ASUS Strix Soundcard Range Review
Published: 12th April 2016 | Source: ASUS | Price: From £62.99- £149.99 @ OCUK |
Audio quality is something that gamers often overlook, making do with a budget audio speaker setup or worse built-in monitor speakers. Those who have used a high-end audio setup or listen to music often will know that a good audio setup will make the difference between merely hearing a song or a game to being in that song or within the world of a game.
The Strix audio range is designed for those who yearn for a better in-game audio experience and to greatly improve their audio experience when listening to music or watching movies. The Strix range comes in to fill the gap between standard audio and audiophile grade audio, starting at a budget oriented price of £62.99 and moving to more premium grade prices as you move up the range.
What the Strix Range of Audio cards offers in one word is value, with all models offering fantastic audio quality and a large number of features for their respective price points. On the aesthetic side, this audio card is easily the best I have seen to date though I personally would have liked to see a back plate on the premium models.
Strix SOAR 7.1
What the Soar offers in one word is Value, coming in at a price-point of only £62.99. Yes, it will not give you the audio quality of the Raid Deluxe, or the extra features of the RAID Pro, but it brings to the table audio quality which cannot be matched by the majority of the onboard solutions you find on motherboards.
The SOAR is designed the be a great first step into the world of audio cards, offering a great price, aesthetic, and performance.
Upgrading to the Strix SOAR will reward you with a great audio experience for a very reasonable price, which while it is not the best that is available is still a huge improvement over the norm. Which is why is is receiving the OC3D Value for money award.
Strix RAID Pro
The soundcard with the RAID Pro is the same as that on the SOAR, but what the RAID offers is a big upgrade in functionality and ease of use with its Volume control wheel and RAID mode functionality, which allows you to more finely tune your audio experience on the fly.
With this product and more expensive RAID Deluxe, ASUS' Sonic Studio audio control panel really comes into its own, allowing you to customize everything you need to so that you audio suits your specific needs.
With the same PCB as the Strix SOAR this card will be a hard sell to some of you, but if you are a gamer you will truly appreciate how handy it is to adjust you microphone and game volume on the fly while never interrupting you gameplay experience, making the Strix RAID Pro much more than a mere desk ornament, though a good looking one it is.
With the price of £99.95 the RAID Pro offers a great balance between ease of use, audio customization and performance, but to many gamers the extra £37 for the ASUS RAID Pro volume wheel might be a bit too much, especially given how much the SOAR and the RAID Deluxe give for your money.
Regardless we think that this product is a great balance between the two extremes of the Strix range and has a lot to offer gamers and entry level audio enthusiasts alike which is why we are giving it the OC3D seal of approval.
Strix RAID Deluxe
The RAID Deluxe is the highest end model of the Strix audio range, coming in with a different PCB and higher grade audio components and the ease of use and audio customization ability that the RAID Pro had before it.
This model has a clearly the best audio quality of the range, offering best in class gaming audio while at the same time giving music lovers and audiophiles very little to complain about. This sound card straddles the line between gaming grade audio components and premium audiophile grade, offering a great value at £149.99 when it is bundled with the Strix Audio controller/volume wheel.
The only complaint that we have with this model is it's lack of a backplate, though it is a complaint that is pretty minor at best given the audio quality and value of this product, which is why the Strix Raid Deluxe has received the OC3D Gamers Choice award.