Asus achieves yet another first with the Asus Xonar Essence One, being the company’s maiden outing where a USB DAC (Digital-to-Analog Converter) is concerned. Of course, Asus knows that you never get a second chance at making a first impression, which is why the Xonar Essence One is a true blue, audiophile-class device that might just make you fall in love with it at first sight. Audiophiles will be able to let you know that op-amps are the forces behind a DAC, delivering its unique tonal qualities, and just a minority of USB DACs carry this feature – we’re glad to say that the Asus Xonar Essence One is part of this elite group.
Sporting an eleven (replaceable) op-amp design, it is a whole lot easier to tweak the sound signature according to your hearts’ content. Apart from that, this puppy sports a signal to noise ratio of 120dB, and to round it off, Asus decided to let it function as a standalone DAC if the need arises courtesy of its S/PDIF input option. No idea on when it will hit the market, and for how much, but we will just have to be patient with the additional details.