Joining the premium internal PC soundcards from Asus is a standalone audio converter promising audiophile performance.
The Asus Xonar Essence One is break-out box offering USB digital audio input, as well as traditional coaxial and optical S/PDIF. With the help of its Texas Instruments PCM1795 converter chip, it can play audio up to 24-bit/192kHz format.
Additionally, an onboard upsampler can up-convert to 32-bit/384kHz format. A separate setting will provide bit-perfect passthrough of audio data, without further upsampling or bit truncation.
For connection to an audio system, there is one pair each of RCA phono sockets or balanced audio through XLR connectors. A high-grade headphone amplifier gets its own volume control on the front panel.
In order to preserve audio quality, the Asus Xonar Essence One is supplied with a dedicated power adaptor. UK price and release date are yet to be announced.