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Directsound vs WASAPI vs ASIO
Midiman
post Apr 8 2012, 05:10
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After reading many of the posts on this forum, it appears that there is no evidence that ASIO or WASAPI sounds any better than Directsound on Windows 7. I understand the importance of ABX testing - and I am interested in a way to do a double blind test of such claims. Let me first of all state that I cannot hear any difference. For me to be objective, I have used the same player for all tests - foobar2000 - and simply changed the Output from Directsound to WASAPI to ASIO. However, to do this, I have to stop the playback, change the driver, and then restart playback. This means comparions are doubtful at best due to the delay involved and my knowledge of what driver I selected.

How have others conducted such tests? Please note I am not trying to prove a difference exists - just to find a way to do the test properly. The ABX plugin for foobar2000 has been very useful to compare different WAV files. Obviously, one cannot use it for this sort of experiment.

Thank you for any suggestions or pointers to where this has been proved one way or another.
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post Oct 8 2012, 19:29
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ASIO, WASAPI and DS are different things. Which means they are different. In theory (for reasons outlined) ASIO and WASAPI are more satisfactory from the viewpoint of low-overhead, unmolested data transmission.

Whether or not that maps to a practical benefit is hard to make a general statement about.

If you could test your system with sufficient accuracy, those results would not be valid on a different machine running a differently configured OS on different hardware with a different cable and DAC. Given that it's tough to test every setup even indifferently well, we're in the realm of guesswork and supposition. Whether a blind ABX tells you much of genuine interest is also open to question!
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