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Old 05-28-2008, 11:50 PM   #1
Rory Buszka
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Default ASUS Xonar DX 7.1 Sound Card

ASUS finally antes up to the bang-for-the-buck table with a value-priced product in their Xonar family of performance audio cards. It’s got a solid feature set, and debuts with ASUS’ new DS3D GX 2.0 environmental DSP, but does it break new ground in the price/performance department?

You can read the full article here and discuss it in this thread!
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Old 05-29-2008, 09:21 PM   #2
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A minor erratum, or perhaps not so minor, depending on how important DTS functionality is to you. Our ASUS rep sent us a note earlier today saying that the Xonar DX doesn't support any of the DTS DSP functionality of the D2 or D2X.

So, unfortunately, I've got a little egg on my face, but there it is...no DTS Interactive digital encoding or DTS Neo:PC on the Xonar DX. If you want that functionality, for now you'll have to spring the cash for the D2 or D2X. Likely, the difference has to do with the cost of licensing DTS technologies, so ASUS decided to leave DTS Interactive and Neo:PC out of the mix.

If experience confirms one thing over and over in this business, it's that you can't take anything for granted as a hardware journalist. Sorry for any confusion, consternation, or mis-informed purchases that may have resulted from this mistake. FWIW, I've corrected the article itself, so hopefully the dirty emails will be few.
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Old 05-30-2008, 12:21 PM   #3
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nice review... Xonar DX is indeed an impressive new sound card.
thanks a lot.
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Old 07-01-2008, 06:11 PM   #4
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Well, I finally got one. I wish I had done so sooner...

Every instrument sounds more full, individual notes that were lost into the background are now discernable. It may be kind of funny to say, but it sounds exactly like I went from listening to a recording to getting bumped to a front row seat for classical concerts. Anything with a piano just sounds closer, has actual depth to the sound, and overall just more real especially. I will say it is a bit disconcerting to hear individual notes rather than more of a “blur” of notes.

I’m going to have to pay more attention to online CDs I buy, some of my 192kbps albums just don’t give the improvements I can notice with higher bitrates now. Will be dusting off some CDs and re-ripping those too at some point.

Anyway, I've already run into a Vista problem. (Imagine that) Ever since installing the Xonar my WMP volume control does absolutely nothing. Every other program or device's inbuilt volume control works fine, but Windows Media Player 11's volume control does squat. I can turn it to 0 or 100 and it doesn't change the volume level at all... adjusting WMP's allowed volume via Vista's individual program volume controls also does nothing. I have to turn my speakers all the way down if using WMP, but for any other music player, games, etc everything is normal. Any suggestions or ideas?
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Old 07-01-2008, 07:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kougar View Post
Well, I finally got one. I wish I had done so sooner...

Every instrument sounds more full, individual notes that were lost into the background are now discernable. It may be kind of funny to say, but it sounds exactly like I went from listening to a recording to getting bumped to a front row seat for classical concerts. Anything with a piano just sounds closer, has actual depth to the sound, and overall just more real especially. I will say it is a bit disconcerting to hear individual notes rather than more of a “blur” of notes.

I’m going to have to pay more attention to online CDs I buy, some of my 192kbps albums just don’t give the improvements I can notice with higher bitrates now. Will be dusting off some CDs and re-ripping those too at some point.

Anyway, I've already run into a Vista problem. (Imagine that) Ever since installing the Xonar my WMP volume control does absolutely nothing. Every other program or device's inbuilt volume control works fine, but Windows Media Player 11's volume control does squat. I can turn it to 0 or 100 and it doesn't change the volume level at all... adjusting WMP's allowed volume via Vista's individual program volume controls also does nothing. I have to turn my speakers all the way down if using WMP, but for any other music player, games, etc everything is normal. Any suggestions or ideas?
Sounds like its a setting somewhere......
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Old 07-01-2008, 10:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merlin View Post
Sounds like its a setting somewhere......
Hm, but where? Vista isn't XP where you have to play the Volume Mixer game... there is no wave volume or silly mess like that. WMP's volume controls worked perfectly fine with the onboard audio. Using an updated Vista with the latest Xonar drivers... there simply isn't anything else to blame except Vista and/or WMP11. The only reason I still use it is it handles internet radio stations well.

Edit: Apparently I am not the only one with the issue, but googling anything up otherwise gets me specsheets on volume normalization.
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Old 08-19-2008, 05:06 PM   #7
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Default optical out and front panel microphone together connected

Thank you for that nice review,

my question is that I will use it with my DENON HI-FI Reciever over Toslink,
and does the microphone front panel connector work when I have connected
too it, or not? Because the microphone is shared at the back panel.

thanks in advance McFlyx
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Old 08-22-2008, 10:10 PM   #8
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Hi there, McFlyx.

The front-panel microphone jack will still be enabled, and will still pass signal, even if an optical cable is connected to the rear-channel digital output.

The shared microphone port is the only real caveat with this card, but some compromises are expected in order to cram that many I/O features into a low-profile form factor. Still, the fact that the front panel microphone connector continues to work makes the shared microphone jack almost a nonissue. This sound card remains my top pick in the $80-$100 price range.
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Old 12-07-2008, 04:38 PM   #9
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Default Optical Cable

I have a blu-ray player, surround sound system, lcd tv, and I'm looking at adding a htpc to the mix. Right now I have the blu-ray player connected to the surround sound system through digital coaxial. Can I use an optic cable to connect the asus dx to the surround sound system?
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Old 12-17-2008, 09:40 AM   #10
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Asenka, the answer here is "Yes, absolutely." In fact, what the Xonar DX sound card lacks is a 'coaxial' digital output -- all digital signal transfer is via an optical digital cable. So the DX will fit perfectly into your upgrade plans.
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Old 08-22-2009, 07:07 PM   #11
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Default About the external power supply needed...

I'm not sure if it's the main purpose, or just a coincidence:

The power supply needed results in a sound quality even better since that power often are clean from any signals/noise picked up otherwise if it had taken the power from the motherboard.

Many times a motherboards 5 volt supply aren't "clean" enough, after it has taken a path through all the other hardware on the motherboard. This kind of noise can also be heard on laptop computers and sounds something like data traffic through a telephone-modem.
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Old 08-23-2009, 07:06 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SysGhost (Unregisterd) View Post
I'm not sure if it's the main purpose, or just a coincidence:

The power supply needed results in a sound quality even better since that power often are clean from any signals/noise picked up otherwise if it had taken the power from the motherboard.

Many times a motherboards 5 volt supply aren't "clean" enough, after it has taken a path through all the other hardware on the motherboard. This kind of noise can also be heard on laptop computers and sounds something like data traffic through a telephone-modem.
That kinda sounds like an issue with poor supply isolation in the analog portion of the sound card. Basically the digital hash from thousands of signals on the motherboard is leaking into the analog outputs of the card. A problem that could have been solved at factory level with a simple resistor and capacitor to pre-filter the supply for the analog sections.
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Old 05-18-2010, 12:48 AM   #13
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Default EAX in Prey

How did you manage to enable EAX in Prey with this card?

I assume you need to change the sound system setting in the audio options to OpenAL but when I try to do so it reverts back to the default.

I've tried this with GX enabled and disabled.
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