ASIO (short for Audio Stream Input Output) is a technology developed to access the audio hardware directly without using standard sound card drivers. Due to this approach, ASIO drivers provide much better sound quality for almost all the sound cards.
In the past, we have provided detailed instructions about how you can start using ASIO sound drivers in Windows through the popular Foobar2000 music player. Back then only Foobar2000 was providing full support to the ASIO sound drivers in Windows. Since then many more media players have provided plugins to utilize ASIO drivers. For example, now you can use ASIO sound drivers in XMPlay – an open-source music player that is very similar to the legendary Winamp both in terms of its features and the looks. You can even download skins to make it look exactly like Winamp.
Compared to Foobar2000, XMPlay makes it even easier to harness the power of ASIO sound drivers. Here is how you can instantly boost the sound quality through ASIO in XMPlay:
- Download ASIO4ALL from http://www.asio4all.org/ and install it in Windows.
- Download XMPlay from https://www.un4seen.com/ and extract the downloaded ZIP archive it a folder.
- Download XMPlay ASIO plugin from https://support.xmplay.com/files_view.php?file_id=549 and extract it in the same folder where xmplay.exe resides. After this, you should have xmplay.exe and xmp-asio.dll in the same folder.
- Launch xmplay.exe and verify that ASIO plug-in is loaded. For this, you have to right-click on XMPlay interface and select Options.
- In the XMPlay options, select Output and then ASIO. You should be able to see ASIO4ALL v2 driver detected by it.
Now you can enjoy playing your music through XMPlay and it will be played through ASIO. The quality will obviously improve and you will be able to feel the change immediately. You can listen to your music through Bluetooth speakers but you will have much better experience with some really good quality headphones such as Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 or Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro.