ASUS Prepares PCIe x1 Sound Card
Anh Tuan Huynh
March 23, 2007 11:29 AM
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Xonar EMI shield concept
Xonar D2K at CeBIT, image courtesy of VR-Zone
ASUS readies its upcoming Xonar D2 and Xonar D2K PCI and PCIe x1 sound cards
ASUS last week at CeBIT demonstrated its
sound cards. The upcoming Xonar-series spawns two variants, the D2 and D2K in PCI and PCIe x1 interfaces. Dolby Digital Live and DTS Connect multi-channel audio encoding technologies are available for digital multi-channel audio. The Xonar-series also features 7.1-channel analog outputs for those that prefer analog to digital.
Early reports claim the ASUS Xonar-series feature an Analog Devices audio DSP, however, ADI denies any involvement in the sound card.
“I checked with our sales team and there is not an ADI part in this unit,” said Sandra Perry, product line manager, SoundMAX, DSP Division.
ASUS also touts Dolby Pro Logic IIx, Dolby Virtual Speaker and Dolby Virtual Headphone technologies for multi-channel upconverting and surround sound with stereo speakers and headphones. ASUS rates the Xonar-series with an 118dB playback and 115dB recording signal-to-noise ratios. The upcoming Xonar-series sound cards support 24-bit/192 KHz playback and recording resolutions and ASIO 2.0 as well.
ASUS internal testing reveals the Xonar-series is capable of low total harmonic distortion rates. The Xonar-series has 0.000006% THD on all eight analog outputs and the single line input, between the frequencies of 20Hz to 20 kHz. ASUS also equips the Xonar-series with an EMI shield and touts it provides “stable audio quality.”
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3/23/2007 1:52:06 PM
I bet the PCB traces are 100.00000000% gold and the entire sound system is frozen to 0.00000000 K right?
That THD is beyond any real world method of even measuring. WTF? Some decisions by Asus leave me wondering if they are getting too big for their own good. It happens the same way every time; a company that earns a solid reputation for the best product, starts branching out, dropping the ball, and selling products on the basis of bling factor and name alone (*waves hi to Sony, Square, etc*)
But the best part about it is that it will be connected to peoples crappy speakers blown speakers with a maxed out bass knob connected with scrap speaker cable made of spliced phone cable and lamp power cords...
3/23/2007 3:14:07 PM
The THD number seems to come from 1/2^24 in %. Thought the quantisation noise alone would generate more than one bit worth of distortion.
3/23/2007 4:13:13 PM
Those distortion numbers are highly suspect. I don't believe there's a DAC chip or, hell, opamp in existence that can produce distortion that low. I've designed a number of DACs and I haven't heard of anything in that range. You'd have trouble even getting S/N ratio to be high enough to be able to detect such low distortion. If you say that the number comes from half a bit of a 24-bit word, then even more so.
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