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ASUS Xonar D1 PCI Audio Card
Author: Jason Kohrs
Manufacturer: ASUS
Source: ASUS
Purchase: Newegg.com
Comment or Question: Post Here
Page: 5 of 6 [ 1 2 3 4 5 6 ]
ASUS Xonar D1 PCI Audio Card
December 30, 2008

In Use (continued):

The final two tabs are shown in the screenshots below. The "AEC" on the tab shown in the below left screenshot stands for Acoustics Echo Cancellation, which lets you improve the quality of communications in games or VOIP applications. The below right screenshot shows the "VocalFX" tab, another set of controls for enhancing voice communications. It will help blend your voice with the application (game) you are running, or it allows you to just have some fun by altering your voice.

Click Image For Larger View Click Image For Larger View

Now that we have taken a quick look at all of the controls associated with this sound card, it is time to take a look at an overview of how it all comes together. With the sound card installed in a Windows Vista based system that generally uses the onboard solution (ADI AD1988B 8-Channel High Definition), but has also had the ASUS Xonar D2X installed, I went about listening to some music, watching a few movies, and playing a few games. Testing was 100% subjective, and my focus was on trying to distinguish any differences between the three solutions.


Across the board I will have to say that the onboard audio solution is really the only one that stood out, but simply because it could not compare to the performance of either ASUS Xonar card. The D2X is a much more expensive card than the D1, but for the most part I could not tell the difference in music, movies, or games. Where the D2X really stands out in my opinion is with all the bells and whistles it includes. You have the illuminated jacks, ALT/PMP capabilities, PCI Express interface, a big bundle of software, and just about all of the cables you could use. If you dig through the specifications you will see that the D2X is rated a bit better than the D1 in a variety of performance categories, including output signal-to-noise ratio (by 2dB), input signal-to-noise ratio (by 6dB), and output total harmonic distortion (by 3dB).

For movies and music, the ASUS Xonar D1 was connected to a set of Icemat Siberia headphones, a Logitech 5.1 analog speaker system, and to a 2.1 home theater setup using the digital coaxial output. The stereo separation, 3D effects, and clarity all blew the onboard audio solution out of the water. To my untrained ear the two ASUS Xonar cards sounded about the same, which is a very good thing. The low profile design coupled with the performance during DVDs and MP3s makes the Xonar D1 a great choice for a slim HTPC.

In games, the difference between the onboard solution was again crystal clear, while the difference between the two ASUS Xonar cards was not. I played a few sessions of Company of Heroes, Team Fortress 2, Half Life 2: Lost Coast, and TrackMania Nations Forever and felt fully immersed in both the audio and video portions of the games. The source of sounds were easy to identify, and overall the in-game 3D effects were great. I have not kept up on the latest buzz in the gaming community about the ASUS implentation of EAX, but the overall quality of the gaming audio works for me.

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