You can also look under the hood of ALSA itself, to double check what sample rate your hardware is actually set to.
(numbers may vary, e.g. card1, and maybe a different playback channel on the card. xp are playback channels, xc are capture channels). Not 100% sure if the hw_params file is specific to hda_intel, or if it'll be there with whatever alsa driver you have.
In a typical setup, applications use the default ALSA output, which is actually a hook to send the audio through pulseaudio, which itself outputs to hardware through alsa, using the actual names of the hw device. (alsa devices are specified with text strings like