ASUS got into the sound card market a few years ago, when the first models of the Xonar series set themselves as a balanced option in the sound card market, and since then, the company has launched new models, ranging from basic to more demanding solutions.
This time, they have introduced two new Essence series cards, the ASUS Essence STX II and STX II 7.1, both with a PCI-Express interface connection.
They provide a signal to noise ratio (SNR) of 124 dB for the audio outputs and 120 dB for headphones. It includes a crystal oscillator with temperature compensation. It has a dedicated headphone amplifier of 600 ohms with interchangeable high-quality operational amplifiers (OP-AMP). We can choose between two LM49720s from Texas Instruments and a MUSES 8820.
The Essence XTX II 7.1 model, as its name suggests, is also capable of outputting an 8-Channel signal natively with 120 dB of SNR.
Curiously, these cards come with an additional separate module to deliver superior audio connectors.
Although currently there are no official prices, the ASUS Essence STX II can be found for around 200 dollars.