1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Review: ASUS Essence STX II 7.1 Sound Card

Discussion in 'Frontpage news' started by Hilbert Hagedoorn, Jul 17, 2014.

  1. Hilbert Hagedoorn

    Hilbert Hagedoorn Don Vito Corleone Staff Member

    Messages:
    33,885
    Likes Received:
    2,901
    GPU:
    AMD | NVIDIA
    Join us as we review the ASUS Essence STX II 7.1 Sound Card. The Xonar Sound Machine decided to switch gears and once again has aimed their design prowess at the high end add in soundcard market. The ...

    Review: ASUS Essence STX II 7.1 Sound Card
     
  2. JonasBeckman

    JonasBeckman Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    14,719
    Likes Received:
    889
    GPU:
    Sapphire Vega Pulse
    Nice, will be interesting to read.
    (So this is some upgraded/improved version of the STX then?)

    EDIT: This sounds interesting as well. :)

     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2014
  3. War child

    War child Master Guru

    Messages:
    323
    Likes Received:
    0
    GPU:
    Gainward 980Ti SLI
    Loved the STX I,

    Things can only get better.
     
  4. Ven0m

    Ven0m Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    1,764
    Likes Received:
    0
    GPU:
    ASUS GTX 970 STRIX OC
    Thanks for the review, Hilbert.

    It looks like an awesome card. I wonder if it would be an upgrade over D2X big enough to let me appreciate it. Also, I think I might rather like an external USB DAC (I'm not sure), but they cost even more.
     

  5. mackintosh

    mackintosh Master Guru

    Messages:
    201
    Likes Received:
    12
    GPU:
    MSI GTX 1080 Armor
    I'm curious, who buys these products? For a few of whatever is your local currency more wouldn't it make more sense to just buy a receiver and run an HDMI cable from your GPU and let it do the heavy lifting? I used sound cards for years but finally got tired of driver problems, incompatibilities, etc and just bought a mid range receiver. Everything still sounds just as good as it did before and I haven't looked back since.
     
  6. Ven0m

    Ven0m Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    1,764
    Likes Received:
    0
    GPU:
    ASUS GTX 970 STRIX OC
    It's another viable option. The initial cost would be greater, but in a long run it might be better.

    Picking a random receiver is definitely a no-no for me. When I was buying headphones recently, I was given a receiver that was said to be good to test a few sets of cans, and finally at home a pair of Xonar D2X + custom amp wiped the floor with that store's receiver. It wasn't even close.

    Thank you for suggestion. When I have some free time, and/or decide to get some quality speakers, I'll definitely have to dig it more.
     
  7. nikavelli

    nikavelli Master Guru

    Messages:
    426
    Likes Received:
    0
    GPU:
    GTX 780 Ti
    The big, gaping question left after reading this review: How does the STX II compare to other sound cards on the market? More specifically, how does the STX II (stock OPAMPS) compare to a ST (LME49720x2 OPAMPS)? Would you say the sound is clearer and more refined? Fuller? Warmer? Hard to distinguish differences?

    I ask because most of us sound Guru's already own sound cards and would like to know if this is an upgrade/sidegrade from what we have.
     
  8. moab600

    moab600 Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    6,026
    Likes Received:
    51
    GPU:
    980TI Gaming
    STXII Vs ZXR, who is better? that is the Q
     
  9. Ven0m

    Ven0m Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    1,764
    Likes Received:
    0
    GPU:
    ASUS GTX 970 STRIX OC
    +1, also with 5.1 -> headphones mixing capabilities in games
     
  10. PinchedNerve

    PinchedNerve Master Guru

    Messages:
    232
    Likes Received:
    1
    GPU:
    Gigabyte AORUS 1080 Ti XE
    ASUS Essence STX II 7.1 = $419.99 U.S.

    Might as well pick up a couple Titan Z's as well. :banana:
     

  11. War child

    War child Master Guru

    Messages:
    323
    Likes Received:
    0
    GPU:
    Gainward 980Ti SLI
    I returned my ZXR.

    Horrible latency on the line in input. made it impossible to use tools like Guitar Rig.
     
  12. moab600

    moab600 Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    6,026
    Likes Received:
    51
    GPU:
    980TI Gaming
    419$ lol, which means in my country, Israel it will be more like 600-700$. i rather suicide and buy two Titan Z :D
     
  13. Ven0m

    Ven0m Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    1,764
    Likes Received:
    0
    GPU:
    ASUS GTX 970 STRIX OC
    I've just checked the prices. Perhaps it'll be similar in your countries - over here in Poland, it's actually cheaper to get regular STX II non-7.1 and buy extra Xonar H6 module. It's still a lot, at least for me, but it's around $330-$350 converted to USD, and we have 23% VAT.
     
  14. LesserHellspawn

    LesserHellspawn Master Guru

    Messages:
    611
    Likes Received:
    2
    GPU:
    3x Gigabyte GTX980ti
    Might well go Asus once I build my next rig. Ever since Creative dropped 7.1, they're no longer an option. And EAX is legacy.
     
  15. GenClaymore

    GenClaymore Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    6,120
    Likes Received:
    55
    GPU:
    Nvidia GTX 1080 FE
    Only reason it cost that much is because asus is not selling the STX II in the usa atm. So you gonna have to pay a arm and a leg just to get it imported. That cost more then my Bifrost uber, that alread pretty close to the price I paid for my T90. For that price to get it imported, it wouldn't even be worth it.

    Receivers take alot of room at the desktop, also these sound card's have features that GPU audio's doesn't have as well usually work better with muiti channel in games that do not have Xaudio2 as in games that are FmodEX or openAL or custom API, I had a friend who originally used his GPU HDMI for audio with his receiver's but had dozen of games outputting in 2 channel over the few he had that was Xaudio2 outputting in 5.1, so he had to grab a Cheap Z to get 5.1 in all of his games and not few of them, he didn't use optical but what U hear to get PCM 5.1 sent to his Receiver HDMI as it comes up as a audio device.

    Also people also have headphone's that req a lot of power to be driven correctly which a lot of receiver's headphone jack wont do a good job with, I tried my self with a couple of headphone's that was 250ohms a one that was 600ohm's my receiver headphone jack drove them poorly. A lot of people prefer to use analog over HDMI and Toslink because of the sound card's that they are using. Some times people do run out to a external headphone amp from the card or even send the functions of the card's to their external dac/amp. Tho some receivers do have a line out connection that will let people plug headphone amp's into the receiver's.

    I have a receiver my self but I don't use it any more as I tend to use headphone's and my receiver is no match for my desktop setup. You would need to spend a lot of money on a higher end receiver and then speakers to get the performance of a lot of these external dac/amp setups that people use , to pull the dsp features from cheap sound cards. Like Dolby headphone that some receiver's actually have and then CMSS3D headphone and SBX surround headphone.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2014

  16. Ven0m

    Ven0m Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    1,764
    Likes Received:
    0
    GPU:
    ASUS GTX 970 STRIX OC
    You should definitely listen to some interviews about sound design in games. The most of them are mixed for 5.1, not 7.1, and using 7.1 may actually decrease the sound quality and positioning.
     
  17. GenClaymore

    GenClaymore Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    6,120
    Likes Received:
    55
    GPU:
    Nvidia GTX 1080 FE
    Not many games are 7.1 now a day's only certain ones. Usually the ones that do not have in game speaker controls usually support 7.1, Tho there are some times game's that does give the option to inside the game to do 7.1 but most of them that i seen lately only goes up to 5.1 but I have seen some still going up to 7.1. It just most people that do use 7.1 tend to be using either 7.1 receiver's or very old 7.1 PC speakers that. Demand is really the whole reason for creative cutting 7.1 support just like they cut 4.1 and 6.1.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2014
  18. antonyfrn

    antonyfrn Maha Guru

    Messages:
    1,233
    Likes Received:
    1
    GPU:
    EVGA GTX 1070 FTW ACX3.0
    @Hilbert thank you this just made me want a new sound card now...
     
  19. vajoiner

    vajoiner Active Member

    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    0
    GPU:
    Mystique G200
  20. Glasofruix

    Glasofruix Active Member

    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    0
    GPU:
    MSI GTX 980
    What, no phoebus?
     

Share This Page