ASUS Strix Soundcard Range Review
Published: 12th April 2016 | Source: ASUS | Price: From £62.99- £149.99 @ OCUK |
Strix Raid Pro
The Strix Raid Pro is the model which bridges the gap between the high and the low end of the Strix Audio stack, offering the full feature-set of the higher end Strix Deluxe but with the Sound card at the core using the same design as the lower end Strix Soar.
The biggest difference between the Soar and the Raid Pro is what comes in the box, the Raid Pro gives us the Strix Raid Pro Volume control knob and a set of high quality braided cables to connect it to your PC. The Strix Volume control wheel not only offers the user on-the-fly volume control but also offers the Strix Raid mode functionality, allowing the user to also customize set audio options on the fly when using ASUS' Sonic Studio audio control panel, like Bass, Mic Volume or EQ.
Aside from the Sound card and the Strix Raid Volume control knob the box contains everything you need to set up your audio new system, with drivers, instructions, required cables and a Strix Themed fan sticker, which will allow you to easily make you components match.
The sound card itself is almost exactly the same as the Strix Soar, offering the same high-quality construction and the same premium look. The only difference is on the side of the sound card, where the card will say Raid Pro instead of Soar.
Aesthetically speaking the Strix Raid Pro is a nice looking soundcard, with a nice dark aesthetic which will easily compliment almost any piece of modern hardware. The orange Strix logo/eye LED on the base of the Soundcard is something which will not please everyone, but given the fact that this LED can be turned off and the fact that this soundcard will almost certainly be sitting beside a GPU means that it will almost never be seen unless you want it too.
The card itself is powered by a single 6-pin PCI-e power connector and has a very nice aesthetically pleasing PCB which is designed from the ground up so that there is no cross-over interference between digital and analog signal.
The PCB is exactly the same as the lower end Strix Soar model, so audio quality is the same as it's lower end counterpart, but the big difference comes with the Strix Raid Volume control know, which will allow the user to control not just volume on the fly but also allows you to adjust EQ, bass and Mic volume using ASUS' Sonic Studio's Raid mode function.
The Strix Volume control unit is a unit which screams quality, from the unit's braided cables and brushed metal volume wheel, which is exactly what we would expect from the unit given the fact that it raises the price of the Strix Raid Pro over £35 above the Strix Soar.
Strix Raid Volume control
The Strix Raid volume controller will only come with ASUS' Strix Raid Pro and Raid DLX models, but what it offers is a great deal of easy on the fly audio customization options and allows the users to quickly switch from Headphone and speaker audio outputs using the clickable switch on the rotary dial. .
The Raid button is a user customizable button which can have it's function change when used with ASUS' Sonic Studio, allowing the user to control Bass, surround options, Mic Volume and even set the EQ.
With Strix being a Gaming oriented brand, it is almost expected that there would be some form of illumination on the product. On the Strix Soundcard series the Strix "owl eyes" will light up orange, which is something that looks very nice from a side on view.
All of the Strix Sound cards can be used with ASUS' Sonic Sound Studio, giving the user full control over your audio, from EQ adjustment to full 7.1 speaker level balancing.
From a single page, ASUS places every piece of information you need in front of you, leaving every adjustment option just a click away. From this app, you can also define several user pre-set audio profiles to suit different requirements.
Sonic Radar Pro
Sonic Radar Pro is a Unique ASUS technology which allows users to place a "sonic radar" on your games HUD (heads-up display) so that you can know exactly where a noise comes from, giving you a distinct advantage in multiplayer games, especially FPS games.
While some may call this software a "cheat", it is very useful to those who do not have surround audio setups, or have difficulty hearing, so it does have legitimate uses.