Here are some things and issues you should be aware concerning ASUS Xonar sound cards and other C-Media CMI8788 audio chipset cards:
- The cards are no longer supported by the card manufacturer or audio chip manufacturer (C-Media). This means no new drivers with fixes from them.
- Essence ST, STX, STXII and possibly other Xonar cards and Windows 7/8/10: Some owners get random high pitch noises that is so loud it could damage the ears (#1).
- Essence STXII cards may not be compatible with certain Ryzen motherboards. Systems with B350, X370, B450, X470 and probably A320 and x399 chipset motherboards will crash when installing the drivers (#1, #2).
- Windows 10 compatibility might be an issue with future Windows 10 versions. At the moment the cards work fine for most, just a few experience system crashes or other issues. You can read more about Xonar and Windows 10 compatibility here.
- The advertised EAX emulation feature called GX does not work and will give you BSOD when enabled.
- There are some incompatibility issues with some motherboards. Most of these seem to be with ASUS motherboards. For example, some have a issue where the right channel volume gets muted regularly, having to restart the system or the Xonar sound card in order to fix it. Might be good to search the web for Xonar and your motherboard model keywords to see if someone reported a issue.
If you want still want to buy a ASUS Xonar card or another CMI8788 audio chipset card, you should buy it second hand and use it with UNi Xonar drivers. If you are looking for an alternative card I recommend you check Creative’s SoundBlasterX AE-5 audio card.
- ASUS Xonar: DG, DGX, DG SI, DS, DSX, D1, D2, DX, D2X, HDAV, HDAV Slim, ST, STX, STX II, Xense.
- Other C-media CMI8788 audio chipset cards:
- Auzentech: HDA X-Purity 7.1, X-Meridian 1G, X-Meridian 2G.
- HTOmega: Claro, Claro Plus, Claro II, Claro Halo, eClaro.
- Razer Barracuda AC-1.
- TempoTec HIFIER Serenade