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ASUS STRIX Soar PCIExpress 7.1 gaming sound card review

Rating: 9.0.

Ask any PC gamer what their system specifications are and they will be able to rattle off a detailed list of numbers and brand names … however there is a good chance they will still using onboard sound. For some reason sound cards are not seen as a particularly exciting addition to a gaming PC – but ASUS wants to change that. It has been making a number of gaming focused sound cards for a while, but its new STRIX line is gunning hard for the gaming demographic who are unhappy with their audio output.

Today we look at the most affordable of the STRIX sound cards, the Soar. Although it has much the same hardware and features as its bigger brothers, it is more affordable which could be the real kicker in convincing potential buyers.


We looked at the high-end STRIX Raid Pro from the line up previously. The non-Raid version we are looking at today comes without that fancy volume control and its Raid mode features. The question is: is it still a great package without that?


  • 116dB signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and audiophile-grade DAC: Enjoy high-fidelity, immersive sound.
  • Sonic Studio utility: Take full control over loads of sound technologies via an intuitive, one-page interface.
  • Sonic Radar Pro: Lets you pinpoint the exact location of in-game sounds and enhances critical audio details like enemy footsteps for an aural advantage.
  • 600ohm headphone amplifier: For enhanced bass and clear, detailed sound.


  • Audio Interface: PCI Express.
  • Output Signal-to-Noise Ratio (A-Weighted) (Front-out): 116 dB.
  • Output Signal-to-Noise Ratio (A-Weighted) (Headphone-out): 110 dB.
  • Input Signal-to-Noise Ratio (A-Weighted): 110 dB.
  • Output THD+N at 1kHz (Front-out): 0.001 %(-100 dB).
  • Output THD+N at 1kHz (Headphone-out): 0.003 %(-90 dB).
  • Input THD+N at 1kHz: 0.000316 %(-110 dB).
  • Frequency Response (-3dB, 24bit/96KHz input): 10 Hz to 48 KHz.
  • Output/Input Full-Scale Voltage: Line output (RCA, 3.5) : 2 Vrms (5.65 Vp-p).
  • Audio Processor: C-Media USB2.0 6632AX High-Definition Sound Processor (Max. 384KHz / 24bit).
  • Digital-to-analog Converter (DAC): ESS SABRE9006A Premier 8 Channel Audio DAC.
  • Analog Playback Sample Rate and Resolution: 44.1K/48K/88.2K/96K/176.4K/192KHz @ 16bit/24bit.
  • Analog Recording Sample Rate and Resolution: 44.1K/48K/88.2K/96K/176.4K/192KHz @ 16bit/24bit.
  • S/PDIF Digital Output: 44.1K/48K/96K/192KHz @ 16bit/24bit.
  • ASIO 2.0 Driver Support: 44.1K/48K/96K/192KHz @ 16bit/24bit with very low latency.

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