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Xonar Phoebus and Essence STX: Comparative audio quality and "GX 3.0."

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
If I'm not mistaken, the Phoebus is just an updated Xense with RoG branding, a new C-Media chip, and mostly lower-quality components and less customizability than the STX. In its favor, I haven't heard of any serious problems with the card once it's updated with the latest drivers, though I could be mistaken. I'm curious as to how the two stack up against each other in real-world performance. Ideally, I'd like input from someone who has used both.

I cannot seem to find any information on the updated version of ASUS's EAX emulator. As far as I can tell, it's just a newer number than GX 2.5 or 2.0. Does it, say, support EAX 3.0 or 4.0 emulation or better emulate EAX sound effects, which GX 2.5 had issues with? I know it's not particularly important to audiophiles, but I'm a gamer, so I'm a little curious, and I'm betting others who are considering the Phoebus are as well.
post #2 of 11

Hi,

I too was considering the Phoebus, but it seemed no one on any of the forums were willing (or able) to talk about it, and the one link I received was to Asus's ROG Phoebus message board, which was only filled with tech support issues.  I was going to purchase an STX (even though I like the idea of the headphone dongle on the Phoebus--which I've also heard this is a cheap chintzy plastic device not really worth the extra price), but with the new Creative Z, I figured I'd wait and see how that pans out--I really don't like Creative, after having a hard time with an X-Fi extrememusic card shortly after the X-Fi came out years ago (driver issues and then stability issues), and also how they handled Aureal in the past...

 

However there has been a lot of positive feedback regarding the new card, for about 1/2 the price of the STX, and truthfully Asus's driver situation really isn't much better either, with a lot of people dismissing their EAX emulation and drivers altogether going for the C-media drivers instead...
 

post #3 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by 343 Grenadier View Post

If I'm not mistaken, the Phoebus is just an updated Xense with RoG branding, a new C-Media chip, and mostly lower-quality components and less customizability than the STX. In its favor, I haven't heard of any serious problems with the card once it's updated with the latest drivers, though I could be mistaken. I'm curious as to how the two stack up against each other in real-world performance. Ideally, I'd like input from someone who has used both.
I cannot seem to find any information on the updated version of ASUS's EAX emulator. As far as I can tell, it's just a newer number than GX 2.5 or 2.0. Does it, say, support EAX 3.0 or 4.0 emulation or better emulate EAX sound effects, which GX 2.5 had issues with? I know it's not particularly important to audiophiles, but I'm a gamer, so I'm a little curious, and I'm betting others who are considering the Phoebus are as well.

I really do not see enough of a difference between the Phoebus and STX to make me want to replace my STX with the Phoebus.

I say to get the STX.

Or go with a Creative Titanium HD, with a Schiit Magni amplifier.

post #4 of 11

Gaming wise, the only thing the Phoebus has over the Essence STX is a less buggier implementation of GX mode. Aside from that, the Essence STX is a superior card. Also, GX mode doesn't emulate any EAX version higher than version 2, it just increases voice count without any filtering at all, therefore not being compliant with higher EAX versions.

post #5 of 11
Hi, I actually just bought the Phoebus last week. This is my first soundcard so i have no experience in providing comparative substantial opinions, but so far i am loving what i hear. The driver is not very appealing, people say its user friendly but i find it to be less than helpful at times (might be me).

I hate to admit that so far i am using a Home Theatre set, the Philips HTS3276 which now after extensive dive into head fi i conclude was a rookie mistake in purchase tongue.gif but if i were to sink in lets say no more than $300, what can i get to improve my experience? I'm not a basshead, but i do use the PC mainly for music (instrumental, voice, jazz, etc) and movies (michael bay style popcorn flicks)..
post #6 of 11
@Roller

Is that true for general experience or exclusively for music or any specific field? The STX is quite significantly more expensive here than the Phoebus (if i am not mistaken)
post #7 of 11

Well, for gaming and gaming alone, the Xonar Phoebus will provide a more stable gaming experience than the Essence STX, due to better software compatibility, which I believe is what you got your Xonar Phoebus for.

post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by b4tm4n View Post

Hi, I actually just bought the Phoebus last week. This is my first sound card so i have no experience in providing comparative substantial opinions, but so far i am loving what i hear. The driver is not very appealing, people say its user friendly but i find it to be less than helpful at times (might be me).
I hate to admit that so far i am using a Home Theatre set, the Philips HTS3276 which now after extensive dive into head fi i conclude was a rookie mistake in purchase tongue.gif but if i were to sink in lets say no more than $300, what can i get to improve my experience? I'm not a basshead, but i do use the PC mainly for music (instrumental, voice, jazz, etc) and movies (michael bay style popcorn flicks)..

Sell off the Philips HTS3276 for more cash and buy a home theater system with optical and HDMI inputs.

 

or find a used Logitech Z-5500 speakers system, you can use analog from the Phoebus to the Z-5500.

post #9 of 11

@PurpleAngel

 

actually the HTS3276 does have optical (Toslink is optical, yes?) input, and it does have HDMI out (not in).. But in terms of sound quality I do agree, I am thinking of selling it off for like $100 or something rolleyes.gif

 

in that regards, what would be a good replacement? would it be better to go with systems like Swan M60W, or start of from 2.0 speakers and work (and save) my way up to more channel system by adding sub and more speakers? and would I need to start thinking of amps and the like?

 

for better reference, I listen to music that are mostly vocals, jazz and the like. but I have a set of Shure 215 to fulfill me for the time being. the PC setup is more on movies, then gaming. being the former far more often than the latter since I also own an xbox.

post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by b4tm4n View Post

@PurpleAngel

 

actually the HTS3276 does have optical (Toslink is optical, yes?) input, and it does have HDMI out (not in).. But in terms of sound quality I do agree, I am thinking of selling it off for like $100 or something rolleyes.gif

 

in that regards, what would be a good replacement? would it be better to go with systems like Swan M60W, or start of from 2.0 speakers and work (and save) my way up to more channel system by adding sub and more speakers? and would I need to start thinking of amps and the like?

 

for better reference, I listen to music that are mostly vocals, jazz and the like. but I have a set of Shure 215 to fulfill me for the time being. the PC setup is more on movies, then gaming. being the former far more often than the latter since I also own an xbox.

I was just reading it has coaxial input and optical output.

post #11 of 11

For headphones, they are very similar cards.  For line out the STX takes the lead.

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