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UNi Xonar FAQ & troubleshooting guide

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1. You encounter audio settings problems , crashes or installing a new driver doesn’t work.  + Driver cleaning guide. (updated 13.05.2012)

Usually this is solved with a reinstall (uninstall and install) of the drivers, but sometimes it is necessary for a more deep driver cleaning besides the one  done by the UNi Xonar installer.

Driver cleaning guide:

  1. Uninstall any Xonar drivers (search for Asus Xonar and/or UNi Xonar)  and restart after that.
  2. Download and run (as administrator) driverclean.bat.
  3. You have to download and install Driver Sweeper or its successor, Driver Fusion. Select ASUS Sound -> press Analyse -> press Clean.
  4. Install UNi Xonar drivers.

2. ASIO 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)

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 will 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 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 thats encoded at a higher sample rate won’t improve sound quality and in fact it might 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 in C-media Panel) disabled. GX is responsible with enabling EAX effects in some games, but its 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 only) : 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.
  • Don’t increase the Windows Audio Volume to 100%, and instead set it to 80-90% max.  Issue regarding setting volume to 100% is described here.

In audio/video applications:

  • Enable the  audio output/playback to 24 bit instead of 16 bit , 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.

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 was a fix made by someone but it might not work with newer flash versions and it does not 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 (BSODS).

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.


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

Most likely it 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 driver files from Windows folder.

While it’s highly unlikely that UNi Xonar driver packages would contain actual 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.


 

426 Comments

  1. FruityBunBuns    23 Sep 2014 @ 07:35   

    My microphone no longer works in the front and rear panel. There’s no response at all with the microphone device under recording devices when i plug it in and out or make noise.

    Reply

    • CarvedInside    23 Sep 2014 @ 23:23   

      Your microphone could be dead or the card’s input could be faulty.

      Reply

      • Hexcaliber    04 Oct 2014 @ 08:25   

        I have exactly the same problems and have had for some time, I tested the microphone on another audio device and it is fine, I also tried the audio from an xbox controller microphone and it was the same, fwiw I am using a D2X card.

        Reply

  2. zarko benic    11 Oct 2014 @ 17:21   

    How can I get the Xonar essence to play through high end headphones directly by connecting to the sound card headphone jack out 1/4″. Is it possible? I have everything installed but no sound coming out. Power is there, the control panel comes up but nothing. What can I do. I downloaded the latest driver for windows 8.1

    Reply

  3. fastballweb    23 Oct 2014 @ 17:54   

    I have a 5.1 system and a Xonar DG on Windows 7. According to this document, I shouldn’t be having a stereo upmix if the control panel is set to Audio Channel: 6 Channels and Analog Out: 5.1 speakers. But when I play music in iTunes I still have music coming out of the rear speakers. This really doesn’t sound very good and I’d like it to never do the upmix. But I still want 5.1 content to use all speakers. iTunes doesn’t have any preferences for number of speakers, or for doing its own upmix, as far as I can see but I could be wrong there. What am I doing wrong?

    Reply

    • CarvedInside    23 Oct 2014 @ 19:50   

      I just checked replicating the issue in iTunes and I don’t have the sounds upmixed to the other speakers. For iTunes see that you have Direct Sound in the “Play Audio Using” settings. Check that you did not enable Dolby enhancements in the Asus/C-Media Panel and GX is off.

      Have you tried with other audio players? How do they behave?

      Reply

      • fastballweb    05 Nov 2014 @ 19:08   

        I’m 100% positive it was doing the upmix before, but I don’t recall changing anything and now stereo and surround content is working correctly. iTunes settings were correct and GX was off, but I’m not sure what the Dolby enhancements are. Is that the stuff on the Effect tab? Or maybe it was a computer restart that caused my settings to apply. Either way thank you for your help and the driver is awesome.

        Reply

  4. Kumimono    24 Oct 2014 @ 19:22   

    Hi, enjoying the driver’s superior sound wrt originals. Only one small problem, something I’ve probably overlooked. When I first installed the drivers, the default Windows volume setting thing in the taskbar was replaced by a rather handy custom one, with easy access to switching from rear panel output to front panel, where my earphones plus mike are connected. Really nice for sudden skype calls and whatnots. However, after complete re-installation of my system (got an SSD), and after installing the Uni Xonar drivers, I have the default Windows speaker icon and volume setting thing. The sound works fine, and I can switch the output from Xonar DG audio center, but I sorely miss the quicker way. :( Have I botched the installation somehow, or was the custom volume slider thingy some external app I’ve completely forgotten about? Any help is greatly appreciated.

    With regards,
    Jari

    Reply

  5. Achille    31 Oct 2014 @ 15:21   

    Hello everyone, I have an Asus Xonar Essence ST and use the drivers unixonar. I have a dual operating system, Windows 8.1 when they are running fine, when they use windows server 2012 r2 minimal mode to achieve the highest quality and I try to switch from speakers to headphones AsusAudioCenter stops working due to an APPCRASH and so it is impossible to listen with headphones. Can anyone help me?
    Thanks in advance

    Reply

  6. TJS000    05 Nov 2014 @ 16:52   

    Hi, I’ve just installed the UNi drivers from here for my Xonar DGX card. An issue persisted from the original drivers that I thought might be fixed by these drivers. I have my Microphone plugged into the microphone slot on the card, yet the Windows ‘Recording Devices’ sound window shows both the Microphone and the line-in inputs as ‘Currently Unavailable’ ( http://i.imgur.com/9ML49BL.png ). Nothing I do changes this, and no applications can use the Mic in this state. Is there anything i can do about this? Or am I going to have to follow the advice of the ASUS support team and reinstall windows? Thanks in advance if you can help!! :)
    T

    Reply

    • CarvedInside    05 Nov 2014 @ 18:11   

      Hi. But from the picture you linked Microphone shows as ready. If Microphone input does not work it could be a windows bug I don’t know about or your Xonar Microphone input is broken. Besides reinstalling, if you have another PC available you could try and check the Xonar card there and see if Microphone input works or it is broken. Also try your microphone with the onboard audio card and see if it works there.

      Reply

      • TJS000    05 Nov 2014 @ 18:17   

        I think you fixed it just by thinking about it… Sorry for wasting your time… :)

        Reply

  7. Syabil Ng    09 Nov 2014 @ 13:37   

    Hi, new to the awesome mod. I’m having issues with the Magic Voice function. It just won’t work. I’ve turned on the GX but nothing happens, still. Added the app, too. Using Windows 8.1 x64. Trouble was since I upgraded from W7.

    Reply

    • CarvedInside    11 Nov 2014 @ 00:51   

      On Win 8.1 have you tried Magic Voice with the original drivers? When you installed UNi Xonar drivers which option have you selected under Panel and Configuration? Choose “Normal” if you haven’t and try Magic Voice then.

      Reply

      • Syabil Ng    11 Nov 2014 @ 00:55   

        Yes, originally I used it with the original drivers. Even ran it using compatibility mode for W7 and admin. When I installed UNi Xonar. I picked Normal, didn’t work. Then I cleaned everything and reinstalled with the one that says GX, still doesn’t work. Is yours or anyone else’s working?

        Reply

        • CarvedInside    11 Nov 2014 @ 01:06   

          But did it work with the original drivers in Win 8.1 or not?
          ATM I don’t know if it works for me. Will try to check later.

          Reply

          • Syabil Ng    11 Nov 2014 @ 02:01   

            No, it didn’t. Original drivers worked for me in W7. Both original and modded drivers don’t work for me in Win 8.1.

            Reply

  8. Daniel    17 Nov 2014 @ 03:59   

    Took me a while to figure out that the old games I was trying to play caused a blue screen because of the GX mode…

    Does anyone happen to know whether it’s possible to use other EAX emulation solutions, from different vendors? For example, Realtek distributes one called “3D Soundback”, and I believe Creative have something similar, too. In case these work by replacing the DirectSound (or whatever) libraries, intercepting EAX API calls and emulating them in software, it could be possible that some of them work regardless of what audio interface is being used. I wondered if anyone had any experience or knowledge about this. There are some older games that lack quadrophonic audio or certain effects if EAX is not being used, I believe.

    Reply

  9. Tom    17 Nov 2014 @ 22:16   

    Hello, can anyone tell me if there are any quality differences between Xonar DG and Xonar DG SI ? Mainly for headphones.

    Reply

  10. Rowan    19 Nov 2014 @ 23:36   

    Hi I have the ROG Xonar Phoebus, can I use these drivers? If I can which card profile would you recommend.

    Reply

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