UNi Xonar FAQ & troubleshooting guide

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Contents:

1. I get system crashes (BSODs), I get audio panel crashes, audio panel does not launch, some settings are missing or some settings do not work anymore. What can I do?

2. ASIO playback doesn’t work with some applications and it worked with the original drivers.

3. Using UNi Xonar with C-Media Audio Center and can’t set the headphones gain, switch output to front panel or change sample rate?

4. How to enable stereo upmix (2.0 channels signal to 5.1/7.1 speakers)? (updated 19.07.2014)

5. How to save your current settings? How to manually edit the Xonar settings in the registry? (updated 02.03.2012)

6. What is Panorama Enchantment in Dolby Pro Logic settings?

7. Does sample rate automatically change  with ASIO 2.0 depending on audio files sample rate? 

8. How to add/change sound delay to the rear speakers & center?

9. What are best settings to achieve best audio quality, performance and functionality from my (Xonar) card?  (updated 06.03.2014)

10. Audio in Flash player (like from videos in youtube.com) is upmixed to 5.1 although stereo upmix is disabled. Why is that? (updated 19.07.2014)

11. Why is GX (EAX emulation) bad?

12. My antivirus says that the UNi Xonar driver package has a virus or trojan?

13. When new drivers are going to be released?

14. Is there a Linux or Mac version of UNi Xonar drivers?

15. I’m receiving “Can’t find any device” message and I can’t change any of the Xonar card settings.


1. I get system crashes (BSODs), I get audio panel crashes, audio panel does not launch, some settings are missing or some settings do not work anymore. What can I do? (updated 4.10.2015)

Things to try:

  1. First make sure you have GX (Xear3D) is disabled in the audio panel.
  2. Try reinstalling (uninstall and install) of the audio drivers with the “Run driver cleaning before install” option selected in the UNi Xonar installer. Optionally you could do a extended driver clean (see below) before installing the drivers again.
  3. If you only got these issues after you’ve installed newer UNi Xonar drivers and the suggestions above did not work then try with older driver releases. You may have to go back to the drivers you previously had installed. If previous drivers are working please write a comment describing the situation in the main UNi Xonar page.

Extended driver cleaning guide:

  1. Uninstall any Xonar drivers (search for Asus Xonar and/or UNi Xonar)  and restart after that.
  2. Download and run “UNi Xonar driver cleaner.exe“.
  3. You have to download and install Driver Sweeper or its successor, Driver Fusion. Launch it -> select ASUS Sound -> press Analyse -> press Clean -> Restart.
  4. Install UNi Xonar drivers.

2. ASIO playback doesn’t work with some applications and it worked with the original drivers.

You need to reconfigure the ASIO device output in the preferences of the audio application you are using.

 


3. Using UNi Xonar with C-Media Audio Center and can’t set the headphones gain, switch output to front panel or change sample rate? (updated)

The easiest way is to launch the Asus Xonar Audio Center (Start->All Programs -> Uni Xonar Driver) and change it from there.

Alternatively,  you can download the Standalone Apps package listed in the main UNi Xonar Page, and use the applications you want to change the settings. This is recommended so that you don’t get a increase in DPC latency or other system interferences with the launch of Asus Xonar Audio Center.

 


4. How to enable stereo upmix (2.0 channels signal to 5.1/7.1 speakers)? (updated 19.07.2014)

There are two ways:

a. Through the drivers

Check “Re-enable stereo upmix to 4,5.1 and 7.1” option in the UNi Xonar driver installer. This option works slightly different in Win Vista/7/8 than how it works in Win XP:

  • On Windows XP if you set the output to 6 channels you always get the upmix (with stereo upmix option checked).
  • On Win Vista/7/8 it works if you set this settings in Asus/Cmedia Audio Panel: set audio channels to 2  and analog output to 5.1 speakers. Caution: it won’t work if you set audio channels to 6 and analog out to 5.1. By selecting this your Windows and other applications will output the sound from 2.0 format to 5.1 speakers and not 5.1 format to 5.1 speakers.

An alternative for enabling stereo upmix is to enable Dolby Pro Logic IIx and this should upmix the the 2 channel signal to all the speakers. Enabling GX in order to have a working stereo upmix in Win Vista/7/8 is not recommend because of the crashes and issues that arise because of GX (see Q&A 11).

b. Through players settings

Possibly a better way to enable stereo upmix is to enable it on a case by case basis through your Audio/Video player settings.  Some players need a dedicated plugin in order to do this (like Channel Mixer for foobar2000). In this case the Asus/C-Media Panel settings need to be 6 channels and 5.1 speakers or so, depending on your audio system.



5. How to save your current settings? How to manually edit the Xonar settings in the registry? (updated 02.03.2012)

5.1. Finding settings path in the registry

1) Press Start -> Run or Search field and type regedit
2) navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet in the left pane
3) Press CTRL+F and type BassBasedBLevel and click find, this will jump you to xonar registry settings path. This “folder” (0005\Settings or any other number)  is where the Xonar settings are stored.

5.2 Exporting

Right click on Settings “folder” and click export. Type a name and click Save.

5.3 Edit 

Before importing, check your current registry path for the Audio card  settings, as they might be not stored in “0005”(or any other name) like it was when you saved the registry. If this is different, you need to edit the previously exported reg file (right click->edit) , and replace the old path with the new one (example: …005settings to …011settings). Save the file.

5.4 Importing

Double click on the saved registry file and press “yes” when prompted. Note that you need to restart your PC or disable and enable your Xonar card in Device Manager in order for settings to apply.

TIP: By exporting and importing the Xonar registry settings, you can save your settings before uninstalling the drivers and installing a newer version. In this case, you have to import it after you’ve installed the driver. In order for them to apply you need to either restart your PC or disable/enable Xonar Card from Device Manager.


6. What is Panorama Enchantment in Dolby Pro Logic settings?

HunterZ: Panorama effects usually cause the sound to “wrap” around to the surround speakers, creating a larger and/or more immersive stereo stage. A lot of Dolby ProLogic II Music decoders have a similar effect when decoding in music mode.


7. Does sample rate automatically change  with ASIO 2.0 depending on audio files sample rate? 

Yes. You should usually hear a pop when you change to music with different sample rate.



8. How to add/change sound delay to the rear speakers & center?

  1. Navigate to the settings path ( see 5.1. Finding settings path in the registry paragraph)
  2. You have the following variables for adjusting delay LsRsDelay , CenterDelay , LbRbDelay – for side/rear , center , rear in 7.1 . If you don’t have them you need to create them, Right-click on black space -> New ->Binary value.
  3. Double click on the variable you want to edit, and instead of 000000 type 050000.This should add a delay of 5 seconds to the channel you are editing. The settings are in hexadecimal form. Some examples: 9 ms is “09 00 00 00”, 10 ms is “0a 00 00 00” , 11 ms is “0b 00 00 00”, 15 ms is “0f 00 00 00” , 20 ms is “14 00 00 00”
  4. For new settings to apply you either need to restart, or disable and re-enable the Xonar card from Device Manager

9. What are best settings to achieve best audio quality, performance and functionality from my (Xonar) card?  (updated 06.03.2014)

In ASUS/C-media/XonarSwitch Control Panels :

  • Keep Sample Rate at 44.1 kHz , this is generally valid for most media (games, movies, music), while video DVDs use 48 kHz. Increasing Sample Rate without having a source that’s sampled at a higher rate won’t improve sound quality, in fact it will degrade it.
  • Select Audio Channel/System input (present only in Win Vista/7/8) and Analog Out/System Output settings based on the number of speakers that you have. For a 5.1 audio system select Audio Channel to 6 and Analog Out to 5.1. For a 2.1 audio system, select  Audio Channel to 2 and Analog Out to 2.  By default, selecting more channels than the number of speakers you have connected won’t enable you to hear more sounds or hear the footsteps and positioning of enemies better in games.
    • If you wish to emulate 8 channels surround on a 2 channel headphones you need to enable “Dolby Headphones” and “7.1 virtual speaker shifter” after setting the number of channels to 8 and analog output to “Headphones”.
  • Keep GX (Xear 3D) disabled. GX is responsible with emulating EAX effects in some games, but it’s know to cause crashes and audio loops in games and other applications while this is enabled.
  • Be careful with what you enable. The effects will increase the DPC latency which in turn could cause other problems like audio/video desynchronization or slow network/internet speed, and they also change the sound not always in a good way, you might like it for your music but it might harm the audio positioning in games.

In Windows:

  • Windows Vista/7/8/10: Setting the Windows audio playback to 24 bit might improve audio quality. Right click on volume icon in tray, select Playback devices, double click on (Speakers) Xonar card , go to Advanced tab and in the Default format entry select 24 bit 44100 Hz (studio quality) as shown in this picture. While you can change this to 32 bit, this probably isn’t needed. Many Xonar cards only support up to 24 bit and even if this wouldn’t be the case, setting Windows audio playback to 32 bit won’t usually have a improvement in quality compared to 24 bit.  You can find detailed information on audio bit-depth here.
  • Windows XP only: Don’t increase the Windows Audio Volume to 100%, instead set it to 80-90% max in order to avoid dynamic volume issue. Issue regarding setting volume to 100% is detailed here.

In audio/video applications:

  • Enable the  audio output/playback to 24 bit instead of 16bit, as this  might improve audio quality. This setting is application specific  so you will have to search for it in application preferences/options. For example, in Winamp the setting is located in Preferences->Playback->Allow 24bit. If you have Windows Vista,7 or 8 then you have to enable 24 bit output in Windows as well.
  • If you use ASIO as playback output, recommended settings would be Bit-Depth:24-bit and Latency: 10 ms or above.
  • Windows Vista/7/8/10 only: Set each application volume at 80-90% in order to avoid dynamic volume issue. Issue regarding setting volume to 100% is detailed here.

In games:

  • In game Options -> Sound Quality set Medium or High depending on the importance of sound quality in that particular game. Setting this to High might cause to much strain on your CPU and this in turn will affect the FPS of that particular game.
  • In-game options: make sure you have properly detected or set the number of speakers you currently have connected.

10. Audio in Flash player (like from videos in youtube.com) is upmixed to 5.1 although stereo upmix is disabled. Why is that? (updated 19.07.2014)

It’s a bug in the Adobe Flash Player (info1info2) which might not be fixed by Adobe any time soon.

There is a user made fix but it might not work with newer flash versions and it does not seem to work on Win 8. You can find the fix here. Follow the instructions in the readme.txt file.

If you are mostly viewing clips on youtube.com, a possible workaround would be to watch the videos in HTML5 video player instead of Flash player. To do so, go to youtube html5 page and turn “HTML5 Video” on.


11. Why is GX (EAX emulation) bad?

In most of the cases it doesn’t even work and the worse part is that while having GX enabled any audio application that you use is prone to crashes or make your whole system crash (BSOD).

ASUS/C-media emulation of EAX capabilities is disastrous and should have never been released in this state and marketed as a feature. Want a reason to sue Asus? This is it.

GX is labeled as Xear3D in C-Media Audio Panel.


12. My antivirus says that the UNi Xonar driver package has a virus or trojan?

If you’ve downloaded the drivers from the official links then the virus warning is a false positive. Possible causes are the packaging of the drivers or the presence of driver cleaner in the UNi Xonar installer which deletes the Xonar driver files from Windows folder.

While it’s highly unlikely that UNi Xonar driver packages would be compromised and be infected with viruses, if you really want to be sure then you can submit the driver package for analysis to www.virustotal.com for a wider analysis.

Furthermore, UNi Xonar driver installer (again from the official links)  does not contain any adware, spyware or PUP (Potentially Unwanted Program).

In such cases where your antivirus blocks the installation or the download of UNi Xonar drivers you need to either configure the antivirus to allow that action or temporary pause antivirus protection.


13. When new drivers are going to be released?

There is no time frame. UNi Xonar driver releases depend on one or two factors:

1. When new original audio drivers are made available (eg: when ASUS releases a new set of drivers for any of their Xonar cards or when ASUS releases a new Xonar card).

2. When in my research for fixes or improvements I find something that can be implemented (eg: Stereo Upmix issue fix or the Rear and Center channel delays fix).


14. Is there a Linux or Mac version of UNi Xonar drivers?

No Linux or Mac version. UNi Xonar drivers are based on Xonar original drivers for Windows.


15. I’m receiving “Can’t find any device” message and I can’t change any of the Xonar card settings.

This error is generated by Asus Audio Center. Other drivers, security programs or Windows updates might prevent Asus Audio Center from working correctly. If can’t find the problem you can use C-Media Panel or XonarSwitch to change the cards settings.


 

This page is only for discussing the answers to the questions above. For general help, comment on the main UNi Xonar page.


524 Comments

  1. Alin    07 Jan 2016 @ 18:58   

    Hi community,

    I recently purchased an ASUS Xonar Essence STX sound card from ebay. The card was slightly used, it could be seen on it, even having that specific smell of a new electronic product, but the seller assured me that the card is in good working order. He just replaced the OP-AMPs with what he said are a better ones (got the original ones as well in a small box) and that was it, he said the card is working and tip-top. After installing it, it doesn’t work. :( These are the symptoms:

    – Driver installs well and under Device Management in Windows, everything is ok, no yellow warning signs no unrecognized anything. Everything is also seen in sound properties, card is detected by Windows and all software players (I am using JRiver Media Centre and Foobar2000).
    – Card is NOT recognized by STX Audio Center. It says “Can’t find any device” in an error box.
    – Sound is coming only from the right channel and is very weak and badly distorted.

    My Windows version is Windows 7 x64. I tried pluggin the card into X1 and X16 slots on my motherboard, with the same results. I know the slots are working, because I have another card (a Creative X-Fi Xtreme) and it runs fine on any slot from motherboard. I also plugged the Molex power connector into the STX card.

    I tried with UNi Xonar and standard drivers from Asus website. I get the same error each time.

    Can anyone tell me what is wrong ? Is the card defective ? Is it a software glitch ? Can be this card with those symptoms be brought back to life ?

    Thanks and hope you can help me.

    Reply

    • CarvedInside    13 Jan 2016 @ 17:08   

      Hi.
      The problem with “Can’t find any device” might not be from something wrong with the card. It seems other drivers or some windows updates could affect the functionality of Asus Audio center. To see if that’s the case check card EEPROM. You can use C-Media Panel or XonarSwitch to control the card.
      Now the other problem with the sound coming from the right channel only might be the card. You should check the card in another PC to rule out a motherboard compatibility issue. If it does not work there too, then the card is broken and I do not have any advice on how you could fix it.

      Reply

  2. Casodi    13 Jan 2016 @ 01:39   

    Could I add a sound delay to the front channels and if so what is the value name?

    Reply

    • CarvedInside    13 Jan 2016 @ 17:01   

      With the drivers you can’t. Maybe you could using audio/video player settings.

      Reply

      • Casodi    13 Jan 2016 @ 20:33   

        Ok thanks anyways. I have edited the registry to add a delay for the center channel but needed the front left and right channels to be delayed as well.

        Reply

  3. Alin    13 Jan 2016 @ 19:09   

    Thanks CarvedInside. I managed for computer to recognize the card by disabling the on-board sound card. The EEPROM wasn’t touched, I checked. Now the card is recognized, everything is ok from the drivers’ side and STX Audio Center is marking as everything is OK. But the card only works on the digital part (I mean with sound output from the S/PDIF). No sound at all from the build in headphone amplifier or the stereo line-out output. The card is defective in this case ? I mean can it work flawlessly on the digital side and not at all on the analog and still be a drivers’ problem ? Aren’t the drivers required just for computer to communicate with the board ? If drivers are recognized and card works perfectly on the digital side, it means that is nothing wrong with the drivers, right ? So, the card can be damaged on the analog side or there is something I could do ? Thanks again.

    Reply

    • CarvedInside    13 Jan 2016 @ 23:34   

      Please use the reply button properly. When replying to an existing discussion use reply button floating on the right of the comment you are replying to. I can’t move the comments so please remake the comment with reply and I will delete this separate comment.

      Analog output uses the DAC, op-amps and other components compared to digital output. So it’s possible those components are defective resulting in only digital output working. Using digital (S/PDIF) output, your STX card is pretty much useless.

      Reply

      • Alin    14 Jan 2016 @ 00:51   

        OK, I used the reply button this time. :)

        Yes, I know everything you said, more than 90% of this card is the analogue value of it. And I realize that digital side (output via digital S/PDIF-TOSLINK) don’t need analogue components (DACs, filters, OP-AMPS, etc.) that’s why it works, basically it’s a simplified circuit and the external amplifier has to do the job. All I wanted to know is if the card is properly recognized by computer and drivers correctly installed, STX Audio Center working perfectly, all software players correctly identifying the card and all, but I only got sound from digital part of the card and not analogue, means that the card is defective on the analog side or if there is something to be done. I bought this card from ebay as slightly used and got it like this. The seller says that the card is working, but I cannot get to make it work on it’s analog side. That’s what I wanted to know. I already have a Xonar U7 card (bought as new from the store), but wanted a better one. Since those are more expensive, I could afford only a previously used one. It looks like new, even has that new smell and shiny pins (the ones that connects to motherboard), but it’s not working. The seller insists it’s a software problem, but I wonder. Everything is working on the digital part. Analog doesn’t need drivers as far as I know, that’s the internal cousine of the sound card.

        Reply

  4. carlo mencucci    15 Jan 2016 @ 06:13   

    I have a new asus essence stx sound card that I’m trying to use on windows 7 64 bit. Could you please tell me which driver is the latest one I need to use?
    Thank you. Jan. 14, 2016

    Reply

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