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How to play DSD | 12 FREE DSD Player Software Items [2019] Check now

Audio Basis - educational articles

DSD player is software that designed to playback Direct Stream Digital audio files (.dsf, .dff, sacd iso, DoP). Look at free and commercial DSD player software (Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS for iPhone, iPad) comparison list at this page.

• DSF, DFF, ISO (1-bit audio) is supported in maximal PROduce-RD and configurable Modula-R
• For ISO tracks, DSF, DFF with length more 3 minutes FREE demo mute 2 second silence in the output middle
• DVD ISO is NOT supported
Watch and share: What is DSD audio? Video explanation


Sound quality

Watch and share: DSD vs FLAC [Format Comparison]

Bit-perfect mode

DSD files may be played back in bit-perfect modes:

  • DSD file (DSF, DFF, SACD ISO);
  • DoP (DSD over PCM) file (FLAC, WAV, AIFF, other lossless PCM files).

Bit-perfect mean transmitting of audio file content to DAC without altering.


Gapless playback

When uninterrupted albums (operas, concerts) are listened, non-gapless playback can cause clicks at track borders.

Gapless playback mean playback album as solid stream without re-initialization of DAC.

If album converted from one audio format to other with resampling, it can cause artefacts at track borders. To avoid the artefacts, True Gapless conversion may be used.


Offline conversion mode

With bit-perfect mode you can playback offline pre-converted audio files (including PCM to DSD). This mode don't consume additional computing resources for altering of audio file. Also it save electrical energy that is spent to the processing.

Many of digital audio players (DAP) capable to playback at stereo headphones. But some your records may be multichannel.

When DAP play multichannel record it downmix it to 2.0. Downmixing is lossy operation and it sound quality depend on implementation.

Also extra channels consume free space on hard disk of the DAP. Offline pre-downmixed to stereo files allow to put more songs at hard disk.

If file played back on mobile device in bit-perfect mode or with minimal processings, it allow:

  1. to save battery charge;
  2. to get longer time of autonomous work;
  3. to get more computing resources for other (not audio player) applications.


Inline conversion mode

DSD and PCM files may be played back with inline (real-time, "on-fly") altering of audio content:

  • with DSD resampling;
  • with room correction;
  • with conversion DSD to PCM on PCM DAC.

This mode allow to save time for pre-converting of various audio files to the best sounding mode of DAC. But each playback can consume big computing resources to resolution conversion and other processings.

Real-time playback conversion DSD to PCM on a mobile devices consume additional battery charge and part of the device CPU performance. It can cause lesser time of autonomous work and reduce response of other (non-player) applications.


Inline (real-time) vs offline conversion
of audio files on mobile devices

Inline (real-time) vs offline conversion of audio files


Offline conversion of audio files give longer battery life time because a mobile device perform lesser calculation number.

Also pre-downmix, pre-conversion DSD to PCM, pre-downsampling save free space at hard disk of the mobile device.



DAC interfaces

To DSD playback (including bit-perfect) under Windows, DAC may be connected to audio player via ASIO driver or DoP protocol.

Also WASAPI (with DoP) interface may be used to playback (including bit-perfect).

DoP is special open protocol to coding DSD into PCM audio stream. The stream can not be played back as PCM.

To DSD playback under Mac, DAC may be connected to audio player via DoP protocol.


Read more about:



What is the best DSD player

In audiophile application the players are compared by sound quality.

If the player have bit perfect mode and used DAC support played file resolution, sound quality is the same for such players.

But, if audio resolution is altered or EQ is used, then applied processing quality is matter.

In general, the best DSD player with processing should cause minimal distortions.

Also kind of distortions may be matter.



DSD player list


WARNING: This table can contains errors. It is not offer or advertizing. We are not affiliated with listed products. We guarantee nothing. If you found wrong information, contact us, please. To get exact information, contact with the software developers and/or vendors.

DSD player audio software list [See FREE audio players for hi-res]

Audio player Operation system License Supported file types Sample rate DAC interface Description
DSD players Windows, Mac, Linux
Amarra Luxe Windows, Mac Commercial DSF      
Audiogate Windows, Mac   DSF, DFF up to DSD128   DAC limitation for the software activation
Audirvana Mac Commercial DSF, DFF (including DST), SACD ISO   DoP, DSD to PCM  
Daphile Run as firmware (Linux based) from flash stick memory Free DSF     Music server. Stereo only
Foobar2000 (with sacd input plugin) Windows Free DSF, DFF (including DST), SACD ISO up to DSD512 ASIO, DSD to PCM  
Fostex Audio Player Windows, Mac Free DSF, DFF up to DSD128 ASIO, DoP  
JRiver Windows, Mac, Linux Commercial DSF, DFF (including DST), SACD ISO   ASIO, DoP, DSD over DLNA, DSD to PCM, PCM to DSD  
HQ Player Windows, Mac, Linux Commercial DSF, DFF (non-compressed DSDIFF) up to DSD1024 DSD to PCM, PCM to DSD, ASIO, DoP  
Hysolid Windows Free DSF up to DSD256 ASIO, DoP WASAPI To work on music server PC with smartphone app control
Logitech Media Server Windows, Mac, Linux   DoP PCM files   Bit-perfect PCM output of DoP Need additional hardware and pre-conversion DSD files to PCM DoP files. How to adjust and use the software.
Media Player Classic Windows Free DSF, DFF      
moOde audio player To run on Raspberry Pi Free       Here information about DSD settings
Resonic Player Windows Free, Commercial DSF, DFF up to DSD512    
Roon Windows, Mac;
server on Windows, Mac, Linux
Commercial     Bit-perfect, DSD to PCM Server may be installed on network area storage (NAS)
TEAC HR Audio Player Windows, Mac Free DSF, DFF up to DSD256 ASIO, DoP  
Technics Audio Player Windows, Mac   DSF, DFF up to DSD128 USB driver Read the software license agreement about using limitations

Run as firmware from flash stick memory on PC, Raspberry Pi, other

      UPNP \ DLNA, Airplay, DoP Music server
Wtfplay Linux Free DSF up to DSD128; DSD256, DSD512 are experimental DoP  
DSD players Android and iOS (mobile applications)
HibyMusic Android, iOS Free DSF, DFF (including DST), ISO up to DSD256 net driver (Dropbox / DLNA / LAN) native DSD, DoP, DSD to PCM  
Hi-Res music player-NePLAYER iOS Commercial DSF, DFF up to DSD256 DSD to PCM, DoP Check DSD replay issues at online store page
HYSOLID Android, iOS Free       Music server control application
Neutron Music Player Android, iOS Commercial     UPnP / DLNA, USB DAC, DoP, DSD to PCM There is evaluation version "Neutron Music Player (Eval)" on Android
Onkyo HF Player Android, iOS Free, Commercial DSF, DFF up to DSD256 AOA 2.0, DoP, DSD to PCM Some limitations of free version
TEAC HR Audio Player Android, iOS   DSF, DFF up to DSD256 DoP, DSD to PCM There are DSD limitations of free version
USB Audio Player PRO Android Commercial     DoP, DSD to PCM, native DSD playback  

[See more FREE audio players for hi-res]




Read more about mobile device connections to DSD playback here.


DSD Player Software List [Comparison, Features]


Read articles about audio

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