Asus Essence STX II and Essence STX II 7.1 Hi-Fi-Grade Sound Cards announced
Asus last week announced Essence STX II and Essence STX II 7.1, two new Hi-Fi-grade sound cards designed to delight audiophiles with 124dB signal-to-noise-ratio (SNR) clarity and a 600ohm-headphone amplifier. Essence STX II and STX II 7.1 build on the success and huge popularity of Asus Essence STX – the world’s first consumer sound card to deliver 124db SNR audio clarity plus 600ohm headphone amp. The new Asus Essence STX II and STX II 7.1 cards both feature a remarkable 124dB SNR for line-out connections and 120dB SNR for headphone listening. Precision clock is controlled by a temperature-compensated crystal oscillator (TCXO) clock source, optimized power delivery is assured with low-dropout (LDO) regulators and WIMA capacitors deliver balanced sound.
Exclusive to Essence STX II 7.1 is a multichannel daughterboard that delivers true 7.1-channel surround with high-fidelity 120dB SNR outputs. This easy-to-fit daughterboard slides into a slot adjacent to Essence STX II 7.1, so installation couldn’t be more convenient. Each channel is fully customizable with nine swappable op-amp sockets — giving audiophiles complete freedom to create the perfect surround-sound experience for their ears and listening environment.
With an amplifier capable of delivering impeccable output for up to 600ohm headphones, an additional gain control for in-ear monitor (IEM) headphones, high-quality MUSES operational amplifiers (op-amps) and an included op-amp swap kit, Asus once again demonstrates its ability to redefine the sound card market. The cards also benefit from a software package that includes a full version of Dolby Home Theater, an advanced software suite that turns a PC into a dedicated home-theater center with enhanced surround sound.
Both Essence STX II and STX II 7.1 benefit from swappable op-amp sockets and come with a swap kit that includes three additional op-amps — two Texas Instruments LME49720s and one MUSES 8820 — that allow users to create different timbres and tonal combinations. The swap kit includes a clamp tool that makes it easy to remove the op-amp microchips.