While ASIO4ALL significantly reduces latency and improves sound quality, many people have complained that it sounds different from their primary sound driver across several DAW's:

Most of these discussions appear to conclude that this is a playback and not a rendering issue. The idea is that ASIO4ALL accesses the sound card directly and somehow bypasses windows sound enhancements and modifications. I would like to understand what these enhancements/modifications are and how I can disable them.

I am personally using Ableton Live 10 Suite with Realtek High Definition Audio on a Windows 10 machine. I have already followed this link which shows one way to disable sound enhancements. This did not work for me however, and the sound coming out of my primary sound driver still sounds different.

I would like to understand this problem on a more fundamental level. What else is my operating system doing to the sound which ASIO4ALL seems to bypass? How can I disable this so that it sounds exactly the same as in ASIO4ALL?

Thanks for your help.

1 Answer 1


Never mind. I just realized what the problem (in my case) was. I had the Dolby Digital Plus equalizers all over the place. By switching Dolby OFF I was able to get the exact same sound coming from ASIO as from my primary sound driver.

So it really was a playback issue. Thank you very much (NOT) Dolby.

  • 2
    In addition to ”enhancements” there might be automagic sample rate conversions happening behind the scenes. I recommend making music with a proper audio interface. Except if you’re using a Mac where the built in audio facilities are good enough for very low latency playback out of the box. Commented Jan 19, 2020 at 14:18
  • @piiperiReinstateMonica What? No! Never buy something you don't need lol. You don't need an audio interface for making music, you only need it if you need to record or multiple audio outputs. Just make sure your signal path is clear of processes, some audio interfaces even make this worse by adding their own signal path "enhancements", not less! Readers, never buy an audio interface if you don't need one for a very specific purpose. The notion that you need one to produce is a myth. Commented Jan 20, 2020 at 3:11

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