ASIO vs MME vs WDM – Get To Know About Windows Audio Drivers


Windows has various options for its users when it comes to audio drives. With these options, you can easily choose the best-fitted driver for your work. MME and WDM are a few of the known OS audio drivers. One can quickly stream audio through the OS in an internal sound card. On the other hand, ASIO can stream the audio directly without taking the help of the OS to process it in the first place. So in this article, you will get to know the difference between the drivers. Also, you will get to know which is the between when it comes to WDM vs MME, ASIO vs MME. 


Let’s have a brief about each of the drivers first and then jump to the conclusion. 

ASIO (Audio Stream Input/Output)

ASIOASIO is audio software that is designed by Steinberg significantly to improve latency performance. It also improves the channel count when compared with other audio drivers such as windows. ASIO helps the software to easily bypass the windows audio that provides direct communication to the hardware. If you are a professional dealing with recording audio applications and so, then this is the most preferred driver mode. ASIO has very limited device sharing between multiple applications as there is direct communication between hardware and software. Due to this, you won’t be able to run more programs with this interface while the recording software is running. 

MME (Microsoft Multimedia Environment)

MME is a driver for Windows operating systems, which enables your videos and audios to function. The MME driver is invented through the “Windows with Multimedia Extensions 1.0” operating system by Microsoft itself. The name of MME is now also used to access sound cards through API. This OS has helped universally to work with sound cards and hardware smoothly. One needs a sound card driver API to access the hardware. Almost every Windows application uses MME for sound. The MME helps to host the sound card on one side and the host application on the other. The multimedia engine can only send the data stream to the engine, while the OS can send information to the card. Thus the system leads to high latencies and needs an updated driver system like WDM. 

WDM (Windows Driver Model)

The Windows driver model is a platform for all the audio drivers to be a part of windows, and so you can technically need not consider it as an audio driver. WDM can be considered as the core component for the operating system, and thus it is also known as kernel streaming. Most of the applications like iTunes, web browsers, and other media playback software have this driver model as standard audio applications. The WDM has a portion of codes that handles the low-level buffer management like a plug, DMA, and play devices. It has one color band for each color, and the signals travel within those color bands. 

WASAPI (Windows Audio Session API)

WASAPIWindows Audio Session API is the upgraded technology by Microsoft that has solutions for sending audio to hardware outputs. Usually, this technology is used by DVD playback software and Blu Ray as it allows a DTS encoder. It has a surrounded audio for the digital audio outputs. You can use this application to use other hardware too. 

Final Verdict: ASIO vs MME, WASAPI, WDM

After reading the indfromationgiven above, you must have understood the basic difference between WDM and MME, ASIO vs MME. This mostly used audio software allows you to connect widely. But still, there are a few things that you need to choose and concentrate on while choosing from WDM vs MME, ASIO vs MME. If you are using audio drivers from windows, then MME, WASAPI, WDM are perfect for gaming, streaming music, and movies. Whereas for the pro audio recording, ASIO is the preferred driver for using the audio interface. 

I hope this has helped you find all the solutions and answers. You can also elevate your audio driver now. Stay tuned for more such articles; till then, keep experimenting with new things. 

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