Asio vs wasapi exclusive mode
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bigshot

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If you want to know about theoretical/inaudible differences, you'll probably get more interest in your question in the rest of head-fi. That is their stock in trade. Here, we focus more on audible improvements.
 
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Davesrose

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Better for what? Either system can deliver high quality audio. This question literally is asking if apples or oranges taste better if it's about audio quality. The advantage with WASAPI is that it's a Windows standard and has no issues with DRM and system resources with the latest standards (it has two modes for setting a priority with Windows: Exclusive, that has less processing, vs Shared, which apart from the application's sound can also mix system DSP). ASIO is a standard for directly accessing a sound card's capability.
 
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castleofargh

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if your device came with asio drivers, well they're drivers given specifically for your device. not sure there is more to say.
wasapi is the bit perfect solution from Windows and it can usually work with any device. both have the same job, bypass the mixer and "talk" directly with the DAC(or whatever else).
 
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enigmo

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Although this thread is a bit old already, concerning latency my very own experience using the Steinberg UR22 was that ASIO had less "rare dropouts". I mean when it crackles only every now and then while it is actually running stable for most of the time.

And with ASIO I was able to get 64 samples latency without crackling, with WASAPI only 192 samples for which I needed exclusive mode and could not use another program that sends audio. There I found ASIO better, because with the UR22 driver I was able to use the ASIO host plus another program that also sends audio on the same PC, for example to play a piano VST with low latency and listen to Youtube at the same time.
 
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sonitus mirus

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The biggest concern with ASIO drivers from a specific manufacturer is that at some point the support could vanish and any problems that might arise with regards to changes in the operating system or other software/hardware would never be addressed. This seems highly unlikely to occur in my personal experience, and even WASAPI could lose support.
 
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