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Xonar phoebus status as of May 2016

Level 8
Well, it's almost May so 😄

Now, the xonar phoebus was released in 2012, that makes it 4 years old, which should give us a mature product with perfectly ironed out drivers, right? Wrong! Since day one Asus didn't give a rat's a$$ about this product, they've barely managed to fix the punkbuster problem in BF3 and then went silent for months.

Day one bugs are still present, like speaker mismatch with surround configuration and they've finally fixed (i think) netflix DRM problem with the last driver from two days ago, BUT, they've removed about all the dsp effects in the process. For a card that is marketed to gamers it's kind of strange.

A little driver/features history so far (feel free to complete):

- Release date, so far so good, praiseworthy reviews BUT you get kiced out from BF3 because punkbuster thinks you're a cheater.

- Two months later, BF3 is fixed, netflix is broken (or never worked in the first place), speaker mismatch is identified.

- Total silence for about 6 months, because they felt like it or something, small fixes, day one bugs still there.

- Nine months later, new version of the driver without a changelog, then about a month later another driver which supposedly fixed netfilx issues (it didn't), day one bugs still there.

- A few drivers here and there that don't fix anything, asus removed those for whatever reason, i don't know.

- Last drivers before win 10 is released (end of 2014 if i remember correctly) introducing new UI. Xear surround removed, flex bass not there, dts removed, noise cancellation with the control box removed or not working (same thing). I'm still using those btw, because the new ones are even worse.

- Win 10 is released, no new drivers, asus' support tells us to use a "hack" to install old win 8.1 drivers, took them what, 4 months to release a working(ish) win 10 driver? Dolby home theater doesn't work anymore.

- DDL live is broken, not asus' fault (this time), new windows 10 driver, "sound effects bug".

- New driver, no fixes, DDL removed.

- Another driver, old UI, why? No one knows at this point.

- DDL fixed with win 10 1511 update, but asus still doesn't know this.

- Back to sonic studio UI

- April 2016, netflix is fixed apparently (taking your word for it), BUT every dsp effect removed, remember those were marketed as the "ultimate gaming experience", back to the old UI, again.

- Sometimes in the future. Every sound effect removed, no ui, the card will make beeps when it detecs a sound being played, asus will tell us to buy a strix card.

My personnal griefs are that the supposedly better than dolby headphones, dolby home theater never worked as a surround simulation for me. It did expand stereo with the added "benefit" of a tinny cave like sound, but never actually helped to pinpoint sound cues. Xear surround was fine in this aspect, as it managed to fool windows into thinking you had a surround system (thus games defaulted to surround configuration instead of stereo) but the sound quality was awful.
Sonic studio introduced "virtual surround" which impressively induces absolutely no sound quality loss whatsoever. It manages an accurate representation of the soundstage and it's really easy to tell where the sound comes from, in the test... As it is now it's just a stero expand function, not unlike dolby home theater (but better) because windows still thinks you're using a stereo setup and pretty much every game out there checks the control pane for its audio configuration and outputs in stereo.

Level 7
Two bottles of champagne to this gentleman! You just made my day! Good summary of this yearlong disaster. :cool:
This is what everybody should see before buying ASUS products. I was about to forgive them this fail with Phoebus, but the release of STRIX soundcards made me really angry. This was my boiling point... and there is no excuse. NEVER AGAIN. :mad:

Level 7
Yes well said , its way overdue a proper driver that DHT works with win10 .
the new drivers that they released were crap ! and Asus dont even say sorry

Level 7
I don't have more to add to that.

I still have speaker mismatch, others too? I regret i bought this card, im goin to trow it away and go to creative.....

Not to forget the screwed up grounding which causes the microphone buzz when load is on the graphics card.

Now that's ROG quality!

Level 12
We are currently working on a new driver/software version, please note that this product is already EOL for some time so resources are always going to be dedicated to new products first but we have been working internally on new drivers. It's not an excuse that not all Dolby features are supported in Windows 10 without using previous OS drivers in compatibility mode so there has been complications to deliver what our users want. We're doing whatever we can to come out with stable versions of the driver but it's a work in progress and will take some more driver versions before we're able to get to that point. We apologize for the inconvenience caused and internally we've been pushing as hard as possible to have the drivers released as soon as possible.

Bahz wrote:
please note that this product is already EOL for some time

Considering the support it's been given one might wonder if this product ever was "alive"... See, the same thing is also happening to the strix cards.

Bahz wrote:
please note that this product is already EOL for some time

Even the old old PCI Creative X-Fi Series sound cards can get the stable release Windows 10 driver very soon,

EOL is not the problem.

Or Asus means that the ROG series is just a joke?

Level 8
Nah, every asus sound product is a joke. Strix cards are following the phoebus route. The flagship STX 2 has also close to zero support.A a guy having (clearly hardware) problems with his STX2 on another forum has been told by asus' support to install windows 7 on his computer...

Now we are being told that our "top of the line" card, that never had even ONE working driver (and by that i mean every advertised feature), is EOL? What a joke.

Creative seems a lot more attractive all of a sudden.