DSD audio format is one of high-resolution digital audio formats that intended for audiophiles. The format has 1-bit resolution with very high sample rates in range: DSD64 (DSD 2.8 MHz), DSD128 (DSD 5.6 MHz), DSD256, DSD512, DSD1024. Read the article about sound quality difference between DSD sample rates and traditional multibit PCM audio that is contained in WAV, FLAC, and others files.
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- What is DSD?
- DSD sample rates
- How DSD works
- DSD sound quality
- DSD and PCM. Is DSD better than FLAC?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Look video about DSD converter.
DSD is one kind of sigma-delta modulation.
Its sample rates are multiple 44100 Hz (sampling rate of CD-audio):
- DSD 64 : DSD 2.8 MHz = 2 822 400 Hz = 44100 Hz x 64 times;
- DSD 128 : DSD 5.6 MHz = 5 644 800 Hz = 44100 Hz x 128 times;
- DSD 256 : DSD 11.2 MHz = 11 289 600 Hz = 44100 Hz x 256 times;
- DSD 512 : DSD 22.6 MHz = 22 579 200 Hz = 44100 Hz x 512 times;
- DSD 1024 : DSD 45.2 MHz = 45 158 400 Hz = 44100 Hz x 1024 times;
Read about sample rate and sound quality >
As rule, DSD has 1-bit resolution. Multibit DSD may be used (read below).
Read about audio converters
- ISO to DSF, DFF (DSD files) >
- ISO to FLAC WAV mp3 (PCM files) >
- DSF to FLAC >
- DFF file converter >
- DFF to DSF >
- Convert DSF to mp3 >
Read more about DSD
- DSD vs DSF vs DFF Files Audio. What is difference >
- Check FREE DSD downloads >
- DSD and PCM. What is common base? >
- What is DSD audio [How it work, Play, Convert, Edit and more] >
- DSD Converter of Audio Files: What Inside? >
- DSD Decoder Audio >
- How to work sigma-delta modulation in audio >
- What the best audio file format
DSD is assigned for transmitting an audio signal in the lowest part of the frequency range. Rest part of the audio spectrum is used for modulation noise.
DSD in simple words:
Let's imagine DSD audio format as a dish.
Center pit is intended for a soup (audible music) storing.
The dish edge (DSD noise) is not used for soup. We grip the edge to bring the dish (DSD) containing soup (music).
Initially 1-bit signal has high level of noise, comparing the transmitted audio signal. Used noise shaping procedure for pushing noise energy to high-frequency range. Therefore, the lowest frequency range has a minimum noise floor.
Let's imagine DSD noise as water in a pool.
At the pool bottom, under water, a box (music) is placed.
Let's giant fan (noise shaping) begins blowing to water (noise) where the box (music) is placed.
The water level below the fan becomes lower. And top of the box (music) will be over water (music is audible in the noise background).
"Intensive" noise pushing to high-frequency range can cause lesser stability of sigma-delta modulator.
Watch video how DSD converter works >
Bit depth increasing allows reduction the noise level in the audio signal band. Hence, "lower intencity" of noise pushing to high frequencies is needed. Therefore, lower reserve for noise band at high frequencies is required. And, sample rate (total DSD signal band) may be decreased.
Read more details >
Read more about DSD
DSD has range of sample rates based on 44100 Hz in most cases. Here features of professional sigma-delta modulators, that generate 1-bit audio from multibit one, will be considered. These figures depend on the modulator implementation.
Sound quality is noise distortions (artifacts) level in the audible range.
DSD 64 vs DSD 128 vs DSD 256 vs DSD 512 vs DSD 1024
|Sample rate DSD||Noise level, dB||Remark|
|DSD 64||about -125 ... -145 dB||about PCM 24 bit (-144 dB)|
|DSD 128||about -160 ... -165 dB||between PCM 24 bit and PCM 32 bit|
|DSD 256||about -170 ... -200 dB||about PCM 32 bit|
|DSD 1024||about -170 ... -200 dB in 100 kHz band||about PCM 32 bit|
The modulator has noise level limitations due to input overload tolerance. Overload at the input of the modulator can cause broken stability: silence or oscillations at the output. In some DSD records, 6 dB headroom (level reserve for maximal level) is present. Read more here >
A higher sample rate gives additional technical abilities for decreasing noise in the audible band with keeping stability.
DSD and PCM both are digital signals of the same nature.
DSD has minimum bit depth (1-bit). It causes a high level of quantization noise.
But DSD has a wider band, that decreases noise in the audible frequency range (0 ... 20 kHz). However, it is not enough.
Read how DSD noise issue is solved here >
FLAC is one of PCM formats. So, it's fairly for FLAC too. Read details here...
DSD64 is an audiophile format with [44.1 kHz x 64] sampling rate and 1-bit resolution.
CD-audio sampling rate (44.1 kHz) is assigned as basic value.
DSD128 is a HD sound format with [44.1 kHz x 128] sampling rate and 1-bit resolution. See more...
DSD256 is a high-resolution format with [44.1 kHz x 256] sampling rate and 1-bit resolution. See more...
DSD512 is a hifi audio format with [44.1 kHz x 512] sampling rate and 1-bit resolution. See more...
DSD1024 is a hi-res audio format with [44.1 kHz x 1024] sampling rate and 1-bit resolution. See more...
DSD64 is sampling rate of SACD optical disk.
DSD is one of the best audio formats by sound quality. Lossless PCM format family is an alternative to DSD.
Actual sound quality depends on recording, playback equipment and software.
Read about comparison PCM and DSD here...
In general case, both DSD and FLAC have its own benefits.
Read about DSD vs FLAC comparison here...
MQA is PCM. Both PCM and DSD have advantages and disadvantages. It's defined by recording and implementation of audio system.
However, MQA significantly saves computer storage space and reduces throughput via a network for high sound quality.
There is no single answer. Theoretically, DSD is the best audio format by sound quality due to wide band and simpler ADC and DAC.
Note: For audio engineering wide band and ultrasound playback is not the same.
However, DSD causes issues with editing. And actual equipment implementation is not the same theoretical concept.
So, you should decide based on available equipment and recordings in given personal conditions.
PCM and DSD are converted to analog audio in different ways. It causes different distortions. Distortion level depends on audio equipment and software implementation.
FLAC is PCM. So, PCM and DSD should be compared. Read details...
DXD (Digital eXtreme Definition) format is PCM format, that contains DSD audio spectrum including noise.
DXD is intended for DSD audio editing.
DXD has high sampling rate 352.8 kHz and bit depth 24/32-bit. So, DXD provides wide frequency band of audio signal.
Quality of the conversion is depending on converter software tool.
DXD and DSD format are the same mathematically. However, both ones are converted to analog signal in different ways and sound may be different.
So, we can apply ether wider useful audio band or get lesser noise.
Real result is defined by recording and implementation of playback setup and software.
You can download free DSD samples here...
Also, see list sites with DSD music...
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