If you believe that software can make a difference, JRiver is doing a few things which should make it better than Foobar.
If all you want is bit-perfect playback, I don't think it matters what software you use, and JRiver should sound no better or worse than any other bit-perfect player.
The thing about JRiver is that everything is integrated into one package. I don't need to figure out what plugins I need to get to enable ASIO output or WASAPI Event, and what I need to get DSD playback working - it's all built in out of the box.
JRiver also has native support for VST plugins, so if you want to use them, there's no need to mess about trying to get VST Bridge applications working. (I never got them working right)
This can be quite important for headphone users, as the best quality sound is normally achieved with a crossfeed or HRTF plugin. (I like Redline Monitor)
And once you start doing processing to the audio, it's working with 64-bit precision to avoid degrading the quality.
Even if you don't want to be using EQ or VST plugins, there are features like R128 Volume Leveling built in which benefit from this.
It also has a lot of very advanced library management features, and in addition to top-quality audio playback, you also get the best video quality playback as well.
Rather than only playing to one device at a time, with the Zone feature, JRiver running on one PC can be the center of your home audio/video system, handling playback to any number of devices. It's far more powerful than a simple music player like Foobar or iTunes.
As you seem to be aware, all of the audio "bells and whistles" you mention are available for foobar. It is a bit difficult to configure fb if you're new to it but I've been using it so long I doubt I'm going to spring for $50 for things I know how to configure in my sleep (or don't need).
1. I don't listen to anything that truly requires cross-feed with headphones (although foobar has competent components for it)
2. I don't "process" audio
3. I don't volume level as I usually like to hear things as recorded/mastered. If there's a significant volume difference I use the remote or the volume knob (or replay gain, but rarely as in I can't remember when I last used it).
4. I don't like/use "advanced library management features" as I prefer to configure things manually (ie playlists, tags etc.). Foobar's audio library is very straightforward, fast and comprehensive. I can load a Terabyte of music into an NG playlist in literally 2 seconds (with the columns UI). I use "Everything" search if I need to find something quickly outside of any audio/video software.
5. If I had a large house I might need video management but I just plug my 55" plasma into the HDMI out from my computer (as a second monitor) and use VLC to watch everything other than BR movies.
So, I will still likely give the trial of JRiver #18 a spin but as you've highlighted most of it's advantages already, I don't see at this point how I'd need/want to shell out the cash.
To each their own and I'm glad you have a player you're happy enough with to pay $50 for (until #20).
@Ari33 Thanks for the link...although it's for Mac computers it's still very informative
Edited by Hellenback - 11/27/13 at 5:34pm