Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
102 of 106 people found the following review helpful
Great card3 July 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
After much procrastination, I finally decided to upgrade to Windows 7 - 64 bit. My sound card was the Creative Sound Blaster Audigy SE. The upgrade went reasonably well, the sound card worked, but I could no longer find the Creative Audio Console (with the sound effect, equalizer etc.) It seems that Creative doesn't support the Audio Console for Windows 7 64 bit. I am not a gamer but I use my PC to feed my living room Sony receiver with streaming music and, of course, the music stored on the PC. I needed a good card with minimal effects but good sound and was resigned to pay up to 100 dollars for a replacement to my Creative card. Not being a techie type, I went to Micro Center for a little education.
The sales assistant recommended the ASUS Xonar DG at close to 30 dollars. They also had a more expensive Xonar model (close to 90$). I explained to the sales assistant that I only have two speakers attached to the sound card, plus a line-out connection to my receiver. Surprisingly, he discouraged me from buying the more expensive model.
The card installation went smoothly (I followed the instructions.) No driver problems. The most pleasant surprise was the sound - just great. The ASUS Audio Center is OK. I set the number of channels to 2, selected the maximum sampling rate (PCM 96 kHz), analog out to 2 speakers. The number of preset effects is limited but adequate and I programmed a couple more by adjusting the equalizer. I did not bother with any of the other selections on the Audio Console. The sound was very good across all music styles (I don't know about games, I don't game). I read a more exhaustive review of the card (after I bought it) here: [...]
I'm glad I had problems with my Creative card software, otherwise I wouldn't have discovered this inexpensive little gem. Highly recommended.
97 of 113 people found the following review helpful
Near Audiophile sound at a fraction of the price, ASUS does it again!!!15 Nov. 2010
- Published on Amazon.com
For only Thirty one dollars I spent here on Amazon which included shipping for this Xonar DG I must say that I am am happy that ASUS decided to make a cheap card with a headphone amp. I owned a Xonar D2X and Xonar DX. Also owned creative sound cards and I will never buy another create crap. They don't even update their drivers for their older cards.
After hearing the Xonar D2X and DX I could safely say this Xonar DG sounds near identical. I honestly cannot tell the difference between any of them. I currently run this card with a Sennheiser HD555 and Denon D2000 headphones and it does power the Denons better than the much more expensive Xonar d2x etc. It is definitely powerful I have it set on 64 ohms aka pro gaming as they call it. Its definitely light years improvement from onboard sound. Especially if you use good quality headphones the difference really will be night and day. If you are using powered studio monitors like the M-Audio and stuff then you want this. Because the quality of audiophile headphones and speakers are so great they reveal the distortion in onboard. You won't notice it until you hear these, when you hear it through this sound card you will wonder how did you listen to onboard all these years.
I have decided to give some feedback on the music experience some more. After some burn in and letting my ears become adjusted to it, I have noticed this card sounds warm. It has a warm and lively upfront presentation of music I guess you can also say its bright. I believe the Xonar DX and D2X was a but more laid back, with that said this thing rocks with rock music.
I am listening to the AC/DC albums in FLAC loseless audio and my god are these babies great. I wish it had some form of bass boost option though. But over the years I had trained my ears to listen to music with a flat EQ. Before I hated it and liked over exaggerated muddy bass. But now that my ears are trained to proper music the way the artist intended me to hear it I can safely say these babies rock.
If you are a great fan of maybe music by Celine Dion and stuff I guess you could buy the Xonar DX. Those sound a little better for that type of music in my opinion. As for the SNR difference between them all I can't tell to be honest they sound the same. (Note the DX has Solid Capacitors which has a much longer lifespan than this DG and DS. Under serious heat the DX lifespan will be greatly increased compared to the DG and DS but if you have proper cooling you need not worry I have a Cooler Master HAF case)
I must also add that this card comes with the Dolby Headphone Licenses which are great for games and movies. The Xonar DS does not have this. And its more expensive so I highly recommend this card. This card is also 96khz and not 192 like the DS and DX. But I can't tell the difference. I heard the Xonar ST essence by a friend of mine and his tend to sound a little better but nothing very noticeable. And certainly not worth the asking price compared to this DG.
In closing you will not regret this card. Do not let the price fool you, this thing is Audiophile product but ASUS will never tell you this because they also want their Xonar ST to sell.
37 of 42 people found the following review helpful
The price/performance value is astonishing25 Jun. 2012
- Published on Amazon.com
I bought this card when it was above the $20 range... and I considered it a steal. Having built a DIY tower recently and working on another for fun, I can honestly say this is the best,smartest purchase to upgrade your desktop.
Firstly, its relatively small and doesn't require a lot of power unless you use the headphone amp (which I haven't found any need to use... ever). So if you bought a retail desktop, if it has a PCI slot, I cannot emphasize how much of a no brainer this is.
Features & Software:
Before I say anything else, this card will *only* work on windows. I used it for windows 7. There is no linux support whatsoever, anywhere. Unfortunate, but if you own a computer you can put this in, you're likely using windows anyways.
Audio quality is outstanding. Unless you've spent $300+ on headphones or $400+ on "audiophile" marketed speakers, this has a full featured Digital to Analog Converter (DAC) with coverting abilities higher than many consumer USB DAC's. If all you want, or mostly want, is high fidelity music using your desktop as the source, this is high enough quality for most people that spending 5x as much for a music streamer II is flushing money down the drain.
The software's utility is great. Intuitive and easy to use. The surround sound software is great. It can't hold a candle to Dolby Headphone technology (which is hard to find even in sub $200 video cards). What it can do is let you is turn on the 5.1+7.1 features (I advise not stopping at the 5.1 setting, a friend who wanted to try it out agreed there was a noticeable upgrade in sound).
It works too. Lots of claims fall flat, but watching a movie I've turned around before thinking a sound behind me was from my apartment, not the film. It also is able to give you a very real surround sound effect with music too, which is a true feat since most music files are in stereo.
The software suite takes up very, very little processing power. Keep it running, minimize it and forget about it.
It doesn't take up much room either. When buying a component, its a very justifiable fear that it won't fit your case. This card will fit in pretty much anything though. As I said as well, it takes up very little power. So all you guys with dell or lenovo or gateway desktops? You're small chassis and unimpressive power supply will still be able to handle this card!
In closing... I know I'm coming off as almost ranting trying to convince people to buy this. I don't have any vested interests. But when I find something like this which gives me most of what I expect/desire at a price you'd expect from a utter trash product... its always good to indirectly tell the company "hey, make more quality products without the mark-ups!".
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Much better than Creative Labs Audigy SE9 April 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
Okay, so I originally had the Sound Blaster Audigy SE. Couple of things about that card:
A. Its in Creative's graveyard as far as driver support. Go ahead and go on their website and look for a driver for Win 7 x64. Won't find one later than 2009. Folks, doesn't matter how good the device is - without good drivers it won't sing
B. Mine caused BSODs - once I finally navigated the horrible Creative support structure I found out that the card was suspect.
C. Overall presentation of the SB Audigy was cheap cheap cheap. To the way it was packed to the feel of the board.
************** Noting all that, this Xonar DG is completely opposite. Excellent/recent drivers, easy access to support, and the card presentation is all excellent.
And the SOUND !!! Really, you can't beat this card for 30 bucks for gaming. I'm using a Harmon Kardon SoundSticks III setup - click the 'Hi-Fi' mode in the driver and just sit back. Gosh it sounds nice and warm / full.
Buy this card. Its a steal.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Pretty Great, especially for the price6 Sept. 2012
- Published on Amazon.com
Right off the bat-- I am not planning on using the analog outputs, so I'm not going to talk about those; I had a very specific set of needs. Since I'm using the S/PDIF output exclusively, there isn't much need to talk about in terms of clarity, noise, etc., since that will be dependent on my various DACs.
Okay, I upgraded my computer and ended up taking an unexpected audio downgrade. I moved from a P31 gigabye board to a Z77 board of the same brand and thought the audio performance would be about the same. Windows 7 compatibility issues aside, I found I was wrong. I had a headache of a time getting the audio to work (you can see that in my review of the motherboard) and simply gave up on ever getting the realtek onboard audio to play nicely with my ATI's audio. Even though I had gotten the old S/PDIF lead from the P31 board to work on the new board, it cut out intermittently and was generally annoying. With the Realtek drivers I could NOT get the audio from my video card to work over HDMI because they never recognized that a cable was attached, so I just gave up, uninstalled the realtek drivers, disabled the chip, and sound over HDMI was working again. This left me with no sound at my desk, though!
What I needed was (preferably) 2 S/PDIF outputs (one to go to the receiver at my desk and one to the receiver in the living room). I could forego one of them if HDMI worked, but I'd prefer not to have to switch audio devices all of the time. I thought I'd try this Xonar card and after a little finagling I now have 3 spdif outputs and HDMI audio! The card, as you can see, has one optical out, but it also has a S/PDIF header that has SPDIF and power so that it can support another optical output offboard. I used the old header from gigabyte that has optical and coax and modified it just a tiny bit to get it to mate with the board.
This DOES DO DOLBY DIGITAL. It has the emblem right on it. So if you're watching DVDs, you can get DD and DTS passthrough with this card. What you will not get is Dolby Digtal Live or DTS Connect which are both real-time multichannel encoding and compressing so that you can send mutlichannel game audio to a receiver with a single cable. For some reason I was under the impression that this card has DDL, but it doesn't (which I didn't need because I have HDMI audio, but I kind of wanted to play around with it so I could potentially recommend it to friends). However, and I want to repeat this because if some bad information here, it will pass through recorded DD and DTS streams, it simply won't convert other audio streams to DD or DTS in real time.
To get the 2 channel PCM to work over S/PDIF, you do have to go into the control software and click a little box to enable S/PDIF output, otherwise you'll be a bit frustrated by the PCM signal that your receiver sees but the audio you don't hear.
All-in-all, I am far more pleased with this card than I was expecting because it suited my needs perfectly. If you need DDL, expect to pay 3+ times more than this. If you need really clean analog audio for your 88.2 or 96kHz high-def audio, get a high-end card from Omega HT or something higher up the Asus food chain. But just need a good, non-frustrating S/PDIF output that won't fight your ATI card? Get this. It'll work. Be happy.