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Optimize music files
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accurate audio file converter software for
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FLAC, WAV, AIFF, ALAC, SACD ISO, DSF, DFF, mp3, m4a, CD...
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If you are music lover and look for audiophile sound quality, you you've probably heard about DSD format. In this article, we'll explain what is DSD, compare it with other digital formats (CD and others). Keep reading.
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What is DSD file
Audio Basis - articles about audio
📀📁 DSD files are computer files, that contain audio or music data in Direct Stream Digital (DSD) format.
SACD is an optical disk format for a laser player.
DSD computer-file types:
- DSF (.dsf) is an audio format by SONY.
- DFF (.dff) is an audio format by Philips.
- SACD ISO is an audio file with a copy of content of SACD optical disk. It may be made via ripping.
DSD file comparison
Read the main article about DSD vs DSF vs DFF comparison >
DFF vs DSF vs SACD ISO comparison
Radial bands in the format sector of a DSD file show its functionality.
DSD was designed as sound-quality imrovement of compact disk.
CD audio is multibit format with 16-bit resolution and 44100 Hz sampling rate. DSD is 1-bit audio sifnal with sample rate 2.8 MHz and higher. High sampling rate allows solving issue of "super-low" bit depth. It give audiophile abilities to Direct Stream Digital sound.
Here you can read more about difference between DSD and multibit PCM formats...
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The sound quality of different DSD audio file formats is the same. All these formats are lossless. I.e. they store an audio stream without losses.Back to top
How big is DSD file?
See how large is a DSD file. The size comparison for different sampling rates.
|DFF size (MBytes/min)||DSF size (MBytes/min)||SACD size (MBytes/min)|
|DSD64 multichannel (5.1)||61.6||61.6||-|
|DSD128 multichannel (5.1)||123.2||123.2||-|
|DSD256 multichannel (5.1)||246.3||246.3||-|
|DSD512 multichannel (5.1)||492.7||492.7||-|
|DSD1024 multichannel (5.1)||985.4||985.4||-|
Size compression is implemented in DFF and SACD ISO format only (DST [Direct Stream Transfer] compression method). The compression quality is lossless.Back to top
How DSD works
DSD is a format based on 1-bit sigma-delta modulation.
In short, DSD is the same PCM with bit depth reduced to 1.
But it causes a high level of quantization noise.
To reduce the level, noise shaping is used. It "pushes" the noise energy from the audible frequency range to ultrasound.
To "pushing ability" the total frequency band should provide reserve at the ultrasound frequency range. It is achieved via a higher sample rate.
The noise shaper has feedback inside, which can cause broken stability of DSD modulator due to input overload.
Read details on how DSD works...Back to top
Free DSD downloads
Audio samples, free DSD music and test signal downloads:
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How do I play DSD?
Various DSD audio player software can playback 1-bit audio 3 ways:
- convert to PCM ("on fly");
- native DSD playback;
Can iPhone play DSD files?
Yes. There is iPhone software to play DSD files.
Read details and see the player list here >
How do I convert DSD?
A converter software can support different formats, functionality and have various DSD processing qualities.
Read details:Back to top
How do I edit DSD?
The author never knows about so-called "native DSD editing". There is no math base, that allows summarizing or multiplying with two 1-bit values and putting the result in 1-bit value. Thus, DSD altering may be provided in multi-bit math only. After the editing, DSD re-modulation is applied to return to 1-bit domain.
Losses by proper DSD editing are comparable with qualitative re-sampling. I.e. almost transparent for a user.
An editor software may support various formats, functionality and have different qualities of DSD processing.
Read details:Back to top
DSD streaming service
DSD streaming is online playback of 1-bit high-resolution music. Unfortunatelly, the author doesn't know about such services that are available now.
- About DSD streaming
- Streaming DSD (Blue Coast Records) [unavailable]
- PrimeSeat [unavailable]
- Other online streaming services...
Frequently Asked Questions
DSD file format is a sound file format with digital audio in 1-bit sigma-delta modulation (called DSD or Direct Stream Digital).
DSD file (.dsf, .dff, .iso [SACD ISO]) is a file that contains audio, including music, in DSD format.
DSD (Direct Stream Digital) is a kind of digital signal.
DSD file format is a high-resolution audio format based on 1-bit sigma-delta modulation.
SACD is an optical disk format. Such disk contains tracks in DSD audio format.
You can download free DSD files for listening here...
Also, check out these links...
You can download free high-resolution samples here...
Also, check these links to free hi-res files...
DSD is one of high-resolution audio formats that are intended to bring the best sound quality.
Theoretically, DSD gives technical abilities to improve sound quality comparing PCM.
It's not that simple. Read more...
DSD and FLAC both provide high sound quality. However, a sound difference may be there.
As a concept, DSD gives great sound quality advantages comparing CD.
However, a practical implementation may change the balance between the formats in both directions.
Thus, DSD is a better format for sound quality technically. However, it is a complex matter. Because the MQA losses are very small.
Lossless audio files provide the highest sound quality. Read more...
To get DSD listening on your computer, you need to install a DSD player. The computer should have an audio interface.
DSD files may be played back with a compatible audio player...
See bitrates for DSD files:
|DSD sample rate||Stereo bitrate, kbps|
Download free samples in DSD files...
Stereo 5-minute FLAC file 44.1 kHz / 16 bit is about 31,752 Mbytes = 44100Hz * 16bit / 8 * 2channels * 5minutes * 60 * 0.6compression_ratio.
You can open DSD file with software:
Read guide: DSD editing...
Look at DSD software downloads to:
To create a DSD file, you can:
- record analog audio signal in DSD format with special hardware;
- convert a PCM audio file to DSD format.
You can listen to DSD files via audio players...
Windows 10 and 11 are capable of DSD playback.
You can play DSD music without a dedicated DSD DAC, with an ordinary PCM DAC built-in into your device or an external one.
For it you have 2 options:
- use DSD player software with inline conversion DSD to PCM or
- before playback, convert DSD music files to PCM...
Read how to convert DSD files to:
Read how to convert DSF to FLAC...
You can convert CD to DSD files according to the guide...
See DSD file software/utility downloads:
As the author knows, VLC can't play DSF. Follow the current state here...
VLC can't play SACD optical disk. Because special hardware are required.
Tidal doesn't support DSD. Read more about DSD streaming...
Spotify provides hi-fi music. However, it's not lossless. Read more...
Quobuz does not stream DSD audio. Read more about DSD streaming...
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- What is DSD >
- DSD vs DSF vs DFF comparison >
- DSF file format >
- DFF file format >
- DSD vs FLAC >
- About DSD DAC >
- Discussion of best-sounding DSD albums
- Other articles about audio >
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