I’m not an audiophile, but I enjoy listening to music with the best quality I can get with my resources. It’s really expensive to find the right kind of Audiophile workstation and devices. So while searching for ways on how to make my Windows sounds better, I cam across this nice little free utility called Fidelizer.
Let’s talk about what exactly this tool does. Like the developer claims, this utility will optimize your Windows computer to audiophile workstation for a sophisticated audiophile player likeJ River, XXHighEnd, HQPlayer, Foobar, etc.
Optimize Windows audio output
Basicallythis tool will optimize the background services and tweak the Windows for better quality audio streaming and sonic improvement. So according to developer:
Stopping services will minimize the workload of svchost controllers, freeing more resources for allocation and improve system responsiveness. If stopping services sounds little too scary, you can skip this process as it’s not the most important features after all. With Windows Vista, Microsoft introduced Multimedia Class Scheduler for thread and I/O priority optimization for processor resource scheduling. Most dedicated audio/video applications will benefit from this, and it also affects overall system/network performance too. The default configuration is quite terribly optimizedand not enough people going to take this feature serious enough to find out how I can get better sound through this. Fidelizer will do it for you without affecting the real configuration so everything will still work fine after system restart.
There are four modes in the latest version of Fidelizer. Professional, Network Streaming, Audiophile, Extremist and there is also a custom one. I’ll explain each of the options and what they do. The explanation is given according to developer’s remarks since there is no easy way to find the optimizations happening behind the scenes.
Professional: In this mode the utility will not alter much Windows services that will affect their performance it will merely apply the core Fidelizer optimizations since Windows Vista alone.
Network Streaming: This mode was introduced in the new version of Fidelizer (v 4.0). The goal of this optimization is to improve the streaming media quality, it does some adjustments prioritizing network streaming over workstation which improves the overall sound quality.
Audiophile: This mode is meant for people who crave High fidelity (hi-fi) music quality. According to the developers it will lower system and network performance so audio can gain more priority to access to resources in time. It will also lower most non-audio related processes including system ones to lower level with some multi-core optimizations. You need to close everything including your player before applying the tweak.
Extremist: Well this mode is basically pushing the Windows to the core to maximize the audio quality including disabling couple of windows services like Network DHCP service. Because Windows Audio and DHCP share the same process in service host provider so disabling network can significantly improve sonic performance.
Custom: This is kind of a combination of the other 4 modes. There you can pick and choose which setting you want to apply. I’d say this feature is for a little advance user who want to experiment with these settings.
- Stop most system services leaving only audio-related ones
- Optimize audio thread, I/O priorities, clock rate in resource scheduler
- Optimize process thread priorities and system clock resolution
- Optimize processor core assignment for multi-core CPU
- Optimize network utilization for low latency streaming media
- Launch audiophile player with Fidelizer optimizations
Do note that whatever tweak you apply, it will only stick until you reboot your system, so if something goes wrong you can always reboot the system. Nevertheless, it is always a good idea to create a system restore point before applying any changes.
I have noticed that after enabling Fidelizer under Audiophile mode, if the system goes to sleep, after waking up your Windows will be completely frozen and the only way out, is to reboot the system. I’ll e-mail the developer asking the reason. If I get any response I’ll update this post.
To conclude, Fidelizer is a nice little utility for those who enjoy music and use audiophile players like Foobar. I did notice some difference with the sound quality. But remember it completely depends up on the computer, the kind of music you listen and of course how well you have trained your ears for audio details. Some think that it might be just a placebo, but others claim otherwise.
You can download it from here. Create a system restore point first and then run it. Test it out the portable tool and let us know your thoughts.
UPDATE BY ADMIN: The tool comes with a pre-checked option to set its home page as your default home page, on its main window (check the image). Make sure you uncheck it. VirusTotal otherwise reports it as clean. Thanks Gregg.