From Hydrogenaudio Knowledgebase
Large portions of this page no longer apply to version 0.9 of Foobar2000 --Reglib 16:44, 28 March 2006 (CST)
 section removed from "Playback"(badly needs updating):
== There are multiple output methods available: DirectSound, waveOut and Kernel Streaming. Which one should I use? == The default setting (waveOut) is recommended; it should be safe to use anywhere. Using DirectSound results in better performance (less CPU overhead)—especially under Windows 2000, Windows XP or newer—but there shouldn't be any audible difference between the two. In certain rare cases, Kernel Streaming may produce better results than DirectSound/waveOut (if for some reason you need data sent through digital out to be bit-identical to source stream); however, bit-identical results with DirectSound have been reported on soundcards capable of mixing multiple streams in hardware (with hardware mixing enabled in DirectSound settings). Please note that Kernel Streaming is an experimental feature with known issues, and using it is ''not'' recommended unless you have a clear need to do so. Most of perceived "sound quality differences" between DirectSound and Kernel Streaming are related to the fact that Kernel Streaming usually bypasses the Windows volume control. In addition, Kernel Streaming only works on Windows 2000, Windows XP or newer.
--shakey_snake 14:41, 30 September 2008 (CDT)