverless standard limited to 24/96. USB 2 goes up to higher bitrates but requires a driver.
8X upsampling: we dont know until they release specs

Ahh so USB 1.0 is only for driverless, so people too lazy to install drivers?! Kind of meaningless imo.

As I said, very strange if they removed their upscalling feature. Also if you compare the official specs, the Essence III have a SNR of 117dB and THD of -105dB so wtf it's performance are inferior even though the design seems to be overkill and much better?!

Output Signal-to-Noise Ratio (A-Weighted) (Front-out) :
120 dB
Output THD+N at 1kHz (Front-out) :
0.000316 %(-110 dB)

post #2725 of 3011
Quote:
Originally Posted by PanzerIV View Post

Ahh so USB 1.0 is only for driverless, so people too lazy to install drivers?! Kind of meaningless imo.


As I said, very strange if they removed their upscalling feature. Also if you compare the official specs, the Essence III have a SNR of 117dB and THD of -105dB so wtf it's performance are inferior even though the design seems to be overkill and much better?!

Output Signal-to-Noise Ratio (A-Weighted) (Front-out) :
120 dB
Output THD+N at 1kHz (Front-out) :
0.000316 %(-110 dB)

Panzer, it has nothing to do with laziness. USB 2.0 is great I'm sure, but not everybody uses a PC to listen to music, and not everybody listens to 192 kHz files (and those that do are fooling themselves wink.gif ).

As for all those specs - do you really think you can hear the difference between a 120 dB SNR and 117 dB SNR?

The reason why the Essence III will cost more than the Essence I is entirely due to the added features, more components, and higher quality parts. I seriously doubt it will sound any better (or even different) from the E1, but it will still be worth it for some people.

Regarding upsampling - it is a worthless feature AFAIC. In my opinion, it's better to listen to a file in its original resolution than mess with it. Its been shown in numerous trials that nobody can tell the difference between a file recorded in 24/192 and the same file downsampled to 16/44. Hell, I cant hear a difference between a 24/192 file and the same file compressed to 320 kbps MP3.
post #2726 of 3011
Quote:
Originally Posted by palmfish 

Regarding upsampling - it is a worthless feature AFAIC. In my opinion, it's better to listen to a file in its original resolution than mess with it. Its been shown in numerous trials that nobody can tell the difference between a file recorded in 24/192 and the same file downsampled to 16/44. Hell, I cant hear a difference between a 24/192 file and the same file compressed to 320 kbps MP3.

Yeah you're right. To be honnest when I tryed the E1 at home for 25 days I really couldn't tell the difference at all with the upsampling activated or not and in theory it should be better to avoid any modification of the sampling. In fact upsampling totaly ruin the purpose of "Bitperfect" which most people will prolly aim for rather than upsample stuff. Something badly recorded will still sound like sh*t even if upscalled to 24-32bit while something recorded in a very good studio will still sound better in MP3 VBR0. The confusing thing is the 1 second of mute while engaging the upsampling mode so it can confuse your ears in hearing something different while it's clearly the same.

I even tryed to compare a FLAC album of one of my favorite band to the VBR0 MP3 I had already and seriously I tryed my best but couldn't hear a single difference at all so all that lossless speech is again snobbish bs from "audiophiles". I'm afraid as you say that the Essence III won't even sound better than the E1 but will still cost much more just for added features that most people aren't gonna fully use. It sucks that they discountinued the E1 Muse edition as if it's the best thing when it comes to sound then I don't want to pay 2x more than the Muses only for added features (-_-)

post #2727 of 3011
Hi Folks,

If you're sick of your E1, I'm looking to buy a second one. So hit me up if you are wink.gif
post #2728 of 3011
Quote:
Originally Posted by palmfish View Post
 

I think the E1 has more of a computer peripheral look while the new one looks like a proper audio component. For $1600 (which is NOT confirmed) I think it faces stiff competition from the reference class such as the Benchmark DAC2 and Grace Audio M903. That will be a tough nut to crack for Asus in my opinion.

 

 

The lead engineer voiced against the acclaimed W4S DAC and obviously the E1 and told me he's confident we've got things down in terms of dynamics and SQ. 

post #2729 of 3011

that right,Looks like an external Dac/Amp combo with USB, Coax and Optical inputs.Also has Headphone, Balanced (XLR)  and Unbalanced outputs.thanks

hDIQWz

post #2730 of 3011

My E1 just arrived. What are the optimal windows/itunes settings? Do I set everything to 192khz/24bit? I plan on setting up Foobar at some point, but won't be able to whip up something satisfactory for a while.

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