Asus Xonar Essence STX PCI-E Sound Card

Xonar Essence STX PCI-E Sound Card

  • Optical digital output
  • EMI Shield design
  • Dolby Digital Live
  • Pro-Logic II home theater sound technologies
  • DS3D GX2.5 3D gaming engines
  • 24-bit Burr Brown PCM 1792A D-A converters
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Stock Code: SC-005-AS

EAN: 4719543041192


Manufacturer: Asus

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Product information:

Xonar Essence STX PCI-E Sound Card

The Xonar Essence STX PCI-Express is the latest sound card from Asus that provides high quality audio performance. Its integrated headphone amplifier produces less than 0.001% distortion to accompany its industry-leading 124dB Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR). The sound cards also boast Hyper-ground technology, EMI Shield design, AV100 high-definition sound processor, 24-bit Burr Brown PCM 1792A D-A converters, Nichicon Fine Gold capacitors, Optical digital output, Two pairs of RCA jacks and Input and output 6.3mm stereo jacks. The new Asus Xonar Essence STX PCI-Express is also perfect for gaming and entertainment PCs since it supports ASIO 2.0, Dolby Digital Live, Headphone, Virtual Speaker, Pro-Logic II home theater sound technologies and DS3D GX2.5 3D gaming engines.

- Optical digital output
- EMI Shield design
- Dolby Digital Live
- Pro-Logic II home theater sound technologies
- DS3D GX2.5 3D gaming engines
- 24-bit Burr Brown PCM 1792A D-A converters
- 124dB Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR)

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Customer review

93% (14)
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Star Rating

Average customer rating

(from 15 customer reviews)
All Time (15)


This is a fantastic card, but in my humble opinion is let down by the amplifiers it's supplied with. It is well worth the ( at least ) £20 needed to upgrade the amps. And, if I am completely honest here, the STXII is better for those who don't want to play with the amps.

dave 2017-07-13

Great card but cheaper in PC World !


Simply the best

What a fabulous product.
There are loads of in/out ports on this card. A bonus is the audio headers, which can be used to connect to the headphone port on your computer case---instead of conecting to the motherboard.

Going to describe usability on Linux. If you're using ALSA, then you can switch outputs from software by running `alsamixer' from the terminal. It allows you to switch between the three analogue outputs (RCA, quarter-inch, internal header), which is nice; you can also change the volume, output, and a bunch of other things programmatically by using the `aplay' program. So, it works out of the box on Linux, with good ALSA support.

In terms of sound quality: wow. Astonishing. No noise, at all. My motherboard gives off a very faint hiss, which is annoying during those quiet moments during a song. If you listen to silence through this card with headphones on in a silent house, you don't hear anything apart from your pulse in your ears. Then turn the music on at low volume... then turn it up slowly... it's simply sublime, having no noise.

I listen to music through either a pair of fabulous headphones (with an open back), or some standard multimedia speakers (JBL soundsticks). The card makes both sound fabulous. And it's really great to have a card with a 1/4inch jack, which is so much more secure than 3.5mm.

All-in-all, I heartily recommend this card: both for sound quality, and for how well it is supported in software and the features it has. If it died, I'd buy the same one in a heartbeat.


Microphone humming

I purchased this card well over a year ago now from OCuk, as always their service was fantastic.

However the card is another matter.
My first impression was of high build quality, the audio was perfect, and the card was more than capable of powering my audiophile grade headphones.

Now the problem:
I am a passionate gamer, and where permissible i use my microphone. Every so often i'd find people in my teamspeak or mumble complaining they could hear my computer's fans. Later i found out it was actually sound coming internally to the card. It turns out, it is a well documented problem with the Asus audio cards, attributed to a lack of EMI shielding for the op-amps responsible for the microphone, possibly in conjunction with a lack of proper grounding. In any case, this is an issue that had i known about it prior to purchase would have been a deal breaker.

Google search: asus xonar stx pci-e mic noise humming

Most people don't know they have this problem because they don't listen to their Mic line during games.
The issue occurs heavily during gaming, and partially during any minor cpu/gpu loading outside of games. It's unacceptable for a


Simply Stunning

I recently bought the Beyerdynamic MMX 300 headphones but was at the time using onboard sound. But then I found two older soundcards, the X-Fi Xtreme Audio and my old M-Audio Delta 1010LT. The X-Fi sounded better than onboard, but the M-Audio sounded amazing



So I have always run off onboard sound, which has worked for me, until I got Asrock Extreme 4 which the sound of is a bit of piece of s*** to be honest.
Anyhow just wow, the sound difference I got on my existing mid range headphones (HD595) is just unbelievable, hearing sounds that I didn't know existed in the songs before. Could never go back, and just wish I got it so much sooner.


Just amazing, wow!

So I have been looking at sound cards for a while now and I was always sceptical if they were really worth it and if they made any difference. Let me tell you, this sound card is AMAZING.

This is the first sound card I've ever owned, I have just stuck to on board sound in the past. The difference in quality you cannot even describe. As someone who only listens to music with my headphones and on the radio and such, I didn't even know it was meant to sound like this. Listening to music now, you hear things you didn't even know were in the song before.

The biggest difference I noticed was, compared to before where everything sounded as one big mashed up noise, everything now sounds isolated. The vocals, instruments, everything is it's own clear sound.

I haven't had a chance to play any games with it yet but I'm sure it's just as amazing. I don't usually even bother writing reviews but as soon as I put my headset on I just felt the need to let people realize just how good this is. The technology is amazing.

Also, just to mention I am currently using my very old "Icemat Siberia" headset, the version before Steelseries bought it or whatever happened there. These headphones used to sound terrible so I replaced them with Razer megalodons (USB) which was quite an improvement. With the soundcard though, the old Siberias blow away the Razer headset. So if you are looking to replace some headphones I would say your money is better spent on this sound card first.


Reall Impressed

Have this hooked up to some Acoustic Energy Aego M 2.1 speakers. I know they aren't not the best speakers out there, but this thing makes them sound really really nice.

I'm impressed most playing my guitar through it via IK Multimedia Amplitube.
Using the ASIO driver set @ 24-bit 2ms it's perfect. I'm getting zero noise on the input even with the highest distortion settings on amplitube. I don't have to touch the noise gate at all.

My old M-Audio Fast Track USB used to squeal and fizz LOADS running distorted settings on amplitube.

I really wasn't expecting it to perform this well as a recording interface.


James 2013-03-17


I bought this card a few months ago, it really is great. I dont think you can get much better sound from an on board sound card.
One of the reviews on here caught my eye. The guy mentioned that the Asus Asio driver has high latency. Well they have since updated the driver and the latency is gone. I have got the latency down to 2ms and even on the busiest projects it doesnt stutter.
So although this card doesnt come bundled with free production software like many of the other studio sound cards, I would still recommend this card to music producers that are looking for high quality sound and low latency.

Craig 2012-12-19

Excellent Sound

What can i say, upgraded from Xonar DX to this and wish i have done this before, the sound on the dx was good but this is amazing, playing sounds on music that i didnt think was there, would give 6 stars but cant.

Roy 2012-12-12

Simply The Best

Fully impressed, without reservations. Equally comfortable drving high quality headphones as it is driving a quality audio system. I use this with a pair of Sony MDR-NC500D headphones and even though headphones aren't really my cuppa, its difficult to argue with the sound. The sound comes into its own with my hifi system, Audiolab 8000c pre amp, bridged power amp section of a Denon 3805 and a pair of TDL RTL 3 loudspeakers. Any system is dependent on its 'source', and this is the very best, very neutral sound, adds nothing and takes nothing away from the original recording, highly recommended if you take your music serious.

nylons 2011-12-21

Illegal levels of EPIC

This device has just revolutionized my audio collection, tracks that once seemed cluttered now have each sound, pitch, tone, spread further apart on the sound spectrum opening the sound up as if i just took my head out of water.

this will re-invent how you think of your audio collection
I'm not even exaggerating, this is the single most impressive piece of technology i have purchased recently, or perhaps ever.

everything has a crisp punch at any audio level, i can hear everything... just..

I feel like I'm sat inside the sound, the distortion that queues you that you are listening to something go away entirely i cant even imagine an immersion environment or game on this thing..

you are hurting yourself if you don't buy it and support Asus for making such an unbelievable product

this thing is clearly a labour of love, they even made it look classy.

Lugz 2011-09-19


Bought this to replace my old X-Fi Extreme Music.
What a difference !! Bought these because i use headphones 99% of the time.
A must buy if you use decent headphones on your pc

Rob43 2010-02-13

Sublime sounds for Win7

Installation on Windows 7 was totally painless. I got the 64bit Win7 drivers from the ASUS sight & not a single glitch to install.
I use a set of Klimpsh 2.1 speakers & all I can say is you will be floored by how good music sounds with the STX. Out of the box this card sounds great. When listening to music it has a really full sound field & super clarity. It also has 3 op-amps that you can select from to let you choose the best output to suit the style of music you are listening to, pre-amp or headphone/speaker combinations in use.
The GUI is simple to use & the EQ really does work. You

Lex Baxter 2009-12-28


I wont go into the details but I have quite an impressive 2 speaker amp and preamp setup for listening to Music. Im also a UT2004 player lol.
I replaced my old creative gamer2z soundcard with this asus and Im mindblown
at the quality of sound this card produces and comparing to the gamer2z makes it seem like an onboard realtec which of course is already night and day.
The Two left and right RCA analogue outputs are a Godsend if your system connects to a left and right channel preamp which by the way not many cards have.
conclusion= Truly Amazing soundcard.

elijah 2009-10-30

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