Speaking technically, let's start by looking at some specifications.
- Output Signal-to-Noise Ratio (A-Weighted): 105 dB
- Input Signal-to-Noise Ratio (A-Weighted): 103 dB
- Output THD+N at 1kHz: 0.0025% (-92dB)
- Input THD+N at 1kHz: 0.0022% (-93dB)
- Frequency Response (-3dB, 24-bit/96kHz input): -10Hz to 48kHz
- Output/Input Full-Scale Voltage: 1Vrms (3Vp-p)
- C-Media CMI8786 High-Definition Sound Processor (Max.96KHz/24bit)
- 24-bit D-A Converter of Digital Sources: Cirrus Logic CS4245*1 (104dB DNR, Max. 192KHz/24bit) /
- Cirrus Logic CS4361*1 (103dB DNR, Max. 192KHz/24bit)
- 24-bit A-D Converter for Analog Inputs: Cirrus Logic CS4245*1 (104dB DNR, Max. 192KHz/24bit)
- High Fidelity Headphone Amplifier: Optimized for 32~150O
The DG when compared against other members of the Xonar family on paper comes out a little bit worse for ware. However, this is partly due to the incredibly respectable figures of some of the others and also because this is meant to be a Xonar that won't bust the bank.
One of the more interesting aspects of the spec list comes in the way of processor choice, which is that of a C-Media CMI8786 rather that an in house AV100 or AV66 which many of the other Xonars use. This particular chip can sample up to 96KHz with 24-bits of depth, which is really quite enough for what this board sets out to achieve.
THD or harmonic distortion levels are pretty good overall, as are most of the other particulars on the spec sheet. There has also been the choice made to use Cirrus Logic DAC's (signal converters) for the DG (pictured below) which have been a popular choice with many sound cards we have seen.
Lastly, of immediate interest is the headphone amp which can support headsets ranging all the way up to 150ohms.
Overall, that's the meat of it. As you can grasp by now, this Xonar has a pretty basic set of targets it wants to meet when it comes to gaming and support for a set of headphones. Outside of that, we do not see any 'Fine Gold' resistors of specialist audio components on this board.
Interesting on a quick last point here; unlike previous Xonars with headphone amp support, this one does not require a four pin power supply in order to boot up.