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Does Windows 7 have better sound quality than Linux ALSA?

    General discussion

  • There's a massive flamewar going on on Russian forums on which system sounds "pro" and which has a "chinese walkman" sound.

    Linux users arguments - since Vista you don't have true hardware DirectSound, instead you have crippled software mixer which does mandatory resampling and frequency cutoff, and doesn't allow any hardware effects such as CMSS-3D. We have our uber-kernel with ALSA, which has all the best drivers built-in and sounds like a studio system. Yes, you have WASAPI-exclusive, but it's still "processed" and so on...

    Here's the link which shows XP and Vista-7 sound system differences - http://habrahabr.ru/blogs/sound_and_music/115092/
    (which is used to tell that windows has the "worst sound ever")

    Windows users arguments - you linux guys have some half-baked amateur placeholders instead of full-featured vendor drivers and a complete mess in sound frameworks, which results in muffled sound in and geeky under-the-hood tweaking in search for a "perfect sound".

    Personally, I did find the Winamp sounding much better when I switched it to OpenAL output plugin from the default DirectSound on W7. Ableton provides the best quality I ever heard with DirectSound.

    Well, of course no sane person believes some made-up holywar claims, so I want to hear an expert opinion on the subject.

    Monday, May 09, 2011 3:15 AM

All replies

  • It's not always case windows 7 sounds better than Linux ALSA or vice versa.It most importantly depends on driver.Linux does have vast support for sound drivers and now Windows 7 have good support too.I noticed in Linux although sound is not that loud it's more clearer and more natural.Well that's my opinion but yeah windows do have louder sound.
    Sunday, January 01, 2012 5:41 AM
  • I believe that would also depend on what type of hardware is installed on the computer.
    Monday, January 02, 2012 3:22 AM
  • I found this great Winamp plugin, and the sound quality is incredible in exclusive WASAPI mode. It sure blasts away any windows player I've seen.

    http://maiko.elementfx.com/

    Monday, January 02, 2012 6:32 AM