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ASUS Launches Essence III USB DAC/Preamp/Headamp

post #1 of 128
Thread Starter 

Looks like ASUS wants to jump on the DSD/DXD train. Can't find any official ASUS info on this yet.


DSD64 and DSD128 are supported. DAC chip is AD1955 (1 for each channel, 2 total). Signal output is op-amps instead of discrete, with AD 827SQ and MUSES 02 op-amp chips. Features TCCO/TCXO clocks and has a stepped attenuator.


Digital inputs are USB, Toslink, AES/EBU, coaxial cables, and analog input via stereo auxiliary is also supported. DAC is fully balanced with both RCA and XLR outputs. Headphone out includes the typical 1/4" jack, but for balanced out it seems to use less typical mini-XLR connectors for balanced headphones.


No information on the pricing yet but I'm guessing around the $1-1.5k mark (since the Essence One sold for $1k). Not sure how it will sound but cool to see a non-Sabre based DSD DAC (not that many).


More details here: http://www.guru3d.com/news_story/asus_launches_essence_iii_preamplifier.html

Edited by Jd007 - 10/18/13 at 10:21pm
post #2 of 128

asus is on a mission. they have started with humble beginnings in the audio world with pc soundcards but now they are truly going up there. they are always improving their stuff. this looks very serious and very promising. c'ant wait to hear impressions and have pricing on this thing.

post #3 of 128

More hi-res images here.




post #4 of 128

i wonder if it will include a proper software with it


audio interface always come with a nice and feature rich software



i want that ^

but audio interface always come with a crappy headphone amp too : (


asus does have the resource to do it right imo

and they already do



it aint there yet but i do have faith in them and what they may bring to the plate in a couple of years

Edited by winterandsummer - 10/19/13 at 6:50pm
post #5 of 128

Mmm, this is interesting.... Wonder what the pricing will be, any word?

post #6 of 128

Went over to newegg to see if they had it yet, but didn't find it there. However they did have it's unbalanced little brother:


ASUS Xonar Essence STU

Release Date: 11/08/2013.




Official ASUS page: http://www.asus.com/Sound_Cards_and_DigitaltoAnalog_Converters/Xonar_Essence_STU





USB DAC and headphone amplifier features asynchronous USB audio and 600ohm headphone amplifier

  • Excellent audio quality as inherited from acclaimed Xonar Essence ST/STX
  • Precision clock tuning technology and asynchronous USB transfer ensure jitter-free fidelity
  • Integrated 600ohm headphone amplifier optimizes sound detail with two gain settings
  • 120dB Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) delivers high definition audio clarity
  • Dedicated jumper switch allows direct audio delivery to your power amplifier, by-passing DAC volume controls
  • Three swappable Op-Amps enable tonal character tuning based on personal taste
post #7 of 128
Thread Starter 

the stu is not exciting at all. its basically the xonar st/stx put in a box with optical and usb input and they are charging double for it -_-

post #8 of 128

Any news on this? When will the "E3" actually be released and become available?

post #9 of 128
Title of this thread is very deceiving, Asus launches Essence III. If it's a launch, then where is the release date. Should be reworded, Asus announces new upcoming Flagship DAC/AMP to replace the Essence One.
post #10 of 128

I hope this one won't have any volume control problems like Essence One. If so, then I will be more than happy to change E1 to E3.


EDIT: I found manual: http://dlcdnet.asus.com/pub/ASUS/Audio_Card/Xonar_Essence_3/E8381_Essence_3_manaul.pdf


Strange thing. Even if E3 has remote controller to control volume, it is only possible for speakers.

Edited by matthewpl - 11/5/13 at 3:41am
post #11 of 128

Glad they toned down the physical design which is a bit grating on the E1 and went for a more classic, if a bit cold, approach.


Anyway, I don't need the DSD stuff so I dont see why an upgrade should be for me - but Im still tempted :)

post #12 of 128

There is now official webpage for Essence III: 




post #13 of 128

Very interesting. If the Essence ONE is any indication, we could have something very special here. As such a big corporation, if they price this correctly due to their economies of scale it could shake up the market.

post #14 of 128

It's a shame they went with dual 3-pin XLR instead of a single 4-pin

post #15 of 128


no rca out?

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