ASIO Support

Nahimic claims that it supports ASIO since version 2, but I don't see any native ASIO output device in my host applications.

ASIO4ALL obviously works (and successfully bypasses DirectSound/Nahimic driver), but for example in Foobar2000 ASIO4ALL OR WASAPI output modes give much more different sound representation then DirectSound/Nahimic do (but ASIO4ALL and WASAPI themselves sound extremely similar if not the same).

Even more - disabling audio effects ("global" button) in Nahimic control panel gives additional, 3rd type of sound signature (but sounds extremely bad). Yet uninstalling Nahimic gives initial DirectSound signature, and not "horrible" version of of.

Model in question I'm using is a MSI GT73VR Pro.

So the questions at hand are:

- WTF is going on? Why such difference can be monitored at all? Is it Windows shenanigans? Or the Nahimic driver is somehow involved in sweetening the sound?  

- What mode can be considered "reference"/flat/unsweetened sound signature for critical listening and audio work (mixing/monitoring/mastering): ASIO4ALL/WASAPI or DirectSound/Nahimic?

- Do ASIO4ALL/WASAPI modes use ESS SABRE DAC, or is it Nahimic exclusive?

- What about native Nihamic ASIO support that was announced?

2 replies

Hello Daniel, thank you for your interest :) 

I'll clarify a point about WASAPI/ASIO, we are not doing something on this protocol, we don't put any effect on, don't worry about this! 

By the way, my engineer is happy about your feedback for the internal speakers :)

Best regards.

UPDATE: Nahimic DOES indeed "enhance" the audio stream on a device level when using headphone out port (profiles don't work on that level), which can be seen for example in C:\Program Files\Nahimic\Nahimic2\NSConfigurator\Devices\HifiHeadphones.nsx and C:\Program Files\Nahimic\Nahimic2\NSConfigurator\Global.nsx configuration files. 

<?xml version="1.0" ?>
                <kNhSet_BassBoostBandWidthOctave Value="0.707"/>
                <kNhSet_BassBoostDeboostFactor Value="0"/>
                <kNhSet_StreamInputGainDB Value="0"/>
                <kNhSet_StreamOutputGainDB Value="0"/>
                <kNhSet_MasterInputGainDB Value="0"/>
                <kNhSet_MasterOutputGainDB Value="0"/>
                <kNhSet_ClarityPresenceGainFactor Value="0"/>
                <kNhSet_ClarityLowFreqHz Value="500"/>
                <kNhSet_ClarityHighFreqHz Value="4000"/>
                <kNhSet_ClarityDeboostFactor Value="0"/>
                <kNhSet_StereoWideningVoiceGainDB Value="0"/>
                <kNhSet_StereoWideningPresenceGainDB Value="0"/>
                <kNhSet_StereoWideningLowFreqHz Value="31.25"/>
                <kNhSet_StereoWideningHighFreqHz Value="16000"/>
                <kNhSet_Device3DDatabaseId Value="0"/>
                <kNhSet_StreamLimiterState Value="0"/>
                <kNhSet_MasterLimiterState Value="1"/>

As everybody can see, BassBoost, Clarity and StereoWidening settings seems to be enabled. 

Personally, for my type of professional audio work such enhancements are totally unacceptable and I wold love to have an option to disable them for external sources (but not for internal speakers, Nahimic actually does an incredible job for them based on individual models). 

Yet disabling Nahimic completely (using big ON/OFF button in configurator GUI) for headphone out is not an option, because it gives incredibly distorted and even channel unbalanced sound signature (again - this is an interesting question by itself why it does that). 

And using ASIO/WASAPI is not a good solution ether because it is limited to only few applications. 

Alternatively, Nahimic can provide users a way to modify and load *.nsx files themselves (on their own risk obviously ;)) because I didn't figure out a way to load those modified driver settings.