sprite

161 Comments

  1. Sranken Ftein27 Sep 2017 @ 22:17

    Hello! Thanks for caring about this driver so much, amazing stuff. To the topic:

    I listened to mutliple Songs, with different instruments and styles, listening them back and forth, some directly from the cd, some flac and some mp3. I feel like this change is either not doing much or it is a placebo (or not working for me somehow ofc). Every time I change to the “better” setting, it feels kind of better, but when I change back it is lacking nothing as far as I can tell compared to the presumably better version, which indicates a plecebo effect in my case. This does not mean this change is not working and everyone here is mad or something, (I actually think that that many people cant be so wrong) it is just my experience and maybe it did just not function properly. I kinda cannot blame it on my equipment either, especially because people here are reporting such a tremendous change, not a subtle one. A Beyerdynamic T90 should be enough to hear some difference or? Another way to explain at least some of it is, that it really only influences the very high and low spectrums, especially the low ones were not present in my testsongs. I did not test speaker yet. And yes, the restartsoundcard.exe made the card click every time. Also I let another person test it on one song, without knowing which should be better, she actually liked the “worse” one more. And I might add that a recent hearing test at my otologist attested me very good ears.

    Some Info:
    I use a STX II with the v1.80b r3 on win7. Like I said I used FLAC, Mp3 and direct CD playback. Using a Beyerdynamic T90. 44.1Khz. 24 bit 44.1Khz in win7 settings. Tried it with Dolby Headphone and wihtout. I will build my new pc soon with win 10 probably, I will report if it is a different experience. Which diver do you personally recommend for win10 stx II btw? Newest or 1.80b r3?

    Reply

    • CarvedInside30 Sep 2017 @ 02:13

      Hello. I understand what you are saying. To me the changes aren’t that obvious, if I listen closely I notice slight changes but not enough to say it’s obviously better, it might just be placebo. My hearing caps at 14kHz so that might be the reason why it isn’t obvious.
      While there might be some placebo involved for some people, it’s a measurable fact that SpeakerCompensation alters frequencies above 21kHz. In my FFT analyses I’ve seen alterations in the 15kHz range and above, but those alterations are not that drastic and might be a result of bugs within the program I use. I am having a hard time producing consistent results that I can be certain are correct, so I am still working on this part.
      The tweak most likely applied correctly to your system, but as you said the music you are listening may not have very high frequency spectrums. You can check a song’s freqeuncy spectrum with a tool like Ocenaudio(Analyze ->FFT analysis) or Audacity.
      Another factor the frequency up to which you can hear. Do these audio frequency tests with SpeakerCompensation disabled and let me know of the results.
      I don’t have a strong opinion on which driver to use, maybe install 1.80b and if you have any problems try the 1.81a.
      Thank you for the feedback.

      Reply

      • Sranken Ftein30 Sep 2017 @ 13:14

        Meanwhile I did the test again on my new rig, same experience. According to those samples I can hear up to 18kHz, so if its above 21kHz, that would explain things, but not if its above 15kHz. Btw: the 1.80b driver is running stable atm.

        I will do the frequency tests on the songs soon.

        Reply

    • Evgenim30 Sep 2017 @ 02:26

      No placebo at all. Me and my neighbour often listening to collection of trance music. The first that has been noticed it’s more clear hearable of high freqs. Low freqs also have some more detail. Listened to the same tracks all the time and we know how it’s sounds before tweak. Regards.

      Reply

  2. Dima29 Sep 2017 @ 18:07

    Windows 10, Driver 1.80 r3, Xonar DG pci-e, 2.0 speakers, 2 channel configuration, 44.1kHz, no SVN used.
    I can say with confidence this tweak allows me to push my speakers volume higher and get a cleaner sound than before. The highs and stereo sounds much cleaner.

    Reply

    • CarvedInside30 Sep 2017 @ 02:17

      Thank you for the feedback. Can you tell me up to which frequency you can hear in these tests?
      Just a clarification, when you change the volume you change the Windows volume or that on your amp/speakers?

      Reply

      • Dima30 Sep 2017 @ 20:23

        I can hear up to 22kHz. My windows volume is always at maximum. I turned my speakers up when testing this.

        Reply

        • Alex R19 Oct 2017 @ 00:32

          Placebo. Dima please explain how can you “push the volume higher” if FFT analysis shows no change in audio level whatsoever and only a minor change to inaudible high frequencies?

          Reply

  3. Asri10 Oct 2017 @ 18:34

    Win10’s antivirus claims, that the SpeakerCompensation tweak is a trojan. I don’t believe it is, but I wanted to inform You about this anyways. To be precise, Win10 antivirus claims its a “Win32/Tilken.B!cl” trojan. Maybe You could get in contact with the Microsoft guys and clear this up?

    Reply

  4. Carol Laszlo14 Oct 2017 @ 02:36

    Hy there boys, i have a great respect for your hard work as as an apreciacion i will donate.I have a question i am a Xonar D2X owner , running windows 10 PRO x64 with “creators update” installed. I can’t get my headphone to work with my card, it’s a simple jack headphone from phillips, using the backport (5.1 , green socket ) jacks. CAN SOMEBODY PLEASE GIVE ME THE LINK TO THE DRIVER I HAVE TO INSTALL TO MAKE IT WORK ? AS I DON’T UNDERSTAND ALLMOST ANYTHING FROM THEESE TECH STUFF, and i am getting really hopeless.

    Reply

  5. dramu14 Oct 2017 @ 22:24

    There are many speakers out in the wild that can fold ultrasound (non-audible frequencies) back into the audible region. Of course this is an unwanted phenomenon and it means if you send non-audible frequencies to your speakers, they might play them back as very much audible noise, depending on the electronics, mechanical speaker construction and the current sound material involved.

    What I’m saying is, this is most probably the reason why “speaker compensation” will attenuate from 21.2kHz. Those frequencies should be inaudible to anyone anyway, but cutting them away will prevent “bad” speakers from generating noise. This by the way also explains why it is named “speaker compensation”. Since (as stated in the article) RMAA doesn’t show any significant difference in the audible (sub-21.2kHz) region, I would recommend leaving this feature turned on, unless you know for sure you need the DPC-latency improvement.

    Reply

    • CarvedInside19 Oct 2017 @ 20:58

      Thank you for the information. This could be the its purpose. I am yet to read on low pass frequency filters and if other non-Xonar soundcards do something similar.
      If what you say is correct, those with very good hearing and good equipment would still benefit from turning “speaker compensation” off.

      Reply

      • dramu21 Oct 2017 @ 19:20

        > If what you say is correct, those with very good hearing and good equipment would still benefit from turning “speaker compensation” off.
        True. The problem is, only a very few people will satisfy those conditions, even if they think they do. Hearing above 20kHz is already exceptional unless you’re a teen, and hearing above 21.2kHz is even less likely. And in addition you need a good quality sound system. Recommending to turn this feature off will have negative consequences for 99 out of 100 people and will help only 1 (though a lot more will *think* it helps them).

        Reply

  6. Alex R19 Oct 2017 @ 00:28

    Hello. I’ve been intrigued by this tweak and followed the comment section since the start. I used to do a lot of audio editing for short films and mastering CD/Vinyl records as a hobby and for some additional cash. I performed on stage as an electronic artist and recorded few albums. From my years of experience after analyzing the spectrum I can say with 100% certainty that this tweak is a classic placebo. I know most of people here will get offended by reading this but placebo effect in audio industry is very common. As shown on FFT analysis this is purely a steep low pass frequency filter and does not affect other freqs (the small differences we see are just minor recording/playback artifacts). I can’t think of any other reason for implementing such filter in the drivers than for a bugfix or a workaround for a bug in the drivers (or like dramu said in his comment: to compensate for low quality speakers and prevent them from trying to reproduce inaudible frequencies what could in time degrade the speaker). That would explain why some people get performance problems after applying the tweak. I would recommend leaving that option on, I trust the developers on this one.

    Reply

    • Mescalamba19 Oct 2017 @ 18:38

      Its from DX card, which is very far soundwise from STX and such.

      Difference between no tweak and tweak on STX if ran thru WASAPI (and usual stuff in F2K) is pretty audible. Also requires probably set of good ears and headphones, thankfully I own both.

      Plus difference on graph might be rather small, but overall effect on sound might be bigger. Either way, output from tweaked version is decent bit cleaner than without it.

      Reply

      • Alex R19 Oct 2017 @ 23:12

        It’s a placebo until there’s any evidence to the contrary. Anyway tweak in a driver is a tweak in a driver. Sound card does not matter in this kind of test because you don’t want to test your sound card or your headphones or even your ears.

        Reply

        • Bill Gates20 Oct 2017 @ 20:11

          It’s not placebo. Quality difference is very big and statistically evident in blind abx tests. BTW, sound have many parameters, apart from spectrum.
          If you cant hear difference, maybe you have some ear damage, because of performing on stage, or it is age-related. But it is definitely something wrong with you.
          Also, I’m audio professional, audio and mastering engineer, editor, musician, director and post-production (multi-channel also) editor.

          Reply

        • Evgenim20 Oct 2017 @ 20:34

          No placebo at all. Difference is really hearable on D1.

          Reply

          • Alex R21 Oct 2017 @ 13:02

            Bill Gates sound has only three main parameters which can be easily measured. It’s overall loudness, differences in spectrum image and stereo image. And this tweak does not change the stereo image and FFT test shows it does not change the level either. It only applies a low pass filter so I have no idea what kind of audio voodoo you hear with your magic ears 😉 Without any evidence your opinion is still just a placebo effect. Audio is maths and your subjective perception of the sound doesn’t solve the meaning of this tweak.

            Reply

            • 3e7421 Oct 2017 @ 17:05

              I think we all agree that the placebo effect is very common in audio comparisons, and everyone likes to dismiss it in his/her own case. However, on my second edition STX1 with OPA1612 opamps, connected to Tannoy Reveal 402s using Klotz AC110 cabling, I can clearly hear the difference. Using headphones the difference is more subtle, but still hearable.

              Reply

            • Bill Gates21 Oct 2017 @ 23:45

              Alex R first of all, you must teach what is blind abx test. If abx test says that difference is confirmed, then it is not a placebo. Abx test is objective evidence. You conclusions are unscientific and completely ignoring abx test, what means that you are biased in the opinion and simply you muddle as it is convenient to you.
              “It’s overall loudness, differences in spectrum image and stereo image.” – is is nonsense. Sound has much more parameters. You can capture audio signal in digital form bit-to-bit from the dac of audio card and never see the same picture, if you sum signals in anti phases. Even if both signal are without this tweak.
              Sorry, but your argument look to very childish, superficial, completely unscientific. I think you’re not audio editor or musician, just a troll which ignore uncomfortable for you rational arguments ant talks same useless nonsense just for flame.

              Reply

              • Alex R04 Nov 2017 @ 11:59

                I know sound has many more minor parameters, but these are the main ones that define the structure of sound and only these are needed to write it into a file and reproduce it. You are probably talking about minor creative parameters that fall under those main categories. Why would you want to sum signals in anti phases? It’s not relevant to this driver tweak and you know it so stop calling me a troll since all you do is troll. Where is the documentation of abx tests? Anyway abx tests are not always accurate, you would need a perfect studio environment and a bit more people than you and your mate to take the test. So far the only proof we have is showing that this is a placebo or a high frequency boost for people with superhuman hearing.

                Reply

                • Bill Gates08 Nov 2017 @ 16:38

                  Alex R – “So far the only proof we have is showing that this is a placebo” – No proof of that from your side. Only in your failed brain. But the proof from all other people, that this is not placebo and real sound quality rise. Also ABX test with 100/100 result which is accurate evidence with 99.99^-99% of probability of a mistake.
                  “It’s not relevant to this driver tweak and you know it” – it is relevant to verification of sound difference and as consequence – to the quality. You know it but you continue to behave as the failure troll.
                  “but these are the main ones that define the structure of sound and only these are needed to write it into a file and reproduce it.” – nope. You don’t even know, that your primitive tests “stereo image and FFT test” uses so rough approximations (at least 2048 samples for one visual image, but of course you dont know what it is), that you cant use them as SQ test. The fact that you use such rough instruments and name them “maths” tells everything about you – and you continue to be either very not smart (and, as consequence, not understanding this), or a failed troll.

                  Reply

  7. dramu21 Oct 2017 @ 19:09

    Can somebody who hears a difference do a proper loudness measurement? I mean not with their ears, but with equipment. What I’m thinking of, it is possible that this tweak alters loudness in a subtle way. That would explain why there is no difference in frequency plots, yet people think there is. Because people subconsciously perceive louder audio as better quality, even if there is no actual difference (other than the loudness). This is true even if the difference in loudness is hardly noticable.

    Reply

  8. Johnyn06 Nov 2017 @ 20:12

    Any update on this? Is it an improvement? Where does the SpeakerCompensation setting come from? Windows 10 or Asus?

    Reply

    • CarvedInside07 Nov 2017 @ 01:16

      At the moment I don’t have anything else to say. You should try it and see if you consider it being an improvement. This is a Xonar driver setting.

      Reply

  9. D09 Nov 2017 @ 15:22

    Thx for the driver and your continuous support maybe the filter (the untweaked driver applies) has to do something with this
    https://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html
    under the “192kHz considered harmful” paragraph:
    “Neither audio transducers nor power amplifiers are free of distortion, and distortion tends to increase rapidly at the lowest and highest frequencies. If the same transducer reproduces ultrasonics along with audible content, any nonlinearity will shift some of the ultrasonic content down into the audible range as an uncontrolled spray of intermodulation distortion products covering the entire audible spectrum. Nonlinearity in a power amplifier will produce the same effect. The effect is very slight, but listening tests have confirmed that both effects can be audible.”
    It also has some pretty interesting tests right there.

    Reply

    • Mescalamba09 Nov 2017 @ 18:39

      Probably not, cause thats related to having 192kHz source. I doubt anyone has 192kHz source. Anyway, I have 44/48k and upsample usually to 2x. Difference is there constantly.

      Its just some built-in filter that cuts out details for whatever reason. Could be even bad programming. Its not like ASUS drivers are best at anything.

      Oversampling isnt problem (thats what resamplers do and why we have them).

      Reply

  10. Dima19 Nov 2017 @ 10:40

    Placebo or not, the sound is more clear to my ears. I know my crappy speakers inside and out because i create music with them for the last 3 years.

    Reply

  11. john24 Jan 2018 @ 22:49

    running speaker compensation tweak on latest win 7 driver for stxii card makes xonar audo center icon vanish from system tray and never comes back again after restart

    Reply

    • CarvedInside25 Jan 2018 @ 01:15

      If by restart you mean after running “restart card.exe” that is normal. You will have to launch the Asus Audio Center manually from Start menu.

      Reply

  12. ElizabethSterling01 Feb 2018 @ 05:59

    So from what testing I’ve done it seems, to my ears at least, that the difference is twofold:
    – Most busy songs from high-quality sources sound clearer.
    – Songs from particularly low-quality sources are noticeably more ‘mushy’.

    Running LatencyMon does confirm a latency improvement too, and overall I’m extremely happy with this tweak and feel like it should become enabled by default in all future releases.

    Reply

    • CarvedInside02 Feb 2018 @ 00:32

      Thank you for the feedback. On low quality sources would you say its worse or better?

      Reply

      • ElizabethSterling03 Feb 2018 @ 18:58

        The noise floor seems to have shot up in the really low-fi recordings but there’s definitely more differentiation between voices too so it’s a mixed bag. Overall I’d say it’s a downgrade for the really low quality stuff but it only encouraged me to replace those particular recordings. Everything else just got a nice jump in clarity.

        I should mention, just for the record, I’m using a Xonar DS w/ the latest drivers attached to a Klipsh 4.1 setup on Windows 10 Pro x64.

        Reply

        • Evgenim26 Feb 2018 @ 22:14

          More clear sound with old recordings = more hearable clicks/pops/noise. I listened to old record of a rain 16bit/48khz and have noticed considerable improvement of details.

          Reply

  13. Tony17 Mar 2018 @ 17:14

    Hi, Can I ask you do modded drivers for strix soar? Or at least, fix not working upmix on this card? Maybe you can do this? Maybe not working upmix is the same problem that xonar cards have?

    Reply

    • CarvedInside18 Mar 2018 @ 00:06

      This is not the correct place to ask for modded Strix drivers. The correct place would be the main Uni Xonar page. I don’t have any plans to make modded drivers for the Asus Strix soundcards. Besides that it’s uncertain that the fix you want can be done by driver modding, the drivers for Strix cards are totally different from Xonar drivers and I don’t have Strix card to work on.

      Reply

  14. Jim M.21 Mar 2018 @ 03:28

    Hi, I just tried the disable speaker compensation and I immediately noticed improvements across the entire sound spectrum, but most noticeable in the extreme highs where the cymbals had what i can describe before as a high end blur and after i tried it i could actually hear much more clarity both in the leading edge of the sound when first struck, but most noticeable as the cymbals sound faded after they are struck. More inner detail and “air” is the way i would describe the high end effects.

    I also noticed a more detail in the lower midrange to the lowest bass and the result was more warmth without losing or masking the lower bass detail. Inner detail across the entire spectrum with a better soundstage both in width and depth was also noticed.

    An interesting note is i noticed this without having to restart the computer and can go back and forth between enable and disable without the restart. Music players can also affect the sound. I have been A-B testing most, and the best by far is foobar2000 v.1.3.16. It is kinda barebones compared to something like VLC, but maybe that is why it sounds so much better. The rest color the sound more than this player, esp in the highs and in soundstage so i feel this one can be used for A-B listening tests of disable vs. enable of the speaker compensation

    I am running Windows 7 Ultimate, with an ASUS 970 Pro Gaming MB, with an 8-core AMD 8350 8-core, 32gb and a Samsung SSD for my primary OS and program installed programs. I have a STX-II card with upgraded MUSE op amps, driving Corsair 2500’s 2.1 with the crossover set at either 100 or 99hz using Flexbass as supplied by the ASUS software. I have Monster cables coming from the card .I find these speakers are capable of giving an incredibly good sound, esp in soundstage, when this adjustment is made as without it the lower mids muddy the sound for music listening. These are used for gaming and feel the factory pre-set at 150 is more for voice cues and other sounds that give game sounds the proper emphasis and feeling of being immersed in the game.

    In summary, i have decided to keep speaker compensation turned off. For me the improvements are obvious across the entire spectrum. I have primarily mp4s or m4a, up-scaled using a converter the cdtomp3 converter set to VBR (the title is misleading, this converter can handle the lossless file types and many others) at the largest file size and some files upscale to over 300kbps and i can hear the difference when i do that. Changing the execution priority to “above normal” in task manager creates a smoother sound, esp when other programs are running. I would suggest this for any player.

    Instead of running the card at 44.1, I crank it at 192kHz and changed the speaker properties in Windows to match. I suggest trying this for those that can’t hear any difference. When i did this the overall clarity, bandwidth and depth hidden in those extra bits on my system is obvious. The STX-II handles this with ease, and is another way to hear the information masked by the speaker compensation.

    When i used your drivers instead of the factory card supplied ASUS, i noticed an immediate improvement. For me, this tweak takes it up another notch. Thanks!

    Reply

    • D22 Mar 2018 @ 08:05

      I always thought that the best thing is output sample rate option matching file’s sample rate (kenrel streaming/wasapi and other bit perfect outputs or options doing automatically that). Because resampling introduced artifacts.

      Unless the waveform is reconstructed to original from file and then “cut” into the new sample rate.

      Reply

      • Jim M.22 Mar 2018 @ 20:54

        You may be right, but rather than go by the theory of why or why not, i just listened via A-B testing. Having the STX-II that can handle 192kbps with no problem and with a high signal to noise ratio of 118db to 124db and other high end specs, I decided to experiment.

        I changed the properties in Windows playback to match the setting in the ASUS interface. The soundstage immediately went deeper and wider and instruments, especially strings and woodwinds, have more “air” and i can hear the subtleties that sound blurred or missing when i use 44,1 or 48. Also my recordings of CD’s i make for my car, also sound much more alive. Maybe what is happening is the information encoded is not used when the settings are lower, including in Windows and when maxed out to 192kbps throughout the system and the card, those extra bits are used, especially if the hardware and associated software is designed to process it.

        Reply

    • Johnny22 Mar 2018 @ 10:25

      Regarding “I crank it at 192KHz” Does that even work? Your source needs to be 192KHz or else it will just compress down to 48Khz, your source material. I could be wrong but….im no expert. Always heard doing 192KHz will make sound worse since it needs to compress it down.

      Reply

      • Jim M.22 Mar 2018 @ 21:10

        Please read my comment above. The proof is in the listening and for me, even the dynamic range of the music sounds less strained and/or brittle/blaring and more open both at higher volumes as well as hearing songs as they fade down to inaudibility at the end and being able to hear details that normally are lost or blurred. Maybe some of what you are saying has to do with the quality of the electronics that use cheaper parts that have limited bandwidth and/or higher noise, etc, so when pressed to resolve the higher frequencies, those get either ignored or overload the electronics, creating various distortions. Because my entire “chain” of processing is able to handle 192kHz with no strain, I can hear the benefits of using all the bits that may be encoded in the master but truncated off, ignored and/or distorted when processed by the mainstream, consumer grade stuff.

        Reply

        • Johnny22 Mar 2018 @ 21:18

          Yeah definetely interesting. Going to try myself as well. I also have the Asus Essence STX.

          Reply

    • Jim M.23 Mar 2018 @ 05:50

      In my continued tweaking experiment to determine the extent (or not) of the disablespeakercompensation effect, I download and installed XonarSwitch Beta created by Giulio. The good news is after I A-B’d the disable/enable speaker compensation, i found that XonarSwitch uses the tweak. (make sure the ASUSAudioCenter.exe is not running before launching.)

      I was surprised to hear yet another upgrade in overall clarity, with the Xonar sounding more accurate and musical across most of the musical spectrum with better slightly better bass extension and more clarity in the highs as if it has less processing overhead than the fancy ASUS user interface and thus maybe less delay in handling the signals. It sounded as if the entire “focus” of what was coming out of the speakers improved and voices and instruments sounded yet more distinct. It also has the ability to provide finer tuning in most settings than the ASUS and you can create and save multiple profiles with all the settings, which makes it a better interface all around, in my opinion

      Also I have a 4K monitor running Windows 7 and some programs just do not scale and are so tiny as to be almost unreadable and unusable and XonarSwitch scales perfectly.

      Even though that blog is closed, I would like to say thanks to Giulio for a better sounding and more flexible interface.

      Reply

  15. alsec24 Mar 2018 @ 21:58

    Excellent. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

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