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NO benefits from using ASIO ?

Hi,
I read on official fb2k site that
 "Please note that this component is meant for systems where ASIO is the only available output method. It is highly recommended to use the default output modes instead of ASIO. Contrary to popular "audiophile" claims, there are NO benefits from using ASIO as far as music playback quality is concerned, while bugs in ASIO drivers may severely degrade the performance."

It`s confuse me a little bit is it right? Or situation is more complex?
BR Gábor

Re: NO benefits from using ASIO ?

Reply #1
It's basically true. While Directsound is (IMO) a poor choice for hi-fi playback, because god knows what's going on in its inner workings, there's a much more convenient alternative - WASAPI. There are some cases though where ASIO may be viable. For instance in my case asus xonars are only capable of switching sample rate according to the source sample rate in ASIO mode, otherwise resampling occurs. While most people would argue that resampling itself would be inaudible (which may very well be true), I prefer less meddling with my audio stream. To put it short, if none of the above makes any sense to you, stick to WASAPI.

Re: NO benefits from using ASIO ?

Reply #2
I want to see proof of your claims.

Refer to TOS8.

Re: NO benefits from using ASIO ?

Reply #3
I want to see proof of your claims.

Refer to TOS8.

Whose claim? I don't think the OP is claiming anything, just asking a question.

I've always used ASIO with FB2K but it's got nothing to do with sound quality. Both it and WASAPI ought to pass a null test. In my case it's because my whole studio (PC, audio software, RME interface, external converters and outboard gear) is clocked to the main external Crookwood ADC, and that in turn uses the RME interface to communicate with the PC, with it's rock solid ASIO drivers. So it's just by default really, I use ASIO for everything else so stick with it for Foobar too. I have experimented with WASAPI modes and they work fine too. So I agree with the statement that "there are NO benefits from using ASIO as far as music playback quality is concerned".

Re: NO benefits from using ASIO ?

Reply #4
asio is great - low latency, exclusive sound so no other pesky unwanted sound can bother you listening (a software alarm, auto play videos, spam, any sounds ona web brwoser etc,.)
i'd say the quality is better, as you never are forced to stop imerging in the music - ASIO FTW




and wasapi causes quite a strain in the hardware, so not a good choice.

Re: NO benefits from using ASIO ?

Reply #5
i'd say the quality is better

You need to prove it, see the @mudlord reference to the TOS #8 above, it was something you clicked "agree" to when you signed up for this forum. Either that or just stop making subjective statements about audio quality, which is what I have begrudgingly taught myself to do whilst posting here. :)

https://hydrogenaud.io/index.php/topic,3974.0.html

It's easy to check with a null test, take the original file, capture the original file after playing via FB2K, load both into a DAW or audio editor, make sure you have things lined up sample accurately, flip the phase on one, and you should be left with, well, nothing... If you are left with SOMETHING, then the process was not bit transparent. If it's bit transparent and you still think you hear a difference, then either something is broken, or you are a victim of some form of cognitive bias:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cognitive_biases

Re: NO benefits from using ASIO ?

Reply #6
He stated in the very same sentence, why he worded it so... geez

Re: NO benefits from using ASIO ?

Reply #7
They are totally wrong, ASIO automaticlly change sample rate for playing track, for example one time I listen CD-Audio with 44.1kHz, other some Hi-Res files with 96kHz etc and ASIO will always play correct sample rate which is bit-perfect playback.
WASAPI do not support this, so it's total useless.
I'm using ASIO for my Asus Xonar STX II since years, and it's recomended from Asus also.

Re: NO benefits from using ASIO ?

Reply #8
WASAPI exclusive behaves exactly like that. If that's not the case on the Asus sound card it means its drivers aren't following specs.

You people who think you need bit-perfect playback should perhaps test what kind of effect resampling actually has in the audio quality. Unless you are delusional you should notice that there is absolutely no difference in the quality.

Re: NO benefits from using ASIO ?

Reply #9
I use ASIO because it provides volume control on the panel for each application and misc Windows output separately. The system is easy to understand for me, as this is how it was done before Microsoft integrated sound into Windows. The reliability under CPU load at realtime priority is also better than Direct Sound on Windows 7 (it got worse in Seven). No need for a replacement standard, especially from Microsoft, and new plugins, which, at best, will work just as well. I do use resampling with the SoX plugin, however, as it causes problems when I start two programs and they both try to request a sampling rate.

Re: NO benefits from using ASIO ?

Reply #10
If that's not the case on the Asus sound card it means its drivers aren't following specs
Can you please give link to this specs? (Not that i don't trust you, just need direct quotation)

Re: NO benefits from using ASIO ?

Reply #11
Generic info about exclusive mode: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/desktop/CoreAudio/exclusive-mode-streams.
Quote
As explained previously, if an application opens a stream in exclusive mode, the application has exclusive use of the audio endpoint device

And remarks from function that initializes audio session: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/desktop/api/Audioclient/nf-audioclient-iaudioclient-initialize
Quote
The client can either connect directly to the audio hardware (exclusive mode) or indirectly through the audio engine (shared mode).
...
An attempt to create a shared-mode stream can succeed only if the audio device is already operating in shared mode or the device is currently unused. An attempt to create a shared-mode stream fails if the device is already operating in exclusive mode.

And definition of exclusive is "limiting or limited to possession, control, or use by a single individual or group".

Re: NO benefits from using ASIO ?

Reply #12
They are totally wrong, ASIO automaticlly change sample rate for playing track, for example one time I listen CD-Audio with 44.1kHz, other some Hi-Res files with 96kHz etc and ASIO will always play correct sample rate which is bit-perfect playback.
WASAPI do not support this, so it's total useless.


Yes, WASAPI do support this.  I use WASAPI with foobar2k and it behaves exactly as you say (verifiable by my AVR's 'information' panel): switches output sample rates to whatever the rate of the file is; mine range from CD rate to 88.2 to 96 to 192kHz.  Playback is also verifiable as bit-perfect because any DTS or AC3 file I play (undecoded) is correctly decoded by my AVR.

Re: NO benefits from using ASIO ?

Reply #13
WASAPI exclusive behaves exactly like that. If that's not the case on the Asus sound card it means its drivers aren't following specs.

You people who think you need bit-perfect playback should perhaps test what kind of effect resampling actually has in the audio quality. Unless you are delusional you should notice that there is absolutely no difference in the quality.
Thank you for information @Case, @krabapple, If I'm not wrong years ago I remeber WASAPI do not support bit-perfect.
Can someone with Asus Essence One amp can confirm that LED Bit-perfect light when use WASAPI mode ?

Re: NO benefits from using ASIO ?

Reply #14
Same on Xonar STX II, How can I be sure that bit-perfect are working via WASAPI ?
Of course when listening music via Foobar via WASAPI I do not hear other system sounds, but I'm not sure does it output corectlly file samplerate.

Like someone say:
Quote
WASAPI is a bit perfect output plugin but some say certain cards will not automatically change the sampling rate.

Without the ASIO driver on the Xonar, your card will output whatever sampling rate it is set for. So if you play media that is 16/44.1 and you have the card set for 24/96, your card will upsample to 24/96 output.

So this is not 100% sure how it is on Xonar cards.

Re: NO benefits from using ASIO ?

Reply #15
There's an old way of testing Xonar cards for changing sample rate (not at all sure if ALL xonar cards are subjected or if this method is 100% accurate). When you play a file of a certain sample rate and then play a file of a different samplerate, with ASIO you would hear a pop before playback is started, which indicates the sample rate shift. The pop is not happening with directsound, and for me neither does it happen with WASAPI on my D1.
Again, not stating that resampling is audible or anything.

Re: NO benefits from using ASIO ?

Reply #16
thanks Pollux88 I will try.

Re: NO benefits from using ASIO ?

Reply #17
In Xonar family sound cards all audio output via WASAPI(regardless of the mode used) or DS is passed through Asus driver panel, which includes its own resampler. However, if the rate of the audio stream matches the rate chosen in asus panel, you'll get bit-perfect playback. If your library contains files with different sample rates and resampling everything to a one fixed rate with smth like SoX is not an option because of the unbearable noise at ~ -170 dbFS, then using asio makes perfect sense. It's the only output mode in which asus panel and thus the built in resampler are completely bypassed.

Re: NO benefits from using ASIO ?

Reply #18
Teddy_the_barber - exactly, so only option is still use ASIO.

Re: NO benefits from using ASIO ?

Reply #19
Regarding direct sound and "god knows what's going on in its inner workings".
Well, not much and definitely nothing top secret. The only things that can alter your audio stream are: 1. Resampler (does nothing when the rate is matched and if not, is transparent anyway), 2. Limiter ( does nothing if the signal is below -0.13dbFS) - has a pretty fast release time and is of high quality. Can be audible for really "hot" stuff, but is easily bypassed by simply reducing volume in foobar. 3. Dither (irrelevant, as it is easily disabled by choosing 24 bit output in audio settings). That's it, god knows and now you know.)))

Re: NO benefits from using ASIO ?

Reply #20

In Xonar family sound cards all audio output via WASAPI(regardless of the mode used) or DS is passed through Asus driver panel, which includes its own resampler.
 
The picture says something different.  I am not a fan on Xonar cards but I doubted your claim.

Re: NO benefits from using ASIO ?

Reply #21
Reference:

Windows 10 Professional (x64) Version 1803 (build 17134.523)

Motherboard - Asus H97M-E Rev X.0x

3.50 gigahertz Intel Core i5-4690
256 kilobyte primary memory cache
1024 kilobyte secondary memory cache
6144 kilobyte tertiary memory cache
64-bit ready
Multi-core (4 total)
Not hyper-threaded

Intel HD Graphics 4600

Sound-card - ASUS Xonar Essence STX
Drivers - http://maxedtech.com/asus-xonar-unified-drivers/

Amplifier - Stax SRM1/MK2
Headphones – Stax SR-X

Reference CD:

Label - Sheffield Labs
Album - The King James Version

According to the electronic component manufacturers, audio amplifier design was perfected over 40 years ago. The audio conversion range of the DAC and analogue chips used on the ASUS Xonar Essence STX are beyond the range of human hearing.

The above CD was ripped to 16 bit 44.1kHz flac. Listening to the flac files with foobar, driver switching between ASIO and WASAPI reveals no audible difference. Every other album I possess is an inferior quality to the above. I cannot perceive any differences.

Windows 10 is a generic operating system designed for commercial work not professional audiophile reproduction. If there are any audio differences look at the computer setup first.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audio_Stream_Input/Output

The ASIO layer was designed for professional audio by Steinberg Media Technologies GmbH (trading as Steinberg). Setting up a professional audiophile reproduction system requires competent Windows 10 skills. Ideally a Windows 10 compilation with all the bloatware removed, and only audio applications installed.

[link removed]

Only after setting up a dedicated computer system can an intelligent, rational, un-biased audio discussion be productive and yield results.

Re: NO benefits from using ASIO ?

Reply #22
@40th.com
You're outputting through S/PDIF. Obviously, in this case the audio stream can't be altered because that would make some audio undecodable. I was talking about analogue output.

Re: NO benefits from using ASIO ?

Reply #23
You're outputting through S/PDIF. Obviously, in this case the audio stream can't be altered because that would make some audio undecodable. I was talking about analogue output.
 
 
In Xonar family sound cards all audio output via WASAPI(regardless of the mode used)
 
 
Is what you claimed.  Anyway, still doesn't matter.  PCM over S/PDIF is not encoded.  LPCM "obviously" works perfectly fine being resampled and sent over S/PDIF (too basic a principle to get into).  I have put up a proof showing exactly the opposite of what you claim.  Others here have also, either by the same proof as mine, or saying the driver was poorly done.  You have put up nothing but your belief that it must be so because you, or someone on the internet, says it is. As demonstrated here, you are wrong.

Re: NO benefits from using ASIO ?

Reply #24
@40th.com, are you trying to manipulate or to actually clarify things here? Everything I claimed is true (and easily verified), except the fact I was talking EXCLUSIVELY about ANOLOGUE output. S/P DIF out mode disables the built in resampler, great, you showed this on your screenshots, nobody argues with that. Now try anologue out (which is being discussed in this thread) and show me where I'm wrong.

 
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