Asus – Xonar Essence One Plus Edition

essence one plus edition

USB digital-to-analog converter with exclusive 8x symmetrical upsampling and Op-Amp swap kit

Exclusive Op-Amp swap kit includes 6 Op-Amps and tools for easy tone tuning

World’s first 8X symmetrical upsampling technology restores lossless audio

Eleven swappable Op-Amps for user-tunable tone characteristics

Built-in 600ohm headphone amplifier drives all headphones on the market

Ultra-high 120dB SNR for the purest sound

Dedicated internal linear power supply ensures the cleanest audio

Tune your essence of sound

Xonar Essence series is dedicated to pursuing the purest listening experiences and the highest fidelity. Thousands of years ago, our ancestors crystallized their precious knowledge of materials and music into the Chime of the Tiger, one of the first audio masterpieces in human history. The Chime of the Tiger totem has inspired the Xonar team’s passion for audio, in honor of the accomplishments of those who came before. The team has made its own mark on history, contributing new audio innovation, thus maintaining humanity’s endless pursuit of the essence of sound.

Redefine high fidelity and clarity

The ASUS Xonar Essence One digital-analog converter (DAC) and headphone amplifier has earned considerable critical acclaim, winning a 2012 CES Innovations Award in the audio component category with the industry’s only 8x symmetrical upsampling, The ASUS Xonar Essence One Plus Edition further adds a bundled Op-Amp tweaking kit with six extensively-tested Op-Amps to make sound characteristic tuning easier out of the box, with no soldering required. It also saves customers the need to purchase Op-Amps separately.

Multi-tone tuning With a bundled Op-Amp swap kit

Multi-tone tuning with a bundled Op-Amp swap Op-Amps serve a critical role in audio hardware, amplifying analog signals and determining tone and timbre characteristics. As user taste in tone character varies, dedicated audiophiles often choose to change Op-Amps to fine-tune performance, something the original Xonar Essence One supported with its eleven swappable Op-Amps. This feature proved highly popular, leading the Xonar team to extensively test over a hundred different Op-Amps with the original Xonar Essence One in order to explore the finest combinations . The six Op-Amps deemed most unique in their impact on sound character were selected to be part of the Xonar Essence One Plus Edition, the first USB DAC with a bundled Op-Amp swap kit.

Six extra Op-Amps included

By combining the original Texas Instruments TI-NE5532 Op-Amps with four Texas Instruments TI-OPA2132PA and two NS-LM4562NA Op-Amps, the special edition allows for five unique tonal impression customization options.

User-friendly tools and Op-Amp swap guide

The kit even includes IC clamps, a screw driver, and an Op-Amp swap guide which shares various Op-Amp tips based on the Xonar team’s findings. These make swapping any of the existing eleven Op-Amps easy for quick audio modification based on personal preference. The kit further offers compatibility with other Xonar products, including the Xonar Essence ST/STX, Xonar Xense, and Xonar DS/DSX.

Recommended Op-Amp pairing combinations

DAC I/V (slot 1) DAC LPF buffer (slot 2) Sound impression
TI – OPA2132 NS – LM4562NA Brighter, dense bottom end, wider sound stage and articulate with detail, slightly cool
TI – OPA2132 TI – NE5532 Open sound stage, less detailed but with more powerful bass and bottom end sound
TI – NE5532 TI – OPA2132 Less transparent, softer, tighter bottom end
TI – NE5532 NS – LM4562NA Brighter and more detailed, airy, a little distant and less warm

Note: Listening impressions are subject to personal perception and taste, and the statement above can be different from your own experience.


World’s first 32-bit 8X symmetrical upsampling technology

Symmetrical 8X upsampling technology restores lossless playback with higher audio resolution. Upsampling is commonly applied to increase audio finesse with enhanced signal sample rates. Standard asymmetrical upsampling transfers any source to 192KHz with no additional refinement, causing lost detail and distortion. However, 8X symmetrical upsampling turns 44.1KHz/88.2KHz/176.4KHz input into 352.8KHz, and 48KHz/96KHz/192KHz into 384KHz symmetrically, ensuring better sound

Built-in 600ohm-optimized headphone amplifier boosts every sound detail

Audiophile-class headphone amplifiers are utilized to drive high quality personal audio and satisfy all impedance requirements. They improve tone and timbre detail and dynamic range extension even from low-power sources. The Xonar Essence One Plus Edition includes a dedicated 600 ohm-optimized audiophile-class headphone amplifier to drive your headphones, making sure you hear every detail.

Breathtaking 120dB SNR audio clarity

The average SNR of other USB DACs is about 110dB. With its extremely high SNR (120dB), the Xonar Essence One Plus Edition provides audiophiles clearer sounds with every detail retained while significantly reducing noise levels.

Hyper Grounding technology

ASUS-exclusive Hyper Grounding technology utilizes a multi-layer PCB for the purest sound possible. By applying this design, sensitive analog signals are neatly separated from digital signals to reduce cross-talk and other unwanted effects. Twin grounding layers also form a shield to block interference from inside the case. Therefore, the Xonar Essence One Plus Edition outperforms market standards to provide truly pure sound thanks to top quality components and years of board layout expertise, a combination only ASUS delivers.

Independent power supply ensures cleaner high fidelity signal delivery

An independent power supply minimizes unwanted voltage ripple, ensuring higher fidelity signal delivery. During alternating current to direct current conversion, small voltage variations occur that are hard to balance. This produces ripple, or low frequency variation in power output, which creates noise in analog signals. Ripple can be minimized using a more elaborate power supply, and the Xonar Essence One Plus Edition boasts an internal power design that supports all international voltage ratings and has wide margins for overvoltage/undervoltage conditions. It provides the cleanest power for the cleanest sound with excellent immunity to noise from power lines.

Highest fidelity reproduction through audiophile-grade design

          Hig precision asynchronous data transfer clocking

The Xonar Essence One Plus Edition features innovative asynchronous data transfer (ADT) to minimize jitter beyond common synchronous data transfer (SDT). Standard internal clock compensation for different transfer rates between PCs and USB audio devices may still cause jitter, but with ADT, audio processors automatically tune buffer status to system output, enabling faster clock adjustments and better jitter reduction. A high precision clock minimizes undesired audio jitter, delivering the highest fidelity with extensive detail and lively sound imaging. Jitter occurs when digital audio deviates from its original timing, which results in listener fatigue, especially with high frequency content. To achieve high fidelity audio, information retrieved from original sources needs to maintain sync with the native sample clock.

          Bit-perfect audio and ASIO support

Bit-perfect audio means PC sound doesn’t undergo digital signal processing or sample rate conversion. It is nearly 100% true to its source, and highly sought by audiophiles looking for complete fidelity. The Essence One Plus Edition supports Audio Stream Input/Output 2.2 drivers, known as ASIO 2.2. One of the most renowned audio protocols for bit-perfection, it allows digital signals to bypass Windows audio layers to avoid redundant processing. ASIO 2.2 provides full 64-bit Windows compatibility, supporting variable bit depth, sample rate, multi-channel operation, and synchronization. With easy setup, it allows you to quickly enjoy high fidelity and stable bit-perfect audio.

          Balanced XLR output

The Xonar Essence One Plus Edition features balanced (XLR) outputs, which offer higher quality output and unwanted noise and interference elimination. Properly balanced lines integrate two signal-carrying conductors of equal magnitude but opposite polarity, causing noise along the cable to cancel out by the time it reaches the destination load. Balanced lines are therefore ideal for professional applications where longer cable length noise could be an issue. XLR connectors are typically wired in a Pin 1- Ground, Pin 2- Hot (in-phase), Pin 3- Cold (phase-inverted) configuration.

          WIMA capacitor

The Xonar Essence One Plus Edition uses a premium WIMA capacitor (made in Germany), one of the most highly-regarded parts among audio enthusiasts for its warmer, cleaner, and more balanced sound image.

Audio Interface


Audio Performance

Output Signal-to-Noise Ratio (A-Weighted) (Front-out) :

120 dB

Output THD+N at 1kHz (Front-out) :

0.000316 %(-110 dB)

Frequency Response (-3dB, 24bit/192KHz input) :

10 Hz to 48 KHz

Output/Input Full-Scale Voltage :

Balanced Output : 4 Vrms ( Vp-p)

Unbalanced Output : 2 Vrms ( Vp-p)

Headphone : 7 Vrms ( Vp-p)


Audio Processor :C-Media CM6631 High-Definition Sound Processor

Sample Rate and Resolution

Analog Playback Sample Rate and Resolution :

44.1K/48K/88.2K/96K/176.4K/192KHz @ 16bit/24bit

S/PDIF Digital Input :

44.1K/48K/96K/192KHz @ 16bit/24bit

ASIO 2.2 Driver Support :

Hz @ with very low latency

Upsampling capability :

Up to 352.8 kHz (44.1K 88.2K 176.4KkHz input) or 384 kHz (48K/96K/192KkHz input), 32bit


Analog Output

1 x 6.3 mm jack (1/4″) Headphone out

2 x RCA (Un-Balanced)

2 x XLR (Balanced)


2 x S/PDIF in (1 x Optical (Toslink)/1 x Coaxial)


Driver CD x 1

6.3mm to 3.5mm stereo adapter x 1

Audio Precision (AP) test report x 1

USB cable x 1

Power cord x 1

Op-Amp Swap Kit x 1


261.33 x 230 x 60.65 mm ( L x W x H )



● S/PDFI Receiver: AKM 4113

● DSP: ADI ADSP-21261

● D-A Converter for Analog Inputs: TI PCM1795

● Power Input Jack: IEC AC Inlet

● Volume controller: Balanced Output: Quad Units Taper B Potentiometer; Headphone Output: Quad Units Taper B Potentiometer

● Voltage Selector: AC 115V/223V Slide Switch

Operational amplifier:

● Balanced/Un-balanced I/V:4 x NE5532

● Balanced/ Un-balanced LFP: 2 x NE5532

● Balanced /Un-balanced Buffer: 3 x LM4562NA

● Headphone: 2 x LME49600


● Crystal clock: 12MHz For USB; 24.576MHz For S/PDIF

● Oscillator: 45.1584MHz (for 44.1KHz sample rate); 49.152MHz (For 48KHz sample rate)

LED Indicator:

● One color LED: Ø3mm Lamp LED Blue color

● 2 color LED: Ø3mm Lamp LED Multi color(Blue and Red)

Op-Amp Swap Kit Content:

● TI-OPA2132PA x 4 (Op-Amp)

● NS-LM4562NA x 2 (Op-Amp)

● Screw driver x 1

● IC clamp

MAC OS X support:

The Essence One supports Mac OS X 10.8 or later version without any driver needed.

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