Testing - Continued
Put simply, the Essence sounds great through its digital out and I would imagine even better when the sample rate goes up to 192 KHz.
At the end of this review I will include images of the test results run by ASUS in their labs using their $27,000 audio precision testing equipment, for those interested in viewing them. I thought it better to do it this way rather than explain each parameter, otherwise this review could suddenly span out 10 fold.
The Essence STX features a very nice signal-to-noise ratio, total harmonic distortion, crosstalk, frequency response and other impressive results. And without delving into the science behind it, I'll simply say from the instant you listen for the first time you can really hear these factors come into play in creating such an impressive sound stage.
Looking back, we have come so far since I had my first Sound Blaster Live! upwards of seven years ago and the leaps in sound quality have been pronounced since then.