Running Bit Perfect basically means that the bits are transferred perfectly from your PC to your E1 without any form of processing by other programs, like Windows. Said in simpler terms: The bits that is your music file, be it flac, mp3, wav or anything else, will be sent exactly as they are to your Essence One.
If you don’t have ASUS Xonar Essence One you can follow this general how to set up bit perfect with foobar tutorial.
Setting everything up for Bit Perfect Playback on E1
First you have to make sure everything is set up properly for sending Bit Perfect. In this tutorial we’ll be using foobar and ASIO.
- Be sure that your E1 has the latest firmware from ASUS, and install the latest drivers for your E1
- Download and install Foobar2000
- Download the ASIO plugin for Foobar and install it (the latest version when writing this is “ASIO support 2.1.2”)
- Install the ASIO support plugin by double clicking it and follow any instructions
Activate Bit Perfect and get the Bit Perfect led on Essence One
The blue Bit Perfect led on your E1 headphone amplifier and DAC will only work when setting up bit perfect through USB. You can run bit perfect through all three digital inputs (USB, Coaxial, Optical), but only USB will activate the led.
- Restart Foobar
- Start playing some random music file in foobar
- Click File / Preferences / Playback / Output
- You should now see Device and a pulldown menu below it. Choose “ASIO: Xonar Essence One ASIO” or similar
- Buffer length should be set as low as possible, but how low you can set it depends on your computer hardware. Go as low as you can without experiencing any lag during playback
- Click OK
Wooha! Your Bit Perfect led should now be eminating that wonderful blue color.
Help, now I can only hear foobar on E1!
When running bit perfect you’re essentially giving one program exclusive control/priority over your E1. This means that you will not hear any other audio on your system (like when playing movies, games, watching youtube etc).
However, since E1 has three digital inputs, USB, Coax and Optical, you can connect it to your computer twice! That way you can run foobar bit perfect through USB and use Coax or Optical for everything else. That’ll enable you to switch easily between bit perfect from foobar and everything else with the input switch on the E1’s front panel.
So, to set this up properly follow these steps:
- Connect Essence One to your computer with a second digital connection (Coax [S/PDIF] or Optical [Toslink])
- Go to Control Panel in Windows
- Search for “Manage audio devices” and start the manager
- Under Playback, right click and choose “Set as Default device” on the proper device
On my system I’m running Bit Perfect through the USB connection while everything else is sent to E1 through the coaxial output on my soundcard. Your system will probably look a little different, but the idea is to set the default device to something else than USB on your E1.
If you’ve done this correctly you should be able to toggle between foobar which is doing bit perfect playback to E1 and everything else using the input select button on your ASUS Xonar Essence One.