DSD playback

Qobuz mentioned months ago they were planning to have DSD as a download option late 2018 - I can’t see this has happened as yet.

Following on from the Music on Special Offer thread where there is mention of Carmen Gomes recordings in DXD/DSD, I’m wondering about getting a DSD file to try out.

Now from what I can see the Uniti and newer Classic streamers are limited to DSD 64/128


WAV - up to 32bits/384kHz
FLAC and AIFF - up to 24bit/384kHz
ALAC (Apple Lossless) - up to 24bit/384kHz
MP3 - up to 48kHz, 320kbit (16 bit)
AAC - up to 48kHz, 320kbit (16 bit)
OGG and WMA - up to 48kHz (16 bit)
DSD - 64 and 128Fs

Notes: Gapless playback supported on all formats. All formats to 384kHz maximum over wireless network.

NDX 2:
WAV - up to 32bits/384kHz
FLAC and AIFF - up to 24bit/384Hz
ALAC (Apple Lossless) - up to 24bit/384Hz
MP3 - up to 48kHz, 320kbit (16 bit)
AAC - up to 48kHz, 320kbit (16 bit)
OGG and WMA - up to 48kHz (16 bit)
DSD - 64 and 128Fs
M4A - up to 48kHz, 320kbit (16 bit)
Note: Gapless playback supported on all formats.

(Didn’t realise the Nova did not support lossy M4A.)

I’d be interested to know who buys DSD (or DXD files) as downloads, and if so where from (especially UK members as we may be limited to certain stores without VPNs etc).

Also what format - if the current streamers only support up to DSD 128, presumably conversion would be needed to play higher rate ones or DXDs.

I suspect I could buy higher rate DSD files and playback via Roon quite easily. Is there any software that allows easy downsampling of the files to DSD 64 or 128 to serve directly?

Also, I suspect some NAS devices may handle DSD but unlikely that Twonky on my old WD NAS will.

I guess if purchasing DSD/DXD you’d want to go for the best available quality, but current hardware limitations will affect direct compatibility without using software at some stage to present in a suitable format to the streamers.

Perhaps converting to formats supporting up to 24 bit/384 kHz might help???

I need to figure out what DSD 64/128 equate to in 24 bit equivalents.

with my nds, i find dsd files too soft and uninvolving. I have only 4 albums, but the 24 / 92 or 48 same albums sound much more dynamic and lively. I am not sure that naim dacs are the best to play dsd.

Interesting - there’s one reason I wish Qobuz was supporting them as they allow redownloads in multiple file formats.

i have not tested files higher than 24/192. They exist for classical music or for old albums remastered on hdtracks.
But i wish to find these higher tracks on qobuz or bandcamp, to discover how they can sound.

Agree…DSD does not sound good, prefer HD or any PCM files,never understand the purpose of them


Interesting - 2 negative DSD comments so far - might be interesting to know which streamers and whether or not anyone who’s compared thinks the new Uniti/Classic streamers handle the format any better?

There was a thread in the old forum where someone found a sonic boost using Roon to output other formats to DSD to one of the Uniti players.

I tried 2 DSD downloads fro HD Tracks and overall wasn’t as good as the Tidal stream in 16 bit. They allowed to download again in 16/48 and was clearly better for both

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I’ll add my very positive vote in favour of DSD.
In my system NDX streamed from Synology NAS + Asset UPnP, DSD sounds different to PCM, its very clear to the point its not really debatable.
What sounds better/best is debatable & ITR I’m not getting into that other than say how it is for me with my ears & my system.
Sound stage is larger with clearly defined spacial separation, detail is more defined throughout all frequencies & dynamic transients are so much more.
However IMO its best with specific music genre & with recordings made with DSD intended as the end product. The recording & processing with DSD is not the same as PCM, and IMO DSD is better with single mic recording, acoustic, folk/jazz/choral, its not good with rock, pop & big classic orchestra’s

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Visit Soundliason. There are sample tracks of every type available for free.

I’ve listened to Carmen Gomes this morning in 24/352 PCM. :grinning:

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I’m struggling to find those samples!

Oops - just found them I think,

Ever so slightly off topic, but over the last few months I have become a massive fan of DSD, as delivered by SACD rather than streaming, though.

When I play SACDs through my Oppo 205 (the DSD goes straight to analogue), I find the sound to be better and more “analogue sounding” than either 16/44 CDs or high res PCM, whether the latter is delivered by USB, DVD-A or blu-ray.

When I find the handful of SACDs I have I must give them a spin on the Oppo.

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I’ve got a lot of albums in both PCM and DSD (unsure if they originate from the same source), but the levels on the DSD seem much quieter.

@Alley_Cat Don’t forget to go to the setup menu on the Oppo and make sure you have ‘DSD’ selected under the ‘SACD output’ menu and ‘stereo’ selected under ‘SACD priority’…

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Just to let you know M4A is not actually a format; it’s an encapsulation file container type, and can include lossy AAC as well as lossless ALAC formats.

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Yes, you are correct Simon, I was aware that it could contain lossy or lossless from use of AAC/ALAC on Mac.

I wonder why m4A is specifically mentioned for the NDX 2 (which is what confused me earlier) as my lossy AAC and ALAC files created using iTunes or Qobuz purchases in ALAC would be in the m4a container - the extra line in the NDX 2 specs just stood out when ALAC/AAC mentioned earlier.

Are AAC/ALAC stored in files with other file types rather than m4a container ?

Nor NDS and not ND555, in my both streamers DSD sound boring.


I know AAC can be assosiciated with a whole raft of file types including .aac

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