Asus Xonar D2 gets a brief review
The upcoming Xonar D2 and Xonar D2K sound cards from Asus have been sighted numerous times over the past few months, but the folks over at VR-Zone have now appropriated a Xonar D2 and managed to test it briefly. The card features a standard set of analog and S/PDIF ports and comes with a MIDI bracket. Interestingly, there are colored LEDs behind the analog ports to make them easier to find in low-light conditions.
Lifting the card's electromagnetic interference shield (no, it's not a fan) reveals its components, and VR-Zone compared them with those used on Creative's X-Fi Elite Pro sound card. The verdict is that the Xonar's component are superior to the X-Fi's, although it's not clear yet how the Asus card actually sounds compared to its Creative rival.
On the software side, the Xonar D2 comes with an X-Fi-style control panel as well as a copy of Ableton Live 6 Lite, a music creation, production, and performance application. For home theater PC users, the card's software suite also includes a Windows Media Center Edition control panel with a "10-foot" graphical user interface.