Asus Xonar Essence One USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier
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- Hi-Fi audio through the worlds first 8x symmetrical upsampling
- Extreme audio clarity with 120dB SNR
- Built-in headphone amp powers up even 600 ohms impedance headphones
- 11 swappable OP-amps for customizable tonal characters
- 2 Years Warranty
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Digital music sources are an important source for audiophiles. Catering to the needs of the user, the Asus Xonar team launches its first hi-fi USB DAC, the Xonar Essence One, and commits to subvert the low quality digital music stereotype. It is the industry-leading, high-end USB DAC with the world's first 8x symmetrical upsampling, an extremely high 120dB SNR, audiophile class headphone AMP with a full op-amps swappable function.
The Essence One preserves faithful details of your music collection. While common upsampling USB DACs just transfer whatever audio source to 192kHz indistinguishably, the Essence One upsamples 44.1/88.2 /176.4kHz input to 352.8kHz and 48/96/192kHz input to 384kHz in a symmetrical manner. The Essence One also supports to increase data volume by upsampling the bit-rate to 32bit corresponding to the original content. (Note: 44.1*8=352.8kHz; 48*8=384kHz)
The average SNR of other USB DACs is about 110dB. With the extremely high SNR (120dB), the Xonar Essence One provides audiophiles clearer sounds with every detail while significantly reducing noise level.
The Xonar Essence One integrates an audiophile-class headphone AMP circuit which powers up ALL Hi-Fi headphones and grants 100% performance, even with impedance up to 600ohms. It offers extra dynamics, sound details and low distortion.
This is the unprecedented attempt for any hi-end USB DAC. Op-amp is the key part that amplifies the analog signal in your DAC and affects tone characters(darker, brighter, sound image, etc.) Xonar Essence One allows user to swap almost every OP-amps for a fully customized sound.
The internal power supply supports all international voltages and has generous margins for over and under voltage conditions. It provides the cleanest power for the cleanest sound with excellent immunity to noise on the AC line.
The Xonar Essence One also features balanced (XLR) outputs. This is a higher quality output that is useful for eliminating unwanted noises and interference. Since a balanced line contains two signal carrying conductors of equal magnitude but opposite polarity, noises induced along the cable path cancel each other out when they reach the destination load
Bit-ideal is how the audio stream will come from your PC. If you are running bit-ideal with ASIO, you will hear the music as it was encoded on the CD. The Asus Xonar Essence One's ASIO 2.2 driver simplifies the process of multiple audio streams, bypassing latency issues in Windows, to deliver a low-latency, high fidelity sound file that is identical to the original audio file. (PS. When you run bit-ideal, the andldquo;BIT idealandrdquo; LED in the front panel will light up.)
Most USB audio uses Synchronous Data Transfer mode to adjust the internal clock to compensate different data transfer rates between PCs and USB audio devices. But the jitter is worse if the transfer rate is different between a PC and the audio device. To avoid this issue, the Asus Xonar Essence One supports Asynchronous Data Transfer mode. This mechanism feedbacks the buffer status to the system, and the system is based on buffer status to adjust to the speed of the data transfer, which leads to a low amount of jitter in the Xonar Essence One.
The Asus Xonar Essence One is fitted with two dedicated volume controls: one for the headphones and another for speakers. Unlike most USB DACs which use only one volume control for the output level of both headphone and speaker (or even no volume control), The Xonar Essence One allows users to set the headphone and speaker volume level separately.
The Asus Xonar Essence One is fitted with a set of digital inputs, Coaxial and Toslink, which enable the connection of source components. The digital inputs accept data formats at sample rates up to 192 kHz.
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Top customer reviews
I decided to go for this external DAC.
I know the price will put a lot off, but it really is amazing that Asus can sell this for what they do, when you take into account where this sit's in the market.
The slight downside of this is the plastic buttons and volume control knob's, and while this isn't a deal breaker it does just make you wonder what you just spent that money on.
However once you start listening to music through it for the first time all the worries are gone. I'm using Sennheiser HD650's and the sound is warm and rich with good detail, and the base is full but not overpowering,
the base being the biggest improvement over the creative card. Not totally convinced with the upsampling button, best to just stick to bit perfect with the ASIO driver that you can use in foobar 2000.
The sound quality improvement is most noticeable when using the optical output from "Pure" DAB Radios.
The Sound quality from , the now discontinued "Squeezebox", is also considerably improved when sourced from the optical output on the "squeezebox".The Western digital WD TV media player also greatly benefits from the ASUS ONE , when fed from the optical out port.
Televisions with optical outputs, are vastly improved when fed to the ASUS one.
The Optical ouput from P.C's ( IEC 595 ) is also vastly improved when sourced from the PC optical output.
The sound from the ASUS ONE is not, in my opinion, improved when using the supplied USB driver.(
The supplied USB driver was , initially, faulty.)
The Sound from the ASUS is also not improved when using the bit insertion ( interpolation), where initial 48ks/s sample rate is "multiplied" by two, four or eight times giving 96k , 192k or 394k samples rates.
The USB bit perfect scheme, where the PC source USB frequency is controlled by the ASUS ONE ,again, does not improve the sound quality.
I use the ASUS ONE solely from optical sources, where the sound improvement is superb.
The ASUS ONE,supplied with only one optical input, means that you will need a working optical selector switch. The cheap optical switches are terrible with the only available electronic switches being expensive.
Finally ,the Build quality, not to mention the weight!, are exceptional for a DAC at this price.
So, would I recommend the ASUAS ONE , given that I use only , perhaps five percent of it's capabilities.........Yes.
It is an absolute monster of a sound card and when you feel the weight of it you guess it has to be quality.
just wanted you to know that using this as a dac-pre sends the quality of my hifi through the roof
I have a £5000 cd player which has many glowing reviews
I have a £5000 valve pre amplifier also with glowing (ha) reviews
replacing them with a cheap computer component will surely destroy the high end sound that they achieve?
so i'm baffled to the fact that the asus absolutely blows them away
much lower distortion, easily noticed (clean at absurdly high levels)
i'm thinking that the interface between a cd player and pre is a very bad thing
and this removes that problem
but this is not the complete answer
so i'm off to scratch my head and sell some hifi
PS I have yam ns 2000's, thay take no prisoners, this box is awsome
It's improved the sound of my Shure SE530's even though they sound good through an iphone & they are great with full sized, high impedance cans.
Had no problems with the drivers once I figured out how to use Foobar2000. I leave bit perfect on all the time with no problems, it recognises 44.1, 96, 192 etc. I can't get it to work properly with Winamp & forget Itunes for HD audio.
Better than any internal soundcard for music, I have not done much else with it yet.
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