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Customer reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars

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on 4 February 2015
I purchased this after reading some of the other reviews. I would have bought the PCI-e version, but on my motherboard, the video card blocks this expansion slot when installed. The card is one of the best, if not the best, I have heard, particularly at this price. As other reviews have stated, the sound is warm, and distortion free through my Creative speakers. Do spend the extra few bob on replacing the op-amp chip with the one Amazon recommends though, as this does make a real difference. It's easy to swap, as it's a simple plug in job, so no real skill needed (though small fingers will make the job easier, as there's not a lot of room around it).The software supplied is really good, is easy to install and to operate. The graphic equaliser software works for my ears, you just need to spend some time trying all the settings to get the one that sound best with your speakers. All in all, an excellent buy, and recommended particularly to upgrade from on-board sound.
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on 20 March 2017
Extremely happy with quality of the product. Exceeded my expectations. Had previously used only Creative sound cards which are generally more expensive but not necessarily better.
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I already own a Creative X-FI XtremeGamer costing about twice as much as the Xonar DS. I started getting the dreaded 'Creative click/popping sounds' after updating my ATI video drivers, and needed a replacement. I plumbed for the Xonar DS.

The Xonar does not have as full a sound as the X-FI, but is certainly almost on a par, and you typically won't notice the difference unless you are a big Dolby fan (the Xonar doesn't have Dolby - but to be honest, I don't like the sound that Dolby gives and never used it on the X-FI) and you generally won't spot the difference during gaming. Better still, the Xonar doesn't have the bloatware-pretending-to-be-drivers that the Creative cards tend to have.

Bottom line: If like me, you can't stand poor quality on-board sound (or you have good quality speakers) and want good, no frills HI-FI sound then you want a Xonar DS. Its currently the best bet on the sound quality vs price front, and you're much less likely to have hardware issues with a Xonar than you are with Creative. Its also worth mentioning that unlike CPUs, memory and graphics cards, a sound card may seem like a bit of a luxury, but they last forever simply because they dont date like other hardware. Quality sound for as long as you have a motherboard with a PCI slot in it, and all for the price of one new game DVD. Can't be bad!

*** Update Jume 2010 ***
There's a minor issue in the review above. Although the Creative X-FI sounds better than the Xonar when listening to music/videos, this is NOT the case when playing games. The X-FI doesnt actually support all its high end sound features during gaming applications, so the XONAR actually sounds pretty much identical during gameplay.
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on 7 August 2010
This is a very good card which installed easily.

ASUS have very kindly put the existing OpAmp - A NE5532P - on a socket.

For a cheap and easy upgrade that will greatly enhance the sound, Junk that cheapo chip (Worth about 50 pence) and invest around a fiver in a proper HiFi OpAmp - the LM4562NA - And be prepared to be blown away!

The detail promised by the original chip now has Warmth and Bass added, giving you an involving sound that you could listen to all day.

Get hold of some lossless audio files as well (FLAC etc) and Enjoy :-)

It's currently working in my desktop PC through a NAD3120 Amp and JBL Speakers.

The card will also go in a low-profile media PC, and I'm seriously thinking about forking out for another one for listening in the living room.
77 Comments| 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 15 October 2009
Absolutely delighted with this card - I'm running Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit edition (full version, I'm hosting a Windows 7 launch party!).

A word of warning - the supplied installation drivers on the CD caused a complete lock-up of my system, and I had to uninstall the drivers to get anything done, then find a solution online. It turns out that, for the time being, you may need the latest drivers from Asus, and then you need to download a patch from Asus as well! This is the only reason I didn't give a 5 star rating.

This card was a replacement for my Creative Labs X-Fi Xtreme Gamer card which absolutely refuses to work properly under my configuration!

Fantastic, budget-priced card - well boxed, lavishly illustrated retail packaging.
33 Comments| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 9 March 2010
Just have to come on here to give a review of this soundcard, for the price its a steal and on my new PC Intel Core i7 920,
Asus P6T SE Motherboard, 6GB Corsair DDR3 1600MHz C9 Triple Channel, ATCS 840 Case in silver, Corsair CMPSU-650TX 650W, wimdows 7 and with my old Acoustic Energy AEGO M 2.1 speakers its just the bomb, I've never heard my music until now properly it seems as now with this new card on its smart volume setting and a little tweeking sounds truly fantastic. You hear things like drumming and it sounds like they are in the room with you and you hear parts of the vocals that on a MP3 player you simply do not hear. Anyway I'm over the moon with this card for this price , glad I didn't spend more on something else cause this is loads better than I thought it would be and so much better than my Creative Sound Blaster X-fi that costs loads more a few years back but I had probs with it working on 64-bit windows 7. I'd also recommend the speakers too which are great and a good price.
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on 12 January 2011
I just bought this 24-bit card and replaced the Op-Amp chip with a National Semiconductor LM4562NA (as suggested in M.Butler's review). Swapping the chips was very simple. The result is amazing. A really crisp, sharp sound with excellent definition and nice warm bass. If you just want a good-sounding card without fancy outputs I would highly recommend this card with the NC chip installed. The chip only costs £6 including postage) from Mark Gant Cables. The improvement over the 16-bit Realtek chip on the motherboard is massive.
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on 26 May 2013
I bought this sound card for an upgrade over the build in motherboard card. This Xonar DS card worked well in Win XP but I had problems in Win 7. I had a problem where the computer would not open programs and once I went to a previous restore point without the software the computer was fine again. Basically, I found the Xonar DS sounds good but wasn't fully compatible with Windows 7. I've gone back to my built in one.
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VINE VOICEon 12 August 2010
After changing my graphics card my old Creative Audigy SB developed a crack/pop and slowed down the music randomly when playing a music file. I don't know why because games and iPlayer sound was fine. Anyway after looking around I decided to move away from Creative in case the graphics card had a permanent dislike for all things Creative. As I had an Asus board in the PC I went for this and I'm very please the sound to me is full and it plays mp3 flawlessly no pops or slowdowns, the audio centre front end is also very easy to use. However I dropped a star because the CD supplied caused some really weird things to happen to my PC which runs windows 7, including not connecting to the web, I can't comment on Vista or XP. So yes I would recommend this sound card but if you have 7 then save yourself some grief go to Asus web site and download the latest Windows 7 drivers.
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on 28 September 2016
Good, cheap sound card. Don't expect a £500 product for the few pounds you spend on this but it's far better than the integrated motherboard audio.
I'd recommend replacing the op amp to this one - op amp LM4562NA to give a bit of oomph!
I installed it on a windows 10 machine but had to get the compatible driver from Asus Website. The driver on the disk is no good for a win 10 OS.

So, over-all, a good upgrade but remember, have realistic expectations.
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