Read definitive guide by audio software developer Yuri Korzunov about:
• free and commercial hi res audio player software apps on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS and other [computers, laptops, mobile phones, tablets],
• online for audiophiles,
• Frequently Answered Questions,
• what is the best music player app,
• supported formats (WAV, FLAC, DSD [DSF, DFF, SACD ISO], MQA, m4a, ..) and others.
- Apr 10, 2019 As a subset of this, as mentioned above, let’s have hi-res album art. I’d love to just have the album art full-screen on my Mac when I’m using it purely as a music player – which I do a.
- VOX Music Player for Mac & iPhone is a simple and powerful app that supports Hi-Res formats, as well as lossy one. The player's developers aim to change the understanding of music in the world. VOX for iPad, Windows, and Android is being developed.
HD audio file conversion
The Mac App Store went live in early 2011 and offers apps in every department, from games to productivity tools. Some are simply macOS versions of popular. Oct 21, 2013 Go to your Applications folder, then open the Utilities folder inside it. Open Audio MIDI Setup. Click on the output you’re using for your music – in most cases this will be Built-in Output, and may be Analog or Digital. (You may have specific hardware connected to your Mac to play music; if so, choose that in the source list.).
High-resolution audio player software
WALTR is a unique app, available on both Windows and Mac, that enables easy transfer of content from your computer to iOS device (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) by dragging the required files (music, videos, ringtones, ebooks) on your computer and dropping it onto the application window.
Hi res music player software for audiophiles (Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, online) for WAV, FLAC, DSD (DSF, DFF, SACD ISO, DoP), MQA, m4a, ..
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.
Supported sample rate and bit depth may depend on a file format.
Free Hi Res Music
|Audio player||Operation system||License||Supported file types||Sample rate||DAC interface||Description|
Audio players Windows, Mac, Linux
|AIMP||Windows||Free||CDA, AAC, ac3, APE, DTS, FLAC, m4a, ogg, mp3, WAV, WMA, WavPack, DSF, DFF, other, web radio||DirectSound, ASIO, WASAPI|
|Album Player||Windows||Free||WAV, FLAC, APE, WavPack, ALAC, AIFF, TAK, MP3, MP4, OGG, CD, DSD, DVD-A, other||ASIO, Kernel Streaming, WASAPI|
|Amarok||Linux, Unix, Windows, Mac||Free|
|Amarra Luxe||Windows, Mac||Commercial||DSF, mp3, AAC, MQA, WAV, AIFF, FLAC, ALAC, streaming service, other||DSD to PCM|
|Audiogate||Windows, Mac||DSF, DFF, WAV, FLAC, BWF, WMA, ALAC, mp3, other||up to DSD128||DAC limitation for the software activation|
|Audirvana||Mac, Windows||Commercial||DSF, DFF (including DST), SACD ISO, WAV, FLAC, ALAC, AIFF, WavPack, APE, MQA, streaming service, other||DoP, DSD to PCM||Windows 10 compatible|
|Audacious||Linux, BSD, Windows||Free|
|Channel-D Pure Music||Mac||Commercial||up to 384 kHz / 24 bit, up to DSD128||DSD to PCM, DoP, streaming||Gapless and memory playback|
|Daphile||Run as firmware (Linux based) from flash stick memory||Free||DSF, PCM||up to 384 kHz / 24 bit, up to DSD512||Music server. Stereo only|
|Foobar2000(with sacd input plugin)||Windows||Free||DSF, DFF (including DST), SACD ISO, FLAC, WAV, mp3, ALAC, WavPack, AAC, other||up to DSD512||ASIO, DSD to PCM|
|Fostex Audio Player||Windows, Mac||Free||DSF, DFF, WAV, FLAC, mp3, AIFF, ALAC||up to DSD128, up to 192 kHz / 24 bit||ASIO, DoP||Demands certain playback hardware|
|Gom Audio||Windows||Free||cda, MPL, mp3, ogg, WMA, APE, FLAC, WAV, m4a, WavPack, AIFF, DSF, DFF|
|iTunes||Mac, Windows||Free||WAV, ALAC, AAC, mp3, AIFF, CD-audio|
|JRiver||Windows, Mac, Linux||Commercial||DSF, DFF (including DST), SACD ISO, mp3, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, other||ASIO, DoP, DSD over DLNA, DSD to PCM, PCM to DSD||Gapless playback|
|Hi-Res Audio Player||Windows||DSD, PCM||Require certain hardware|
|HQ Player||Windows, Mac, Linux||Commercial||DSF, DFF (non-compressed DSDIFF), CD-audio, FLAC, AIFF, other||up to DSD1024||DSD to PCM, PCM to DSD, ASIO, DoP|
|Hysolid||Windows||Free||DSF, WAV, FLAC||up to DSD256, up to 384 kHz||ASIO, DoPWASAPI||To work on music server PC with smartphone app control|
|Logitech Media Server||Windows, Mac, Linux||PCM, 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||PCM, DSF, DFF|
|moOde audio player||To run on Raspberry Pi||Free||Here information about DSD settings|
|Pine Player||Mac||Free||mp3, FLAC, APE, AAC, m4a, WAV, AIFF, ogg, WMA, DSD, SACD ISO, other||up to 768 kHz / 32 bit|
|Resonic Player||Windows||Free, Commercial||WAV, AIFF, FLAC, WMA, mp3, ALAC, WavPack, MID, DSF, DFF, other||up to DSD512|
|Roon|| Windows, Mac;|
the server on Windows, Mac, Linux
|Commercial||Audio files and streaming service||Bit-perfect, DSD to PCM||The server may be installed on network area storage (NAS)|
|TEAC HR Audio Player||Windows, Mac||Free||DSF, DFF, PCM||up to DSD256, up to 384 kHz / 32 bit||ASIO, DoP|
|Technics Audio Player||Windows, Mac||DSF, DFF, WAV, FLAC, mp3, ALAC, AIFF|
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
|Free||MP3, FLAC, WAV, AAC, ALAC, DSD||UPNP DLNA, Airplay, DoP||Open source music server|
|VLC||Windows, Mac, Linux, other||Free||mp3, AAC, MLP / TrueHD, DTS, WMA, FLAC (including uncompressed), ALAC, ATRAC 3, WavPack, APE, WAV, other|
|Vox||Mac||Free||DSF, WAV, AIFF, FLAC (including uncompressed), ALAC, mp3, other, network radio|
|Wtfplay||Linux||Free||WAV, FLAC, DSF|
up to DSD128; DSD256, DSD512 are experimental,
Audio players Android and iOS (mobile applications)
|AIMP||Android||Free||APE, mp3, WAV, ogg, AAC, FLAC, mp4, m4a, WavPack, DSF, DFF, other|
|Amarra Play||iOS (iPhone, iPad)||Free, In-App Purchases||AIFF, AIFC, MP3, ALAC, FLAC, MQA||MQA Decode up to 96 kHz with Amarra Luxe license||No DSD. Amarra Luxe unlocks some features. Amarra Play must be running on the same wireless network as the computer|
|FiiO Music||Android, iOS||Free||DSD, PCM||up to 384 kHz / 24 bit||Raw DSD output||Support HWA (LHDC) Bluetooth transmission|
|Foobar2000||Android, iOS (iPhone, iPad)||Free||MP3, MP4, AAC, Vorbis, Opus, FLAC, WavPack, WAV, AIFF, Musepack||Gapless playback, playback / downloading music from UPnP media servers|
|HibyMusic||Android, iOS (iPhone, iPad)||Free||DSF, DFF (including DST), ISO, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, M4A, AAC, mp3, ogg|| up to DSD256,|
up to 384 kHz / 32 bit
|net driver (Dropbox / DLNA / LAN) native DSD, DoP, DSD to PCM|
|Hi-Res music player-NePLAYER||iOS (iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch)||Commercial||ALAC, FLAC, WAV, mp3, AAC, HE-AAC, DSF, DFF||up to DSD256, up to 384 kHz / 32 bit||DSD to PCM, DoP||Check DSD replay issues at the online store page|
|HYSOLID||Android, iOS||Free||WAC, FLAC, DSD||up to DSD256, up to 384 kHz||ASIO, WASAPI, DoP, native DSD||Music server control application|
|Neutron Music Player||Android, iOS (iPhone, iPad)||Commercial||mp3, ogg, FLAC, AC3, AAC, M4A, MP4, 3GP, 3G2, ALAC, APE, WavPack, WAV, AIFF, other, DSD||UPnP / DLNA, USB DAC, DoP, native DSD, DSD to PCM||There is evaluation version 'Neutron Music Player (Eval)' on Android|
|Onkyo HF Player||Android, iOS||Free, In-App Purchases||DSF, DFF, mp3, ALAC, AAC, WAV, AIFF||up to DSD256, up to 384 kHz||AOA 2.0, DoP, DSD to PCM||Some limitations of the free version. Sample rate depends on the format and In-App purchases.|
|TEAC HR Audio Player||Android, iOS||Free, In-App Purchases||FLAC, ALAC, WAV, AIFF, ogg, DSF, DFF||up to DSD256, up to 384 kHz||DoP, DSD to PCM|
|USB Audio Player PRO||Android||Commercial||WAV, FLAC, ogg, mp3, AIFF, AAC, m4a, APE, DFF, DSF, other||up to 384 kHz / 32 bit||DoP, DSD to PCM, native DSD playback|
|VLC||Android, iOS (iPad, iPhone, Apple Watch)||Free||ogg, FLAC, WavPack, AAC, other|
|Vox||Free, In-App Purchases||FLAC, ALAC, mp3, DSD, other|
Online audio players (hi-resolution streaming services)
|High Res Audio||Free trial, Commercial||up to 24 bit|
|Primephonic||Free trial, Commercial||up to 24 bit|
|PrimeSeat||Free trial, Commercial||PCM, DSD up to 11.2 MHz|
|Qobuz||Free trial, Commercial||up to 192 kHz / 24 bit||streaming and downloads according to purchased plan|
|Tidal||PC/Mac, web-player, iOS, Android||Free trial, Commercial||FLAC 44.1 kHz / 16 bit, MQA||supported with audio players (details)|
Online audio players (streaming services)
|Amazon Prime Music||Free trial||Allow listening online and offline|
|Apple Music||Free trial||Music platform|
|Datpiff||Audio platform for musicians and music discovering|
|Google Play Music||Free trial||Music platform with the store. Offline listening is available|
|Jamendo Music||Free trial||Audio platform for musicians and music discovering. Free and paid stuff|
|Noisetrade||Audio platform for musicians and music discovering|
|ReverbNation||Audio platform for musicians and music discovering|
|SoundCloud||Audio platform for musicians and music discovering|
|Яндекс Музыка||Free, Commercial||Music site 'Yandex Music'. Offline listening is available|
What is the best hi-res audio player software
Hi Res Music
Which high-resolution audio player has the best sound quality is your personal choice rather. Some audio players may playback qualitative audio files without altering (bit-perfect). In general, there is no matter, that player is use for it, but some nuances are there. Below how to make the choice is discussed.
An audio player may works in 2 base modes (depend on the software abilities):
- bit-perfect (transmitting data from an audio file to DAC without altering);
- processing mode (resampling, room correction and other).
In bit-perfect mode, the sound quality is defined by DAC and next audio devices.
This mode consumes minimal computing resources and is desirable for non-powerful computers.
Processing mode sound quality depends on the player and/or processing plug-in.
This mode may consume many computing resources (more quality = more resources), and, sometimes, can't work at lower-performance computers. Also, this mode consumes more electrical energy for calculations and cooling, than a bit-perfect one.
When fans work in intensive mode, they cause more noise.
Some albums (operas, live concerts, etc.) should be played back as a continuous stream.
Some players can begin the next song without DAC re-initialization.
This ability is called as Gapless playback.
It may be applied for as bit-perfect as processed modes (see 'Playback modes').
Also played back audio files may be pre-converted in gapless mode too.
This mode has a sense when audio files are resampled or DSD files are processed.
Gapless conversion has a sense, when the audio player works in gapless mode.
ASIO is a kind of audio drivers by audio interface vendors, that provide low latency and use of specific properties of the audio interface. ASIO SDK (programming tools) is provided by Steingberg.
As rule, ASIO driver is provided together with a sound device. Specific functionality management is supported via a special software control panel.
There is universal ASIO-driver ASIO4All. But, as rule, DAC-vendor driver is more recommended.
Latest MacOS versions use their builtin drivers (Core Audio) instead ASIO. So, you no need special drivers to works with a DAC. However, audio device vendors may provide Mac's ASIO drivers for some devices.
- How to configure foobar2000 for DSD playback >
WASAPI is builtin Windows drivers to direct access to audio interface without operating system processings. May be used instead of ASIO.
WASAPI may use exclusive access to an audio interface to render sound stream directly to the DAC's audio buffer without mixing of audio streams from several applications. So, no operating system's audio processing is there.
Native DSD is sending DSD audio stream from audio file to DSD DAC without conversion to PCM.
ASIO drivers under Windows may support it. Under the latest MacOS version, DSD audio stream should be packed in DoP format. The packing is lossless. Also, DoP format may be used on Windows.
- How to configure foobar2000 for DSD playback >
DSD to PCM
DSD audio stream may not be played on PCM DAC. Before sending the stream to the DAC, this stream should be converted to PCM.
It consumes processing resources. In the general case, better sound quality depends on amount of computing resources.
Some computers may have a lack of computing power to realtime DSD to PCM conversion. It may be solved via offline DSD to PCM conversion. Also, it saves free space at hard disk (HDD) of an audio player (allow more songs on the disk). It may be very useful for portable/mobile devices.
One of the widespread demands to players are:
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- album artwork displaying;
- text metadata displaying;
- search in song database;
- web radio/streaming playback.
Audio player software F.A.Q.
Can Windows Media Player play high-resolution audio?
Free Hi Res Music Downloads
Yes. Windows Media player is capable to play high resolution audio files. If your file iss not played back, you can try other players..
Do audio players have different sound quality?
It depends on the mode of playback. In bit-perfect mode, a music player app just transports audio data from a sound file to DAC without audio processing.
When audio player software process audio data (resample, alter bit depth, apply dithering, EQ, etc.), it causes different distortion levels. If consider psychoacoustics, distortions may have a different character, which also impacts the final perception of the distortions. Also, the interaction of the distortions with a playback system (DAC, amplifier, speakers) is matter.
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Some apparatus can cause the audible level of intermodulation distortions, that generated by ultrasound components.
Practically it can cause audible noise.
- try low sample rate 44.1 kHz, or
- apply ultrasound cut in hi-res audio file.
- Do a sound check of different players in various modes and audio resolutions on your music equipment. Read details..
Does hi-res audio sound better? Is hi-res audio better than CD?
Hi res audio allowing solve some issues of analog filters of ADC or DAC. But actual result is matter of implementation of an audio equipment and software. Read definitive guide..
What is the best music player for Windows 10?
As rule, it's personal choise.
- Read common rules how to choose the best audio player..
- Try and choose own player..
Where can I buy high resolution music?
See list of sites with high-resolution audio..
Does memory playback improve audio quality?
Memory playback doesn't improve 'transparency'. But the mode can get rid of pauses if file played from slow/overload network or album player in gapless mode.
Do gapless playback is helpful?
If an audio player re-initialize DAC, it can cause quiet clicks.
When files played back without re-initializing, there is no kind of clicks.
Do computer digital hardware interface (HDMI, USB, SPDIF, etc.), its cables impact sound quality?
Digital audio interfaces don't impact sound quality, which may be defined as 'sound transparency'.
Also, digital interfaces have sample rate and bit depth limitations.
Operating system built-in driver can additionally process sound and impact to sound quality.
But pauses, clicks, serial interruptions are possible when an audio interface doesn't work properly (poor cables, grounding, shielding; hardware issues, etc.).
- Buy thick cables in the mid or higher price range. It is fairly for longer cables especially.
- Ferrite rings/barrels can give some advantages. But it's recommended, that measurement tools are used.
Do analog audio cables impact to sound quality?
Analog inter-module cables (linear inputs and outputs) can impact the noise floor, crosstalk and frequency response.
- If you hear the hum at 50 Hz or multiple frequencies (power high voltage network), try to use other analog cables or use digital inter-module connection instead.
Is jitter a real issue for audio playback?
DAC clock source can impact to analog output jitter of a digital-to-analog converter . But all other factors, including memory playback, cables and interfaces - no. Read details..
- Don't bother about jitter, when DAC is clocked by its internal source.
- Don't use synchronization by SPDIF digital audio input.
What is the best audio format for sound quality?
To achieve maximal sound quality, lossless audio file formats are recommended: FLAC, WAV, AIFF, DSF, DFF, SACD ISO. Read details..
What is 24 bit / 192 kHz audio?
It is resolution audio with sample rate 192 kHz and bit depth 24 bit in PCM format (modulation). Read details..
Is WAV better than FLAC?
In audio resolution 384 kHz/32 bit and lesser, there is no difference between FLAC and WAV by the sound quality. Watch video..
If you need a higher resolution, WAV can provide it. When file size is more 4 GB, WAV RF64 format may be applied.
Read details about:
Is DSD better than FLAC?
Best Hi Res Music Sites
Both DSD and FLAC are high-resolution formats, that try solve issues of 44.1 kHz / 16 bit. But, actual result depend on implemengtation of your audio system. Read details..
July 2, 2020 updated since December 7, 2018
If you’re an audiophile, you might be a fan of high resolution music and lossless audio formats. After all, no matter how good an MP3 track sounds, there will always be a difference, compared to its high-fidelity (Hi-Fi) FLAC version.
Amazon Hi Res Music
Conventional audio formats like MP3, AAC, etc., use lossy compression, and thus not suitable for ripping audio CDs in their original quality. MP3 tracks are ripped only at 320 kbps (max quality). Comparatively, high fidelity audio CDs are recorded at 1411 kbps (16 bit, 44.1 kHz).