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Thursday, March 13, 2014
ASUS Launches Essence STX II and Essence STX II 7.1 Hi-Fi-Grade Sound AUdio Cards

PC enthusiasts will certainly be interested in the new Asus Essence STX II and STX II 7.1 PCI-Express sound cards.

Key factors include 124dB signal-to-noise-ratio (SNR) clarity for line-out and 120dB for headphones with a 600 ohm-headphone amplifier included.

Precision clock is controlled by a temperature-compensated crystal oscillator (TCXO) clock source, power delivery is optimized with low-dropout (LDO) regulators and German-made WIMA capacitors deliver balanced sound.

The new series also feature additional gain control for in-ear monitor (IEM) headphones, MUSES 8920 and MUSES 8820 operational amplifiers (op-amps) and an included op-amp swap kit.

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.

Exclusive to Essence STX II 7.1 is a multichannel daughterboard that delivers true 7.1-channel surround with 120dB SNR outputs. This daughterboard slides into a slot adjacent to Essence STX II 7.1.

Each channel is fully customizable with nine swappable op-amp sockets.

The cards also benefit from a software package that includes a full version of Dolby Home Theater software suite for PCs.

Asus did not provide pricing details for the new products.


Essence STX II 7.1

Essence STX II




SNR (signal-to-noise ratio)

124dB (RCA out)

120dB (headphone out)

118dB (line input)

120 dB (surround out, Essence STX II 7.1 only)

124dB (RCA out)

120dB (headphone out)

118dB (line input)

THD+N (total harmonic distortion plus noise)

0.0003% (-110dB)

Frequency response


Sample-rate resolution

Up to 192kHz @ 16/24bit

Output impedance

100ohm (line out)

10ohm (headphone out)

Full-scale output voltage

2Vrms (line out)

7Vrms (headphone out)

Swappable op-amps

2 x MUSES 8920 (I/V slot)

1 x MUSES 8820 (LPF slot)

3 x LM4562 NA (I/V slot of daughter board)

6 x JRC 2114D (LPF slot of daughter board)

2 x MUSES 8920 (I/V slot)

1 x MUSES 8820 (LPF slot)



8 x stereo RCA out (front/side/center-subwoofer/rear)

1 x 6.3mm(1/4?) headphone out

1 x 6.3mm(1/4?) input (line-in/mic-in)

1 x S/PDIF Coaxial out

1 x Front panel audio header (HD audio/AC 97 compatible)

2 x stereo RCA out (left/right)

1 x 6.3mm(1/4?) headphone out

1 x 6.3mm(1/4?) input (line-in/mic-in)

1 x S/PDIF Coaxial out

1 x Front panel audio header (HD audio/AC 97 compatible)


Dolby Digital Live/ Dolby Headphone/ Dolby Virtual Speaker/Dolby Pro-Logic II

Op-amp swap kit

2 x LME 49720

1 x MUSES 8820

1 x IC clamp

Dimensions (W x L)

168 x 107mm (main board)

111 x 102 mm (daughter board)

168 x 107mm

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