Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Audiophilia: Audiophile-grade sound from Winamp? Update

After more testing this afternoon (makes for an enjoyable lunch hour!) I've confirmed that the ASIO output for Winamp is better than the standard DirectSound S/PDIF out.

The difference isn't huge. It's really quite subtle, at least as auditioned on my roommate's Paradigm Active 20s (with Proceed PAV/PDSD decoder).

There's just a shade more detail, particularly in sharper sounds with aggressive attacks. A finger snap, for instance, will sound more three dimensional with the ASIO output whereas over DirectSound it is less striking and less sharply defined.

The difference may also depend on your particular sound card. My M-Audio Delta Audiophile 2496 is supposed to be an intro-level pro sound card (meaning it's much better than the norm but isn't crazy expensive). Perhaps a SoundBlaster Crap-o-la 2000 will exhibit a much bigger difference.


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