You might have seen me using JRiver in my YouTube videos. Well here, I’m going to introduce you to the fastest way to improve the sound on your set up. Meet JRiver, the audiophile media center. Also, I’m going to be covering how to integrate Tidal audio streams into JRiver. This will allow you to use all of JRiver’s DSP with Tidal flac streams.
The media center aimed at audiophiles.
JRiver has some of the robust audio support that I’ve ever seen in any media center application I’ve ever used. From the WASAPI and ASIO support down to the impressive DSP Studio along with the robust DSP plugin support, JRiver will please any audiophile. Not only this, JRiver has a special driver known as the WDM driver that allows it to act as it’s own audio device. This way, you can use DSP and exclusive mode on any application. I run all my applications through JRiver. JRiver is almost too good for me to call it a media center. I have JRiver on my startup applications list as it is really that good!
WASAPI and ASIO Support – Why it matters.
If you’re running Windows Vista or later, your PC processes sound by default with Windows DirectSound. Although DirectSound ensures compatibility, it doesn’t ensure quality. Way back in the good Ol’ days of Windows XP, I stayed with XP all the way to the release of Windows 7. Like everyone, I hated Vista. When upgrading to Windows 7, I noticed the terrible sound quality. For years, I always have hunted for ways to get hardware acceleration on Windows. Later on, I learned about ASIO and WASAPI. Basically, ASIO and WASAPI are drivers used to allow digital audio to get streamed directly to the sound card or DAC that you’re using. This bypasses Microsoft’s DirectSound drivers which do not sound that great.
DSP Studio – What really sets JRiver apart.
One of the best features of JRiver is DSP Studio. As soon as you open it, you’ll literally be lost in DSP heaven. JRiver comes with many DSP plugins by default including basic mid-side processing. For those not familiar, mid-side processing is used to enhance the sound stage of your digital music. DSP studio also includes not only a great graphical equalizer but also two separate parametric equalizers. For headphone users, DSP Studio also has you covered with cross feed at different levels. For those who like expansion, JRiver’s DSP Studio has full aftermarket plugin support. All plugins are processed in 64 bit before the digital to analog process ensuring that they do not ruin the bit perfect sound being streamed to your sound card or DAC.
JRiver also supports Blu-ray and DVD playback.
For those who have a home theater PC and a large physical media collection, JRiver will again not disappoint. You get full Blu-ray and DVD support. Imagine watching a Blu-ray with amazing picture quality along with amazing audio quality. JRiver is very capable of this.
JRiver Skins – JRiver can really look good.
JRiver also includes skin support to really change the look up. I currently use Blue Steel as my skin. It gives JRiver a retro look that is just eye candy. I was never a big fan of the modern “flat” look. JRiver also threw in a 3D Visualization feature that animates a visualization that dances with the sound. This all gives JRiver an interesting focus on music that most media players fail to do. Not everyone uses a media player strictly for watching. There are plenty of us who listen to music. The software must look good to be enjoyable to use.
In the end, JRiver is truly an audiophile media center.
With all of this, JRiver is truly worth $60. I highly recommend downloading JRiver and trying out the 30 trial. You get so much for the money along with JRiver’s robust DSP support. Utilizing the DSP will improve the sound of your digital media. The WDM driver allows use of third party applications with WASAPI and ASIO. As always, I encourage you to comment any questions down below. I will do my best to answer them. I hope this review was helpful.