Kernel Streaming question

I have noticed that when I use Kernal streaming, I sometimes get blips in between songs. Is there some sort of adjustment that I can do to stop this? ASIO and Wasapi work fine but I prefer the clarity of Kernal.
Thanks for any help you can offer

Hi, did you ever get it resolved as I have the same issue, It glitches every 10 or so seconds impossible to listen to, I have tried other USB ports different USB cables, I have the current USB drivers installed, now no idea what to try or do I just give up with the Kernal

Same for me still. Only at the end of a song, but not always and doesn‘t matter if Hires or not.
It is a very sharp noise and also feels like gapless playing doesn‘t work properly. And yes I also prefer Kernel.

Does this problem occur on a Mac or Windows? or both? I have run AS on Windows 10 and now 11 since it launched and have always used Kernal Streaming and never had this problem. Is it only happening on a Mac?

The Mac does not have this mode. It does not need an ASIO driver neither to recognize a DAC.
It has its own plug and play mode that is called “Core Audio”.

Modern Windows does not need an ASIO driver too and automatically recognizes a DAC if the DAC is USB2 compliant (all modern DACs are). In that case the WASAPI (or Direct Sound which is also based on WASAPI) interface can be used which is basically Windows version of ‘Core Audio’.
ASIO drivers can still be used of course.

I noticed what you say with my PC. But I was told that with WASAPI the sound passes through the sound card of the computer, and that the sound is better with an ASIO driver.
I didn’t try to compare between these modes, because I don’t use the USB output of the computers. I stream with them to end points. (I have both several Macs and PCs.)

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With WASAPI in shared mode the sound passes through the windows mixer because the sound has to be shared by all programs.
With WASAPI in exclusive mode (the way how Audirvana uses it) the Windows sound system (mixer) is completely bypassed and the bitstream is transported directly (bit perfect) to the output device.
Kernel mode is based on WASAPI so does not need the ASIO driver too.

ASIO is invented by Steinberg way before Microsoft introduced WASAPI, to make low latency sound recording and reproduction on Windows possible for DAW’s, VST’s etc. ASIO is still preferred by professional audio engineers and musicians who use virtual instruments.

In theory there should be no difference in SQ between ASIO and WASAPI, but there are people who claim to here the difference. Maybe there is or isn’t or maybe it depends on the implementation of the program playing the music, the ASIO driver, or the WASAPI interface. Who knows.

The difference between the ASIO, WDM and MME drivers | Sweetwater


Thank you for the link, because I learned something new for me.
I ignored the existence of a MME mode.

I think the reason why some people (myself included) perceive a difference between WASAPI and ASIO is due to manufacturers coding their own ASIO drivers. If the developer of the driver is good, then the ASIO driver could be more efficient, and specially coded for specific hardware configurations. For me, the ASIO driver provided by iFi Audio for my Zen DAC sounded just a bit more dynamic and “alive” than the WASAPI output, and fairly comparable to the Kernel Mode output (without the clicks between songs).

It helped me uninstall the DAC driver and the kernel goes like clockwork. No more white noise between songs.
After uninstalling, you need to restart your pc!


WASAPI skips the terrible windows default sound addition, kernel streaming skips all software before your playback software except for the tiniest part of the OS, and ASIO skips the kernel, for the purest output to your audio port.
OS writers need to make audio output via ASIO by default in order not to sound like geeks. I don’t know how they can do it without dedicating the output to a single source at a time, but any other method passes though extra software, and will only be more colored and muddied as a result.