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ASUS XONAR DG Headphone Amp by Review Summary ,  Sep 12, 2015

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ASUS XONAR DG Headphone Amp & PCI 5.1 Audio Card
Report Date: 01/03/2016
Based on 677 customer reviews
Overall satisfaction: 4.1
Returned or considering to return: 6.4%

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Frequently Mentioned by Customers:


Individual Feature Rating
Performance5.0   above average
Surround5.0   above average
Power4.8   exceptional
Dolby4.7   above average
Price4.7   above average
Value4.7   average
Speaker4.4   above average
Headphone4.3   above average
Setup4.3   average
Gaming4.2   average
Sound4.2   average
Quality4.0   below average
Audio3.9   average
Level3.8   average
Music3.8   below average
Setting3.6   below average
Support3.5   average
Noise3.4   below average
Connector3.3   average
Windows3.2   below average
Amazon3.1   below average
Microphone2.6   mediocre
Motherboard2.6   below average
Volume1.7   mediocre


Quotes from the Reviews - What People Say about:

Amazon

Amazon:
"I just tried to return this product to Amazon for refund but missed the return window because I was trying to correct a problem that ASUS has no solution for."
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"I could ahve save time and money had the Amazon description included this important caveat."
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"Returning things to Amazon is not easy, I tend to make sure what I order is what I need."
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"After about 4 hours of messing around with it and many forums later, I believe this is marked incorrectly on amazon."
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"(Very Nice Lady).. Again this month the charge was back on the credit card bill.... (Less Interest) - To avoid another interest charge, I paid the complete balance..I am really disapointed with Amazon over this."
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"Package arrived one day late but Amazon was great and refunded my shipping charge in full."
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"Because lord knows amazon is great at sending people garbage electronic devices."
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"The Asus Xonar DG Audio card was a great valued sound card from Amazon."
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"EXCELENTE PRODUCTO GRACIAS AMAZON"
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"I returned it to Amazon without hassle and they sent a replacement, however this time I borrowed a screw from my friend and now my card is secure and it shouldn't happen again."
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Audio

Audio:
"Autorun of CD gives an option of installing an audio driver but when loading it refers to it as a Xnor DG audio driver which is hard to figure out if it's the correct driver to load first."
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"It's a good card to replace the onboard audio for a motherboard, but it's definitely not the greatest quality."
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"do not buy this and i really don't like saying that because asus usually is a very good company and all there other equipment other then this that I've purchased has worked extremely well so i was shocked that they would put there name on such a crappy sound card and it is crappy I'm back to using my on-board audio card and have put xonar in the garbage where it belongs there are no fixes for this card its junk plain and simple please don't waste your money there are no fixes for this card trust me I've tried EVERYTHING!"
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"It's absurd how much better they sound than they did on the on board audio or when plugged into the monitor."
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"The biggest gripe is the controller software, which offers a ton of customizability but for some reason is unable to automatically switch to back panel audio when front panel headphones are unplugged (I have to specifically set it to the back panel after unplugging headphones)."
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"I had problems finding the correct driver for this audio card."
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"Excellent audio output, real easy install, and good price."
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"After I removed this card and went back to on board audio, my Teamspeak friends were happy to tell me that my voice transmissions were finally fixed, what did you do?"
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"Basically anything is better than your onboard sound so I highly recommend this card if you want an easy solution to make your audio experience better."
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"Audio quality is fantastic, much better than motherboard audio."
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Budget

Budget:
"I bought this little budget card and had nothing but problems with it."
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"Pair this card with Sony MDR-V6 Headphones and you've got a nice low budget listening experience."
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"I would highly recommend this card to any one looking for some great sound on a budget."
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"It is good for people that do most of their computer building off a budget."
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"(Yes I sound whore in fps games)This is a great budget card for older computers, but nowadays, many motherboard manufacturers are putting very good on board sound chips, which negates the need for a sound card."
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"This is pretty much the go-to budget sound card w amp for years now, which can serve as a poor man's substitute for a separate amp to pair with whatever higher quality headphones set you may be using for gaming."
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Connector

Connector:
"As of January of 2015, the headphone jack seems to be malfunctioning."
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"After ruling out a hardware issue with the jack itself and failing at several software solutions, I decided to purchase this audio card to skirt the issue."
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"Unfortunately, while it does have a TOSLINK connector, the only option available via SPDIF in the Asus control panel is for PCM encoding, which is only 2 channel."
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"That would be less of a problem if the front panel connector worked, but it definitely doesn't."
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"I don't know if I was just lucky or what, but my front audio jacks work great with this."
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"I think if I used the jacks this card would be perfectly fine but as optical out sucks."
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"Maybe it's all in my head, but everything sounds great, and as it also drives the front panel audio jack, my issue has largely been resolved as well."
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"If these wires had been unified into one connector everything would have been easier, but that was not the case."
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"Sound fidelity is more clear, particularly on the top frequenciesNot a single sound of hiss when no sound is playingAutomatically detects if you plug your headphones into the front headphone jackEasy installation PCI CardThe only Con would be the software UI looks like it's from 1998, but who cares."
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Dolby

Dolby:
"It can't hold a candle to Dolby Headphone technology (which is hard to find even in sub $200 video cards)."
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"Also in has virtual Dolby Surround which sounds amazing."
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"Big fan of this so farPros:- Plugs right in, no issues on the install- Good shipping materials, nice box sealed electrostatic bag- Great sound, the 5.1 Dolby Headphone is fantastic, It may be placebo effect but I have seen my CS:GO scores improve- The amp will get as loud as you want (be sure to go into the headphone options in the driver and match the output with your headphones impedance)Cons:- the driver... my god is it difficult to get working, on top of that the mic options are hidden away."
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"Although there isn't much difference with my amplified desktop 2.1 speaker setup, when you plug a decent pair of headphones into this thing and turn on Dolby Headphone Surround - WOW."
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"I would rate this card excellent for gaming use with a Dolby compatible headphones."
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"The analog out works well and so does the Dolby headphones."
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Headphone

Headphone:
"At the time, I plugged my speakers back into my on-board sound card and had sound from both speakers (I also tested headphones in the Xonar to prove it was a faulty card)."
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"As of January of 2015, the headphone jack seems to be malfunctioning."
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"I had sent back a Sound Blaster Audigy FX because the amp failed to amplify some headphones and the SB Pro Studio software did not work no matter what I tried, and Creative's tech support is non-existent."
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"I gave this a 2 out of 5 for 2 reasons, number one when its working it works amazingly well, especially for gaming with headphones that said its reliability is terrible."
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"I bought this thinking that I could DDL for optical use and was disappointed that it only applied to headphones use."
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"The only major con I encountered was not being able to find the settings to power my stereo headphones."
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"Wow so much difference in headphone sound after I changed advanced settings to Exciter Mode (only use it if you have good headphones).Just WOW."
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"Must have if you have a good pair of headphones."
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"Love this card so much, the headphone amp really makes my headphones rock."
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"Great quality card with great features and awesome headphone amp, but I'm knocking it down from 5 stars to 4 stars because they haven't updated the drivers page since February 2014 and don't seem to be intending on it."
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"The HARX 700 are the best headphones I have at the moment so it's not worth downgrading headphone just to rid the hissing noise."
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Headset

Headset:
"After a long time, and by trial and error, I got the headset and speakers to work."
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"I use a 50ohm headset, and it sounds very loud, very clear, and very powerful."
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"The utility isn't too hard to figure out to swap between front panel headset to speakers and back."
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"Great amp for headphones and headsets and has a lot of simple, easy to use features."
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"I am currently using Steelseries Siberia V2, and even for a lower-mid range headset, this sound card powers it well."
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"this card works great with both my headset and 5.1 speakers, well worth the price to get away from ear-molesting onboard audio."
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Level

Level:
"This eases the frustration level immensely and allows the thrifty to do geeky tasks by ourselves."
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"Sure, not as good as Z-5500, but pretty good at its price level."
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"Really hard to find a sound card that has this level of sound in a 1 2 height bracket form factor."
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"Wonderful, entry level sound card."
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"Overall this was a good purchase, made my M-Audio BX5A Studio Monitors and Sennheiser HD600's sound muchcleaner, would definitely recommend this to an entry level audiophile, or someone looking for a step up from the onboardaudio on their motherboard."
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"I would recommend it to anyone who needs an entry level soundcard for their computer."
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"I works well and boosts the TV audio to a consistant level."
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"I purchased this because the Xonar DG is known as the best entry level sound card."
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Microphone

Microphone:
"Additionally to this problem, the volume for recording mic didn't even appear as an option."
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"The logic was that a $30 audio card would provide me with better audio and a mic amp that my on board card wasn't able to give me."
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"It was purchased because my onboard sound controller (some embedded Realtek chip; mobo is ~5 years old) started producing some highly irritating sounds when I was using the microphone: there would either be a rapid-fire clicking ticking, or a high-pitched whistling, or both."
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"Only issue is the AEC noise cancellation for the mic is ungodly terrible, unusable so if you need a solution for voice activation for PC gaming you're going to need another solution."
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"Big fan of this so farPros:- Plugs right in, no issues on the install- Good shipping materials, nice box sealed electrostatic bag- Great sound, the 5.1 Dolby Headphone is fantastic, It may be placebo effect but I have seen my CS:GO scores improve- The amp will get as loud as you want (be sure to go into the headphone options in the driver and match the output with your headphones impedance)Cons:- the driver... my god is it difficult to get working, on top of that the mic options are hidden away."
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"My only complaint is that the gain boost available for microphones is not high enough for my Pyle Pro PDMIC48 dynamic microphone!"
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"my mic and music sounds way better nice cheap upgrade big changes"
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"Microphone input was buzzy as well."
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"It works great with a ModMic 4.0, but I can't say the same about other microphones."
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"Makes the microphone emit very crisp and clear sounds."
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"excellent besides there is no microphone input and only output is digital optical which isnt bad but everything doesnt support digital opt,,....... blahhhhhhhhhhhhh but sound quality is off the chezzy"
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Motherboard

Motherboard:
"It's a good card to replace the onboard audio for a motherboard, but it's definitely not the greatest quality."
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"Only problem was the internal sound card to my motherboard was dead upon arrival so I bought another sound card that worked horribly and would blue screen my computer."
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"bought this to recycle a motherboard that the onboard sound card had failed."
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"Got this as a replacement for a motherboard with failed onboard sound."
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"For my son's computer to replace his motherboard's sound card which broke."
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"I purchased this card to get away from the annoying VIA Vinyl chipset that it's onboard my motherboard."
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"Works great and sounds so much better then the stock motherboard sound."
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"I've had no problems with the card including static, not too much of an improvement over integrated sound on any modern motherboard, but works great just to give an optical output, and maybe change some advanced sound configurations here and there."
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"Audio quality is fantastic, much better than motherboard audio."
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"Other than that the audio card works perfect and finally solved my issue with my motherboard's on board sound."
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"(Yes I sound whore in fps games)This is a great budget card for older computers, but nowadays, many motherboard manufacturers are putting very good on board sound chips, which negates the need for a sound card."
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Music

Music:
"Definitely not recommended for music production."
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"I use sennheiser EH150 over ear headphones and wow my music never sounded so good!"
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"My music are alive again and i'm hearing words i've never been able to hear before in the musics...lol!"
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"My headset (Sharkoon Xtatic) is a true 8 speaker 5.1 surround sound headset and to be honest it sucked listing to music and i always got this tunnel hearing effect and the subs inside would not work while playing music or at least not well."
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"B) MUSIC: Sound quality is good not great."
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"Next to my old discontinued unsupported $200 creative Music Pro (same front panel as the FATAL1TY) its actually difficult to tell whats better."
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"I can hear a lot more of the recorded information so it is much more enjoyable to listen to music."
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"my mic and music sounds way better nice cheap upgrade big changes"
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"I was happy to note that music playback is much improved in quality, especially bass."
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"sound is clear while I stream any music from India ."
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Noise

Noise:
"My Complaint is that this card has some noise when not playing any sound."
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"This idle noise is rather annoying."
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"Only issue is the AEC noise cancellation for the mic is ungodly terrible, unusable so if you need a solution for voice activation for PC gaming you're going to need another solution."
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"One problem though, it made a hissing buzzing noise which pissed me off."
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"Absolutely perfect, easy install and cured the problem- no funky noise, and my collection of first person WWII games sound fantastic!"
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"Great sound quality and fixed the hissing noise when I send signal to my Roland amp."
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"The low noise performance is absolutely phenomenal - there is no hum, buzz, or hissing when there shouldn't be."
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"Sounded great for about 20 days, then I got this very high screeching noise from the right ear."
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"I've had zero problems with the card and have been pleased with the sound quality (no hiss or other noise)."
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"I don't listen to music or game on my computer but the cards produces reasonable sound quality with no noise when playing video clips from websites and similar uses."
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Performance

Performance:
"The low noise performance is absolutely phenomenal - there is no hum, buzz, or hissing when there shouldn't be."
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"Aside from the power issue, which is not the card's defect, the card has performed well."
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"I couldn't believe it actually performed better than my on-board alc 1150 which was the best on-board audio I've ever had the pleasure of listening to."
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"It performed really well from the start, but til about 2 months later after installing it into my pc, it just stopped working."
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"-Great price to performance ratio-A new take on sound quality in general, as this has changed my perspective on sound quality in general."
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Power

Power:
"The only major con I encountered was not being able to find the settings to power my stereo headphones."
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"Great sound, just make sure it will power your head phones if they have high impedence"
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"Sounds really great on my BMC PureDac feeding my Parasound A21 power amp -> floorstanding speakers."
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"Great little card to power up a set of HyperX Cloud gaming headset"
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"I'm not a gamer so can't comment on sound quality, but I'm a happy power user consumer."
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"I am currently using Steelseries Siberia V2, and even for a lower-mid range headset, this sound card powers it well."
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Price

Price:
"Please save yourself the time, money, and hassle and buy a different sound card, preferably one not manufactured by Asus."
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"This was an inexpensive and excellent fix to the problem."
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"I could ahve save time and money had the Amazon description included this important caveat."
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"There was also the same sound glitches going on in Hitman: Blood Money."
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"When you subtract disappointing mic for the price of the card, card, you earn five stars."
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"I've heard about the XONAR brand a lot in the community and that basically pick a price range and get that and you wont be dissapointed."
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"This sound card is very good for the price, but keep in mind this will not work with any standard headphones!"
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"Great sound card at this price."
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"Excellent audio output, real easy install, and good price."
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"my mic and music sounds way better nice cheap upgrade big changes"
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"Very good software with many options, does an amazing job for an affordable sound card."
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Quality

Quality:
"Not only does the quality of the card disappoint me, but the fact that ASUS was unable to solve the problem without charging made it clear that ASUS isn't the brand it was before."
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"It's a good card to replace the onboard audio for a motherboard, but it's definitely not the greatest quality."
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"The sound quality is clear but there is a problem with latency between your input and output signals when trying to use for music studio recording."
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"I've had zero problems with the card and have been pleased with the sound quality (no hiss or other noise)."
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"The ASUS card was easy to install and fixed my problem and the sound quality is probably way better than it ever was with the original built-in audio function when it was working correctly."
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"I had gotten a sound card just so I can offload some of my cpu load, but did not expect the great sound quality to come out of this."
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"Good quality"
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"Great sound quality and fixed the hissing noise when I send signal to my Roland amp."
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"Sound was working, and quality was good, thus I decided to ignore this."
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"Sound quality is very good but the installation was stressful."
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"I would and have recommend this sound card as it is affordable and the quality of your sound will typically be better than on-board sound."
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Setting

Setting:
"In order to fix this problem, make sure you set the settings in the main tab to 6 Channel, and 5.1 Speakers (under Analog Out, if you are using cables A and B)."
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"Even the automated OS re-install but retain settings feature of Windows 8.1 failed to clear out the problem."
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"The only major con I encountered was not being able to find the settings to power my stereo headphones."
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"For me, the Xonar DG software fails to hold a default setting for speakers."
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"However, in addition to the no-stick default output settings problem, I see lots of users post laments about the failure of this automatic switching scheme as well."
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"However, it fails to hold that setting that for me and it fails to do that for many others, it seems."
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"Wow so much difference in headphone sound after I changed advanced settings to Exciter Mode (only use it if you have good headphones).Just WOW."
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"Sounds are clear, full and the EQ settings are great."
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"Great product for this price, easy to install, the software driver that comes with has all settings you need."
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"Make sure if you use this card that you play with the equalizer and find a setting that sounds good to your ear then tweak the equalizer to make it sound even better."
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"Personally I found the classical setting to be the best for me for any listening experience (rage against the machine, games, enya, pretty much everything)."
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Simple

Simple:
"do not buy this and i really don't like saying that because asus usually is a very good company and all there other equipment other then this that I've purchased has worked extremely well so i was shocked that they would put there name on such a crappy sound card and it is crappy I'm back to using my on-board audio card and have put xonar in the garbage where it belongs there are no fixes for this card its junk plain and simple please don't waste your money there are no fixes for this card trust me I've tried EVERYTHING!"
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"A simple shutdown and reboot of computer has fixed this problem for me every time.3) The included EQ in the utility is garbage."
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"I've read tons of forum posts that are simple fixes for my problem (i. e. making sure that Front Panel is unticked in Sound settings in Control Panel)."
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"Simple install, easy to setup and use."
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"do not buy this and i really don't like saying that because asus usually is a very good company and all there other equipment other then this that I've purchased has worked extremely well so i was shocked that they would put there name on such a crappy sound card and it is crappy I'm back to using my on-board audio card and have put xonar in the garbage where it belongs there are no fixes for this card its junk plain and simple please don't waste your money there are no fixes for this card trust me I've tried EVERYTHING!"
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"This card was simple and easy to install and best of all it works! "
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"Good card, affordable, and simple to use and install."
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"Great amp for headphones and headsets and has a lot of simple, easy to use features."
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Sound

Sound:
"So I bought this sound card to remedy that problem and it fixed it."
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"I spent hours screwing around with this card and was unable to get it working the same way that my onboard sound card did with the front panel jacks."
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"My Complaint is that this card has some noise when not playing any sound."
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"Very disappointing...very weak sound plus it had a high squeal I could hear when I turned up the volume...had to return it...not an improvement over on-board sound."
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"This card replaced an ancient Creative Soundblaster card that started to make weird poping sounds."
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"the only way to get bass is to use the flex bass just to get my woofer to work which makes the sound very painful(2 speakers and a woofer not all five) to listen too but its better then having no bass this card is JUNK!"
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"The card sounds great, installation was easy."
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"Better than the bestbuy sound blaster I spent $100 on"
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"This sound card is very good for the price, but keep in mind this will not work with any standard headphones!"
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"Great sound quality and fixed the hissing noise when I send signal to my Roland amp."
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"Also in has virtual Dolby Surround which sounds amazing."
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Speaker

Speaker:
"the only way to get bass is to use the flex bass just to get my woofer to work which makes the sound very painful(2 speakers and a woofer not all five) to listen too but its better then having no bass this card is JUNK!"
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"I wanted to not have to plug my speakers into my monitor because my monitor produced terrible sound."
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"My front port audio works now (a happy side effect, I guess it was a mobo problem) and I can plug my speakers into my computer and not my monitor."
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"Last but not least, it lacks the ability to change latency for ASIO capabilities, meaning if you want to use your computer as an amp, you're stuck with 80ms - 300ms of latency which you're unable to change so when you pluck your string on a guitar, your speaker would relay the sound much after."
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"After a long time, and by trial and error, I got the headset and speakers to work."
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"The Xonar seems to have cured many problems and my 5.1 speakers are 100% better."
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"Using the card with a pair of Creative T-40 speakers on a Dell XPS 630i computer."
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"I bought this card because someone gave me a set of nice Polk Audio surround speakers and an inexpensive Yamaha home theater system (model RX-V420).I attempted to use the system with my computer but I wasn't hopeful it would work, even using the optical audio input."
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"I have a pair of Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 speakers and they sounded amazing through the sound card."
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"One being the sound quality is great, both headphones and speakers, however some headphones and speakers will have a better improvement than others, the headphone I use currently sounds only a little better, while other headphones have a huge improvement."
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"When switching from Headphone mode to Speakers the hissing sound disappears, it is nice and quiet."
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Support

Support:
"4 stars because of Asus's horrible driver support."
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"DOES NOT WORK WITH WINDOWS 10.They only provide beta drivers which do not work and they will not support because... well they're beta."
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"Beware if you are buying for Windows 10, driver support is nonexistent."
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"Sadly Asus is horrible for driver support."
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"After exchanging more emails, the abysmal rebate e-mail support finally sent me a sentence saying I was missing the UPC as if I was unaware of that as I obtained that information from the rebate submission webpage."
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"Mine caused BSODs - once I finally navigated the horrible Creative support structure I found out that the card was suspect."
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"I had sent back a Sound Blaster Audigy FX because the amp failed to amplify some headphones and the SB Pro Studio software did not work no matter what I tried, and Creative's tech support is non-existent."
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"works on windows 7 with no problems and windows 8 with the latest drivers from the support site."
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"I previously used a Creative Audigy ZS2 in an old PC, and it was a huge pain because Creative's software driver support was practically non-existent."
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"I searched around and found this one that fits the bill:Pros- cheap- hd audio 96 24- header for front pannel ( very nice)- supports windows XP, Win7 and Linux ( all in one Pc)- Very high SNR that often can't be found from the low ends."
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"- The DG also even have a headphone amplifier built in (eliminating my need for the DAC entirely).- It supports 5.1 surround sound and is just a great looking card in general."
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Surround

Surround:
"Also in has virtual Dolby Surround which sounds amazing."
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"I bought this card because someone gave me a set of nice Polk Audio surround speakers and an inexpensive Yamaha home theater system (model RX-V420).I attempted to use the system with my computer but I wasn't hopeful it would work, even using the optical audio input."
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"very nice true 5.1 surround sound."
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"Not only that but the headphone surround 7.1 is simply the best."
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"After about 5 minutes with this thing i determined that was a complete load of crap .Pros:* General overall improvement from my realtek sound chip* Crap-ton of settings to tweak this thing to your liking* Both the asus and third party software for this device have a low memory footprint* The virtual surround sound is really good for gamingCons:* The asus software for this device is very well done and all but i prefer the Third Party Xonar Switch software because of itsinterface and instant application of settings."
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Value

Value:
"I'm upset cause thought the value was good, but it passes only PCM 2 channel."
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"Installed perfectly, has the HDMI passthrough capability, awesome card at a great value! "
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"Excellent value!"
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"This is the best sound card for the value on the market right now."
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"Overall, this card is both dependable, and a pretty good value as well! "
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"I'm upset cause thought the value was good, but it passes only PCM 2 channel."
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Volume

Volume:
"Additionally to this problem, the volume for recording mic didn't even appear as an option."
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"Just a mic giving these bbbbbbs on a bit higher volume ohms was disappointing."
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"It sounded ok but the bass seemed weak and the volume very low with a slight echo tin sound to it."
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"Some cards didn't install at all, while others would install but would give random problems like sound volume fluctuating or cutting out."
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"My whole problem- sound was adequate at low volumes, but when the music was paused or muted at high volume, the junk sound being generated by the computer was brutal."
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"Bass is much tighter, Highs are very clear and volume is much louder."
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"You will notice some improvement over onboard audio, as well as much higher volumes, but it's not going to blow your mind."
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"My whole problem- sound was adequate at low volumes, but when the music was paused or muted at high volume, the junk sound being generated by the computer was brutal."
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"The integrated headphone amp will drive up to about 120ohms with good clarity on 60+ohms mode with decent volume, but higher impedance pairs will start to lose fidelity."
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Windows

Windows:
"However when I updated to Windows 8, the card stopped working, I was unable to use the drivers on the CD, since they were compatible up to Windows 7."
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"If you are running on Windows 10 I definitely DO NOT recommend this card."
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"Beware if you are buying for Windows 10, driver support is nonexistent."
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"I had some weird issues getting the drivers to work in windows 10 but after deleting the drivers in device manager and reinstalling it did eventually work."
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"My Windows 7 automatically installed wrong driver."
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"However when I updated to Windows 8, the card stopped working, I was unable to use the drivers on the CD, since they were compatible up to Windows 7."
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"Recently I updated to Windows 10, and not only did the same problems persist, but now I am unable to uninstall the driver after the device goes unresponsive."
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"Works well in windows 10 PC."
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"At first I used a Windows 8.1 driver for Windows 10 and had no problems, when Asus released their Beta Windows 10 driver I updated to it and still have no problems."
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