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How to play 24 bit 96 kHz files on windows 8 - any advice please?


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Hello,

 

I operate strictly in the MAC OSX world. A friend who runs a laptop with windows 8 wants to play high resolution files, and has asked my advice. The problem is.... I have no idea what to tell him, so thought I might ask the forum. My friend is by no means a computer whizz and is struggling, so, assuming a 'standard build' windows 8 laptop, (if there is any such thing as a standard build for windows these days) what is the easiest way to play these files?

 

Thanks in advance of any information or suggestions you may have.

Digital system:  NAS (216 play), CAT. 6 cable to Marantz NA6005 network music player. Optical connection to Cambridge Audio DacMagic. Graham Slee Novo headphone amp with Grado Sr80i headphones, and Cambridge Audio 540 amp. Monitor Audio Bronze B2 speakers.

 

Analogue: Rega RP1, Cambridge Audio Phono stage, amp and speakers as above.

 

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I believe the OS plays 24:96 straight out of the box, to go beyond that (i.e. 24:192 or DSD) will require a special driver. All he really needs is a media player that will support the resolution, JRiver is a popular Windows player that will do this. And of course he will need some 24:96 material to play.

 

Note that players require configuration, so no one can help you there until you declare a specific player, and some players are limited to certain file types (i.e. FLAC, APE, etc.).

Analog: Koetsu Rosewood > VPI Aries 3 w/SDS > EAR 834P > EAR 834L: Audiodesk cleaner

Digital Fun: DAS > CAPS v3 w/LPS (JRMC) SOtM USB > Lynx Hilo > EAR 834L

Digital Serious: DAS > CAPS v3 w/LPS (HQPlayer) Ethernet > SMS-100 NAA > Lampi DSD L4 G5 > EAR 834L

Digital Disc: Oppo BDP 95 > EAR 834L

Output: EAR 834L > Xilica XP4080 DSP > Odessey Stratos Mono Extreme > Legacy Aeris

Phones: EAR 834L > Little Dot Mk ii > Senheiser HD 800

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It has no much sense to play 24/96 on an integrated soundcard. DACs of $300+ class (and many cheaper too) are typically provided with Windows driver from manufacturer. Just install that driver and a suitable audio player, like foobar2000 (free but need to be configured by installing some additional plugins) or JRiver (all in one solution). Then select your DAC as output device (preferably ASIO or WASAPI type) and you are ready to play PCM hires.

i7 11850H + RTX A2000 Win11 HQPlayer ► Topping E50 ► DIY headamp DHA1 ►HiFiMan HE-500

 

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hello..the guy has no idea what a DAC even is. As pointed out earlier, it may be a waste to play such files on an integrated sound card.

I will tell him that it is possible but may not be of huge improvement on his current system.

Digital system:  NAS (216 play), CAT. 6 cable to Marantz NA6005 network music player. Optical connection to Cambridge Audio DacMagic. Graham Slee Novo headphone amp with Grado Sr80i headphones, and Cambridge Audio 540 amp. Monitor Audio Bronze B2 speakers.

 

Analogue: Rega RP1, Cambridge Audio Phono stage, amp and speakers as above.

 

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I disagree it is a waste on using the included sound card to play at native resolution. I am one who does not think higher resolution as the only difference gains you much in the first place. However, transcoding to another resolution different from the file being played can sound different and increases the chances of that being the case. So if possible, even with integrated sound cards you might benefit. Further, sound cards built into laptops and onto motherboards have been improving in general. A decade ago such cards generally had much higher noise floors at any resolution. Those noise floors are still higher than a good outboard DAC, but have improved.

 

Foobar is free and will work. You will need to do some configuration of the output. Use ASIO or WASAPI and you will be assured of bit perfect playback. It is easy to find how-to vids or explanations with a google search. JRiver is a really nice piece of software to use as well for music playback. You can download a trial version. A Windows only versions costs $49.98 or you can by a version usable on Windows, Mac and Linux for $69.98.

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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