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ASUS is one of the biggest manufacturers of sound cards, and Xonar is one of its most popular lines. The series includes several versions, including the ASUS Xonar DX and DG, among others. Depending on your needs, one of these sound cards can deliver the clear sound you crave.

One of the most important specs of any sound card is the signal-to-noise ratio, which generally runs lower than 90 dB for on-board sound cards. The ASUS Xonar sound cards reach upwards of 116 dB for output, and the lower-priced cards in this series only go as low as 105 dB, which can still give you a discernable difference if you have the right equipment.

When it comes to the total harmonic distortion (THD), you're looking at percentages as low as 0.0004 and 0.0022, which offer lower distortion as you listen to music, watch movies or play video games. This means you get a clear sound that's close to the original recording.

One of the biggest benefits of buying an ASUS Xonar sound card as opposed to using your motherboard's built-in sound card is that you get more inputs and outputs, and it handles some of the processing, which frees up your PC's processor to handle other jobs.

Like many premium sound cards, the ASUS Xonar family of sound cards supports Dolby technology, so you get realistic surround sound for multiple channels. All of them are capable of supporting 5.1-channel surround sound, and some can handle 7.1, which gives you two more speakers, for a fuller, richer sound all around you.

If you enjoy playing with settings, you'll find some fun features in the ASUS Xonar sound card software, such as karaoke functions, Magic Voice and an equalizer. You can adjust the keys of songs, cancel voices (so you can sing along with the music only) and change the microphone echo. Magic Voice lets you change the sound of your voice for fun – just make sure you aren't using a USB mic or it won't work.

ASUS Xonar is a good line of sound cards for you if you want more control over your audio and you want one step up in quality over your on-board sound card. It includes some fun features, and it's a must for gamers who want surround sound.

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