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Directsound VS Bit-Perfect

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Before anyone points out the obvious; yes I have looked around a LOT on people talking about different output types and comparisons. The issue is I have not found much in the way of constructive or helpful info.

I've been using iTunes for years and I knew going into it, it wasn't the A+ choice (honestly, the organization and coverflow kept me there). I recently upgraded to a Claro Halo soundcard and DT990 (600ohm) cans.

 

I became concerned over the "bit-perfect" output options out there and questioned if iTunes was worth using since apparently it gets sent to the windows mixer Kernel.

What I have not been able to find at all is how big of a difference this makes. I have more A-B personal testing to do, but it's really not yielding any distinct results.

I DO understand Bit-perfect playback that is unmolseted by a pass through a windows kernel is ideal and in theory the best way to go. But I would also like to not having to Ditch iTunes or mod it to use a WASAPI Foobar passthrough just because it isn't bit-perfect.

 

Not looking for an objectivity war here, I just want to know i'm not making a grave mistake sticking with iTunes with my new equipment! Thanks in advance.


Edited by RushNerd - 8/9/12 at 9:17am
post #2 of 18
Thread Starter 

I forgot to mention i'm plugging the cans into the soundcard's headphone out (which has a high impedance amp onboard) and not using anything like SPDIF which might require bit-perfect playback.

 

I read several more threads on Directsound VS bit perfect options and amazingly no one posted anything of much help. Assuming no one replies to this, I'll have to just guess that the difference is extremely subtle, but i'd like some feedback.


Edited by RushNerd - 8/8/12 at 10:17pm
post #3 of 18

Bit-perfect just ensures your stream goes right to the card with no meddling that can affect your audio in a negative way.  However, it is your system so use what you want or what sounds best to you.

 

I am not sure I answered your question, if I didn't let me know and I will try and clarify it a bit for you.


Edited by ROBSCIX - 8/9/12 at 10:15am
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 

Kind of an obvious answer, but from the way the thread is going, I don't think anyone is going to give me a satisfying one.

 

If there is indeed another level of clarity to bit-perfect, it would be a big step migrating everything to foobar and whatnot.

post #5 of 18

Well the answer is an obvious one, so what answer are you looking for?

The reason people go with bit-perfect is to prevent anything negative from happening to the stream.  For instance you can get resampling.etc.  So that is why many use them, however others suggest there is little to no differences between the bit-perfect and non-BP outputs so it is basically up to you.  If it is not worth it to you and more of a hassle, why worry about it?

 

What more is there to say?  I guess I am not sure what answer you are looking for here.

post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 

I'm worried about it because no one can say it's "better" I guess. From everything I have read the improvement seems to be more theoretical than obvious.

I was hoping someone here had the same issue as me and maybe did some tests of their own.

post #7 of 18

Well it depends on your system.  To some people it can be an obvious difference and to others, not so much.  Best thing to do is run some tests yourself and decode from there.

Some people use bit-perfects and some do not.

post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by RushNerd View Post

I just want to know i'm not making a grave mistake sticking with iTunes with my new equipment

 

Well, the Claro Halo sounds pretty shrill, iTunes isn't quite audiophile grade(no 64fp lossy audio decoding for instance) and the DT990 supposedly has a V shaped FR....this combo might not be optimal for analytic listening.

Be happy that you can't hear a difference, less things to worry about beerchug.gif


Edited by leeperry - 8/9/12 at 9:16pm
post #9 of 18

Unless you have an older ladder type DAC bit perfect really has no meaning as newer DAC's convert to an entirely different signal format. PCM to Delta Sigma or what really is pulse density modulation or PDM, anouther name for Delta Sigma. So the truth is not even the DAC's are bit perfect anymore if you want no sample rate or format conversions prior to converting to analog.

post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by leeperry View Post

 

Well, the Claro Halo sounds pretty shrill, iTunes isn't quite audiophile grade(no 64fp lossy audio decoding for instance) and the DT990 supposedly has a V shaped FR....this combo might not be optimal for analytic listening.

Be happy that you can't hear a difference, less things to worry about beerchug.gif

Who said I was going for analytic, I hate music that dry. But my sound card is "shrill" now? Let me guess, it's ASUS Xonar Essense counterpart is not shrill and better right? Not sure what to say here.


Edited by RushNerd - 8/9/12 at 11:54pm
post #11 of 18

I thought that Windows (Windows Vista and newer) doesn't resample or mess with the audio if only one audio stream is playing?


Edited by namaiki - 8/9/12 at 10:41pm
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by leeperry View Post

 

Well, the Claro Halo sounds pretty shrill,

I'd love for some people to ring in on this, I didn't pay $200 last week for a sound card that is "shrill" apparently.

post #13 of 18
Clockworkangels..................
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post

Clockworkangels..................

I bought that last week too, what about it? Obviously a Rush fan here.

post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by namaiki View Post

I thought that Windows (Windows Vista and newer) doesn't resample or mess with the audio if only one audio stream is playing?

Im not sure on EXACTLY how it works, but I do know that it can support sample rates other than 48Khz, and that it uses far better algorithms and whatnot than XP/earlier. In my experience, I can't tell a difference using WASAPI vs DirectSound (in windows vista/7+). That's across a few different sound cards/dac's/etc.

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