One of the stalwarts of ASUS' audio program has been the Xonar Essence ST/STX sound cards - these are sound cards with a multi-year development cycle to ensure compatibility, usability and getting exactly down to the nitty-gritty of what a user requires.  On the back of the success of the Xonar Essence range, ASUS are launching the Xonar Essence STU device - a USB digital to analog converter and headphone amplifier, based on the Xonar Essence ST/STX design.

Features include 120+ dB signal-to-noise ratio (DAC is rated at 127 dB SNR), 0.00032% THD+N, swappable op-amps, a 600 ohm headphone amplifier and segregated PCB layout to minimize signal interference and crosstalk.

To cater for audiophiles the system is adjustable via Op-Amps, selectable DC servo headphone output, a volume bypass mode (to use the STU as a pre-amplifier) and variable resistor calibration for optimization of left/right channel outputs.

The Xonar Essence STU is due for release in North America in the next two weeks, MSRP of $399.  Other markets to follow.




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  • AnnonymousCoward - Saturday, October 26, 2013 - link

    You guys are hilarious, and talk as if you designed the TPA6120 yourselves. Are you analog IC designers? If not, shut up.

    > The TPA6120 chip mentioned here is a $5 part.
    Too bad it costs $2.15 for 1000.

    > The 13ohm output impedance...tells you that the amp is going to struggle to produce clean output in demanding situations
    What's your basis? Don't you think the IC designers could have picked whatever they wanted, and they optimized it? SNR exceeds 120dB, there's 0.00014% THD+N, and output noise of just 5uV at 2V/V. But in your simple mind, a 13 ohm driver means it "struggles".
  • n00by - Monday, October 21, 2013 - link

    The fact that this soundcard/audio interface doesn't have balanced line-out for speakers/monitors kinda kills it for me. Not that I was looking to buy it, but if I ever were to replace my current audio interface then it could've been a candidate because most don't look very nice. Reply
  • Ganesh72 - Monday, December 16, 2013 - link

    I had this DAC for a couple of days. The main issue is that when listen to music via headphones , first 2 seconds of each track is missing; there are 2 seconds of noise and crack sound instead of music. It doesn't matter if I usd laptop via USB, or Blu Ray via coaxial the same issue. This makes IMPOSSIBLE to use ASUS Xonar STU as a headphone amplifier. Reply

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