4 Asus Xonar STU

ASUS Xonar Essence STU USB DAC Review

  1. Introduction
  2. Specifications and Product Pictures
  3. Installation and Initial Impressions
  4. Sound quality
  5. Conclusion

Bus CompatibilityUSB 2.0 high-speed
Audio PerformanceOutput Signal-to-Noise Ratio (A-Weighted) (Front-out) :
●120 dBOutput THD+N at 1kHz (Front-out) :
●>0.00036 %(-108 dB)Frequency Response (-3dB, 24bit/192KHz input) :
●10 Hz to 48 KHzOutput/Input Full-Scale Voltage :
●Unbalanced Output : 2 Vrms ( Vp-p)
●Headphone : 7 Vrms ( Vp-p)
ChipsetAudio Processor :C-Media CM6631A High-Definition Sound Processor
Sample Rate and ResolutionAnalog Playback Sample Rate and Resolution :
●44.1K/48K/88.2K/96K/176.4K/192KHz @ 16bit/24bitASIO Driver Support :
●44.1K/48K/88.2K/96K/176.4K/192KHz @ 16bit/24bit
ConnectivityAnalog Output
●1 x 6.3 mm jack (1/4″) Headphone out
●2 x RCA (Un-Balanced)Digital
●2 x S/PDIF in (1 x Optical (Toslink)/1 x Coaxial)
●1 x Aux in 3.5mm jack (1/8”)
Operating System●Windows® 8 , 32bit/64bit
●Windows® 7 , 32bit/64bit
●Windows® XP , 32bit/64bit
●Mac OS X *
Accessories●6.3mm to 3.5mm stereo adapter x 1
●Driver CD x 1
●Quick Start Guide x 1
●USB cable x 1
●Power cord x 1
●Power adapter x 1
NoteSwappable operational amplifier:
●I/V: LME49720 x 2
●LPF: LM4562 x 1 Output impedance:
●Line out: 100 ohm
●Headphone out: 10 ohm Clock:
●Crystal clock: 12MHz
●Oscillator: 45.1584MHz (44.1kHz);49.152MHz (48kHz) Power supply type:
●Power consumption(Max): 12W
●Power input jack: DC in 12V
●Power input range: AC 90~264V*Xonar Essence STU supports OS X 10.6 or above for playback.

The bundle has everything most people would require for full functionality of the DAC including a useful 3.5mm – 6.3mm jack to use the larger and more durable 6.3mm headphone socket.

Those wanting to use the Coaxial or optical inputs will need to purchase a separate wire which is the norm for every budget DAC.

What could have been added at this price point are a few OPAMPs to try out swapping OPAMPs, but most people wouldn’t wish to dabble in such an endeavour.

One positive that should be mentioned is ASUS’ commitment to older OS like XP which is fully supported by the STU. Windows XP still commands a formidable 42% market share (among Microsoft OS) and Creative has disabled support for XP with its competing Recon 3D and ZX based sound cards.

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