ASUS Strix Soundcard Range Review
Published: 12th April 2016 | Source: ASUS | Price: From £62.99- £149.99 @ OCUK |
Strix Raid Deluxe
Moving to the high end of the Strix Audio range and a price tag of £149.99 the Strix Deluxe offers a very big and noticeable upgrade in audio quality over it's lower end counterparts, so much so that this product moves in our eyes from a gaming grade part to a part which even audiophiles can enjoy.
What we would call the ASUS Strix Deluxe is a premium gaming sound card, offering a fantastic in-game audio experience that also functions great when playing music or watching videos. Audiophiles will be able to do better with ASUS' more expensive dedicated sound cards, like the Essence STX II, but for the price of £149.99 this sound card offers a great value.
Inside the box may look a lot like the Strix Raid Pro, but the sound card itself has a very different PCB design and a much higher Signal-to-noise ratio of 124dB, which is 8dB higher than the Strix Soar or Raid Pro models.
Even when glimpsing the PCB from the side of the Soundcard we can immediately see that there have been big changes in the design, which is the exact reason why this model offers superior audio quality.
The one thing that we would have liked to see from the flagship model of the Strix Audio range would have been a full-cover backplate, but with the audio quality that this card provides this is only a minor complaint.
Looking at the PCB directly we can see that there has been a clear upgrade to the components used in it, which does a lot to justify the higher price tag of this model. The sound card may be powered by the same 6-pin power connector and fit inside the same form factor as the other Strix models, but you can rest assured that underneath there has been more than a few significant changes in the PCB design and component selection.
Board Design - Low Interference
With the ASUS Strix series of sound cards, ASUS has done everything possible to avoid interference with our audio from any external source, covering the card with a stylish EMI shield, and separating the analog and Digital parts of the PCB with two ground layers.
Nothing crosses over on the PCB of this Audio card, allowing no part of this card to interfere with each other. This allows the Strix series of audio cards to deliver clean and pure audio, which will allow you to get the best our of your headphones or speakers.
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 Sound card 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.