I realized that playback software's like foobar actually limit fidelity (even when using asio or wasapi). I switched to winyl a couple of months. Someone had measured it a while back couldn't find it now. Winyl is measurably superior to foobar. Don't get me started on stock players they are even worse. Microsoft's groove player has a layer of low pass on top of it. Played around with hqplayer demo version. My impressions after 1 hour of listening. 1. When bit depth and sample rate are matched, winyl and hqplayer sound identical. 2. Making bit depth higher on hqplayer without doing any processing makes it sound a little worse. Somewhat soft. 3. Making bit depth higher and increasing sample rate to 192khz (max supported by my unit) and adding processing makes it sound different and interesting. Sinc-M and Sinc-M + couple of dithers worked fine for me. The mp (the graphs without pre ring) made it sound somewhat closer to geek out but since it retained dynamics it didn't sound as full/dark/compressed as geek out. Maybe if i added a compressor on top it could sound identical to geek out. Either way you can get the same filter on groove as you do on geek out with this processing. 4. Most filters worked fine. Very few (the first one I told sinc-mp- long) didn't work well enough. I think they hold the most accurate rendition. 4. All that said, I prefer winyl because I find keeping things stock has an element of accuracy I don't find otherwise. I'll try to do the higher precision filters in matlab sometime and play around. 5. Winyl + Minorityclean is on a whole another level. I'm still trying to experiment with different variants of minorityclean but the default version 8 brought marked improvements on most fronts. Hqplayer + minorityclean could sound identical to the above you don't upsample and don't add any processing but the point of hqplayer is those features. No processing on hqplayer even comes close to what minorityclean does. * * * * * Overall hqplayer is , more like a feature packed variant of winyl, but minority clean is , just overall a higher fidelity medium. Winyl/any equivalent software + minorityclean is as good as the best any windows software could get in audio playback. Improvements in minorityclean is two staged. First one comes from cpu level jitter reduction by changing the compiler structure to bypass the CPUs instruction pre fetch/"optimization" and is audible the moment you run this and add your music player to the memory. The second one is complicated, it does something with respect to digital voltage referencing and I am unsure what is happening, but i can hear improvements till maybe like 15 minutes. If you could wait for minutes before playing music try the other software from the same guy - pinkHQ, nontallion,etc.. they do a system cooldown and voltage referencing and set the memory pointers in most optimal jitter free locations. I'm not bothering much with them coz i tried it once.. took 15 minutes to start playing one song and I was . Didn't try to find differences/improvements since i was super frustrated at that point. Also tried Jriver. It's fine but not as good as winyl/hqplayer/xmplay. But definitely gives a tougher fight on me when trying to compare. Foobar vs my reference players were profound. Jriver wasn't as profound. Overall jriver sounded like my apogee groove was taken to sound like geek out a little. Geek out is a bit of a compressed sounding dac, though clean and full. Regarding clarity on hqplayer and winyl. If music is 16 bit, Hq player at 16 bit and winyl sound same. Hq player at 24 bit for 16 bit input music without proper filter sounds worse not precisely sure why. Hq player at 24 bit with proper dither and resampling at higher sample rate should sound better. I've tried few things and they gave me good hope. But for now I think I'll have to learn more about the filters technically. There's 3 parameters. And each of them have like 15 options. That's 3000 combinations, some of which my cpu can't handle. Can't do that one by one. Gotta check the math of each, do analysis, and automate this. Also, gave a shot at macbook yesterday. Put up with it for over an hour and gave up. Was kinda horrible. Returned back to windows. Using macbook, felt legit like a hipster trying to re-learn everything that used to be intuitive otherwise. Was disappointing since I liked FreeBSD when I tried it on my virtual machine. Seems like it's not freeBSD based. Just some 20% of the code used for networking were based on BSD. Couldn't get usb audio to work properly. It made sound and everything, but didn't sound right. Felt like snakes and ladders where i try my best to climb to stage 90 and the snake pulls me down to stage 3 again - sounded similar to how windows media player sounded, if even worse. For an os that prides itself to be a professional environment I expect it to just work no excuses.