Bit Perfect in foobar Tutorial

How to run bit perfect playback in foobar tutorial

Follow this guide to get better sound quality by bypassing Windows' processing with bitperfect

In this quick tutorial you’ll learn how to use Bit perfect with Foobar. Bitperfect enables you to route the audio away from Windows’ audio processing and directly to foobar2000 and therefore get better sound quality.

Very important: Before you go ahead and set up bit perfect in foobar2k you need to know that when you run bit perfect, foobar will take exclusive control of your audio device, meaning your sound card or external DAC.

The result is that no other audio routed from your operating system (for example the audio in a video from Youtube) can be played through that audio card until you allow it to by (1) shutting down foobar or (2) turning off bit perfect in foobar2000’s preferences. Knowing this you won’t be driven into massive temper tantrums right after the install because you can’t hear anything but foobar playing.

So in this guide we’ll first see how to set up bit perfect in foobar and then how to disable bit perfect for when you want to use the audio device for other things.

Bit perfect in foobar howto

Firstly, it’s always smart to check if you have the latest drivers for your sound card, so you go ahead and do that if you’re a lazy boy and haven’t done it already.

Secondly, if your sound card drivers does not include ASIO support you need to first download ASIO4ALL, which like the name indicates is a universal solution that enables you use ASIO for everything. Just install it like you would any old program, ask below if you hit the wall trying.

Now we’re good to go and can continue setting bit perfect up in foobar.

  1. If you don’t already have it installed, download foobar and install it.
  2. Download and install the “ASIO support” component for foobar2000.
  3. This component is installed by double clicking it and follow the standard procedure we know from installing other applications. Ask in the comments below if you get stuck.

After these simple steps you should be “bit perfect” ready. The next step is to change the preferences in foobar so it will take exclusive control of your device and give you bit perfect playback.

Setting up bit perfect with foobar

  1. In Foobar, go into File / Preferences
    File, preferences in foobar
  2. In the left side column choose “Output” by opening Playback / Output
    Foobar, Output
  3. From the “Device” scroll down menu, choose your “ASIO: <name-of-your-soundcard>” Foobar File / Preferences / Ouput / Device / ASIO
  4. Click apply and OK
  5. Sit back, put on some nice music and start enjoying bit perfect streaming with foobar. Remember foobar now has exclusive control of your audio device and you should read this to avoid any frustrations.

If your audio device does not show up with ASIO infront of it as shown in point 3, it only means that your sound card drivers does not include native support for ASIO so you need to install ASIO4ALL as discussed earlier in this tutorial. When you’ve installed it, follow the steps below.

Bit perfect playback in foobar with ASIO4ALL

If your audio device does not include native support for ASIO you need to have ASIO4ALL installed as discussed earlier. If you have ASIO4ALL, continue with the steps below.

  1. In foobar, click File / Preferences
    File, preferences in foobar
  2. In the left hand menu of preferences open Playback / Output / ASIO
    Foobar / Preferences / Playback / Output / ASIO
  3. Choose ASIO4ALL in the “ASIO drivers” field by double clicking it. Note that I run V2, you might be running another version, but it’s still the same process.
    Foobar / ASIO drivers / ASIO4ALL
  4. A new window will pop up, in here you have to turn on ASIO4ALL for the devices you want.In this case I’m setting up bit perfect playback with ODAC which is an integrated DAC in the Objective2 headphone amplifier, but your situation will vary depending on what audio devices you have.
    ASIO4ALL control panel
  5. Close the window after you enabled ASIO for the devices you want
  6. Now in foobar Preferences, choose Playback / Output like shown below
    Foobar, Output
  7. In the Device scroll down options menu you should see “ASIO: <name of your device>”. Choose it, click “Apply” and then “OK”.
    foobar2000 / preferences / playback / output / device

You should now be able to play audio through foobar in bit perfect mode, so congratulations! You are extremely good at this, you should make it a career! :D

Turning off BitPerfect playback in foobar2k

When running bit perfect in foobar2k you will notice that no other applications can send sound to that particular audio device. This is because foobar now has exclusive control over your soundcard. There are a couple of things you can do when you want to play audio outside of foobar.

  1. You can turn off foobar
  2. You can go into the preferences of foobar and choose “DS: Primary Sound Driver” which will basically make the audio from foobar being routed through Windows again.
  3. If you have multiple digital inputs or “input channels” on your sound card you can set one input to be bit perfect playback from foobar and another one to be system wide audio from your computer and simply toggle between them depending on what you want to listen to.

As always, the comment section below is you friend and if you found this tutorial on how to set up foobar with bit perfect any useful it would be spectacular if you went ahead and shared it.

Discussion on How to run bit perfect playback in foobar tutorial

  1. Hugo Darien says:

    Hi i had done everything but the last step nr 7 i dont understand so much i want to have bit perfect audio please how can i do it?

    • HeadphoneAddict HeadphoneAddict says:

      Hi Hugo. Do you see your sound card / audio device next to “ASIO: name of your audio device” in that list? If so, choose it and click apply and OK, and you should be good to go. :)

      If your audio device is not in that list, then you need to choose ASIO4ALL, click apply and OK and you should be golden. :)

      Let me know if you figured it out.

  2. audiolan says:

    Hi

    Firstly thank you for the tutorial as a noob its essential reading for me.

    I use an external DAC (Schiit modi 2, non uber version) and would like to whether the same procedure as above applies to my case?

    Thank you in advance

    • HeadphoneAddict HeadphoneAddict says:

      Hello audiolan, you are very welcome. :)

      Yes, the same steps as explained in this tutorial applies to your application. I've not used your DAC in particular, but it's the same for all devices. There are hundreds of people visiting this tutorial every month and due to the lack of activity in the comment section I can only assume that they are being successful in following the steps. If you have any issues don't hesitate to ask and I will try to help you if I can.

      Good luck in getting that Schit of yours working! Haha, sorry, I had to, even though that pun is getting older every year. :D

  3. james french says:

    bit of a long shot this one. i have a laptop and stream the music via bluetooth to a pair of dali zensor 1 ax's. is there anyway to enable ASIO4ALL for only the bluetooth channel ie the speakers, whilst maintaining windows sounds/youtube vids/etc through the laptop speakers?

    many thanks

    • james french says:

      having a read, is my previous post possible through channel mapping of ASIO4ALL? thanks

      • HeadphoneAddict HeadphoneAddict says:

        Yes, that should be possible if the Bluetooth device shows up as a separate audio device. I often use two audio devices on my own system, one for ASIO and bit perfect with foobar and another one for everything else.

        Give it a go and let me know if it works out.

        • james french says:

          thanks for the quick reply, can't tinker with it just now but will do soon. is it straight forward enough, are you able to give a brief guide, or is it not needed? thanks again, james

        • james french says:

          nope, can't figure it out! so far i have asio configured and set up to play foobar2k music out of the bluetooth speakers, but as expected i can only hear foobar, no system sounds. i have created two entries for channel mapping, the first being the bluetooth speakers, the second being the laptop speakers. music still playing fine. when i play test sound for the laptop speakers it does indeed come out of the laptop – so fine there too. but what setting(s) to redirect the system audio to the laptop speakers? the drop down menu for choosing driver is greyed out (i assumed i'd need to choose default – whatever it's called – from the drop down menu, but i can't). any help? thanks

          • HeadphoneAddict HeadphoneAddict says:

            Did you try to

            1. Set up bit perfect ASIO streaming for your Bluetooth speakers
            2. Set the second audio device as the default Windows audio device in the Windows audio control panel? AKA sound properties?

            I've done this to run two separate systems from one computer many times. This way one system will only play audio from foobar (bit perfect), while the other system plays all the system audio from the computer.

  4. Lutz says:

    I followed your advice and everything is working fine. But I doubt that it's really bit perfect PCM playback since foobar's equalizer and volume controls are still functioning. When playing back DSD files, the equalizer and volume controls are not functioning because the DSD is routed to the DAC as is.

    How can we achieve this for PCM as well?

  5. Ed P says:

    I don't get the relationship between this bit perfect set-up and an external DAC.  Both are supposed to take over the audio from your computer, eliminating the PC's sound card.  At least the AQ Dragonfly is designed to do this.  Am I still getting the benefits of the DAC because it's last in line?

  6. Tibet says:

    Hey. My Audio Device isn't showing up in the Output drop down menu. I have installed ASIO4ALL, selected it for the device in the ASIO driver menu, but when I go into Output the only devices with ASIO next to them as ASIO4ALL and SupremeFX HI-FI. I even clicked the little Wrench and made sure that all of the inputs and outputs for Realtek were selected in the little ASIO driver menu. Also, maybe worth mentioning is that I can still play sound when I switch to the usual DS : Realtek Audio Driver in the drop down menu. 

    My situation is that I have a USB headset that I use for everything else, but I play music through Foobar and set it to play trhough an Audio Out that is plugged into my stereo. I only want the BitPerfect Audio for the music player through that. I'm happy for everything else to go through other devices. If I want to watch a Youtube video I can just use the Bluetooth function as Windows sees it as a completely different device. 

  7. Larry says:

    Hi, I am having trouble trying to get bit perfect to work with Pandora streaming. Will it even work with Pandora? It works fine with ripped CD's on my PC's HD. 

  8. Larry says:

    Can bit perfect be used with Pandora streaming? I can't get it to work. It works with ripped cd's but not with Pandora?

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