nEO IMG p 1 Sneak Preview: ASUSs new ROG sound cards @ CES 2012 undressed

Over at the 64th floor of the luxurious Trump Hotel in Vegas, we got our readers some exclusive sneaks of ASUS's new ROG Xonar Pheobus sound card, which is a PCIe 118db SNR standalone offering. Also on display was the ROG 'ThunderFX' USB powered audio breakout box (sequel to the R3E-Black Edition's Thunderbolt), to be bundled with a planned special edition of the ROG Rampage IV Formula.

ROG Xonar Phoebus

Besides being famous for its motherboards, the Republic of Gamers team at ASUS also dabbled in gaming accessories like keyboards, mice and headsets (ROG Vulcan)

nEO IMG rog 1 Sneak Preview: ASUSs new ROG sound cards @ CES 2012 undressed

 

The ROG Xonar Pheobus (god of music and light) is a standalone product rated at 118db SNR at its regular outputs and has a dedicated amplifier for driving up to 300ohm headphones. Also included in the package is a volume control/wire extender for gaming headsets

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Back of the PCB

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We noticed that the Pheobus has an unusual amount of ports at its I/O panel (from top: headset connectors, power for the volume control, line-in, 5.1 audio amd SPDIF-out)

nEO IMG p 3 Sneak Preview: ASUSs new ROG sound cards @ CES 2012 undressed

 

After removing the metal shroud, the layout is fairly crowded and components doen't look too different from the usual Xonar offerings. One notable inclusion is a 6-pin PCIe power connector (probably for the amplifer), which is not normally used for audio applications

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High quality gold plated jacks are used at the I/O panel

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Over at the bottom right, we can see the C-Media DSP which is normally used on the other high end boards like Xonar STX

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Elsewhere on the board we found a Realtek ALC889 codec, which we guess handles the headphone output and microphone input

nEO IMG p 6 Sneak Preview: ASUSs new ROG sound cards @ CES 2012 undressed