ASUS ha annunciato di recente la nuova linea di schede audio siglata Xonar Essence STX PCI-Express. Le audio card sono basate sul processore ASUS AV100 e sono caratterizzate da un rapporto segnale/rumore - o Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) - molto elevato essendo pari a 124db, che assicura una uscita particolarmente priva di disturbi di fondo e fruscii.
ASUS ha anche implementato un amplificatore per l'uscita dedicata alle cuffie in grado di assicurare una distorisone del segnale molto prossima a zero, essendo pari allo 0.001%. Tra le feature delle schede segnaliamo la risposta in frequenza, compresa nell'ampio range che va da 10Hz a 90kHZ, ed un convertitore AD a 24-bit per la gestione degli ingressi in analogico.
Le Xonar Essence STX con compatibili con gli slot PCI-Express (da X1 a X16 dal punto di vista dell'hardware) e includono i driver per gli OS Windows Vista, XP e XP Media Center. Il produttore non ne ha reso noti nè l'MSRP nè la data di lancio.
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Aimed as the culmination of searching for the very essence of sound, the new ASUS Xonar Essence STX range of audio cards delivers the purest, cleanest audio to offer users the ultimate audio experience ever from a sound card. Equipped with carefully-selected components, and ASUS' exclusive Hyper-grounding and EMI Shield design, the Xonar Essence STX is capable of achieving an industry-leading 124dB SNR (Signal-to-Noise Ratio) in signal clarity. Furthermore, full-driving for any available headphone is provided through the built-in headphone amplifier—presenting unprecedented audio quality and under 0.001% of distortion to sate even the most demanding audiophile. Interestingly enough, the design for this audio card is based on a paradigm that is forty centuries old.
The Quest for True High-end Audio Starts Forty Centuries Ago
In China 4000 years ago, the ancient ancestors were also searching for instruments that were able to play "heavenly" music; not just to pay homage to the gods, but also to represent the harmony between man and nature. This process of seeking the most sublime and harmonious music between man and the environment resulted in the Tiger Chime, which not only represented the soul and quintessence of sound, but also served as the highest level of audio enjoyment. Like these ancestors, ASUS also searched for the best components and used only the finest designs to reproduce the purest of sounds. As a symbol of respect for these ancient pioneers, the Xonar Essence STX adopts a gold-plated Tiger Chime totem on the EMI shield—infusing a mix of ancient and cutting-edge technologies.
Industry-leading 124 dB SNR Delivers Pure Music for Listening Enjoyment
With the penultimate of component and design selection, the Xonar Essence STX is able to reproduce truly pure sounds, and delivers an industry-leading 124 dB SNR (Signal-to-Noise Ratio). This is 64 times clearer the most on-board audio solutions (85-88 SNR). It also features the ASUS exclusive Hyper-grounding circuitry design that utilizes a PCB design to separate signal and noise—ensuring that only the cleanest signals are passed on to ultra-sensitive components for decoding.
The Finest Component Selection to Deliver Crisp, Clear Audio
With a top-o-the-line Burr-Brown PCM 1792A Digital-to-Analog Convertor (DAC) to convert audio signals at 127dB signal-to-noise ratios, users will be able to enjoy minimum loss from the process of converting digital signals to analog sound. Additionally, Nichicon "Fine Gold" capacitors deliver rich bass and crystal-clear high frequencies (like the sounds from a piano or violin), allowing the Xonar Essence STX to achieve an amazing <10 Hz-90 kHz frequency response and 124dB dynamic range. Furthermore, The Xonar Essence STX's EMI shield protects all analog outputs perfectly from any exterior electronic magnetic interference—resulting in the cleanest sound generation and delivery for the user´s enjoyment.
High Density Sound Performances with Built-in Headphone Amplifier
Most quality headphones usually require additional driving power; or else suffer from sounds that are dull and bland. The Xonar Essence STX is equipped with a built-in headphone amplifier capable of driving every available headphone with up to 600 ohms of impedance to their full extent and less than 0.001% of distortion—all without additional amplication. This ensures that only the most high density sounds can be heard from these headphones without the need to purchase an extra amplifier. Furthermore, the Xonar Essence STX also comes with the following features which include: Swappable OPamp sockets to help tune up unique sounds effortlessly, complete Dolby Home Theater technologies, and the latest DS3D GX2.5 3D gaming engine technology.
Source: ASUS Press Release