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Asus Xonar Xense Audio Bundle Review

Asus have opted for an inoffensive colour scheme for the card, consisting of a black PCB and a silver EMI shield.  This should let it fit in aesthetically with most builds.  It uses a PCIe x1 bus and will occupy a single slot in your system.

The main connections on the card are the two 6.5mm jacks for headphone and microphone which correspond to the connectors on the Sennheiser PC 350 headset.  Additionally, there is a coaxial S/PDIF output and four 3.5mm connectors available via the breakout cable.  Asus also have included an internal Aux-in analogue connector for use with a TV tuner.

The Asus AV100 High-Definition Sound Processor is at the heart of this card and is shared with a number of other sound cards in Asus’ range.  This is actually a CMI-8788 chip which has been rebadged by Asus as they don’t make their own.  A 4-pin molex power connection is required for the card to function.

They have used a 24-bit Texas Instruments PCM1796 digital-analogue converter for the front channel (123dB SNR) and a Cirrus-Logic CS4362A for the other six (114dB SNR).  Asus have also included a Texas Instruments 6120A2 high-fidelity headphone amplifier.  For analogue inputs there is a Cirrus-Logic CS5381 analogue-digital converter (120dB SNR).

To compliment the hardware, Asus have packed multiple technologies into the bundled software.  This includes Dolby Headphone, Dolby Digital Live, Dolby Virtual Speaker, Dolby Pro-Logic II, Xear 3D Virtual Speaker Shifter alongside some Asus-specific features.  These consist of a bass enhancement feature, environmental effects and a 10-band equalizer.

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