|ASUS Xonar HDAV 1.3 Deluxe sound card review|
|Specification&heading=ASUS Xonar HDAV 1.3 Deluxe review|
|ASUS Xonar HDAV 1.3 Deluxe|
|Test setup, RightMark Audio Analyser|
|3D audio performance, subjective testing|
ASUS Xonar HDAV 1.3 Deluxe sound card review
Over the last few years, "discrete audio solutions are dead" is a mantra that we've heard quite repeatedly as the quality and functionality of on-board audio has increased. Yet, despite all these harbingers of doom, recent times saw an explosion in the market for discrete sound cards, with numerous companies offering up successful parts into retail.
Sadly, many of these offerings have now vanished into the ether, with ASUS signing an exclusive agreement with C-Media (the provider of the CMI-8788 solution which powered most of those offerings) which basically cut all of their competition out of the market, leaving only Creative Labs' X-Fi solution as a real rival to ASUS' own Xonar parts (which have to be fair proved to be excellent offerings in their own right).
It is to ASUS' Xonar range that we return in this review, with a new and very exciting addition to that family that I hesitate to even refer to merely as a sound card. The reason for this reluctance is simply enough because the subject of today's review, the Xonar HDAV 1.3 Deluxe, doesn't just handle audio - It's also responsible for handling video as part of its full support for HDMI connectivity. As HDMI is fast becoming the de facto standard on devices in this era of HDTVs and the like, the release of this product is likely to have Home Theater enthusiasts frothing at the mouth in anticipation, so with that in mind I suppose I'd better get on with our detailed discussion of the Xonar HDAV 1.3 Deluxe before that excitement bubbles over.