Unboxing the Xonar Essence One Hi-Fi USB DAC

January 3rd, 2012 in .Home Entertainment & HTPC .Products
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I spent the last few weeks examining the inner workings of the ASUS O!Play BDS-700 media player and enjoying it thoroughly so it seems an almost logical progression to move across to the Xonar Essence One for my next project.

This particular device intimidates me; I’m not ashamed to admit it. I mean, look at this baby!

xonar essence one

It’s one beautiful piece of kit that can create auditory magic in the right hands and I’m really hoping that my hands are the ones in question. However, before I delve into the bowels of the Xonar Essence One, here is the delightful unboxing…

First up is the actual box itself. Who’s a cute little kitty then? I love the packaging of the Xonar Essence One. It is dark and glossy and chic, it speaks volumes about the passion behind the product itself.

xonar essence one

Opening the box itself is remarkably easy. Just lift and pull, no fiddling and arguing with strange foldy bits or tons of sticky stuff. This meets with my approval as I loathe spending ages on fiddly packaging materials. On either side of the plastic wrapped Xonar Essence One you’ll see a silky tag. Pulling these reveals…

xonar essence one

…a very funky way of lifting off the primary protective packaging supporting the Xonar Essence One from damage that is not just easy to remove, but also easy to replace once you’re done. I love this. It means that the box stays in mint condition for future storage or transportation of the unit.

xonar essence one

Pulling off a single plastic sleeve reveals the Xonar Essence One in all its glory. I couldn’t resist a quick tweak and turn of the lovely big knobs, they move so smoothly.

xonar essence one

After gently placing the Xonar Essence One unit to one side I then explored the interior of the box. What else was it hiding? Well, there are two boxes sitting on either side of the unit, one is empty and both a decorative and protective layer, the other contains all the cables you need to get the Xonar Essence One setup – the USB cable, a power cord and a 6,3mm to 3.5mm adaptor.

xonar essence one

Next up is a weird foam square that’s been wrapped in plastic. This hides both the instruction manual, the Audio Precision Test Report and the installation CD.

xonar essence one

A quick glance over the Audio Precision Test Report, nicely decked out in gold leaf and tinted paper, has me drooling for more. This is definitely going to be an auditory adventure like nothing I’ve ever embarked upon before.

xonar essence one

I have a real thing about packaging, as I’ve mentioned in unboxing posts before, and the amount of cardboard and plastic surrounding the Xonar Essence One is really very reasonable. There is very little in the way of surplus pieces and a very limited amount of plastic. This gets high marks from me as I loathe the idea of adding to the growing landfill issue every time I look at a gadget…

In my next post I’ll be looking at how easy it is to set up the Xonar Essence One so if you have any burning questions please do let me know so I can answer them as I go…

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