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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.

16. Does the Xonar driver work in MSI (Message Signaled Interrupts) interrupt mode?

17. Can I automate the UNi Xonar driver setup (running silently without user intervention)?

18. Occasionally I get white/static loud noise. Why is that and is there something that can be done to prevent this?

19. Occasionally I get left or right speaker imbalance or volume drop. Why is that and is there something that can be done to prevent this?

20. Sound output channels are switched between one another or I get noises/cracking/latency during 192kHz 4/5.1/7.1 channels playback.

21. I have hissing/buzzing/crackling noise coming from the speakers or headphones and/or people I talk to using the microphone complain that they hear buzzing noise coming from my end.

22. I have two Xonar soundcards, how do I change change settings for each Xonar soundcard?

23. How to get a subwoofer working when it’s connected directly to the card as part of a 2.1 speaker configuration?


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. If you 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 you can’t find the problem you can use C-Media Panel or XonarSwitch to change the cards settings.


16. Does the Xonar driver work in MSI (Message Signaled Interrupts) interrupt mode?

No.


17. Can I automate the UNi Xonar driver setup (running silently without user intervention)?

Yes. You need to keep the “installsettings.ini” file that’s generated after the finish of a valid UNi Xonar driver installation with your desired installation options. The file needs to be in the same folder as the drivers that we want to install silently. You need to add the “/silent” flag to the UNi Xonar driver setup command like this: “UNi Xonar 1823 v1.80a r3.exe” /silent


18. Occasionally I get loud white/static noise. Why is that and is there something that can be done to prevent this?

There are at least two instances:

  1. It may be a issue or incompatibility between the motherboard and the Xonar audio card. Ironically, ASUS motherboards are most prone to this issue. Unfortunately there isn’t much it can be done. You should look into updating the motherboard BIOS to the latest version. If that does not solve the problem a possible solution would be to change the motherboard if you think the card you own is worth it.
  2. A Windows 10 only issue. Discussions for this case are talking place on this page. No solution has been found so far except reverting back to Windows 7 or Windows 8.1.

General recommendations: If you run into this issues and have not found a solution you should either buy a different audio card that’s not powered by C-Media audio chips (so no ASUS Xonar or HTOmega), buy an external DAC or at least take some precautionary measures like controlling the volume with a amplifier while having Windows volume always set to 100%. Keep in mind that nothing is worth permanently damaging your ears.


19. Occasionally I get left or right speaker imbalance or volume drop. Why is that and is there something that can be done to prevent this?

There are two possible causes:

1. There is an issue with your sound system. To check if this is the case, when the volume drop occurs connect a different pair of headphones or different speaker system directly to the soundcard and see if you still have the issue.

2. An issue or incompatibility between the motherboard and the Xonar audio card. You should look into updating the motherboard BIOS to the latest version. If that does not solve the problem you either change the motherboard or buy a non Xonar audio card.


20. Sound output channels are switched between one another or I get noises/cracking/latency during 192kHz 4/5.1/7.1 channels playback.

Answer valid only for Xonar DX, D2X, HDAV 1.3 or HDAV 1.3 Deluxe audio cards:

If you card was manufactured before year 2009 you need to update its PLX(PCI-to-PCI-e bridge) firmware as the original firmware had some issues especially with some motherboards. To do so do the following: Go to ASUS download page, select Windows XP, go to Utilities, download “PLX firmware update Ver 1.1” and run it. The update utility will work on Windows 7 and probably Windows 8/8.1/10 OS versions as well.


21. I have hissing/buzzing/crackling noise coming from the speakers or headphones and/or people I talk to using the microphone complain that they hear buzzing noise coming from my end.

You could try solving this by:

  1. If you are using the case front panel connection then try connecting the speaker system, headphones or microphone directly to the card. If the issue is resolved and still want to use the front panel connection read this.
  2. Connect your PC to a grounded electric outlet.
  3. The problem might be from to much EMI (Electromagnetic interference):
    1. Move the sound card farther away from the GPU.
    2. Make a EMI shield for your Xonar card ( #1, #2).

22. I have two Xonar soundcards, how do I change change settings for each Xonar soundcard?

It’s a little tricky as there is no perfect solution.  If you have two different Xonar cards there are two options:

  1. Use the Asus Xonar Audio Center or C-Media Panel to change the settings of one card and use XonarSwitch with this guide to change the settings of the other one.
  2. Following this guide to control a specific Xonar card, you could make two separate XonarSwitch shortcut, one for each card. Depending on which card XonarSwitch controls at a time, you could close XonarSwitch and start XonarSwitch again for the other card.

23. How to get a subwoofer working when it’s connected directly to the card as part of a 2.1 speaker configuration?

Connecting a subwoofer directly to the soundcard is not a standard 2.1 speaker configuration. In a standard 2.1 speaker configuration you connect the subwoofer to the speakers or amplifier. I’ve come up with a workaround that could make it work.
Guide for Windows 7/8/10:

  1. Connect subwoofer to Center/Subwoofer output jack.
  2. You need to have “Stereo upmix” enabled. Depending on your setup you either have to install drivers installed with “Re-enable stereo upmix to 4, 5.1 & 7.1” option checked or enable it in XonarSwitch.
  3. In the audio panel set the following: 2 channels and 5.1(or 6) speakers.
  4. If subwoofer isn’t sounding right, exchange center/bass channels in the audio panel.
  5. For speakers and subwoofer bass management look at the FlexBass option in the audio panel.

 

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


566 Comments

  1. Karsten    24 Sep 2016 @ 10:22   

    My Auzentech drivers continued to work after upgrading to Win10 but with the Anniversary Update they stopped. So happy the Xonar drivers were able to reanimate my beloved X-Meridien!!!

    Well, I had a couple of EQ presets that are gone with Xonar driver installation. I still have image backups, but I was not able to figure out where exactly the EQ presets are stored. There is neither a file on disk reflecting EQ preset name, nor a registry entry. Also the Xonar settings section (ref “BassBasedBLevel”) doesn’t seem to contain this information.

    Any clue where I should search for this?

    Reply

    • CarvedInside    24 Sep 2016 @ 20:57   

      The file where C-Media Panel EQ settings are stored is “C:\Windows\System\Cmicnfgp.ini” “C:\Windows\Cmicnfgp.ini.imi”. But since the EQ presets are missing in current installation it means the old file with your EQ presets was overwritten. Maybe there is a copy of it in the System Restore backup (C:\System Volume Information\).

      Reply

      • Karsten    24 Sep 2016 @ 21:09   

        Thanks – but are you sure? I retrieved this file from a full disk image taken before upgrading to Anniversary, and the content of it is just:

        [SETUP]
        SETUP_PATH=C:\Temp\meridian\PCI-8788-110621-7.12.8.1796(W7-RC-01)

        Reply

        • CarvedInside    24 Sep 2016 @ 22:59   

          You are correct. It seems at some point C-Media changed the location of the file. Look at “C:\Windows\Cmicnfgp.ini.imi”. EQ presets are saved under the [CMI_EQ] group.

          Reply

  2. Karsten    24 Sep 2016 @ 23:24   

    Bingo! This file from the backup has the EQ settings I was looking for. But now comes the next question – where to copy them? “C:\Windows\Cmicnfgp.ini.imi” in my current installation of Xonar drivers does not have a [CMI_EQ] group even though I have created two new presets. If I just transfer the contents the [CMI_EQ] group from the backup files to the one in use this doesn’t have any effect in the C-media panel. The two presets I created are still there, the old ones can’t be seen.

    Reply

    • CarvedInside    24 Sep 2016 @ 23:36   

      I don’t know why your new Cmicnfgp.ini.imi does not have the [CMI_EQ] group. Try this: exit C-Media Panel, paste the old presets in the Cmicnfgp.ini.imi file, start C-media Panel again (from Start->All Programs->UNi Xonar).
      Which driver version have you installed?

      Reply

      • Karsten    25 Sep 2016 @ 00:59   

        I have found the solution – there is another copy of this file under “C:\Users\Karsten\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Windows\Cmicnfgp.ini.imi” which holds the settings incl. EQ presets.

        Reply

        • CarvedInside    25 Sep 2016 @ 01:06   

          I see, glad you found the solution.
          Your comment above was written as a new comment instead of a reply to the discussion and I moved it. For future comments 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.

          Reply

          • Karsten    25 Sep 2016 @ 08:51   

            Sorry, probably it was my enthusiasm about the solved problem that made me forget about the rules 😉
            And thank you so much for providing guidance – not only the drivers are great, but also the support!

            Reply

  3. David    23 Oct 2016 @ 00:38   

    Hi, thanks for doing this work :). I recently upgraded to a new PC that has Windows 10 installed and wanted my Razer Barracuda AC-1 to work on it if possible. I tried installing the old Barracuda Windows 7 drivers in compatibility mode and in test mode, and it installed without issues, but after rebooting I did not get any sound coming out from it, and I could not even load the application that managed its settings (I’d double-click, but nothing happened). So I tried with the universal Xonar drivers. Uninstalled the Razer drivers, installed the Xonar ones making sure I chose the right card in the list, rebooted…but still nothing I can’t hear anything coming out of my speakers or headphones. I am at lost. Is there anything I can try?

    Reply

    • CarvedInside    23 Oct 2016 @ 12:28   

      Hi. Go to Device Manager-> “Sound, video …”, does you Razer Barracuda get detected? Double click it and tell us the text under “Device Status” field.

      Reply

  4. Stefan    21 Nov 2016 @ 13:53   

    Hello,
    I installed the latest driver (recommends) for my Asus Xonar DX but I had a sound imbalance. My right headphone speaker was louder than my left? This was not the case when I used the official Asus driver.

    I checked “play back devices” but both were set at 76.

    Anyway getting around this?

    Thanks

    Reply

    • Karsten    21 Nov 2016 @ 16:57   

      I had a similar problem with running the drivers on my Auzentech and managed to get it removed by setting up in diffferent modes (Normal and/or Low DPC latency). Thereafter, I had proper sound balance in all drivers modes.

      Reply

    • CarvedInside    22 Nov 2016 @ 00:23   

      Hello. Might not be related to the drivers. First check speakers connections and do a system restart. If problem persists, install the original drivers again and see if you still have the volume imbalance. If you have, then there is something else wrong. If you don’t have the problem, then reinstall the v1.75a UNi Xonar drivers. If you still have the problem, try installing different drivers v1.80a, v1.80b and v1.64. If you still have the problem then reply with the following information your OS and which output you use (analog or digital output).

      Reply

      • Stefan    22 Nov 2016 @ 00:50   

        I somehow fixed it.
        This time I fully uninstalled the official drivers from Asus and installed the v1.80 driver.

        It’s all working fine and I’ve got to say…I wasn’t expecting this much of a difference. It’s amazing compared to the official ones.

        Thank you!

        Reply

  5. paul    29 Nov 2016 @ 00:08   

    Correct settings for optical function using Xonar DG, Windows 10, Yamaha dspA1 5.1 set up.
    Your help would be much appreciated
    (not for gaming) Netflix/YouTube /audio/etc
    Kind regards

    Reply

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