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ASIO superior? - Page 3

post #31 of 62

I just spent a few hours comparing wasapi event to asio, using foobar and the schiit uberfrost dac on a usb connection, in windows 7. Honestly I can say there is definitely a difference in sound, but not a very big one at all, and in general both technically sound good, as long as your dac works with both just fine, as mine does. But after many hours of going back and forth, I noticed a difference in sound. its in the tone and signature, not so much in quality. both are top quality, but they definitely have a different tone to them. Again its minor, you have to listen to both side by side to start noticing it, but even on my equipment (which is all under 1k) you can totally hear its there.

The difference:

asio is basically an ever so slightly darker sound, but with better PRaT. What I mean by dark, is simply on sharp high sounding instruments like cymbals or electronic screeches and clicks, they sound just the slightest bit softer, still sharp, but in comparison to wasapi its not as sharp. Just slightly though, these differences took me a few hours to confirm and figure out after all lol.

wasapi is ever so slightly brighter and airer sounding. But it seemed to have the tendency to make something that had slight listenable sibilance sound too sibilant and just ever so slightly over the edge of not fully enjoyable. but of course with a warmer, more dulled recording, wasapi sounded nicer becaue of the extra brightness. It doesnt have as nice of PRaT though, thats the one thing you will definitely notice if you switch back and forth on the same song you know very well. even if you dont notice the tone changes, you will notice the change in PRaT slightly. especially if you sit for long sessions.

So ultimately, I honestly still san't decide which one to use lol. Some songs sounded better with wasapi event, and others better with asio. As of right now, I've left on asio because of the PRaT. If you didn't have the direct comparison to wasapi event, you wouldnt be able to notice anything different about asio, but with wasapi event theres definitely a few songs (the brighter ones) where you just feel like something isn't 100% correct about this (too bright). but ultimately, its going to come down to your personal preferance, the rest of your chain, and the quality of your recordings. Both output methods have optimal sound quality, just different sound signatures. take you pick, or switch between them depending on the song (if you dac can do it, mine apparently can lol).

Also I have no idea how its possible that a difference in tone exists between them. If anyone knows how to scientifically explain how thats even possible, please let me know, because I promise the difference exists, and I made sure to keep the variables indentical when switching between the two.

one last note I should mention, on my asio driver options menu inside foobar, it gives a check box to use 64 bit drivers, and when I tried that it just made the sound worse. slightly louder, less of a black background, less separation, it just seemed like the volume was turned up slightly on all the instruments so they bled into each other more, making the sound overall seem just more noisey, instead of pleasant and clear and separated. So idk why that happens in 64 bit operation, but I just keep at default 32 bit and it sounds just fine.

post #32 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by saxelrod92 View Post
 

I just spent a few hours comparing wasapi event to asio, using foobar and the schiit uberfrost dac on a usb connection, in windows 7. Honestly I can say there is definitely a difference in sound, but not a very big one at all, and in general both technically sound good, as long as your dac works with both just fine, as mine does. But after many hours of going back and forth, I noticed a difference in sound. its in the tone and signature, not so much in quality. both are top quality, but they definitely have a different tone to them. Again its minor, you have to listen to both side by side to start noticing it, but even on my equipment (which is all under 1k) you can totally hear its there.

The difference:

asio is basically an ever so slightly darker sound, but with better PRaT. What I mean by dark, is simply on sharp high sounding instruments like cymbals or electronic screeches and clicks, they sound just the slightest bit softer, still sharp, but in comparison to wasapi its not as sharp. Just slightly though, these differences took me a few hours to confirm and figure out after all lol.

wasapi is ever so slightly brighter and airer sounding. But it seemed to have the tendency to make something that had slight listenable sibilance sound too sibilant and just ever so slightly over the edge of not fully enjoyable. but of course with a warmer, more dulled recording, wasapi sounded nicer becaue of the extra brightness. It doesnt have as nice of PRaT though, thats the one thing you will definitely notice if you switch back and forth on the same song you know very well. even if you dont notice the tone changes, you will notice the change in PRaT slightly. especially if you sit for long sessions.

So ultimately, I honestly still san't decide which one to use lol. Some songs sounded better with wasapi event, and others better with asio. As of right now, I've left on asio because of the PRaT. If you didn't have the direct comparison to wasapi event, you wouldnt be able to notice anything different about asio, but with wasapi event theres definitely a few songs (the brighter ones) where you just feel like something isn't 100% correct about this (too bright). but ultimately, its going to come down to your personal preferance, the rest of your chain, and the quality of your recordings. Both output methods have optimal sound quality, just different sound signatures. take you pick, or switch between them depending on the song (if you dac can do it, mine apparently can lol).

Also I have no idea how its possible that a difference in tone exists between them. If anyone knows how to scientifically explain how thats even possible, please let me know, because I promise the difference exists, and I made sure to keep the variables indentical when switching between the two.

one last note I should mention, on my asio driver options menu inside foobar, it gives a check box to use 64 bit drivers, and when I tried that it just made the sound worse. slightly louder, less of a black background, less separation, it just seemed like the volume was turned up slightly on all the instruments so they bled into each other more, making the sound overall seem just more noisey, instead of pleasant and clear and separated. So idk why that happens in 64 bit operation, but I just keep at default 32 bit and it sounds just fine.

 

 

When differences are that subtle I think you really need to do a blind ABX test to remove this influencial factor as knowing what one is listening to... can affect what we actually hear.

 

If ABX testing confirms your findings then I need to go study how drivers actually work and try to work out how there could be a tonal difference or timing discrepancy as Asio and Wasapi sounding different in the same player is a big surprise to me.

post #33 of 62

Yea definitely agree with you there, sadly I can't really do a blind ABX test alone, since someone has to actually switch the output manually. I tried to do my best with what I had to work with though, and tried to be very thorough in terms of listening to the same like 15 seconds of familiar music and switching outputs as quickly as possible to compare any repetitive differences. and at least from these test conditions, after a decent 2-3 hours of doing this very carefully (I tested my hearing in regards to frequency response and found out I definitely can hear perfectly, like spot on 20 khz down to 5hz), and every single time I used wasapi event, the sound was consistantly the signature I mentioned above, and same with asio, and also changing the latency for asio (in the drivers pop-up window which just lets me change from 50-4ms and the bit depth) also had super super minor changes, default was set to 20ms and I left it at that after trying them all. also wasapi push sounds slightly worse than event, in my set up which is just usb to the schiit bifrost uber.

I know this doesn't qualify as blind empirical testing, but I trust myself enough to know when I'm definitely hearing a specific sound signature over and over again. It is indeed subtle, but it's enough that when both output methods function perfectly on your set up, something has to be the deciding factor for which one you choose, and the subtle sound difference ultimately became it for me. plus I assume if you change the set up (like dac or amp or headphone) you might find that the output method you used before isn't as good as the other (again in very very very subtle terms here, just enough to be noticed and annoying that it exists lol).

Also prior to doing all of this, I never have used either output method as this is my first time using an external dac. I am familiar with good headphones and good speaker set ups, so I knew what sounds good, as well as playing drums so I know what a live band is supposed to sound like. So I wasn't expecting any difference between the two outputs, I only came to my above conclusions because I expected no difference (as the majority of ppl report and claim) but just kept noticing one. I can get into further details about like the exact difference a hi-hat on daft punk's new album sounds between the two, but thats not important right now.

I still would love to know some kind of "proof" to how this may occur. I can definitely eliminate the player, computer, os, cables, dac, amp, headphones, etc as a cause. since Direct sound is exactly what it sounds like out of the headphone jack, just with the influence of the dac and amp to make it better, but it has the familiar tone. So it is 100% something to do with these output methods, and the asio driver is native to the dac, this is not asio4all. I KNOW I hear it, I just wish I knew how it's actually possible and if anyone else hears it too, and in general which output method you guys chose and stick to everytime, and the reason. Because I could get used to any one of the 3 output methods (ds, wasapi, asio) but knowing the difference between them, makes it annoying to just pick one lol.

post #34 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by saxelrod92 View Post
 


one last note I should mention, on my asio driver options menu inside foobar, it gives a check box to use 64 bit drivers, and when I tried that it just made the sound worse. slightly louder, less of a black background, less separation, it just seemed like the volume was turned up slightly on all the instruments so they bled into each other more, making the sound overall seem just more noisey, instead of pleasant and clear and separated. So idk why that happens in 64 bit operation, but I just keep at default 32 bit and it sounds just fine.

I thought I was the only one noticed a difference here.

but do you use 64 bit os?

what is that designed for really?

post #35 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by boyd seabiscuit View Post
 

I thought I was the only one noticed a difference here.

but do you use 64 bit os?

what is that designed for really?

I'm using windows 7 on a dell xps l502x  laptop. As far I know thats 64 bit (unless i'm being stupid lol). I'm assuming the 64 bit option is meant to help asio work better with audio recording programs, as that is technically what asio was invented for in the first place. So probably theres some programs out there that run in 64 bit and in that case having asio in 64 bit meshes better. Because I'm pretty sure foobar 2000 is 32 bit, as is itunes or jriver, and pretty much any media player. so when we switch to 64 bit we are actually making asio less compatible with the program that is using it.

 

Thats my best assumption. I honestly can't think of anything else, and am not computer savy enough to think of more confusing and random possibilities lol.

post #36 of 62

Windows 7 is available in 2 versions (32 bit and 64 bit). If you don't know which you have you can go to start menu...right click on computer and the select properties. The information will be displayed about your computer including your version of Windows. You would not want to run any software  64 bit on a 32 bit system. 

post #37 of 62

I am much unsure if it is my computer causing the differences come from my speakers, or simply my ear.

but every once in a while it kinda sound a little different, and this time when I try the 64 bit driver it sounds like better than before.

so I am very much vexed about which part is it inducing such effect, whether my ear, my computer, or the config?

 

ps: my computer is 64 bit win7, I use genelec 8010 with cambridge dacmagic plus

post #38 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by saxelrod92 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by boyd seabiscuit View Post
 

I thought I was the only one noticed a difference here.

but do you use 64 bit os?

what is that designed for really?

I'm using windows 7 on a dell xps l502x  laptop. As far I know thats 64 bit (unless i'm being stupid lol). I'm assuming the 64 bit option is meant to help asio work better with audio recording programs, as that is technically what asio was invented for in the first place. So probably theres some programs out there that run in 64 bit and in that case having asio in 64 bit meshes better. Because I'm pretty sure foobar 2000 is 32 bit, as is itunes or jriver, and pretty much any media player. so when we switch to 64 bit we are actually making asio less compatible with the program that is using it.

 

Thats my best assumption. I honestly can't think of anything else, and am not computer savy enough to think of more confusing and random possibilities lol.


 asio is working with the media player so if it's a 32bit soft like foobar is, why try to put asio in 64? that's also how I saw it and left asio in 32bit.

post #39 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by castleofargh View Post
 


 asio is working with the media player so if it's a 32bit soft like foobar is, why try to put asio in 64? that's also how I saw it and left asio in 32bit.


Yea My system is definitely 64-bit, but foobar is 32 bit, so I just would leave asio in 32 bit. it was always designed as a way for programs to interact with audio devices, so I figure it's dependant on the program being used.

post #40 of 62

I compared asio and wasapi back and forth on same song several times. The differences are very minor but audible if you listen and compare.

Asio gives a bit more mid and top end zing and detail whilst wasapi is a little more neutral across freq spectrum blooming slightly towards the bottom end.

 

As to which I prefer not sure I like both but the differences are very minor so will stick with wasapi as it gives me more software choice whilst asio is limited.


Edited by XLR8 - 9/3/14 at 10:34pm
post #41 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by XLR8 View Post
 

I compared asio and wasapi back and forth on same song several times. The differences are very minor but audible if you listen and compare.

 

How about KS? :evil: 

 

FWIW the author of XXHighEnd stated clearly that he hates the sound of ASIO.

post #42 of 62

can't say I hear any difference. and it's a little bit the point. if 3 bit perfect options had 3 different sounds, then there would be something real wrong going on with the computer. I guess there can be theorical differences because I don't know if they're all converting to 32bit floating point, and you might select 24bit in wasapi when asio will pick 32bit automatically if the DAC allows 32bit(asio is always picking the higher bit depth I think). but let's get real, we're talking differences that would maybe translate into some super dupper low noise. so I can hardly believe that alone would be audible.

 

as I said, I go with wasapi because it shows 1 wasapi output per sound output so I can use shortcuts in foobar. no other reason to pick that one. on my last computer the choice was simple I never got asio to work, and the one before wasapi didn't exist yet I think ^_^. 

KS also do the same and sounds the same. it doesn't seem to use extra memory/CPU, at least not directly related to foobar. but I don't know if it's not just hiding under some windows process instead? if not then I guess KS uses less memory/cpu than wasapi. in my case wasapi is using something like 15mo and 0.25% of 1 core, so not really relevant for my choice.

anyway my advice on this is: pick one, and if it works, use it. :deadhorse:

post #43 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by castleofargh View Post
 

can't say I hear any difference. and it's a little bit the point. if 3 bit perfect options had 3 different sounds, then there would be something real wrong going on with the computer. I guess there can be theorical differences because I don't know if they're all converting to 32bit floating point, and you might select 24bit in wasapi when asio will pick 32bit automatically if the DAC allows 32bit(asio is always picking the higher bit depth I think). but let's get real, we're talking differences that would maybe translate into some super dupper low noise. so I can hardly believe that alone would be audible.

 

as I said, I go with wasapi because it shows 1 wasapi output per sound output so I can use shortcuts in foobar. no other reason to pick that one. on my last computer the choice was simple I never got asio to work, and the one before wasapi didn't exist yet I think ^_^. 

KS also do the same and sounds the same. it doesn't seem to use extra memory/CPU, at least not directly related to foobar. but I don't know if it's not just hiding under some windows process instead? if not then I guess KS uses less memory/cpu than wasapi. in my case wasapi is using something like 15mo and 0.25% of 1 core, so not really relevant for my choice.

anyway my advice on this is: pick one, and if it works, use it. :deadhorse:


yea the differences are very very small, just enough to notice they aren't perfectly identical, but not enough to say one sounds better than the other. hey both play your music, and make it sound good. I think the differences exist purely because the method to achieve bit-perfect is different between them. asio, as far as I've been able to figure out from reading up on it, basically creates a bridge between your dac and the media player, which then permits data to freely flow between them without passing through anything else. wasapi is different in the sense that its still going through windows architecture but just surpasses the mixer to create a very short and direct path to the dac. So because of that, you get the very very very slight change in how they sound.

post #44 of 62
I too had a handful of time comparing ASIO, Direct Sound, WASAPI (Standard, Exlusive, Event Style) and Kernel Streaming on JRiver.

And to my ears my order of preferences are:

1. Kernel Streaming
2. ASIO
3. WASAPI (Event Style)

As mentioned by previouse posters (saxelrod92 and xlr8) on the advantages of ASIO versus WASAPI.
But i do prefer KS more above ASIO because it has a bit more presence and dynamics. Especially when playing acoustics.

Give it a try. If it helps.
post #45 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by m-i-c-k-e-y View Post

I too had a handful of time comparing ASIO, Direct Sound, WASAPI (Standard, Exlusive, Event Style) and Kernel Streaming on JRiver.

And to my ears my order of preferences are:

1. Kernel Streaming
2. ASIO
3. WASAPI (Event Style)

As mentioned by previouse posters (saxelrod92 and xlr8) on the advantages of ASIO versus WASAPI.
But i do prefer KS more above ASIO because it has a bit more presence and dynamics. Especially when playing acoustics.

Give it a try. If it helps.

This is all dependent in your specific computer/software and the receiver in your dac. There is not really any one right answer to which is best for anyone. 

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