Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Creative SB X-Fi Titanium Champion VS. ASUS Xonar Essence STX??

Tags:
  • Sound Cards
  • Super Computer
  • Components
Last response: in Components
Share
June 21, 2010 5:09:29 AM

Well, I was all set to buy the parts for my super computer and had decided on the X-Fi Tatanium Champion Series.

Until I started doing more research about competitors' sound cards (Google is evil sometimes).

Long story short: I'm NOT a gamer. I don't care about being able to hear footsteps of my enemies behind me.

But, I LOVE my music and want the absolute BEST sound quality possible. I will also be getting the best over-the-ear headphones I can afford, but I'll worry about those later. Ideally, I want the card to be perfect for both superior headphones and also superior 7.1 surround sound.

What's the way to go, ladies and gents?


ASUS Xonar Essence STX

Creative PCI Express Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Champion Series

HT | OMEGA CLARO Plus+ 7.1


After this, I'm going to stop second-guessing myself about my build, or it will never actually GET built. HELP!! Thanks!

More about : creative titanium champion asus xonar essence stx

June 21, 2010 5:48:51 AM

The Claro and the STX should be about the same. Not sure which one has better opamps.
m
0
l
June 21, 2010 6:07:22 AM

astrallite said:
The Claro and the STX should be about the same. Not sure which one has better opamps.


Is it your opinion that both of those are superior to the Creative? Should I even consider the Creative with those other two?
m
0
l
Related resources
June 21, 2010 7:47:08 AM

The X-Fi chipset uses an internal resampling algorithm that was designed to work around the audio limitations of Windows XP (kmixer). The Windows XP architecture by default resampled all signals to 48KHz. Because such a resampling is lossy, and kmixer is a low quality integer resampler, the X-Fi was designed to alleviate the quality loss by overriding it with its own, higher quality resampler.

For Windows Vista and 7, the audio architecture was rebuilt (now using high quality floating point calculations and capable of versatile sample rates and bit-for-bit playback) and now the X-Fi algorithms are to the detriment of sound quality, rather than beneficial.

The X-Fi is a fossil, but if you are still using Windows XP, no doubt it's among the best.
m
0
l
June 21, 2010 2:44:41 PM

For music, the Asus is the card to get, although i'm not sure how good it's virtual surround is.
m
0
l
June 21, 2010 6:14:26 PM

astrallite said:
The X-Fi chipset uses an internal resampling algorithm that was designed to work around the audio limitations of Windows XP (kmixer). The Windows XP architecture by default resampled all signals to 48KHz. Because such a resampling is lossy, and kmixer is a low quality integer resampler, the X-Fi was designed to alleviate the quality loss by overriding it with its own, higher quality resampler.

For Windows Vista and 7, the audio architecture was rebuilt (now using high quality floating point calculations and capable of versatile sample rates and bit-for-bit playback) and now the X-Fi algorithms are to the detriment of sound quality, rather than beneficial.

The X-Fi is a fossil, but if you are still using Windows XP, no doubt it's among the best.


Thanks for the reply, very informative.

I'd be using Windows 7 64-bit, and like I said above, it wouldn't be for gaming. It would be for superior music quality and the occasional DVD. And like mi1ez said, he recommends the Asus. Is that the consensus way to go?
m
0
l
June 21, 2010 7:40:14 PM

Both the Claro and Xonar use Dolby/DTS Surround techs, which a lot of people [myself included] think does a better job then CMSS-3d. Can't go wrong with either, but the STX wins clarity wise [by 4db] over the Claro. Both are built on basically the same C-media chipset, and offer mostly the same features, so its really down to price between them.

I do note: Both the STX and Claro by itself are limited to Stereo/5.1, and can not get 7.1 output unless paired with its daughter card.
m
0
l
June 21, 2010 8:31:37 PM

gamerk316 said:
Both the Claro and Xonar use Dolby/DTS Surround techs, which a lot of people [myself included] think does a better job then CMSS-3d. Can't go wrong with either, but the STX wins clarity wise [by 4db] over the Claro. Both are built on basically the same C-media chipset, and offer mostly the same features, so its really down to price between them.

I do note: Both the STX and Claro by itself are limited to Stereo/5.1, and can not get 7.1 output unless paired with its daughter card.


Interesting note about the daughter card; I didn't know that.

OK, let's forget 7.1 surround. What if I plan to listen to my music with a great set of over-the-ear headphones and a decent 5.1 surround set-up. Would the STX or Claro still accommodate that excellently?

Also, I forgot to mention. I want to be able to import a large collection of my parents' vinyl records onto my computer. Would either card do this better than the other, or is it all about my import settings?

Thanks again guys for all your help, you're all an excellent resource!!
m
0
l
June 21, 2010 9:19:54 PM

The STX is designed more for the stereo enthusiast in mind. It has a larger EMI shield that covers the stereo RCA outs (notice it does not cover the headphone outs) and RCA by design has lower crosstalk because the channels are seperated. There's a big difference in quality between the RCA (124db SNR) and the headphone outs (110db SNR).

The other ports are spdif in and spdif out on the STX, which are clearly designed for home theater equipment.

To me headphones came second on the STX. The Claro is designed more for PCs in mind, the regular stereo minijack ports for computer speakers. It's $30 cheaper and my guess is the headphone quality is about the same, they both have opamps.
m
0
l
June 22, 2010 4:58:41 AM

astrallite said:
The STX is designed more for the stereo enthusiast in mind. It has a larger EMI shield that covers the stereo RCA outs (notice it does not cover the headphone outs) and RCA by design has lower crosstalk because the channels are seperated. There's a big difference in quality between the RCA (124db SNR) and the headphone outs (110db SNR).

The other ports are spdif in and spdif out on the STX, which are clearly designed for home theater equipment.

To me headphones came second on the STX. The Claro is designed more for PCs in mind, the regular stereo minijack ports for computer speakers. It's $30 cheaper and my guess is the headphone quality is about the same, they both have opamps.


OK, I'm finally getting it. So, if you had a basic 2.1 computer speaker setup, you could use the provided phono to RCA adapter to connect those speakers to this card, correct?

Or, with slightly less quality, you could use headphones directly to the card, right? Would a case's front headphone port still work with the card?

I'm still confused about the surround sound issue. I don't have a 5.1 surround sound setup, but it's something I might pursue in the future. Is it possible to do that with this card, and if so, how? With the SPIDF?

Thanks again for all your help. I've never understood all the technicals of sound equipment -- I just know what sounds good and what sounds bad.
m
0
l
June 22, 2010 12:13:14 PM

Yeah, SPDIF is the old standard for connecting home theatre equipment digitally. There is one downside however: The only way to carry a 5.1 signal over any SPDIF connection [Coaxial or Optical] is to carry a compressed signal such as Dolby Digital or DTS, as the SPDIF standard does not have the bandwith to carry uncompressed 5.1 audio.

This means that at the other side of the connection, you need a decoder to uncompress the audio again into something speakers can play back, which is getting more into the relm of Home Theatre systems.

Both the STX and the Claro were designed for stereo outputs to high quality speakers, or outputting 5.1 via powered SPDIF. The daughter cards provide the standard PC 7.1 audio. If that setup is a problem, then you might want to go a tier lower, possibly with something like the ASUS HDAV 1.3, or Auzentech Home Theatre HD. While geared toward Home Theatre systems [HDMI in/output, decoders for most audio formats], they still offer excellent quality compared to most other sound cards.

Trust me, I'm still figuring stuff out; I made so many mistakes at my first go at this type of thing, so I know where you're comming from. :D 
m
0
l
June 22, 2010 6:40:21 PM

gamerk316 said:
Yeah, SPDIF is the old standard for connecting home theatre equipment digitally. There is one downside however: The only way to carry a 5.1 signal over any SPDIF connection [Coaxial or Optical] is to carry a compressed signal such as Dolby Digital or DTS, as the SPDIF standard does not have the bandwith to carry uncompressed 5.1 audio.

This means that at the other side of the connection, you need a decoder to uncompress the audio again into something speakers can play back, which is getting more into the relm of Home Theatre systems.

Both the STX and the Claro were designed for stereo outputs to high quality speakers, or outputting 5.1 via powered SPDIF. The daughter cards provide the standard PC 7.1 audio. If that setup is a problem, then you might want to go a tier lower, possibly with something like the ASUS HDAV 1.3, or Auzentech Home Theatre HD. While geared toward Home Theatre systems [HDMI in/output, decoders for most audio formats], they still offer excellent quality compared to most other sound cards.

Trust me, I'm still figuring stuff out; I made so many mistakes at my first go at this type of thing, so I know where you're comming from. :D 


Thanks for all your help gamer!

I think I'm going to go with the Essence STX. After days of research, it just seems like the best card for my current, and near-future, needs. I'll be buying a great set of over-the-ear headphones, so as to not disturb my roommates, and I'll also be getting a nicer desktop 2.1 set. Seems like the STX will be excellent for those uses, right?

And down the road if I go the 5.1 route, I'll probably just run it through a receiver, so I could use the SPDIF like you said. As of now, surround sound is not a priority. But, if it works amazingly well for headphones and 2.1 setups, I'm sold.
m
0
l
June 22, 2010 7:02:11 PM

Sounds like you'll enjoy the STX then.
m
0
l
July 6, 2012 12:54:12 AM

Man iv had all three of those card and i know them well.... ill make it short and sweet ill rate all three from 1 to 10 and 10 is the best....The HT Omega Claro Plus 9.5 Asus Xonar Essence STX 9.5 only difference between these two cards is on the Asus it has a way stronger earphone amp but im not going to use this against the HT Omega because this card has DTS so over all there pretty well the same...Now the Creative X-Fi Titanium Fatality 1..a 6.0 myself i didnt like the card first it wasn't a loud card and also wasnt by far a audiophile sound card like the other two...So when it comes to choosing the card between the other two best thing to do is flip a coin either card is boss...My very new rig has the asus and my movie rig has the Onega...very pleased with both...
m
0
l
!