Asus and Sennheiser 'reinvent' gaming sound

The audio aficionados at Sennheiser have teamed up with Asus' sound chip guys to create a sound card and headset bundle, which the pair reckon will revolutionise multiplayer first person shooters.

According to Asus, the two companies co-developed the Xonar Xense One bundle's sound card and headset together, in order to get the perfect balance between the two components. The development process apparently took a whole year, and Asus says its engineers tried over 1,000 headsets before settling on the Sennheiser PC350, which has now been tweaked to form the PC350 Xense Edition.

The Xonar Xense comes on a single-lane PCI-E card, and features full-size 6.5mm jack sockets for analogue audio, as well as a phono S/P-DIF connector. However, an audio breakout cable will also enable gamers to hook up the card to a 7.1-channel surround sound speaker set.

A number of surround sound standards are supported, including Dolby Digital Live and Pro Logic II, but it also supports Dolby Headphone for creating a surround sound illusion with the headset. Meanwhile, gaming surround sound is managed by Asus' GX 2.5 system, which supports DirectSound3D, as well as EAX 1 and 2.

According to Asus, the Xonar Xense was specifically designed for first person shooters, and its surround sound system "amplifies even minor ambient effects," while also providing "excellent noise reduction and accurate positioning of audio." These features, says Asus, "can make or break a successful play session."

The card is capable of recording and playing back audio at 24-bit/192KHz, and it's also kitted out with EMI shielding to block interference from any other PC components.

Meanwhile, the headphones have a wide frequency response from 10Hz to 26KHz, and the PC 350 Xense Edition also features a noise-cancelling microphone.

Only intended for gamers who take multiplayer first person shooters exceptionally seriously, the Xonar Xense One bundle will be available in the UK soon at a cost of around £210 inc VAT.