Xonar Essence STX as headphone amp

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by htsource, Jul 26, 2009.

  1. htsource
    Just wondering if this Xonar sound card is decent as headphone amp for computer use? I have a pair of Sehenniser 650 so I'm hoping the card is enough to drive the 650's. I currently use Prelude sound card.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Shike
    Should work just fine. It can drive headphones between 32 and 600ohms well.
     
  3. ROBSCIX
    There are a few STX owners in this forum that use the HD650's and have no issue driving them with the headphone amplifier on the STX.
     
  4. JMT391
    You can always replace the opamps if you're unsatisfied.
     
  5. ROBSCIX
    Yes, if your using the Heapdhoens amplifier chip on thee STX, you still have two I/V opamps you can change to improve or tune the sound more to your liking.
     
  6. htsource
    So you agree the Sonar is an upgrade from Auzentech X-Meridian sound card?
     
  7. ROBSCIX
    Sonar? You mean Xonar?
     
  8. htsource
    Yes, sorry.
     
  9. ROBSCIX
    STX is a analog stereo card and a X-Meridian is a analog surround card. They are meant for different tasks so your comparing apples to oranges really. Both are exceptional card in their own right.
     
  10. htsource
    In my case though, I'm using the X-Meridian for my headphones. I don't need multi-channel, just 2-ch is fine.
     
  11. KLJTech
    I run sound card right into my preamp (via DH Labs Revelation interconnects) and use my computer a source for music and movies. I went from using the Auzentech Prelude 7.1 (I have a 2.1 setup) to the Asus Xonar STX and I'm very happy with the improvement in sound quality. With a Prelude as the source I felt the need for a stand alone HP amp so I bought one and it made a huge improvement with my AKG 701's and Grado 325i's.

    Now that I'm using the Asus Essence STX not only does the sound card sound superior to the Prelude but I now find that I seldom bother to turn on my stand alone HP amp and instead just use the one built into the STX. I haven't changed the op-amps yet to see how much of an improvement in the sound it would make since I've been too busy just listening to the music.

    I do know for a fact that op-amps can make a big difference in sound as I changed out the one that came standard with my Cute Beyond to the OPA627 (two on an adapter) and it gave me a much larger, cleaner sound with tighter and deeper bass. A heck of an improvement for $37 as it sound s like a more expensive amp now (I use it with the "Supplier" power supply).

    If you do get the Asus STX I'm sure that you'll be happy with it.
    Good luck!
     
  12. ROBSCIX
    I would say given the features and sound quality the STX would make a good upgrade for you. The X-Meridian 7.1 are still very popular among the HT crowds..
     
  13. htsource
    I picked up the Sonar STX card few days ago, still have the Prelude installed in the system. Going back and forth, definitely the STX gives cleaner and more punchier sound for my Sennheiser HD650 headphone. I'm very happy and some day I may upgrade the op-amps.
     
  14. MrOutside
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Shike /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    Should work just fine. It can drive headphones between 32 and 600ohms well.



    Just no. This is an "industry standard" quote that means nothing. There are low ohm phones that are piss easy to drive (AD900) and those that are hard to drive (K701). There are high impedance phones that are easy to drive and those that are hard (DT880/600).
    Impedance != how hard something is to drive.
    OP if you are unsure what headphones would suit the STX try them out: dont listen to people here. Owners of the STX are misguided about how "powerful" the amp is.
     
  15. leeperry
    if you're a real man, buy a RSA Predator or so.

    the STX runs a $2.25 TI headphones amp IC, noone said it'd match a $500 amp [​IMG]

    and you should get better op-amps, the stock ones are pretty lousy.
     

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