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Asus Shows Off ROG Xonar Phoebus Solo Sound Card

Asus has announced the Republic of Gamers (ROG) Xonar Phoebus Solo 7.1 PCIe gaming sound card. It is targeted at gamers, as the name plainly says, and is therefore equipped with some technologies that many gamers might find interesting.

For starters, to please the ear-trained gamer Asus has packed the card with positional audio and Dolby Home Theater V4 audio enhancements. The sound card even has a number of preset profiles for specific genres, such as FPS, RTS, RPG and racing.

Of course, no sound card is complete without some effective HiFi goodies. Asus has equipped the sound card with a TPA6120A2 600 ohm headphone amplifier. This not only makes the headphones able to go louder, but at any volume level operate much more controlled. (Most standard stereo out ports do not provide nearly enough power to drive most headphones in a controlled manner.)

Other specifications include 118 dB SNR (Signal-to-noise Ratio), the card has support for the new DTS UltraPC II, and it carries a PCM1796 DAC (Digital-to-analog Converter).

So far there has been no official word on pricing or availability.

Niels Broekhuijsen

Niels Broekhuijsen is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He reviews cases, water cooling and pc builds.

  • weierstrass
    There are still people who buy sound cards?
    Reply
  • SuckRaven
    Tom's needs to do a sound card shootout. It's been a while since I've seen the current players in the sound card space reviewed anywhere. (I'm guessing Creative is no longer relevant?) What about other manufacturers' cards like Azunetech? I'd really like to see Tom's do a nice sound card shootout for 2013.
    Reply
  • jordanjkj
    10701768 said:
    There are still people who buy sound cards?

    Yes because sound cards audio quality is immensely better than onboard. Although onboard quality has gotten a lot better.
    Reply
  • samwelaye
    Im scared to get a soundcard with a headphone amp. If my computer spoils me with the great sound i'll never be able to listen to music from my phone. My car did the same thing when I got an amp and sub, now I cant stand listening to music in other cars
    Reply
  • Marcus52
    Hopefully this is an upgraded version of the previous Phoebus with better sound and/or a lower price tag. The sound quality of the first one just didn't match the price.
    Reply
  • Thomas Hock
    Sound card sales are not what they use to be. The only sound cards I sell are replacements for older computers. On-board sound cards are way, way, way better than old on-board setups. Were looking at less than 1% market for this add-on card for sure. I don't think I've spoken to anyone in the past 6 years that brags about his sound card anymore. Not like the good old days >_> on-board cards popping on start up and all.
    Reply
  • JPForums
    10701775 said:
    I'm guessing Creative is no longer relevant?
    No, Creative is still relevant. I'd hate to seem them go given that there isn't enough competition left in the soundcard industry. Thankfully, they've finally managed to release a soundcard with replaceable OpAmps. I'm not sold on much of the rest of their lineup, but the Titanium HD is a via option for some people.

    Reply
  • itchyisvegeta
    Good to see Sound Cards are still on the cutting edge, even though onboard audio has gotten significantly better over the years. I bought my Fatal1ty sound card a year ago off Newegg, when it was on sale, and have no regrets.
    Reply
  • bgunner
    Sound cards offer much better quality and more options than on-board solutions. The only way I would consider replacing my sound card to this is if it had a recording option like the one I have now. I've had My Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Gamer card since 2008 and have built a new system since then. I tried the on-board solution before installing my sound card to Hear the difference between my old on-board vs. new on-board vs. sound card and there is still a major difference. Not to mention if my speakers play the sound, I can record it, mix it and change it. Try to do that with standard on-board sound with out spending money for a recording program. The equalizer is real nice to have to to adjust to your liking for game sounds.
    Reply
  • WyomingKnott
    10701831 said:
    Im scared to get a soundcard with a headphone amp. If my computer spoils me with the great sound i'll never be able to listen to music from my phone. My car did the same thing when I got an amp and sub, now I cant stand listening to music in other cars
    Then I dare you to try one of these: http://www.raysamuelsaudio.com/products/predator
    Massively great portable headphone sound. With DAC.
    Reply