ASUS Strix Soundcard Range Review
Published: 12th April 2016 | Source: ASUS | Price: From £62.99- £149.99 @ OCUK |
We will start off with the budget oriented section of the Strix audio range with the Strix Soar, a £62.99 sound card which is designed to lure the mainstream onboard audio users to enter the dedicated sound card market.
What the Soar has is a proven design, a lovely gamer oriented aesthetic and offers a great deal of audio quality for the price.
Being the basic ASUS model it does come with less in the box that the more premium versions, though the only real thing that is different between the Strix Soar and the Strix Raid Pro is that the Soar does not include the Independent volume control unit and the Raid features it enables, which may not be that much of a loss for some people.
In the box, you have everything you need, drivers, instructions and a Strix Themed fan sticker, which will allow you to easily make you components match.
Aesthetically speaking the Strix Soar is a very pretty 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.
In terms of audio quality it offers a great improvement over onboard audio solutions and offers audio quality which is simply fantastic for this units low price. While the more expensive Strix Deluxe and ASUS Escence STX II will offer a higher fidelity audio experience the Strix Soar offers fantastic audio performance as an entry-level product and certainly offers a better experience than any onboard audio solution.
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.