Member Reviews: ASUS Essence STX II 7.1

Today we have a soundcard review, submitted by nexus18 from our Reviews by Members for Members forum.

We consider all reviews that are submitted here for the front page, usually at the weekend. So if you've recently bought a new gadget and you're impressed, or even disappointed by it, let the community know by submitting a review; your review might get featured on the front page!


This is a new high end sound card from ASUS that has a lot to offer!


  • Industry-leading 124dB SNR (signal-to-noise ratio) audio quality inherited from the revolutionary and widely-acclaimed Xonar Essence ST/STX
  • Ultra-low jitter with premium TCXO clock source
  • Clean and consistent power supply thanks to high-fidelity low-dropout (LDO) regulators and WIMA® capacitors for uncompromising sound
  • Top-notch headphone amplifier supports up to 600ohm-headphone impedance with additional gain for in-ear monitors (IEMs)
  • Exclusive op-amp swap kit includes three op-amps and tool for easy tone tuning
  • Celebrated MUSES op-amps deliver true-to-life musicality
  • Ultra-fidelity (120dB SNR) 7.1-channel output via the exclusive daughterboard

​For more information on this sound card, visit here.


The sound card and accessories come in a nice attractive box with detailed information printed on most areas of the box.

Once the box is removed, we are presented with this gorgeous looking main sound card furnished with a gun metal brushed finish and a lion shaped insignia.

Read the rest of the review in our forums ->

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That should be a sample. How it was put on sale i don't know.
Prices in Europe will be around 200 euros for 2.0 and 250 euros for 7.1.

Thanks for the review. I have an ASUS Xonar Phoebus which seemed better for gaming and the software is way better.

I have a the Xonar Essence STX 2.0 (a headphone/amplifier card). It's a great product, but it can't drive some headphones properly (a pair of Beyerdynamics DT-800 600ohm in my case).

But if you listen a lot of music on your computer, with decent headphones with lower impedance and don't want to buy some expensive DAC/amplififier combo, it's a great upgrade in sound quality versus the onboard sound or a "gamer" card like a SoundBlaster.

myxomatosis said,
I have a the Xonar Essence STX 2.0 (a headphone/amplifier card). It's a great product, but it can't drive some headphones properly (a pair of Beyerdynamics DT-800 600ohm in my case).

I think that the xonar stx is technically able to "drive properly" your beyer headphones. The xonar has a weak output impedance, and the beyer a very big one, so unless there's a volume level problem, it should work fine. Now, if you "must believe" that a 600 ohm headphone deserve an expensive a "DAC/amplififier combo" , then that's the whole problem.

myxomatosis said,
I'm not talking about volume level, I'm talking about quality
I'm using a tube amp wit the Beyers at the moment (, with the Xonar as my DAC. It's night and day. With the tube amp the sound is richer, fuller, more dynamic. Thats where these headphones comes to life.

Ideally, you'd do this experience : record the sound outputted by you tube amp, then re-listen what you recorded with the xonar stx, or any transparent source, it should sound same. What you are enjoying, is the changes introduced by your tube amps, it's not a "driving" problem at all.

I've read some other reviews ( samples provided by ASUS representatives ) on the net, but never seen in shops. Nowhere.
Even guys from ASUS are evasives about when it become available ( initially it was set to release in April ).

I don't think it will be much longer of a wait, afaik, some etailers have them in stock and are just waiting for the nod from ASUS......

Actually, my ASUS sources said they have no clue about an availability date. It was initially estimated for April, but something happened. If I read betwen the lines of what they say, I think the board will not be available for sale until September. Usually they don't like summer for product launches.

Actually it seems that searching using the board code - 90YA00NN-M0UA00 in Google show more shops wich have it listed - some having it in small stock, some with no stock. Price for the 7.1 between 234 euros to 270 euros.

nice mini review.

I bought a Dragonfly v1.2 a while back, which certainly stomps over on board audio. But I've been thinking of using the Dragonfly for my Surface (huge improvement), and getting something like this instead for the PC

p.s. why would you think you'd hear a difference between both digital outs on the sound card vs on board? they're both digital, so the processing is done later in your DAC of choice (why would you buy this and pass the audio through anyway), right?

Sexy card. However, I've been using the onboard sound for the past few builds. Gigabyte's Sniper boards on all three builds. I am in no way an audiophile though.