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How to Convert DSD to PCM [Sound Quality Guide]


DSD to PCM conversion (.dsf/.dff/SACD ISO to WAV, FLAC, mp3, m4a, other files) always alters audio information of the original file. In other words, the processing may be provided with different sound quality. Keep reading the music file conversion guide.

May 4, 2023 updated | since November 9, 2021

Author: Yuri Korzunov,
Audiophile Inventory's developer with 25+ year experience in digital signal processing,
author of the articles that make audio easy for beginners

How to Convert DSD to/from PCM audio files

To convert DSD (.dsf, .dff, .iso [SACD ISO]) to/from PCM (.wav, .flac, .aiff, .mp3,  m4a) files on Mac or Windows in high quality:

  1. Start DSD audio file converter software AuI ConverteR 48x44.

  2. Click Open files button and select one or multiple .dsf or .dff of .iso (SACD ISO) source file(s).
    If you convert PCM to DSD files, select .wav, .flac, .mp3 or other PCM file(s) *
  3. At the right middle part of the main window, in the Format panel, select target PCM format (FLAC/WAV/AIFF/ALAC/mp3/m4a/etc.), sampling rate and bit depth.
    If you convert PCM to DSD files, select DSF or DFF format.
  4. Assign the target directory for converted files at the left lower part of the main window, Directory output files field, via "..." button. Read about output directory and output file templates.
  5. Push Start button.
  6. Wait until conversion end. Converted files are placed into the assigned target directory.

* depending on license type

WARNING: For .iso tracks, .dsf, .dff with lengths more than 3 minutes FREE version mute 2-second silence in the output middle


Sound quality

Noise and distortion levels are important things. They primarily determine audio quality.

AuI ConverteR 48x44 vs a converter software distortions:
spectrogram (x-time, y-frequency), DSD64 to PCM 44.1 kHz,

AuI ConverteR 48x44 vs a converter software distortions


The input signal is a sweep sine. In the picture, we can see spectrums of output files for compared conversion software.

In the lower picture part ("a converter software"), we can observe the mirrored image of the input sweep tone. It's distortions or aliases. At the top part of the picture ("AuI ConverteR"), we can view only input sine without unwanted products.

DSD to PCM conversion is based on downsampling. Because, as rule, the input sampling rate is higher than the output one (in instance, 2.8 MHz and 96 kHz, respectively).

Downsampling requires low-frequency filtering. Otherwise, the high part of the input spectrum folds into the audible range of the output signal. Viewed aliases in the picture demonstrate it.

Higher accuracy of conversion requires more computing time.

In some cases, a playback-noise level can be achieved by reducing the output frequency band.

In AuI ConverteR Settings, General tab, see Filter mode list. Playback noise for high-resolution sound files may be solved via "Optimized" filter mode.

Since version 11.x, for professional use, "Optimized G5" filter is recommended to reduce filter ringing length. It is a slow conversion mode.

Read more about audio quality improvement...


Price options

AuI ConverteR has several price/functionality options that allow saving your budget for the required functionality. You can expand Modula-R abilities later by purchasing new modules. Unlimited-time license, major updates (... 10.x > 11.x > 12.x > ... versions) are paid.

* All prices on this page are in U.S. dollars without V.A.T. and other applicable taxes and fees. The prices are recommended. Information on this page is not a public offer.

[MINIMUM PRICE] configuration to convert
DSF / DFF (up to DSD128) to FLAC (up to 192 kHz, 24 bit, 32 bit float) [consists of 2 modules]


[Recommended] configuration (from $206.2*) to convert
DSF / DFF (up to DSD512) to FLAC (up to 192 kHz, 24 bit, 32 bit float)
with parallel processing, true gapless mode, level normalization [consists of 6 modules]

DSF / DFF (up to DSD512) to FLAC

[MINIMUM PRICE] configuration to convert
FLAC, WAV, AIFF, mp3 other PCM to DSD files (DSF, DFF up to DSD128), WAV, AIFF, mp3, other PCM (up to 192 kHz, 24 bit, 32 bit float) [consists of 2 modules]

PCM to DSD files



Unlimited-time license, major updates (... 10.x > 11.x > 12.x > ... versions) are paid.

Full functionality






convert dsd to pcm


Frequently Asked Questions

What is DSD to PCM?

DSD (Direct Stream Digital) is 1-bit audiophile format family.

PCM is a multi-bit audio format family.

DSD and some PCM formats are included in high-resolution audio.

DSD to PCM is a conversion 1-bit audio format to multi-bit one.



FLAC is PCM audio format.


Are DSD files better? Do I need DSD?

It's a complex matter. No univocal advantages of DSD audio files comparing PCM ones.



Is DSD the best audio format?

DSD audio format gives technical abilities that have advantages comparing PCM formats. However, it is not so simple.



Is DSD better than FLAC?

DSD audio format has some technical advantages comparing FLAC. However, some nuances are there.



Is DSD128 good?

DSD128 gives better design abilities to improve sound quality. Primarily, it depends on implementation.



Is DSD the same as SACD?

SACD is one of DSD formats. SACD is an optical audio disk that contains DSD audio. SACD may be ripped to DSD file (.iso).


Can PCM be converted to DSD?

Yes. You can convert PCM to DSD files...



How do I convert DSF to FLAC?

Read how you can convert DSF to FLAC...


Can Roon convert DSD to PCM?

Yes. It can. Read details...


What is DSD over PCM?

It is a way to transmit DSD audio to a DAC. Read details...


How can I play DSD files on my PC?

DSD files may be played back via computer applications...


Can JRiver play DSD files?

Yes. JRiver can play DSD files.


Should I use DSD or PCM?

It depends on your equipment.


How do I convert a DSD file?

Read how to convert DSD files:


Can PCM be converted to DSD?

Yes. Read how to convert PCM to DSD...


How do I convert mp3 to DSD?

You can convert mp3 to DSD according to the manual...


Can Roon convert DSD to PCM?

Yes. Roon software can convert DSD to PCM*.


Can DSD be streamed?

DSD may be streamed.


Where can I download DSD music for free?

You can download DSD music files:


Why does Roon convert DSD to PCM?

Conversion DSD to PCM may be required if:

Read details...


Can Roon play DSD?

Roon can play DSD [*].


What is DSD filter?

DSD audio contains significant-level noise at high frequencies. It can cause audible noise on some equipment and other issues. To remove it before playback low-frequency filter is used.