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The Asus Xonar DS is a low-end to mid-range PC audio card similar to the Asus Xonar D1.

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Pros

flexible outputs / inputs - 7.1 or 5.1 with microphone input and digital toslink (optical) output

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ASIO support

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replaceable op-amp for customized analog output

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EAX 5.0 support via software conversion

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low profile card

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output sample rate of up to 192KHz @ 24bit

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affordable price point

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Cons

fairly modest inputs/outputs, technical specifications

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EAX emulation is software based - burns CPU cycles vs. true hardware acceleration

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Edit

 

The Asus Xonar DS is a low-end to mid-range PC audio card similar to the Asus Xonar D1. The Xonar DS sports a couple of improvements over the D1, namely support for 7.1 channel audio (the D1 supports up to 5.1 channels) and the GX2.5 audio engine (the D1 sports GX2.0). Otherwise, the DS sports a number of DTS sound technologies (comparable to the D1's Dolby Home Theatre technologies) and the same VocalFX technologies as the D1 while lacking the D1's S/PDIF header for video card/HDMI integration.

The Xonar DS' GX2.5 audio engine allows it to process high-quality audio up to 7.1 channels on Windows XP, Vista or 7 at 192k/24bit. Its DTS sound technologies provide the Xonar DS with true 5.1 gaming surround sound (DTS Interactive) as well as simulated 7.1-channel music playback (DTS Neo). Meanwhile, the Xonar DS's VocalFX technologies provide clearer online voice communication as well as voice manipulation options (Magic Voice).

Features
  • 7.1 channel audio
  • DTS sound technologies enhance audio performance
  • GX2.5 audio engine
  • 192k/24bit high fidelity audio
  • VocalFX technologies
  • Xear 3D Virtual Speaker Shifter
  • Smart Volume Normalizer
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