Asus launched a PCI Express version of its Xonar audio card, the Xonar D2X.
With the introduction of Windows Vista, the whole audio architecture landscaped has been changed. This has resulted in teething problems for gamers – with the possibility of losing all surround sound or hardware accelerated Direct3D and EAX while gaming in the Windows Vista environment. To circumvent this problem, the ASUS Xonar family of audio cards utilizes an ASUS exclusive technology – the new DS3D GX extension in the Xonar D2X driver; to provide full support for surround sound and hardware accelerated features by translating DirectX to the DS3D GX. While other solutions like OpenAL requires special installation and game support, DS3D GX doesn’t. Gamers can enjoy DirectX gaming with hardware enhanced surround sound and EAX effects automatically and immediately after installation.
The Xonar D2X also includes the innovative “Acoustics Echo Cancellation” (AEC) technology to facilitate the best online voice communication quality. AEC can eliminate up-to-40dB speaker echo return and suppress noises that would otherwise enter the users’ microphone – making the Xonar D2X the best audio card choice for online chatting in VOIP applications (Skype, MSN, Google, QQ, etc.) or online gaming.
The ASUS Xonar D2X also features a signal- to-noise ratio (SNR) of 118 dB for both audio in and out – reaching the maximum limit of audio quality on most PC platforms. Unlike generic audio cards in the market that provide the highest SNR to only the front stereo outputs, the Xonar D2X is able to deliver 118 dB quality audio for all 7.1 channels.
Besides delivering impressive audio quality, the Xonar D2X is also packed with multiple sound technologies from Dolby and DTS to deliver outstanding entertainment experiences. These include Dolby Digital Live, which converts PC or game audio content into Dolby Digital in real-time; Dolby Headphone, which creates a surround sound listening experience when using any set of headphones; Dolby Virtual Speaker, which delivers a vibrant surround sound listening experience from stereo speakers and Dolby Pro Logic IIx, which creates up to 7.1-channel surround sounds from stereo or 5.1 sources as well as DTS Interactive for real time AC-3 encoding and DTS NEP: PC stereo to multi-channel expander.
“As users increasingly use their PCs to enjoy music, movies, and gaming, great audio is key to delivering an outstanding entertainment experience,” said Greg Rodehau, PC Market Segment Director, Dolby Laboratories. “The ASUS Xonar D2X audio card delivers a powerful suite of Dolby technologies that create highly immersive listening environments from virtually any content or playback device being used.”
The Xonar D2X also comes with a special application called “Portable Media Processor”. This application works with the onboard ALT (Analog Loopback Transformation) circuit to provide almost lossless analog recording audio quality from digital music files.
Also announced today is the Asus Xonar U1, an external audio processor. The Xonar U1 is an external USB audio device that improves the laptop or PC’s underachieving audio by first eliminating electromagnetic interference (EMI) and noisy DC circuits inside the PC chassis. It then utilizes the high quality DAC (digital to analog convertor) to bring about crisp, clear music or gaming audio in the original flavor that was meant to be heard. The Xonar U1 provides a huge boost to PC gamers by supporting EAX and DirectSound HW acceleration for best gaming experience in Windows VISTA and XP.