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FooBar2000 sound quality

I'm not really sure how I could do an ABX comparison of different music players, but foobar2000 seems praised for superior sound.  What is foobar2000 doing differently than players such as iTunes, VLC, or WMP that makes for a better listening experience?

FooBar2000 sound quality

Reply #1
but foobar2000 seems praised for superior sound.


not by anyone who is actually worth listening to. this is what the foobar developer has to say about it on the FAQ page.

Quote
Does foobar2000 sound better than other players?

No. Most of “sound quality differences” people “hear” are placebo effect (at least with real music), as actual differences in produced sound data are below their noise floor (1 or 2 last bits in 16bit samples). foobar2000 has sound processing features such as software resampling or 24bit output on new high-end soundcards, but most of the other mainstream players are capable of doing the same by now.



FooBar2000 sound quality

Reply #2
but foobar2000 seems praised for superior sound.


not by anyone who is actually worth listening to. this is what the foobar developer has to say about it on the FAQ page.

Quote
Does foobar2000 sound better than other players?

No. Most of “sound quality differences” people “hear” are placebo effect (at least with real music), as actual differences in produced sound data are below their noise floor (1 or 2 last bits in 16bit samples). foobar2000 has sound processing features such as software resampling or 24bit output on new high-end soundcards, but most of the other mainstream players are capable of doing the same by now.



So, as is the case with most things audiophile, I'm being fed a load of crap.  :-)

FooBar2000 sound quality

Reply #3
yep. at least this one is relatively harmless because it doesn't involve any money changing hands.

edit: i just noticed you mentioned VLC in your opening post. i think it has issues regarding constant playback speed and no gapless support. also, it's just not meant for playing audio and managing a library.

FooBar2000 sound quality

Reply #4
yep. at least this one is relatively harmless because it doesn't involve any money changing hands.

edit: i just noticed you mentioned VLC in your opening post. i think it has issues regarding constant playback speed and no gapless support. also, it's just not meant for playing audio and managing a library.


:-)

FooBar2000 sound quality

Reply #5
yep. at least this one is relatively harmless because it doesn't involve any money changing hands.

edit: i just noticed you mentioned VLC in your opening post. i think it has issues regarding constant playback speed and no gapless support. also, it's just not meant for playing audio and managing a library.


I just threw VLC in there for the hell of it.  I'm doing all music these days through ampache.

FooBar2000 sound quality

Reply #6
fb2k makes it fairly easy (for me) to avoid a few issues that are not desirable, and which are certainly related to sound in a not-very-audiophile way.
Like, bypassing the Windows mixer makes sure I don't get system sounds in the music. Whether that is an issue of "sound quality" or just "same quality, wrong sounds" is of course up to definition. It isn't any magical snake oil, it is just a way to make sure a couple of stupid software issues are resolved.

There is a case where it really, really matters that you circumvene the Windows mixer and deliver bit-perfect output: if you send DTS to a DTS receiver/DAC. (It is encoded on its way, so "one bit wrong destroys everything".) But you don't need to do that, you can let fb2k do the decoding. And change volume ...
High Voltage socket-nose-avatar

FooBar2000 sound quality

Reply #7
foobar sounds really better than winamp. that is because default winamp equalizer spoils sound.

FooBar2000 sound quality

Reply #8
Everything is about EQ and output sound colorization, while other players colorize output sound, Foobar leave sound as it is by default.
So placebo isn't just placebo, diferent players just sound diferent by default, AIMP is one example even without EQ it sound diferent..
But this is something that people don't want to hear or believe...
In teory all players should sound same, but this is not case...
I'm with some DSP's change Foobar sound and make it to sound pretty close to AIMP..
And i know that this is because DSP colorizer which i'm use..
So when people say ''Fobar sound better'' this is not placebo i know that, but then we go into discusion without end...

FooBar2000 sound quality

Reply #9
Whether that is an issue of "sound quality" or just "same quality, wrong sounds" is of course up to definition.


Perhaps we can call that "experience quality", like the skip silence plugin, or dynamic range compressors in case of noisy environments.

Quote
AIMP is one example even without EQ it sound diferent.. But this is something that people don't want to hear or believe...

That's pretty easily measurable. If they measure the same, then it's in your head. If they do not, then we can always take the next step.

FooBar2000 sound quality

Reply #10
Everything is about EQ and output sound colorization, while other players colorize output sound


Which ones specifically? I've never known a player to do this unless an EQ is turned on. If the EQ is off you're getting exactly the same output unless you're really bad at writing software.

FooBar2000 sound quality

Reply #11
Which ones specifically? I've never known a player to do this unless an EQ is turned on. If the EQ is off you're getting exactly the same output unless you're really bad at writing software.


No this is not true, this is only in  theory..

Quote
Does foobar2000 sound better than other players?

No. Most of “sound quality differences” people “hear” are placebo effect (at least with real music)..


It Says ''Most of'' not all..

Did you try AIMP?
If you turn off EQ you will hear different sound in compare with Foobar.
This is because they colorize sound on output. They do that but they wont admit..
Then if you use BootEQMkII(colorize efect) VST plugin, and some other's DSP's you can get almost the same sound..
This is not placebo.
Even my friend can hear this, and this is so obvious for every listener on my sistem..


That's pretty easily measurable. If they measure the same, then it's in your head. If they do not, then we can always take the next step.


Ok, did you measure AIMP and FOOBAR without EQ?
Even then i think you will receive different results.
Did you try that?
Then what is next step?

And how to mesure colorized sound?

**I think that all you people using soundcards or you have some drivers on your sistem, that might improve or change sound in some way.
I was tested this on clean windows without soundcard at all, and it is obvious how the sound is different, for all people i'm asked they hear different output for these 2.
And this is not volume level or boosted sound..
Are we all mad?

I was trying different modes with or without WASAPI, and differences are still there...

FooBar2000 sound quality

Reply #12
AFAIK AIMP always resample to some given frequency, and its resampler wasn't always transparent. But recently it switched to one of the best resamplers, libsoxr.

(about Winamp: IIRC its EQ was fixed about 10 years ago; and fb2k default eq isn't great)

 

FooBar2000 sound quality

Reply #13
I'm not really sure how I could do an ABX comparison of different music players, but foobar2000 seems praised for superior sound.  What is foobar2000 doing differently than players such as iTunes, VLC, or WMP that makes for a better listening experience?


The reason for me using Foobar instead of anything else is the abbillity to load plugins for WASAPI, ASIO or KS support for several soundcards who can use one of these.
The result using these plugins,  your connected dac to this soundcard souinds exactly the same as it would be hooked up to a cd player or other hardware device.
Simply what you feed the player will come out the same as it's Original (if no resampler or eq plugins are active) that's probably one of the main reasons why real music lovers praize Foobar above any other player.
Many other media players are in the "fail proof direct sound mode" that's nice if you only care about hearing sound coming out of your speakers no matter what you're playing, but it is not a good thing to use it as an alternative high end audio device
replacing your good old high end cd or dvd player.
Done quite some testing myself with several files playing with or without DS enabled and the difference is quite Obvious.and more often with Original cd files (44,1 16 bit)
If you have cd's wich you probably do just listen carefully when songs are fading in or out (Become very soft) test them with DS or KS,WASAPI or ASIO and you will hear what i mean.

 
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