ASUS Xonar DX2 Sound Card Review

ASUS Decided to start making sound cards since the soundcard market was being dominated by creative and their X-FI line. With the new ASUS line of PCI-E soundcards, it makes it a good market for ASUS to start to dominate in, since there is little competition. With the ASUS D2X is being marketed as a Home Theater sound card along with its gaming flavor.  In this review of the ASUS D2X we will put it to the test with gaming to Home Theater use.

Special thanks to ASUS for providing us with the Xonar DX2 Sound Card to review.


Audio Performance Output Signal-to-Noise Ratio (A-Weighted):
Up to 118 dB

Input Signal-to-Noise Ratio (A-Weighted):
Up to 118 dB

Output Total Harmonic Distortion + Noise at 1kHz (A-Weighted):
Up to 0.0004% (-108dB)

Input Total Harmonic Distortion + Noise at 1kHz (A-Weighted) :
Up to 0.0004% (-108dB)

Frequency Response (-3dB, 24-bit/96kHz input ):
<10Hz to 46kHz

Output/Input Full-Scale Voltage
2 Vrms (5.65 Vp-p)

Sample Rate Conversion Quality
Almost lossless, high-fidelity floating-point filters, with:
-140dB THD+N (typical value for 44.1K->48KHz, 24bit)
145dB Dynamic Range (typical value for 44.1K->48KHz, 24bit)

Main Chipset Audio Processor
ASUS AV200 High-Definition Sound Processor (Max. 192KHz/24bit)

24-bit D-A Converter of Digital Sources:
TI Burr-Brown PCM1796 *4 (123dB SNR, Max. 192kHz/24bit)

24-bit A-D Converter for Analog Inputs:
Cirrus-Logic CS5381* 1 (120dB SNR, Max. 192kHz/24bit)

Sample Rate and Resolution Analog Playback Sample Rate and Resolution
44.1K/48K/96K/192KHz @ 16/24bit

Analog Recording Sample Rate and Resolution
44.1K/48K/96K/192KHz @ 16/24bit

S/PDIF Digital Output
44.1K/48K/96K/192KHz @ 16/24bit, Dolby Digital, DTS, WMA-Pro

S/PDIF Digital Input
44.1K/48K/96K/192KHz @ 16/24bit

ASIO 2.0 Driver Support:
44.1K/48K/96K/192KHz @ 16/24bit

I/O Ports Analog Output Jack:
3.50mm mini jack *4 (Front/Side/Center-Subwoofer/Back)

Analog Input Jack:
3.50mm mini jack *2 (Line-In/Mic-In)

Other line-level analog input (for CD-IN/TV Tuner):
CD-In, Aux-In (4-pin header on the card)

Digital S/PDIF Output
Coaxial and High-bandwidth Optical Combo Connector Supports 192KHz/24bit

Digital S/PDIF Input
Coaxial and High-bandwidth Optical Combo Connector Supports 192KHz/24bit

MIDI Ports
Additional MPU-401 MIDI I/O bracket and converter cable

Driver Features Operation System
Windows Vista/XP(32/64bit)/MCE2005

Dolby® Digital Live
Dolby Digital Live encodes any audio signal on PC in real-time to Dolby Digital (AC3) 5.1 surround sounds to your home theater environment through one single S/PDIF connection

Dolby® Headphone
Dolby Headphone technology allows users to listen to music, watch movies, or play games with the dramatic 5.1-channel surround or realistic 3D spacious effects through any set of stereo headphones.

Dolby® Virtual Speaker
Dolby Virtual Speaker technology simulates a highly realistic 5.1-speaker surround sound listening environment from as few as two speakers.

Dolby® Pro-Logic IIx
Dolby Pro-Logic II is the well-known technology to process any native stereo or 5.1-channel audio into a 6.1- or 7.1- channel output, creating a seamless, natural surround soundfield.

DTS® Connect Technologies
DTS® Connect contains DTS Interactive Encoder and DTS Neo:PC technologies. DTS Interactive encodes any sound on PC to “DTS 5.1 Surround” high bitrate digital stream to your home theater through S/PDIF connection. DTS Neo:PC can convert stereo audio into 5.1 or 7.1-channel high-fidelity surround sounds.

DirectSound3D Game EXtensions 1.0 (DS3D GX)
DS3D GX 1.0 supports EAX gaming sound effects and DirectSound 3D hardware enhanced functions on Windows Vista. (DirectX/DirectSound 3D compatible)

Acoustic Echo Cancellation (AEC)
Provides advanced Acoustic Echo Cancellation (AEC) for best voice conferencing quality in VOIP applications or online gaming

Smart Volume NormalizerTM
Normalizes the volume of all audio sources into a constant level and also enhances your 3D sound listening range and advantages in gaming

Magic VoiceTM
Modifies and disguises the sound tone of your voice for VOIP and online chat applications

Karaoke Functions
Music Key-Shifting and Microphone Echo effects

Professional Bass Management/Enhancement system for small or large speakers

Xear 3D™ Virtual Speaker Shifter
Virtual 7.1 speaker positioning and shifting to adjust the optimum soundfield for your speaker placement

Other Effects
10-band Equalier/27 Environment Effects

3D Gaming Sound Engines/APIs
Vista: DirectSound3D® GX 1.0, EAX®2.0&1.0, DirectSound® HW, DirectSound SW, A3D®1.0, OpenAL generic modes, 128 3D sounds processing capability
XP: EAX®2.0&1.0, DirectSound® HW, DirectSound SW, A3D®1.0, OpenAL generic modes, 128 3D sounds processing capability

Bundled Software Utility Portable Music Processor utility
Converts digital music content or CD audio into regular MP3/WMA files with Dolby Headphone, Dolby Virtual Speaker (w/ Pro-Logic II), and Smart Volume Normalization processing (Windows Media Player 10 or above is required)

Professional Audio Creation and Editing Utility
Ableton Live 6 Lite; Cakewalk Production Plus Pack (SONAR LE, Dimension LE, and Project5 LE)

PowerDVD 7.0
7.1-ch DVD player with Dolby Digital decoder

MCE Software Kit
Software kit with 10-ft GUI for Windows Media Center Edition

RightMark Audio Analyzer 6.0.5
Easy but powerful software intended for testing the quality of audio equipments

Accessories Additional MIDI bracket and adaptor cable *1
S/PDIF TOSLINK optical adaptors *2
S/PDIF TOSLINK optical cable *1
Four 3.5mm-to-RCA cables for 8 channel output *4
Dolby Demo CD *1

While taking a look at the ASUS Xonar D2X box, the front of the box has listed all the features that are included with the card. On the back of the box they have the basic info about the soundcard listed in thirteen different languages.

ASUS Xonar DX2 Sound Card ASUS Xonar DX2 Sound Card

When you open the box you see the soundcard itself. The inside of the box also includes a detailed description of the features that are listed on the front. On the right hand side of the box when opened has a detailed list and description of the software that is included.

ASUS Xonar DX2 Sound Card ASUS Xonar DX2 Sound Card

The Xonar D2X is enclosed in your standard plastic boxing, which also includes the other parts for the sound card. Included with the soundcard inside the packaging are SPDIF Cable, and four headphone to RCA cables with a dual MIDI cable, along with two Optical adapters for the SPDIF Cable. The software that is included is, Albeton Live 6 lite, Cakewalk Prodduction Plus Along with PowerDvD 7, driver DvD and a Dolby Digital Demo CD.

ASUS Xonar DX2 Sound Card ASUS Xonar DX2 Sound Card