WASAPI vs ASIO vs Windows Volume Control
Feb 9, 2020 at 1:10 AM Post #31 of 31

ArJuna

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To those that question the benefit of using WASAPI over the standard Windows mixer I have this to say. I post this because I have not seen anyone point out this clear difference. If you want to get the best out of your setup then you must read this.

I have multiple high end audio systems. Some driven with multiple amps. Some of these are up to 7.4.4, but for audio playback I only use the speakers called for by the source material, which in most cases are the two mains and the subs.

I have used Foobar2000 for years with all my CD's, SACD's ripped to FLAC, WAV, APE files. My AVR's are connected to my PCs using HDMI cables via medium to high end NVidia GPUs using NVidia drivers. I used to use high end SoundBlaster devices, but discovered they are unnecessary these days.

Many years ago using Direct Sound was all I knew. One day I tried using WASAPI and I was blown away at the improvement in sound quality. On every PC I have tried this on I get the same result. The difference between Direct Sound and WASAPI is night and day. It's not some placebo effect as some have suggested. It's a massive improvement in volume level, dynamic range, and clarity. Simply increasing the volume using Direct Sound does not equal the same quality.

On my many PC's and HiFi systems the difference is unquestionably stunning. Again, your mileage may vary. As I mentioned, I have multiple systems of speakers and amps each costing upwards of $8,000.00.

I have ASIO installed on another PC used for music production. This system has similar high end audio attached. I use WASAPI on that for Foobar2000 playback, but I will try ASIO at some point to see if I notice any difference.

I don't know what Windows Direct Sound is doing to damage the sound going to my AVR's, but it is clear that Direct Sound is not suitable for use with high end audio.

I promise you that if you sat here and listened to me switch from DS to WASAPI the difference would make you jump out of your seat.
 
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