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What is DSF audio file format?

Audio Basis
educational program

DSF (".dsf" name of file extension) is lossless audio file format, containing 1-bit audio stream (audio data) in delta sigma modulation. The format of audio data used in modern audiophile 1-bit DSD DACs.

General description              Editing DSF              Playback DSF              Converting DSF

HD audio converter for DSF file format AuI ConverteR 48x44
input DSF/DFF/ISO supported in Audiophil-E and configurable Modula-R,
output DSF supported in maximal PROduce-RD and configurable Modula-R

adjust sample rate and gain DSF


What is DSF audio file format

General description

DSF format support sample rates:

2.8 MHz (CD sample rate 44100 Hz x 64, DSD64, D64),
5.6 MHz (DSD128, D128),
11.2 MHz (DSD256, D256),
22.5 MHz (DSD512, D512).
45.2 MHz
(DSD1024, D1024),

Bit depth is 1 bit always.

DSF format use sigma-delta modulation (a.k.a. DSD) for coding audio.

Sigma-delta modulator is sensitive to overloads. After overloading it may go out stable condition and don't return to stable state until restarting.

For avoiding overload DSF records may have 6 dB headroom for guaranteed avoiding of overload. For demodulator (DAC) it have no sense. So signal may be increased up to several dB. Such function, as example, in audio converter AuI ConverteR called as Auto Level Normalization.

DSF format support multichannel configuration.

Some portable audio players have limited disk space for songs. So may have sense downmix multichannel DSF to stereo for saving portable player's disk space.

DSF audio files able to contains metadata (song name, artist name, artwork, etc.) as standard feature.

Alternative format is DFF audio file. In current time it don't support metatags standard way. So for playback software may have display metadata issues.


1-bit audio have simpler implementation ADC and DAC comparing PCM (multibit - 16, 24, etc. - audio) ones. Many modern PCM DACs contains sigma-delta modulator.


Editing DSF

Currently no information (patents, publications), what DSF file may be edited "natively" (straight in 1-bit format) without conversion to PCM format and back to DSF. Here PCM has more wide meaning than WAV file in 24 or 32 bit / 352 kHz.

As example, DSF format may be:

- converted to PCM 352 or 705 kHz, 32-/64-bit float point with AuI ConverteR PROduce-RD or configurable Modula-R,

- edited in usual audio editor, and

- converted back to DSF with AuI ConverteR PROduce-RD or Modula-R.

If cut DSF file in arbitrary place, into cutted file DC issue may be caused.



Playback DSF

How open DSF with audio players described here.

DSF and DFF files can playback with software as directly at 1-bit DSD DAC or with real-time conversion ("inline") at PCM DAC.



Conversion DSF

Conversion DSF to PCM and PCM to DSF applied with quality loss.

As rule, non-real-time conversion (via audio file converter) is not restricted by real-time performance of software / hardware and there possible applying more exact digital signal processing.

With one time offline conversion of DSF audio file before playback, we can save electric energy, that consumed for "heavy" conversion processing during each playback seance.

Watch educational video: How to work DSD converter




Read also:

How convert DFF to DSF under Mac OS X, Windows, Linux read here.

You can learn more details of this format here, here, here.

What Inside DSD Converter of Audio Files

AuI ConverteR 48x44 RSS Audiophile Inventory on Facebook Audiophile Inventory on Google+ Audiophile Inventory on LinkedIn

Audiophile converter
 CD ripper
DSF/FLAC metatag editor
AuI ConverteR 48x44


Conversion CDA (CD-audio track) to mp3 may be provided with different level of safety. CD drive can show (via programming interface) errors that appear during reading and mark each byte data integrity (correct/wrong). Looks like, some CD drives can’t do the detection error per each byte.

Released new studio audio converter AuI ConverteR 48x44 v. 6.4 CD ripper, ISO, DFF, DSF, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, ALAC. Improved ISO extraction target directory management.

Audio Basis - Educational program

DSD converter is software for conversion DSD audio files to other formats and back. DSD audio files have extensions DSF, DFF, ISO. As target or source formats PCM multibit formats (WAV, FLAC, AIFF, mp3, etc. files and CD-audio disks) can be used. Also such converter can resample DSD files. Below will described how to work the converter.


Copyright © Yuri Korzunov [Audiophile Inventory (], 2010-2017. All Rights Reserved.

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