Regarding pipewire vs pulse audio

This question isn’t a cry for help, merely to satisfy curiosity. I have a lovely little DAC I use while working on my windows machine, Its the Topping E30 but that’s not important, what is important is that it displays 48KHz when connected to my windows work PC via USB. When I was using this with POP OS on my desktop or laptop it always reported 44.1KHz. Having used this now with the same hardware and Fedora 34 / 35 its now showing 48KHz.

Is this the result of pipewire instead of pulse audio? Is this why Pipewire is said to be “better”? Could something else be at play here?

PS Its a lovely little DAC I just bought a second so I don’t have to disconnect my work PC.

I can’t say for sure if it is because of PipeWire for sure. It also may be newer libraries as well. I don’t actually know what versions each run. I can tell you from personal experience that I have improved sound quality with PipeWire over PulseAudio on openSUSE. I am not sure of the frequency difference the perceivable quality significantly improved and I am not an audiophile at all.

Perhaps Pipewire is able to detect and switch sampling rates automatically. This is strange but good news!

It’s not perceivable… in a perfect world… but this is a digital world where weird things happen. Like filming in 8K so you have more data for your FX to work with before converting to 1080p. You might record sound at 88.2 kHz to apply FX before converting to 44.1 kHz for regular listening. The conversion is merely a halving of the samples and computationally efficient. 96 kHz (a common sampling rate) halved is 48 kHz and listening or converting below that frequency is computationally expensive as interpolation is required to invent samples that fall between actual recorded samples, sometimes producing samples that actually clip or peak which is sometimes audible.

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I personally can’t hear the difference. It’s going so please some people no end even if they can’t hear it either. For me it’s an interesting observation.

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That makes sense about the computational efficiency of 96 KHz. I am curious now, where did you go to determine the frequency? Is there a terminal command or was it software like Audacity that reported that number?

The DAC has a display and shows 44.1 or 48. It actually does so if nothing is playing so it must be the link capability not the media. Maybe it’s equivalent to 60Hz or 144Hz monitor connections when playing a 24Hz film in a window. Maybe?