Author Topic: Is ASIO Bit-perfect?  (Read 506 times)

mang0es

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I am totally new to this media player and seems pretty great, but my main goal is to achieve bit perfect audio playback and I have both wasapi (Exclusive) and ASIO. For some reason ASIO sounds better than WASAPI and I am using FL Studio ASIO as my output and disabled all sound effects and resampling. Am I getting bit perfect playback? Or is there anyway to know that I am getting bit perfect playback?

Mayibongwe

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Hi there, welcome to the forum.
Those with expertise on the subject will comment, but see below in the interim:

output is bit-perfect with MB if you:

- use WASAPI (Exclusive) or ASIO in the player preferences
- have volume set to 100%
- no equaliser/dsp active
- your device supports the sample rate of the music file
The source code to any of my contributions is available on the same download link as the add-ons

hiccup

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Hi there, welcome to the forum.
Those with expertise on the subject will comment, but see below in the interim:

output is bit-perfect with MB if you:

- use WASAPI (Exclusive) or ASIO in the player preferences
- have volume set to 100%
- no equaliser/dsp active
- your device supports the sample rate of the music file
And:
- cross-fade is disabled

;-)

vincent kars

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Depends.
WASAPI/Exclusive will transfer the output of Musicbee unaltered to the audio device.
Most of the time ASIO does the same but not all of the time. Some ASIO implementations do allow for multiple audio streams hence resample to a specified bitrate.

If both are "bit perfect" and you do hear a difference, better do a unsighted ABX test as none of these protocols do have a sound signature.

hiccup

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Depends.
WASAPI/Exclusive will transfer the output of Musicbee unaltered to the audio device.
Most of the time ASIO does the same but not all of the time. Some ASIO implementations do allow for multiple audio streams hence resample to a specified bitrate.

If both are "bit perfect" and you do hear a difference, better do a unsighted ABX test as none of these protocols do have a sound signature.
Since I believe you are very knowledgeable on the subject:

Do you think there can be any situation at all where it makes sense to use ASIO over Wasapi exclusive for an audio player such as MusicBee?
(in my opinion ASIO is only causing issues for users, on a frequent base)

Maybe where it concerns playing DSD formats?
(which using also does not make much sense, in my personal opinion)

vincent kars

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Technically spoke the answer should be no assuming both are implemented well.  But are they?

Pragmatically spoken:
- not all DAC's support ASIO
- ASIO requires 2 parties, both the media player and the manufacturer of the DAC must implement it properly
- as mentioned before, some ASIO implementations do accept multiple audio streams hence do resample. Main reason to use WASAPI/Exclusive is playing all audio at its native sample rate.

Personally I prefer WASAPI/Exclusive as it is independent of the manufacturer of the DAC.
Please observe this is about external DAC's. Some onboard discrete soundcards (at least in the past) don't support WASAPI at all.
As usual it boils down to YMMV but I do think WASAPI is the less complex of the two. Hence I do prefer WASAPI.

DSD is a different beast. As it is a non-editable format you must avoid any DSP (Win Audio stack, Musicbee volume control, etc) to play it natively. This of course assumes your DAC accept DSD. Modern USB DAC's do as UAC2 allows for RAW beside PCM. So you not only need a "bit perfect" protocol (avoid the win mixer) but also avoid any DSP upstream (the media player).

IMHO DSD has no benefits compared with PCM. In fact I don't like its huge amount of quantization noise bombarding my tweeters.
https://www.thewelltemperedcomputer.com/KB/DSD.htm
If I get a DSD, I simply convert it to PCM to get rid of the noise.

hiccup

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Technically spoke the answer should be no…
Thanks for your input vincent kars.

It solidifies my personal opinion that users raising issues with ASIO on the forum are pretty much asking for trouble, by persisting to use ASIO with no valid reason (or understanding of the matter) at all.

mang0es

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Thank you ya'll for the useful info, really helpful since I am new to all of this  :)