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ASUS Xonar HDAV 1.3 or Xonar Essence STX ?


avaaron2010
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Hi all,

 

I now look for high SNR sound cards. Although most guys go for Creative, I think I will choose ASUS Xonar HDAV 1.3 or Xonar Essence STX due to its high performance/price ratio and...of course... high SNR.

 

However, I can't make a decision between these two models( Xonar HDAV 1.3 V.S. Xonar Essence). Besides playing games, I spend lots of time listening music.

 

I also found the websites for the two.

 

Xonar HDAV:http://event.asus.com/multimedia/2009/xonar_hdav_family/

 

Xonar Essence:http://event.asus.com/audiocards/2009/xonaressencestx/

 

 

any suggestions for the 2 models? thx in advance

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If you listen to a lot of music, the Essence STX would be the better choice. Its main purpose is for music listening, hence its lack of analog surround hookups.

 

The HDAV is a good card but its main purpose is for movies, then music and games. Since you listen to music a lot, I'd go with the STX personally. Plus, the STX has a built in 1/4" headphone amp which is just a great bonus to have with the card.

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I reviewed the STX here :)

http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/as...ar_essence_stx/

 

I can't think of a cleaner soundcard... and I suspect you'd have to build or buy some sort of external DAC to get better sound quality

 

Maybe a music production card exists with better sound, but it would probably not handle games or movies well

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if you just plan to use them for gaming and MP3s those cards are too much.

 

what set of headphones do you have, btw?

 

Thanks for your suggestion. However, I don't think it's too much to go with Xonar HDAV or Essence STX/ST if I plan to use it for gaming and music.

 

For one, I set my heart on gaming audio and like to enjoy myself in surrounding sound environment. Besides, HDAV has the H6 daughtercard for mutichannel speaker connections and perfect for 7.1ch scenario.

 

Moreover, just my opinion, it is a trend that more and more blu-ray contents will be available, I think it would be a good choice to select an audio card supporting Blu-ray format, such as ASUS HDAV 1.3 Deluxe.

 

It's open to discussion...

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If you listen to a lot of music, the Essence STX would be the better choice. Its main purpose is for music listening, hence its lack of analog surround hookups.

 

The HDAV is a good card but its main purpose is for movies, then music and games. Since you listen to music a lot, I'd go with the STX personally. Plus, the STX has a built in 1/4" headphone amp which is just a great bonus to have with the card.

 

Thanks for your suggestions. You mention an good point which I missed: STX has a built in 1/4" headphone amplifier and thus would be a good fit for my headphone.

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If you want to run 7.1 surround, you could take a look at the Xonar Essence ST. Its virtually identical to the STX, just it uses the PCI socket and has the option to connect the H6 board to it. You'll still get the headphone amp plus the ability to hook up a surround system to it.

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I know you don't really understand how sound card works and you came here for help but just because something is more expensive does not mean it is better

 

for instance, if you did not know the sound card had a headphone amp out, why in the world would you even have considered purchasing it?

this is a great sound card for sure, but do not think you can plug some crappy 'creative' xifi gaming headset in and it will sound 'better'

you need a good set of high impedance headphones, and they are not cheap. that is why i asked you what headphones do you own.

 

now on your bluray comment, do you own a bluray drive in your PC? I do have one.

do not get confused, those sound cards do not 'improve' bluray sound over other SPDIF cards. they allow for 'streaming' which most people have no need for.

 

now the biggest issue, you think gaming and music is going to sound better. the problem is you selected cards with Sample Rate: 192KHz.

that is great. but the human ear cannot hear that high a range. the reason those cards have high sample rates is for recording music, not playing music.

when you record music you need double the rate you actually want to play back. playing your MP3 on this card will not sound any better than playing the same MP3 on a decent 96khz card. so basically you will be wasting money if you dont use these cards for what they are meant to do. however, it is your choice, as long as you feel good about your purchase and know what you are getting now, go for it.

Edited by potatochobit

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