ASUS is a manufacturer of computer components that may be best known to enthusiasts thanks to their motherboards and graphics cards. While they are still leaders in each of those two markets, in recent years they have increased their presence in other areas such as monitors, optical drives, notebooks, coolers, and audio cards.
Back in the spring of 2008 we took a look at one of their new audio solutions, the ASUS Xonar D2X 7.1 Channel PCI Express sound card. ASUS entered the market not just to offer any old sound card, but to offer a product that was worth choosing over onboard audio solutions and competition from the likes of Creative. The Xonar D2X suceeded by providing high quality 7.1 channel sound, a host of impressive features, and excellent audio performance in games and multimedia.
This review is going to take a look at another ASUS Xonar product, this time in the form of something without quite as many bells and whistles, but that is also much more affordable. The Xonar D1 PCI audio card is another 7.1 channel solution designed to fit into full sized or low profile systems, and offers exceptional audio in 3D games and home theater applications.
Before looking at the unit provided for review, let's take a look at some of the published data for the Xonar D1 PCI audio card taken from the ASUS website. The following bullet points do not cover everything, and for a complete listing please visit the official product page.
» Output Signal-to-Noise Ratio (A-Weighted): 116dB for front-out, 112dB for other channels dB
» Input Signal-to-Noise Ratio (A-Weighted): 112 dB
» Output THD+N at 1kHz: 0.00056% (-105dB) for Front-out
» Input THD+N at 1kHz: 0.0004% (-108dB) for Line-in
» Frequency Response (-3dB, 24-bit/96kHz input): <10Hz to 48KHz
» Output/Input Full-Scale Voltage: 2 Vrms (5.65 Vp-p)
» Audio Processor: ASUS AV100 High-Definition Sound Processor (Max. 192KHz/24bit)
» 24-bit D-A Converter of Digital Sources:
» Cirrus-Logic CS4398*1 for Front-Out (120dB SNR, Max. 192kHz/24bit)
» Cirrus-Logic CS4362A*1 for other 6 channels (114dB SNR, Max. 192kHz/24bit
» 24-bit A-D Converter for Analog Inputs: Cirrus-Logic CS5361* 1 (114dB SNR, Max. 192kHz/24bit)
Sample Rate and Resolution
» Analog Playback Sample Rate and Resolution: 4.1K/48K/96K/192KHz @ 16/24bit
» Analog Recording Sample Rate and Resolution: 44.1K/48K/96K/192KHz @ 16/24bit
» S/PDIF Digital Output: 44.1K/48K/96K/192KHz @ 16/24bit, Dolby Digital, DTS
» S/PDIF Digital Input: 44.1K/48K/96K/192KHz @ 16/24bit
» ASIO 2.0 Driver Support: Supports 44.1K/48K/96K/192KHz @16/24bit with very low latency
» Analog Output Jack: 3.50mm mini jack *4 (Front/Side/Center-Subwoofer/Back)
» Analog Input Jack: 3.50mm mini jack *1 (Shared by Line-In/Mic-In)
» Other line-level analog input (for CD-IN/TV Tuner): Aux-In (4-pin header on the card)
» Digital S/PDIF Output: High-bandwidth TOS-Link optical transmitter (shared with Line-In/Mic-In jack) supports 192KHz/24bit