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12 FREE DSD [DSF DFF, SACD ISO] Player Software [2020]

Audio Basis - educational articles

yuri korzunovDSD player software is designed to playback Direct Stream Digital audio files (.dsf, .dff, sacd iso, DoP). Look how to play DSD files via free software (Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS for iPhone, iPad), about sound quality, comparison list, F.A.Q. at this page - explanation by audio software developer Yuri Korzunov.

Watch and share: What is DSD audio? Video explanation
 

 

Watch and share: Hi Res Audio [How it works. Sound quality. 7 Myths]
 

 

DSD player list

WARNING: This table can contain errors. It is not an offer or advertising. 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
Pine Player Mac Free     DSD to PCM (up to 768 kHz) Mac App Store
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
Volumio

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.

 

How to play DSD files

To play DSD files, audio player software should be configured properly. DAC may be either DSD or PCM.
There is no general rule, that is the best sound quality for every case.
When PCM DAC is used, the conversion of DSD to PCM format is used.
DSD DAC may get an audio stream natively ("native DSD" stream via ASIO driver) of DoP (DSD over PCM).

Check out How to play DSD with foobar2000 >

Read more details below.

 

How do I get the best sound quality on my computer?

You can get the best sound quality on your computer / laptop on Windows, Mac, Linux or mobile device on Android, iOS, when you reduce weak places of the audio-signal path and your DAC works in optimal resolution.

Watch and share: DSD vs FLAC [Format Comparison]
 

What is 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 means transmitting of audio file content to DAC without altering.

 

What is gapless playback

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

Gapless playback means playback album as a solid (uninterrupted) stream without re-initialization of DAC.

If the album is converted from an audio format to another one with resampling, it can cause artifacts at track borders. To avoid the track-border artifacts, 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 doesn't consume additional computing resources for altering an audio file. Also, it saves electrical energy that is spent on the processing.

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

When DAP play a multichannel record, it downmixes to 2.0. Downmixing is a lossy operation and its sound quality depends on implementation.

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

If file played back on a mobile device in bit-perfect mode or with minimal processing, it allows:

  1. saving battery charge;
  2. getting a longer time of autonomous work;
  3. getting 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 allows saving 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 processing.

Real-time playback conversion DSD to PCM on mobile devices consume additional battery charge and part of the device CPU performance. It can cause a lesser time of autonomous work and reduce the 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 gives a longer battery lifetime. Because a mobile device performs lesser calculation number.

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

 

 

DAC interfaces

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

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

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

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

 

Read more about:

 

What is the best DSD player

In audiophile application, the players are compared by the sound quality.

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

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

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

Also kind of distortions may be matter.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is DSD player? How do I listen DSD files?

DSD player is a device or software, that capable to play audiophile format Direct Stream Digital. It may be suggested as SACD optical disks or computer files.

 

Is DSD better than FLAC?

It is matter of recording quality and playback tool implementation. Read about DSD and FLAC comparison...

 

Is DSD audio worth it?

DSD allow to simplify a playback system and solve some issues of analog filter, theoretically. But implementation of the system makes actual result. See more...

 

Where can I download FLAC songs for free? Where can I download high-quality music for free?

You can download high-quality (high-resolution) files from the download resources into list here...

 

Can VLC play DSF?

Looks like, VLC can't play DSF. Follow current state here...

 

Can iPhone play DSD files?

Yes. iOS player software can play DSD files. See here...

 

How do I play DSF files with foobar2000?

Yes, you can. Read foobar2000 DSD playback guide here...

 

Can Windows Media Player play DSD?

No. Windows Media Player can't play DSD. But, you can use other software...

 

What is DSD music file?

DSD audio files are files, that capable to contains DSD audio content: DSF, DFF, SACD ISO and DoP FLAC, WAV, etc. Read details here...

 

What is DSF audio file?

Read DSF file quick guide here...

 

What is DFF audio file?

DFF file is one of DSD files. Its audio data content is identical to DSF by the sound quality. Read DFF file details here...

 

How do I open DFF file?

DFF file is supported by software...

 

How do I play DFF files?

DFF files are played back via auio player software...

 

How do I play SACD ISO file?

You can play SACD ISO at hardware and software players.

However, SACD ISO may contains stereo and multichannel album variant. And it consume additional place at hardware player.

You can extract SACD ISO to DSD or PCM files. You choice PCM vs DSD is matter of your music player and hardware ability.

See more:

  1. Software to playback SACD ISO files...
  2. Play SACD ISO on foobar2000...
  3. How to choose target format...
     

How do I convert DSF to mp3?

Read about conversion DSF to mp3 here...

 

What is native DSD support?

DSD files may be played back 3 ways:

  1. on-fly conversion DSD to PCM, and playback on PCM DAC (in PCM mode of the DAC);
  2. offline conversion DSD to PCM with conversion software, and playback on PCM DAC (in PCM mode of the DAC);
  3. transmit DSD audio stuff to DSD DAC to playback.

Option #3 is called "native DSD support". DSD may be transmitted via ASIO driver or as DoP.

 

 

 

July 07, 2020 updated  | since May 01, 2018


Read articles about audio
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How to Open DSF Audio Files [Converters, Players]
Check FREE audio converters
Check FREE Hi-Res audio downloads
Check FREE Hi-Res Audio Player Software
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