Bit perfect on different systems

I would have a question for Damien … often when we talk about liquid music among fans we discuss about the perfect bit of the various systems …
in your opinion audirvana installed on 2 different computers such as windows 10 and apple, will it play a certain song indistinguishable or will there be differences? that is, will the same identical packages arrive at the dac or does the difference of the operating system / hardware bring about differences?
thank you very much

I bet there would be a difference.

No. Bit perfect means there is no difference except for the jitter, but you are unlikely to hear that on the reasonably modern equipment.

That makes quite a difference. Depending on the equipment and how good your ear is, of course.

To satisfy your curiosity, if you have a RPi laying around, Rune Audio gives you the ability to swap different kernel profiles that give you slight differences in sound. Even though all profiles produce bit-perfect output, there are skews in sound that can be (easily) perceived.

My question arises from the fact that before the dac one cannot really speak of sound but of data, 1 and 0 … Audirvana elaborating an audio file gives the dac still data (1 and 0) do not sound

It’s a tricky topic. It’s surprising how much difference it makes how the data is delivered even with async USB and everything in the modern DACs.

Some DACs are more and some less impacted, it depends a lot on the implementation.

More info on the kernel profiles in RuneAudio:

Check out the “Sound Signature (optimization profiles)” section.

I’d be curious to know Damien’s thought

Jitter CAN be measured and if nobody does it but claims “audible differences”, then this is simply an indication of imaginary audiophile stuff. Most of those “clearly hearing the difference” are not able to back it up in a double blinded test, no matter how good their golden ears are.

The best idea is to distance oneself from this talking stuff and try to actually enjoy music. Otherwise you might as well buy some 2000$ cables which will for sure cure your jitter or whatnot issues.

I agree, but then we wouldn’t be “audiophiles” and pose such questions as does the same material sound differently when played through different operating systems.

If would be great if it was that simple.

Yes, I can agree that subject is interesting for an audiophile, however, there are red flags all around the discussion that the subject may be a matter of misunderstanding, and double blinded tests (if ever performed at all) mostly show that “audible differences” in many cases are no much more than a placebo effect.

I left work in audio engineering (long time ago, so my knowledge is certainly outdated and partially forgotten) exactly because I was tired fighting people who in the blind test cannot distinguish between mp3 and CD, but otherwise clearly hear the differences where there are none. So please forgive my bias.

RuneAudio link discusses the subject as if the clock is provided by the OS. If that was the case, we would set the sample rate in computer but not in the DAC as we do. So, until somebody explains “better” how it all works now, I will have to stick to this old outdated concept:

As you can see, in this concept, “kernel” does not matter (in theory). And, if it somehow does, first thing would be to explain how does it do it, not claim some mythical listening tests without any proof.

Regarding “jitter” in general, I have my approach like this. I make a simulated “jittered” audio files, simulating as much as I can the expected jitter in my system, with different amount about of jitter in each file. That is easy to do. Then I invite some friends with better hearing than mine to the double blinded test, and if detectable amount of jitter is at least 10 times the maximum estimated in my audio system,
Then I tell everybody not to bother about jitter and pay more attention to other things that really matter.

Otherwise we have what we have, like discussions how one bit-perfect player sounds “much better” than other bit-perfect player and other utter nonsense.
Of course, few guys discussing fairy dust things in their free time, it’s not a big deal. Worse if these misconceptions are used for marketing of commercial products (Audirvana also guilty). That is why audiophiles get their bad rep.

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And yet, this is what we have. Just do a simple internet search and your’ll find rankings of which “audiophile” playback software sounds better. Not to mention software like JPlay.

My position is much less rigid. From a certain quality level up, everything matters. The differences are subtle or even minute, but there they are. It’s often hard to conclude if it’s better or worse, but no doubt there is a difference.

My question is actually much simpler, I wonder if the audio players with different operating systems sound unaltered. So does audirvana on PC and Mac sound the same? This curiosity arises from the fact that Linux is often said to be the best OS for music given its lightness (see daphile) and Windows the worst. For me audirvana on PC and Mac sound the same. But Damien’s opinion would be needed.

Why? You already reached the conclusion. At this point it’s a question of opinion. Don’t see how he can give you a better answer.

Ours are opinions, his would be an official explanation …

All that can be measured might not be heard, at least by some of us.
Some people come up naturally with an enhanced sense of hearing relative to the average human being. Some have developed it through training.
Equally, some people are not as advantaged in their hearing capacities.
To the ones any measurable difference will be felt when it will go quite unnoticed by the others.
If you add on top of that any “placebo” effect, it turns to out to be minefield.
A possibility, is simply to enjoy listening some music… :smile:

There’s not much to explain. Both, Audirvana on Windows and Audirvana on MacOS, play bit-perfect. That’s just a fact. Beyond that, everything is an opinion.

Damien (wisely) stays away from such discussions. I doubt he’ll give you his opinion here.

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Rune Audio gives you the ability to swap different kernel profiles that give you slight differences in sound.

Can you give me an example pls ?
Tks Giovanni.

Download it from here:

Check out the different sound profiles in the settings.