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Last year saw the release of the ROG Thunderbolt bundled with the Rampage III Black Edition and the Crosshair V Formula. The Thunderbolt was on the receiving end of many rave reviews, but the card was only available bundled with the motherboards – and not as a standalone product – much to the chagrin of many a hardcore gamer.

ASUS Xonar Phoebus

The demand was enough to design the first standalone Republic of Gamers soundcard dubbed the Xonar Phoebus.

Named after the Latin reference to the Greek god Apollo, Phoebus is the god of music and light, and the ROG Xonar Phoebus dutifully represents itself as an instrument used to pay homage to the god of music. Loaded with enough audio tech to please even the finickiest of audophiles, gamers will no doubt find the Phoebus more than up to the task of delivering crystal clear audio for any gaming situation.

Using a PCIe interface, the fast connection provides ample bandwidth for the Phoebus to shine. On the inside, it offers an output SNR up to 118dB for the speaker out connection while also packing a headphone connection with amplifier that’s able to deliver up to 110dB of powerful audio at 300ohms to users ears with minimal distortion. Cover it up with an EMI shield to reduce signal interference even more, and you’ll be able to hear an enemy’s footsteps or the clink of a pin drop.

Input and output connections are both available in analog, as well as a line-level analog input for CD/DVD drives and TV tuners inside the computer case. A digital S/PDIF output connector is also available for connection to a high end amplifier should you want to connect it to a home stereo system. It also offers a nifty headphone jack detection, which automatically switches audio output from the rear panel to the front should you choose to use the connection in front.

But why would you use the front connection, when the Xonar Phoebus comes bundled with the Audio Control Box? Simply plug the headphone and microphone connections to the Phoebus in the rear of the computer and bring the Audio Control Box to your side for easy access to the volume control as well as muting it with a click of the control knob. Volume control by turning a knob is nothing new, but the Audio Control Box also features exclusive ROG Command Technology with an array mic that effectively reduces up to 50% of environmental noise for a superior sound field.

All this would be for naught if the best standards aren’t supported, so that’s why the Xonar Phoebus includes the latest Dolby Home Theater V4.0 and GX3.0 gaming audio engine to ensure true-to-life sound is replicated accurately. But don’t take my word for it, get one and experience it for yourself!

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