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WASAPI Configuration

Hey guys,

I have a few questions about the Wasapi configuration and the optimal windows settings.

My Setup:

OS:          Windows 7 Pro 64-Bit
SOUND:    Creative Soundblaster Play (USB)
PLAYER:    Foobar (1.2.3) + Wasapi Plugin (3.2.1)

Laptop > USB Soundcard > 2.1 Speakers with active subwoofer

Windows Settings:

- 16bit / 44100 Hz
- Exclusive Mode (both option boxes are selected)
- Performance Options > Advances > Process Sheduling > Programs selected (or better Background Services?)

Should I change the process priority on Foobar or Wasapi process to high or even realtime? (Taskmanager > Processes > Right Click on Process....)

Foobar Settings:

- Device: Wasapi Event
- Buffer Length: 50 ms
- ReplayGain is off
- No DSPs

Wasapi Settings:

- Hardware Buffer in MS (event mode): 25  (Should I change it?)
- High Worker Process Priority (activate or no???)


Which volume panels have to be on max?

I habe a wasapihost68 volume panel in the windows mixer - does it have any affect on the sound?

What audio driver is better - the standard Windows driver or the creative driver. Is there maybe a general USB Sound driver you recommend?

Are there any other plugins like dsp i should use?

Thanks :>

WASAPI Configuration

Reply #1
You keep asking if anything can be done “better”. Better what? Sound quality? If so, as has been stated in countless past threads, the output method used will not have any audible effect upon what you hear (unless something is very wrong with your hardware and/or its drivers).

The options that you have enquired about will have precisely no effect upon quality, unless they were insufficient for your hardware and software configuration, in which case you would experience glitching and other distinctly non-subtle artefacts.

As I always say, threads like this imply that foobar2000, or any other sane application, needs to be massaged into producing an optimal signal. That is simply not the case. There are no secret tricks necessary to reproduce a signal properly.

Don’t feel obliged to use something other than the default mode unless you have a specific reason to do so. If you are using it, don’t feel obliged to change any of its settings unless you are having problems. Quality will either stay the same or drop right off; in neither case is any advanced tweaking necessary in normal use-cases.

Re: WASAPI Configuration

Reply #2
I hope bumping this old thread isn't against the rules, but I believe this is relevant and contributes to this thread: I have confirmed via a blind test that setting "high worker process priority" can indeed improve the sound quality. For the test, a pair of Sennheiser HD 800's (incredibly revealing headphones) were attached directly to headphone output of my Surface Pro 4, with WASAPI event mode output in foobar2000, and the user and I both switched the option on and off randomly during playback, not informing the other who was listening of the status of the setting. Additionally, to ensure the act itself of turning the setting on and off was not the source of the reduced sound quality, we also tested by stopping and restarting various tracks with the setting both on and off, again not informing the one listening about the setting. To me, at least, it sounds like something is truncating the bit depth of the output by a noticeable amount. Whether or not it is an issue with Windows 10's audio system or the Microsoft's Surface audio hardware or drivers (the ALC3269 codec is Realtek hardware, so I would not be the least surprised), is unknown. Whatever it is exactly, dynamics, clarity and depth are most definitely improved subsequent to invoking this setting.  It is indeed possible, as db1989 notes, that substandard audio drivers or hardware are the culprit for the discrepancy in sound quality. I will see if this sound quality issue is localized to Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, to the Surface Pro 4 (I also have access to a New Surface Pro and a desktop PC and--hopefully--a replacement DAC and amplifier) since the audio should, in theory, be transparent regardless of the audio system (i.e. DirectSound, ASIO, WASAPI) and the settings used. I am a hardcore objectivist by personality and by trade--a big fan of NwAvGuy--so I had to pinch myself a bit since I was always of the belief that this should not be happening--but it is. So in summary, if you have a Windows 10 device with Realtek audio hardware or at least a Microsoft Surface device with Windows 10 installed and you think the audio is somewhat underwhelming, try turning this setting on as it may improve the sound quality for you as it did for me.


Re: WASAPI Configuration

Reply #3
If you're a hardcore objectivist you'll know we are going to want to see your blind test data, and more details on how this was made double-blind. 

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