ASUS Xonar DG Audio Card
As we saw in the objective RightMark tests, the ASUS Xonar DG is an impressive entry-level sound card. It packs an extensive feature set that’s often found in cards that cost several times more, but doesn’t sacrifice quality for a lower price. Inexpensive doesn’t mean cheap in this instance. However, for a few dollars more you could upgrade to the DS and have the better AV200 HD APU found on ASUS’s higher quality cards. As the two cards sit stock from ASUS you won’t hear any major quality differences between them, but having the option to change that scenario is a huge deal when you consider the price to potential performance aspect.
The software package and control panel interface is one of the best we’ve seen, bringing a straightforward and intuitive interface with a robust feature set and good control. Seeing as this card was designed for people who prefer to use cans over speakers it was nice to see that the software included with the DG had the option to adjust the impedance depending on what quality of headset that you have. Functionally speaking in terms of the card itself, we do love the low profile form, making it an appropriate choice in size for an affordable HTPC setup, or perhaps it would better suited for a small form gaming chassis like a shuttle. Of course, the PCI interface could pose a problem as motherboard manufacturers start to drop the legacy ports to support the more current hardware. But for the price, we really can’t complain.
Audiophiles won’t be looking at a card like this, but there is a large market for consumers looking to upgrade an existing system that may have poor audio for older mainboards. The feature set and very attractive price would be a great upgrade on the cheap. Considering the quality and performance offered here, we think the ASUS Xonar DG is a discrete audio card that offers some substantial value. At the time of writing this review the Xonar DG can be found for $30 USD. For this price, it’s an outstanding value upgrade from onboard sound.
ASUS Xonar DG