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Xonar drivers – disable SpeakerCompensation tweak testing

What it does

This tweak disables the “SpeakerCompensation” driver setting, this setting is enabled by default and not accessible through Asus/Cmedia Panel.
Disabling “SpeakerCompensation” results in a lower DPC latency. There may be other benefits or drawbacks that are yet to be discovered. Currently the role of the SpeakerCompensation is unknown, it could be very well a forgotten driver subroutine that does nothing other than increasing xonar’s driver DPC execution time.

I invite you to test this tweak and submit your findings. Feedback is welcomed because I plan on incorporating this tweak in future UNi Xonar drivers.

How to apply the tweak

  • Download and extract this file.
  • Run “disable SpeakerCompensation.exe”.
  • For v1.80 and older drivers: Close any application that uses the soundcard and run “restart card.exe”. You would hear the card popping if the restart went through, if you didn’t hear that then restart the PC.
  • For v1.81 drivers: Restart the PC. Do not “restart card.exe” as it will result in a blue screen.
How to restore to the default behavior
  • Run “restore SpeakerCompensation.exe”.
  • For v1.80 and older drivers: Close any application that uses the soundcard and run “restart card.exe”. You would hear the card popping if the restart went through, if you didn’t hear that then restart the PC.
  • For v1.81 drivers: Restart the PC. Do not  “restart card.exe” as it will result in a blue screen.

DPC Latency results

DPC latency tests showed a 10-25% lower DPC latency that’s been generated by the use of the Xonar sound card when SpeakerCompensation was disabled. Results vary depending on other soundcard settings that are used and OS being tested.  Some tests I ran:

  • Windows 7, measured with DPC Latency Checker, network disabled, UNi Xonar v1.80b Low DPC Latency, Aimp audio player, avg. DPC latency results – DPC Latency in idle(10us) :
speakercompensation2.0 analog5.1 analog7.1 analog7.1 analog with ASUSAudioCenter
disabled203641115
enabled254557134

 

  • Windows 10, measured with LatencyMon, UNi Xonar v1.80b Low DPC Latency, 2.0 analog output, Aimp audio player, 2 min audio playing, results for STXII.sys:
speakercompensationDPC countHighest execution(ms)Total execution(ms)
disabled599970.0660981034
enabled650870.0737671154

Audio quality and Right Mark Audio Analyzer (RMAA) tests

Through my subjective audio tests I didn’t noticed any difference between the “SpeakerCompensation” being disabled and enabled. I used Stereo speakers connected to the 2.0 analog output on my Xonar DX.

I’ve also ran RMAA tests on my Xonar DX with a loop audio cable. The tests didn’t show any sound quality difference between “SpeakerCompensation” being disabled and enabled.

Anyone having a Xonar D2 or D2X card could redo the RMAA tests with ALT recording device (high-quality onboard path from Line-Out directly to the Line-In)  as the tests will be more accurate.

Feedback

When submitting feedback please include the following: audio card, audio driver version, Windows version, settings used (analog or digital output, number of channels, any other relevant settings that where enabled).

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One Comment

  1. dgm    18 Jul 2017 @ 14:04   

    Hey Carved, thanks for your continuous support. Just wanted to provide feedback with a similar setup. STXII [with muses02 buffers and muses01 in the I/O if it matters] win7 64bit, using 1.75br3 since it’s more stable and ran into issues (bsod) with 1.80b, possibly due to ASIO 64bit. Uninstalled using the application, installed lowlatency with stereo upmix disabled, 24 bit full range under sound options and asio to 24bit 10ms, everything else on default for 2.0, using foobar2k, browser/networking enabled
    this is with turbo mode disabled on cpu oc to 4.5ghz, high precision event timer enabled in device manager, cpu clock on auto

    without tweak:
    – asio 25-50 asio average 25-30 range
    – DS 36-50 – occasional 100 spike

    with tweak:
    – asio same results averaging 35 more stable
    – DS average 30-40 occasional 60 spike

    Overall the dpc latency lowering tweak stabilizes the direct sound input from windows to the level of asio which shows an improvement, results can also stay similar before the tweak is applied

    Reply

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