Well I was getting a bit nervous about my newly acquired quad core processor and motherboard after I started getting the BSOD lately. It turned out (as I should have suspected) that it was my old Creative Soundblaster X-treme Gamer sound card that was dying off. So, after finally expiring last week, I decided to head to Micro Center this weekend to pick up a new one. I went to my reliable tech guru and he handed me the Asus Xonar, a well-rated sound card under $100.
Opening it was somewhat underwhelming because it looked exactly like my old sound card and didn’t come with a sticker to put on the front of my desktop… but soon it was hard to care about that.
After installing it and realizing I had to feed it extra power from my power supply, I downloaded the latest driver and booted up Winamp to test it with a few various tracks. I started up the Asus Xonar control panel to see what sound settings I could play with.
I was pleased to see that they have their priorities straight in what sorts of locations people prefer to listen to music in. Some of the settings were hilarious and it seems like some of them were built in for people listening to music when high, such as the “blurred” and “dizzy” settings which just caused the music to reverb and get wobbly.
I know I probably won’t use some of these settings often but just the fact that there’s a large variety to play with makes me happier with my money spent. The sound quality itself is brilliant. Even right now I’m listening to songs I’ve heard hundreds of times and they actually, if possible, sound better with this sound card. For 89.99 this card has already proved itself more worthy than my old Creative X-treme gamer card and now I’m off to find how it fares in games.