Asus Xonar DS 7.1 PCI Sound Card Review

👤by Sahil Mannick Comments 📅25-01-10
Product on Review: Asus Xonar DS 7.1 PCI Sound Card
Manufacturer and Sponsor: ASUS
MSRP: Not mentioned on site
Street Price: £36.99.

For a long time, Creative dominated the hardware sound market and the launch of the X-Fi series of cards placed them firmly at the top of the game with features such as EAX 5.0, X-RAM and other 3D sound emulation software. Gamers looking for a more immersive experience had only one choice and that was Creative. However with the introduction of Windows Vista and growing frustration towards Creative on the basis of their lack of support, a gap opened up in the market which was immediately filled by the ASUS Xonar. Vista saw DirectSound being deprecated so as to introduce a re-written audio stack based on Universal Audio Architecture. As a result, creative's main advantage EAX 5.0 was effectively gone on older DirectSound based game since there was no longer direct communication from DirectSound to the hardware.

So what did this mean? Vista effectively opened up the sound card by placing all competitors on equal footing and ASUS saw this as an opportunity to bring in their own innovations in their products. Initially, the Xonar D2 and D2X were released which were met with much success in both game audio performance and music listening. It didn't take long for ASUS to introduce a whole line up of cards for all consumers. So today, we have with us the Xonar DS, the entry level sound card from ASUS. Don't let the price fool you because this card receives many of the high end features of its bigger brothers such as the AV200 high performance codec chip and high resolution 192khz/24bit audio. ASUS also targets this sound card at small media PCs, which is reflected in the low profile form factor of the ASUS Xonar DS.

A bit about ASUS:

ASUS comes from the last four letters of Pegasus, the winged horse in Greek mythology that represents the inspiration of art and learning. ASUS embodies the strength, creative spirit and purity symbolized by this regal and agile mythical creature, soaring to new heights of quality and innovation with each product it introduces to the market.

ASUS pursues technological and aesthetic perfection through continuous innovation. We place ourselves in our customers’ shoes to develop a deep understanding of, and genuine empathy for, their needs—enabling us to create user experiences that transcend the norm.

ASUS Design Philosophy

ASUS Design develops high-quality solutions our customers will enjoy.
Our design process is built on thorough research, early anticipation and well-planned execution.

We act with a global vision and a focus on local strengths, conditions and heritage.

So there we have it with the history lesson, let's take a look at what the card offers.

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