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Asus Essence One audiophile amp – CeBIT 2011

Following the huge interest in KitGuru’s recent stories about top end headphone and streaming media devices, we couldn’t help smiling when we noticed the gorgeous Essence One on the Asus stand at CeBIT 2011. KitGuru dons dark glasses and approaches with pitch-perfect ears set to maximum definition.

Having created one of the world’s finest sound cards with the Xonar series, Asus has now turned its attention on creating an elite class of audio products.

At CeBIT 2011, the $10Bn giant is giving press, customers and the public their first glance at a stunning new piece of kit, the Essence One.

It will drive headphones up to 600ohms with ease, offers 32-bit up-sampling, utilises a dedicated power adapter to ensure only the purest of volts are allowed in, with minimal noise – while at the same time being supplied with simple to use software, so that even audio noobs can get the best possible sound quality.

Input comes from USB2/SPDIF and it offers unbalanced RCA and balanced XLR outputs alongside the standard 1/4″ headphone jack.

Probably the most impressive thing is the chassis itself. It looks like a classic piece of hi-fi equipment and we would not be surprised to see it stocked in places like Sevenoaks, John Lewis or KJ West One.

Although no one should buy audio products with their eyes, it's hard not to be aurally stimulated by this understated system in brushed black metal. It's a desirable thing. We think.

KitGuru says: Once Hannover’s supply of Bratwurst has been exhausted, KitGuru will put this exotic looking device into Zardon’s padded cell (to reduce interference – you understand) for testing.

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