If you're a hardcore gamer, your PC has likely seen a few processor and graphics card upgrades, but if you're neglecting your sound card, you may be doing yourself a disservice. An ASUS STRIX sound card can give you the sound you've been missing.

The ASUS STRIX line of sound cards aims to make your gaming experience better. Whether you're exploring a world in a massive multiplayer online role-playing game or a first-person shooter – it submerges you in sound. The 116 dB signal-to-noise ratio offers clear audio, nearly free of the noise produced by your PC's inner workings.

ASUS STRIX sound cards use a dedicated PCIe power connector, which means it won't draw power from your PC's motherboard the way an on-board sound card does. These sound cards have their own processing power, freeing up a bit of your PC's processor, which allows your PC to focus its efforts on memory and speed for other components – you may even get higher frames per second if you switch out your on-board sound card for a dedicated sound card like an ASUS STRIX card.

This line of sound cards includes a built-in headphone amplifier that enhances the sound you hear. Virtual surround sound lets you use headphones but still hear detailed sounds all around you, like footsteps behind you or next to you in your game. There are also audio modes you can turn on or off to enhance the sound you hear, such as the bass boost, which intensifies bass in sounds or scores. A vocal mode reduces background noise so you can hear clear, crisp audio of a person speaking without distracting noise.

One of the extras you get with certain ASUS STRIX sound cards is Sonar Radar Pro. This is a head's-up display (HUD) that helps detect actions around you in-game, which gives you an advantage in some games. You can see and hear where an enemy is with this unique feature.

Although it seems like a bit of a gimmick, these sound cards come with lighting effects. So, if you have a PC case that shows off your components, you can see your sound card light up in the dark.

Most dedicated sound cards give you control over your audio through the included software, and the STRIX family of sound cards offers this customization in a variety of ways. You can control your volume through the software and indicate whether you're using headphones or speakers. You can set the sample rate and frequency here, too.

A good sound card like the ASUS STRIX line is necessary when your main hobby is gaming. The total immersion allows you to hear every aural detail to give you an advantage against your virtual enemy, and reduction of noise lets you clearly communicate your team to a win.