Asus has announced the expansion of its owl-themed Strix family with the unveiling of three new gamer-oriented soundcards: the Strix Raid DLX, Strix Raid Pro, and Strix Soar.
Joining the company's Strix graphics cards, the Strix soundcard range has as its headline the Strix Raid DLX. Described as a a 'premium
' soundcard for gamers who have decided that on-board sound is a no-go area, Asus claims to have designed the card with premium components including the ESS SABRE9016 32-bit/24-bit digital to analogue converter (DAC). The card includes support for 192KHz 24-bit playback and 7.1-channel surround-sound output, and boasts an impressive 124dB signal-to-noise ratio. An integrated 600-Ohm headphone amplifier is also included, promising the power to drive even high-end headphones.
The Raid Pro and Soar, meanwhile, drop down to the lower-end but still high-performance ESS SABRE9006A DEC, which drops the signal to noise ratio down to 116dB. All models, however, include low-dropout regulators, 'hi-fi grade capacitors
,' and the aforementioned headphone amplifier, along with Asus' Sonic Studio software. This latter allows easy adjustment of audio settings including Perfect Voice, a system designed for multiplayer gamers which Asus claims reduces background noise to make in-game voice transmissions clearer. It also includes Sonic Radar Pro, which maps in-game sounds to an on-screen overlay - pointing the direction to an enemy through their footsteps, for example.
The Raid editions have an additional feature above the Soar, too: Raid Mode. A somewhat oddly-picked name for what amounts to a user-configurable settings database, Raid Mode allows the user to configure different audio settings for different scenarios and then switch between them on-the-fly using a dedicated button on the bundled desk-mounted control module.
UK pricing and availability have yet to be confirmed, with more information available on Asus' website