NPR Audio Quality and Upconversion

NPR posted an article questioning whether listeners can discern the difference in audio formats, and subsequently if services such as Tidal are worth the money.

I ran through the six tests and to my chagrin I only got three right, and those three were not confident selections. I checked the settings on my DAC and realized all the tracks were registering as 192khz, and I have up-sampling turned off.

After I upgraded to Windows 10 this weekend for some reason the driver settings changed and the DAC was set in Windows to play at 192, not 44.1 where I normally keep it for browser streaming. After changing it back and trying the test again I got all six correct and the differences between tracks were blatant, it wasn't a challenge to pick out the uncompressed file.

So is this a knock on up-sampling or is there something else going on?

Second question, is there a way to set Windows to dynamically adjust the DAC output setting when streaming via a browser? Running Tidal in Chrome my DAC (Teac UD-501) only sees whatever sample rate is set for the device in Windows. In contrast, it sees whatever type is fed to it via JRiver.

You don't need Windows10 than. You can try backup-restore. With Windows10 you sacrifice your privacy and give Microsoft(and also law enforcement together) total control over your PC.
Try a Linux distro. You probably won't need special drivers like you do in Windows. It's easy and won't cost anything. Also, if you value your privacy, Linux is probably the best OS. Its far better than Windows.
I'm off topic for a moment.Czarivey. I've been considering upgrading my Windows 7 Pro to the new 10. I've wondered about sound quality. Your statement gives me pause. Could you clarify? Thanks. Pete
once you're on the internet, it's visible what you're looking for and working with.
very bad for my business. i'm not even comfortable with windows 7 that also to some degree sacrifices your privacy.
your location, your searches are clearly visible because the pattern of search always comes back.
Apple or Linux is in my mind. Apple is certainly best for the sound quality.
I don't understand Czarivey. What's your business?
There's measures that you can take to make Windows more secure if you have no choice but to use it for everything. A more workable solution, and one I use myself, is to set your computer up to dual boot Windows and Linux. Anytime I have to do anything on the internet, I use Linux. The only time Windows sees the internet is for updates, and once in a while when your only option is to use IE.

Before you do any of this, you don't have to jump in feet first and start repartitioning hard drives. Most Linux distributions are available in the form of a live system. That means you download the OS and put it on a DVD or usb stick. You reboot the PC and the Linux OS runs directly off the portable media and doesn't touch your system. When you're done working in Linux, you just reboot the system and everything goes right back to Windows. If you like, I can show you exactly where to go for a download. Its all very simple and risk free.
try a high end dac and you will have different results again...