Four years ago, ASUS debuted its high-end sound card for audiophiles, the Essence STX. Today, it has just announced the release of its successor, the aptly named Essence STX II 7.1.
Like its predecessor, the Essence STX II 7.1 comes with a host of features that will delight audiophiles such as 124dB SNR (signal-to-noise-ratio) for line-out connections and 120dB SNR for headphone listening. That aside, it also features a premium TCXO clock source that ensures ultra-low jitter, high-fidelity LDO regulators for consistent linear regulation and German-made WIMA capacitors for a more balanced sound.
The headphone amplifier is good for headphones with impedance of up to 600ohms and also comes with high-quality Japanese MUSES op-amps. An op-amp swap kit is also included for those who want to customize the sound signature.
The Essence STX II 7.1 also supports true 7.1-channel surround sound, but this is via an add-on daughterboard. The daughterboard offers 120dB SNR output and each channel is fully customizable with nine swappable op-amp sockets.
The Essence STX II 7.1 is available now and has a recommended retail price of S$429.