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Foobar2000: ASIO vs. KS

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
This is just an observation -- hardly a scientific poll -- but it seems to me that most foobar2000 users elect to go with ASIO (native driver or ASIO4ALL) as opposed to Kernel Streaming to achieve bit-perfect output. If my premise is correct (and please don't be shy about disagreeing--empirical observation is, by nature, arguable), I'm curious as to why. Another thread got me to reconsider using ASIO, and so this morning I made the switch from KS (even though I am more than pleased with the sound quality I was getting). Maybe it's just the notion of wanting to try something different for the sake of trying something different. Anyway, comments/theories/opinions from the community are most welcomed and appreciated.
post #2 of 27
I've never seen KS pass the DTS test.
post #3 of 27
I am wondering the same thing. I have been running FB2K with KS, and have been happy with it. But recent comments have got me wondering wither ASIO might be an improvement. Testing will have to wait until I get a new amp, as I am currently without a home/desktop rig -- sold both my tube & SS amps to fund a G-Lite.

In the meantime, I'd be curious to know what the differences are, and what variables are at play. Does OS matter? soundcard? anything else? I'm running AV710 through the alt jack on a PC with WinXP.

ASIO looked like a bit more of a hassle to set up, but I guess I'll look back at the thread to see how to do it and give it a whirl.
post #4 of 27
I was under the impression that KS and ASIO were pretty much the same, depending on your OS, it was just a way to get around the windows mixer. Also, I thought I read somewhere that if your running Vista, it's not really necessary to do either for bit perfect, but I could be mistaken.
post #5 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by regal View Post
I've never seen KS pass the DTS test.
What DTS test?
post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrKazador View Post
What DTS test?
THE DTS test.

It's when you hook up a receiver capable of recognizing DTS to your computer and see if it displays DTS or not. The reason why this test works is that the DTS format can not be resampled.
post #7 of 27
A DTS-CD(44.1khz)?
post #8 of 27
An advantage that may or may not matter is that KS, at least from my experiences, is much more robust when it comes to lower latencies. With ASIO, I've found that I need to crank the buffer to about 250 ms in order to avoid crackling and the such, whereas KS can work with as little as 5ms buffer and resist artifacts.
post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by regal View Post
I've never seen KS pass the DTS test.
Really? I wonder why not... I've heard that even MME is supposed to be bit-perfect, so it seems strange that KS would somehow modify the signal. Unless KS-capable programs just don't play back DTS files properly...
post #10 of 27
I just tried a dts wav 44.1khz using Kernel Streaming and ASIO, passthrough was perfect to my receiver (5.1 - 44.1khz).
post #11 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by royalcrown View Post
An advantage that may or may not matter is that KS, at least from my experiences, is much more robust when it comes to lower latencies. With ASIO, I've found that I need to crank the buffer to about 250 ms in order to avoid crackling and the such, whereas KS can work with as little as 5ms buffer and resist artifacts.
Interesting. Could you tell us why this is significant in practical terms? Also, am I correct in inferring that we're not talking about any impact to the actual sound quality, crackling and stuttering aside? It's also interesting to note that EnOYiN's ASIO4ALL Guide calls for the buffer to be set at 2048.
post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shoreman View Post
Interesting. Could you tell us why this is significant in practical terms? Also, am I correct in inferring that we're not talking about any impact to the actual sound quality, crackling and stuttering aside? It's also interesting to note that EnOYiN's ASIO4ALL Guide calls for the buffer to be set at 2048.
It says that because some hardware is absolutely awful and does not support very low latencies. Since a buffer of 2048 doesn't hurt (for playback) I figured that it's best to set it as high as possible to avoid further troubles.

Maybe I should write a small part to clarify this.
post #13 of 27
Mates, if the soundcard has official ASIO drivers, then it's definitely the best choice to go with, it will give the best possible sound quality output from your card and extremely low CPU consumption!
I'm using E-MU 1616m ASIO set to 10ms with foobar2000 and can't be happier, it does sound/perform better indeed through ASIO than DS or KS!
post #14 of 27
I mentioned the point about latency just off-hand. It's not relevant to most applications, but I can definitely see where it can come in handy. For instance, say you're watching a movie with headphones (or even high-quality speakers) - ASIO with a large buffer can cause serious lip-syncing problems (granted, this is more for general playback than specifically for Foobar). Also, if you don't use a playlist (I don't) and switch songs, that 2048 second buffer has to be done before playback, which will cause a lag. It may not be important for some people, but it aggravates me. Finally, ASIO with a large buffer can cause higher CPU usage. From all of the benchmarks I've done, kernel streaming has the lowest CPU usage on my PC - lower than ASIO and lower than DirectSound. Most differences between KS and ASIO are pretty superficial to begin with, and it's not a big deal one way or another.

Jzzz: Unless there's something wrong with the specific KS/ASIO setup, ASIO and KS will sound exactly the same.
post #15 of 27
I didn't know ASIO was supposed to be better than KS...

with that said i closed my eyes and listened to: KS vs. ASIO(native) vs. ASIO(asio4all) and went with ASIO(native)
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