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ASUS Xonar Phoebus announced.

post #1 of 53
Thread Starter 

xonar-phoebus-1-799x490.jpg

 

http://rog.asus.com/62712012/news/rog-xonar-phoebus-soundcard-announced/

 

So, a new audiophile sound card that apparently is also well-tailored for gamers, and it looks damn sexy. A few notable quotes from the article that give some details of the features follow:

 

"Named after the Latin reference to the Greek god Apollo, Phoebus is the god of music and light, and the ROG Xonar Phoebus dutifully represents itself as an instrument used to pay homage to the god of music."

 

Already, it sounds bad-ass.

 

"On the inside, it offers an output SNR up to 118dB for the speaker out connection while also packing a headphone connection with amplifier that’s able to deliver up to 110dB of powerful audio at 600 ohms to users ears with minimal distortion. Cover it up with an EMI shield to reduce signal interference even more, and you’ll be able to hear an enemy’s footsteps or the clink of a pin drop."

 

118bD SNR and a 600 ohm amp with an EMI shield? Yes, please.

xonar-phoebus-2-799x299.jpg

"The 6-pin PCI-Express power connector is required for the headphone amp and to provide a dedicated, noise-free grounding."

 

So not only does it have an amplifier, but a powerful one by the sound of it.

 

 

xonar-phoebus-5-799x326.jpg

"Simply plug the headphone and microphone connections to the Phoebus in the rear of the computer and bring the Audio Control Box to your side for easy access to the volume control as well as muting it with a click of the control knob. Volume control by turning a knob is nothing new, but the Audio Control Box also features exclusive ROG Command Technology with an array mic that effectively reduces up to 50% of environmental noise for a superior sound field."

 

Best alternative to using the front chassis audio connection I've heard of.

 

I'm really excited for this card. I hope it doesn't cost more than the Essence STX does now. Maybe $199, but I'm not getting my hopes up too much. All I know is that I really, really want it.

 

post #2 of 53

I do like that control hub but doesn't look like a major upgrade from my STX.

post #3 of 53

Seems like a downgrade from the Essence STX, actually, unless you need the extra analog outputs for surround speakers. I hope it's cheaper as a result.

 

As for being tailored to gamers, I don't see how Asus can do that any more than the current Xonar cards can without somehow prying out all those technologies from Creative's hands that they've either made themselves or bought out from Aureal and Sensaura. That said, they did mention "GX3.0" instead of "GX2.5"...what's changed now?

post #4 of 53

The ROG tag will make it more expensive than it should be redface.gif

post #5 of 53
Thread Starter 

How is it a downgrade from the Essence STX? Because of the 3.5mm analog jacks instead of the 6.3mm analog jacks for headphones? It's just an interface, and this card simply has wider support for 5.1 analog systems rather than having to rely only on the optical jack (which both have). Otherwise the SNR and output for headphones is the same between cards. This one's likely just a revised chipset with different jacks, different shielding, and cooler accessories.

post #6 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Royal Amethyst View Post

How is it a downgrade from the Essence STX? Because of the 3.5mm analog jacks instead of the 6.3mm analog jacks for headphones? It's just an interface, and this card simply has wider support for 5.1 analog systems rather than having to rely only on the optical jack (which both have). Otherwise the SNR and output for headphones is the same between cards. This one's likely just a revised chipset with different jacks, different shielding, and cooler accessories.


118 dB SNR is for the line out, not the headphone jack. Not like it really matters, not going to hear the difference anyway.

 

Also, the fact that the amp supports 600 ohms means nothing. I wish people who stop implying that it does. What matters is maximum voltage and current, and output impedance.


Edited by Head Injury - 1/16/12 at 7:24pm
post #7 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Head Injury View Post


118 dB SNR is for the line out, not the headphone jack. Not like it really matters, not going to hear the difference anyway.

 

Also, the fact that the amp supports 600 ohms means nothing. I wish people who stop implying that it does. What matters is maximum voltage and current, and output impedance.



Yes, I know. I did say the SNR and headphone output are the same, which is 118dB and 110dB respectively. As for the amp, the market standard impedance doesn't really matter so much as the fact that it HAS an amp at all, and the fact that it's powered by a PCI-E power connector implies that it's going to be a considerable one.

post #8 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Royal Amethyst View Post


Yes, I know. I did say the SNR and headphone output are the same, which is 118dB and 110dB respectively. As for the amp, the market standard impedance doesn't really matter so much as the fact that it HAS an amp at all, and the fact that it's powered by a PCI-E power connector implies that it's going to be a considerable one.


Essence STX published SNR is 124 and 117 dB for line out and headphone out. So they aren't the same?

 

Also I don't believe that 110 dB is the SNR for the headphone jack, but their wording might be stupid. It just seems like they mean it can get that loud.

post #9 of 53
Thread Starter 

Not according to the product page on Newegg:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829132010

post #10 of 53

Quote:

Originally Posted by Royal Amethyst View Post

Not according to the product page on Newegg:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829132010


Output Signal-to-Noise Ratio (A-Weighted):
124dB for Front-out,117dB for Headphone-out (600ohms) dB 

 

(that's a link, doesn't look like it)

post #11 of 53
Thread Starter 

Huh, but input signal is 118/110. Is it possible that the article on the ROG site was only giving part of the specs?

post #12 of 53

Yeah, the SNR was what I meant when I said that this card seemed like a downgrade from the Essence STX. That's the main and only reason, really.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Head Injury View Post

Also, the fact that the amp supports 600 ohms means nothing. I wish people who stop implying that it does. What matters is maximum voltage and current, and output impedance.


I've noticed plenty of people getting caught up on that very bit of marketing as well. For that matter, just claiming to have a "dedicated headphone amplifier" can make or break a buying decision for these people.

 

What makes a given amplifier circuit more or less suitable to headphones, anyway? Even then, it wouldn't suit every headphone on the market; you pretty much have to match the amp to the headphone for optimum performance.

post #13 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

I've noticed plenty of people getting caught up on that very bit of marketing as well. For that matter, just claiming to have a "dedicated headphone amplifier" can make or break a buying decision for these people.

 

What makes a given amplifier circuit more or less suitable to headphones, anyway? Even then, it wouldn't suit every headphone on the market; you pretty much have to match the amp to the headphone for optimum performance.


For headphones or not for headphones, tailored for a certain kind of not, does it matter for all of us? I'm not at the point where I can afford a DAC, and external amp, a Sennheiser HD 800, and tune it all together. Right now I'm using an HD 598, decidedly a great pair of hedphones but otherwise considered benignly mediocre by audiophile standards. For now, I simply feel my headphones could benefit from any upgrade from my little XtremeGamer, and from any amp. All I need is a little boost, something a bit more substantial than the soundcard like I'm using. And I want a sound card that will last me across multiple computer builds. That's why this one is looking so good to me. It's gonna be new, with all the whiz-bang features that might only look impressive right now, but be nothing more than a minor incremental update. In the future though, GX 3.0 support over current Xonars' 2.5 might make all the difference, and another year of lifespan for the sound card. For someone in the market right now, this shiny bauble looks much better than 2-3 year old sound cards that may currently be just as good.

And yeah, the SNR and all the other outputs are barely different enough to be noticeable, I'm curious about the support and features. And yes, what kind of amp it has.

post #14 of 53
Judging by the specs, it's more likely aslightly upgraded D2X (or even just rebadged D2X plus some amp). If the amp is tailored for 600 ohm cans, it might have high output impedance, making it useless for many other headphones. They did it with the Essence ST (10,7 ohm output impedance), so why not do it again.
post #15 of 53

It could be a sort of hybrid of the STX and D2X, basically the D2X with the TPA6120A2 amplifier. But this is only guessing.

 

 

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