Saturday, May 18, 2013

HARDWARE - ASUS Xonar DS 7.1 Audio PCI Card

My WinXP desktop system's audio card was a bit 'long in the tooth.'  So I thought I'd search for a new one via Google.

I found something I did not expect, the ASUS Xonar DS 7.1 Audio PCI Card. (I bought via Amazon)

Why?  See below:

(click for larger view)

The Smart Volume Normalization (SVN) is something I've been waiting for ever since I discovered a way to have my iTunes/iPod do the same thing.  That is, play my iPod music without having to adjust between loud and low songs (set volume and forget).

For iTunes/iPod all I had to do is make sure to enable Sound-Check on both, and run a utility called iVolume.  iVolume fine-tunes the Sound-Check value by scanning each song and setting it to the master volume level you set in iVolume.  Which is what SVN does in the Xonar.

Here's the card:

(click for larger view)

Here's the Audio Center:

(click for larger view)

Note that I have SVN enabled (turquoise highlighted button) and the level bar-indicator is titled [Smart Volume].

The [ ^ ] opens the full menu list.

SVN works!  I set the master volume knob and everything plays at that volume.  No more having to adjust for differences between inputs (games, music, WEB, etc).

Xonar DS also includes Flex Bass which can be enabled for those who do not have a powered subwoffer speaker system.

CAUTION:  If you have a game that does NOT automatically detect a new audio card and run a configuration utility, you may have to start a new-game.  This is the case with Skyrim.

WARNING:  Using the GX (Gamers) DSP Mode can cause some games to crash.
Examples:  Oblivion, Skyrim, Inquisitor RPG

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