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Asus Xonar Essence One

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

I'm new to the forum.  Lot's of awesome input here.  I've had my E1 for 3 days. The manual sucks.  I received a disc with driver download (Audio Center Version for window's vista 64 bit which I installed. 


1. Should I still download firmware from the ASUS site downloads menu?  All or some?  If some, which ones?


E1 is hooked up to my netbook (thru USB) and my CD player (thru coaxial).  The  music that does come thru my netbook (undistorted) is amazing compared to when the netbook was hooked straight into my AVR.  But the music from my CD player doesn't sound any better with the E1 vs without it.


2. How do I stop the screechy distortion heard from music (FLAC & WAV) played at 16/44.1 & higher on the netbook? 


I hear the distortion at the end of some songs thru my Sennheiser's and my speakers.


3. Is the distortion caused by the USB hookkup?


That seems to be an issue in many of the review articles I've read.  I'm using Media Jukebox by J. River as my media player.  The only DSP functions I use are: Stereo & 16/44.1 since trying to use higher settings only increases the distortion.  I've even reripped several CD's with Exact Audio Copy and still heard distortion.  HELP!


4. Is it true I can only control the sample rate and bitdepth through a computer media program like Media Jukebox?


5. Would it be better to hook my desktop to E1 thru the coaxial?  If so I need instructions on "how to"...because my computer's sound playback doesn't recognize the E1 unless it's thru USB.


6. Is there any way to manually increase or decrease the bitdepth and sample rate when running the CD player thru E1 (via coaxial)?  If so, how?


It's my understanding from other reviews that increasing these will increase the accuracy, soundstage and ambience of the musc. But when I run my CD player thru E1 the music sounds no better.   I bought the E1

to accurately place voices and instruments on the soundstage like I read about in many reviews.  So far I've been disappointed.  Through my Sennheiser's the sound is awesome & the soundstage and distinction of each instrument &/or voice is great.  But I bought the E1 mainly to listen through my speakers (to take advantage of my Hsu subwoofer) by way of my netbook so I'm not continually changing out CD's. 

Thanks for the input!!!



It's a week later and I've found all the answers by experimentation. No downloads needed.  Just forget about using the USB and hook up with SPDIF.  Instant super sounding music.  The bitdepth and sample rate can be controlled on the computer's control panel on the sound playback section (was told this by a fellow head fier). 

Edited by musicbuff - 6/12/12 at 3:05pm

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post #2 of 21

musicbuff, I was also having issues with USB (noise), but the firmware upgrade for USB (USB FW Ver.0109) seems to have fixed it for me.

post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by jude View Post

musicbuff, I was also having issues with USB (noise), but the firmware upgrade for USB (USB FW Ver.0109) seems to have fixed it for me.

Thanks for the info.  I'll try it.

post #4 of 21

hey jude... please help. I downloaded the firmware, it said it would come with instructions. but it didnt. how do i install the file that i downloaded?? do i need anything special to make it work??

post #5 of 21
Instructions on installing firmware and drivers are here

post #6 of 21

Beware of firmware updates. They tend to brick it. The update program may say "PASS" but all you'll get is a funky, non-recognized, electric powered brick.


I'm on my third one now and I'm sending it back. I have not yet in my life seen such a broken device. The drivers are atrocious (especially via ASIO). There is a 3dB channel imbalance over the entire range of the low resolution volume knob. The headphone amp is too powerful to drive a Sennheiser HD25 (the lowest three notches don't do anything, the fourth almost deafens) - also more fun channel imbalance when adjusting the volume (I need to increase and then decrease the volume to get to the 3dB difference, otherwise it's much greater)...

The customer support is a joke - they always assume that it's an integrated soundcard and need to be told the problem three times before they give up and tell you to RMA it.

I'm currently not a happy customer.

post #7 of 21

Strange, I have had no issues with it and ASIO works a mint.

post #8 of 21

With mine it skips the first half second of a song and there is an audible pop every time playback starts/stops/pauses

post #9 of 21

So how does it sounds after the firmware upgrade ?


I'm planning to get this $450 USD DAC sound card for my laptop in the office to be used with my IEM (Westone W4), any comments and suggestion please ? 

post #10 of 21

Nil issues whatsover with this on my end, been happy with it from day one. Bit funky sorting out the installation and so forth, but wasn't a difficulty for me (bit of a techie though, so my experience may not be generalisable).

post #11 of 21

cool, thanks man !

post #12 of 21

There are a couple of things you need to do when you first get the Asus Xonar Essence One (E1 for short).  I'll summarize the steps I had to do:


1) Download the following files from the asus website


 - Asus Driver (get the latest version whether beta or not) - listed under AUDIO

 - Download Essence One FW update tool (this is just the tool to update the firmware, and not the actual firmware file)

 - Download the Essence One USB Firmware File (as of posting, that is version 0111)

 - Download the Essence One MCU Firmware update V1.27


2) Insert the USB cable from E1 to your PC to a USB 2.0 port (DO NOT USE A USB 3.0 PORT).  If you can't tell which, then try a couple different ones if you start running into issues with the software detecting the firmware


3) Install the Asus E1 Driver


4) Reboot the PC


5) You should see a Asus Xonar Essence One icon on your taskbar (if you are using Windows 7).  Double click it, and check to see what Firmware and MCU firmware are installed.


6) Unzip the Essence One Firmware Tool


7) Unzip the Essence One USB Firmware to the Firmware Tool Folder


8) Run the Essence One Firmware Tool.  Click the drop down list under 'Device Name' and select the xonar which should be something like "USB\Vid_0b05&Pid_17a8&Rev_xxxx".  If you don't see it listed, then you need to switch USB ports and retry again.  It is likely you are trying to install using a USB 3.0 port instead of USB 2.0.


9) Device Info should appear once selected, and then click on 'Update FW'.  Select the updated USB firmware you extracted to the Firmware Tool folder.  Wait, and let it update.  Then once completed, turn off your E1, and exit the tool.  Turn it back on, and then double click the Essence One icon in your task bar to check to see what the Audio Chip Firmware Version is.


10) If everything went fine with the USB firmware update, then we can now proceed to the MCU firmware update.


11) Turn off the E1.  Then, press and hold the MUTE and UPSAMPLING keys together.  While holding those keys, press the power button the E1.  You should see 3 red lights on the COA,TOS,USB indicator lights.


12)  Extract the MCU firmware update to a folder on your desktop (it may be a zip within a zip, so you will have to extract the Eone zip file to get to the application to do your firmware update.  Run the EOne executeable.  Click the 'Connect' button.  It may take 3-5 seconds to connect.  The 'Update' button will be enabled.  Click it to begin the update process.


13) Once completed, turn off the E1 and exit the MCU firmware tool.  Turn the E1 back on, and you should have all the latest updates installed.  To confirm, double-click the Xonar Essence One icon in the task bar to confirm.  It should look like this (based on the current version I installed when I posted this):







Hope this helps anyone who had questions about how to do the firmware update.  It's very important that you use USB 2.0 ports to do any updates, otherwise it won't detect.  Using the device was simple after that.  For S/PDIF, configure the sending unit to send only PCM output.  For USB, I use the ASIO driver (x64) that gets installed with it, and had no problems with any audio files.  It sounds really quite excellent, and is a nice upgrade from my internal sound card.

post #13 of 21

Just got my Essence One - initially had USB firmware 107 on and I updated it to 111.


However I can't get the MCU to update. The EOne_127.exe program cannot seem to "Connect" when I press the button. I get "Receive Data Fail!! Please Update F/W Again. -- 0xae --".


Strange!  The E1 still works and sounds better than 107 (I was getting some intermittent noises before). Foobar2000 still plays ASIO as well.


Got it to work.  Looks like I had to run the eOne_127.exe program a couple times & press "Connect" after doing the MUTE + UPSAMPLING + Power to tun on and get the 3 red LED's.  Strangest firmware update I have ever seen!


Thanks Mojorific for the instructions :-)

Edited by Archimago - 12/3/12 at 11:42pm
post #14 of 21

I love the Essence One. The Headphone Amp is great, it drives my HD650's to ear splitting volume levels with no distortion. The DAC seems really good too, I'm coming from high end internal sound cards & notice quite a difference in all round quality. The ASIO driver works perfectly for bit perfect in Foobar2000 but is hit & miss in other media players. I've tried MediaMonkey & Jriver. Some tracks play, some don't.

post #15 of 21

I just got the Xonar Essence One today, i upgraded from an E09k+E17 combo (they were great but i found that i had to turn the knob up too high to run 600ohm beyer DT990 premiums). I gotta say i can actually hear an audible improvement after setting it all up, but mainly on my DT990's 600ohms.. before it sounded washed out and had to turn the volume knob pretty high but now with the essence one I only have to turn it up 1/3~1/4 of the way up depending on the song.

I only have one question, is there any bass control/boost option? I liked on my E09k+E17 combo that i could adjust the bass/treble on the E17 and it would work fine without any distortion. I havent found a decent software bass boost/control yet ( I use winamp as media player)

I like the EQ balanced but for some songs i kinda want the extra umph in the deep bass areas.
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