Sample dsd file

Sample dsd file DEFAULT


You may purchase the full albums from which these tracks originate in Stereo (2ch) DSD and Multichannel (5ch) DSD as well, up to DSD512. The full albums are listed here.

We created the DSD Database to give you a full overview of what is available in both Hardware and Software. It is updated weekly and contains a list of DACs with their list price, performance and link to manufacturer’s website as well as playback Software / Conversion software lists. DSD DAC Database.

You will need a computer, stand-alone music server, or a portable device to play DSD files. We will start off with computer based options:

Desktop Software Players:

iPhone, iPad and Android DSD playback apps

There are many more applications that can play DSD files, find them here

Digital to Analogue (D/A) Conversion: Output Hardware

When using computer (and portable) based playback, you will need a device that converts the digital (DSD Data) information to an Analogue signal, in other words, a DAC. There are literally hundreds of DAC’s on the market, and they are available in a wide variety of prices. By the way, NativeDSD also sells DAC’s in the Gear store.

You connect the DAC to your computer or portable device commonly with a USB-cable. From the DAC you plug in your Headphones or send the signal to your amplifier and speaker system.

Read the complete guide in this help center article.

Most listeners choose the highest sample rate that their unit (DAC) can accept.

  • DXD = 352.8KHz 24/32 bit PCM PCM .flac, 8 times redbook
  • 64 = DSD 64 (aka DSD) 2.8 MHz .dsf file, which is 64 times 44.1 kHz
  • 128 = DSD 128 (aka Double DSD) 5.6 MHz .dsf file, 128 times 44.1 kHz
  • 256 = DSD 256 (aka Quad DSD) 11.2 MHz .dsf file, 256 times 44.1 kHz
  • 512 = DSD 512 (aka Octa DSD) 22.4 MHz .dsf file, 512 times 44.1 kHz
  • Analog to DSD64/128/256/512” as sometimes displayed in our tech specs section on album pages means that the original Analog tapes were digitised directly to the indicated DSD rate or DXD.

Check your DAC

All DSD-capable units can accept DSD 64, but not all can accept DSD 128 or higher. Please check which rates your DAC can handle before placing your purchase.


Are you wondering if your system can play Direct Stream Digital (DSD) audio? Would you like to be able to compare the same song in DSD, WAV and FLAC? Are you looking for one great acoustic song to add to your collection of music downloads?

Blue Coast Music has created a a free download page for you to test your system. We offer 4 downloads of the same song.

The formats include:

DSD256 (the highest resolution and largest file size. Plan for a long download),
DSD128 (probably playable in most devices with DSD),
9624 FLAC (high resolution compressed PCM audio with metadata readable on most devices) and
44.1 WAV (the smallest size file we offer and plays in iTunes. Since WAV is uncompressed you most likely won't have the metadata we include.)

Every few weeks we'll change the song so that you can collect several for your personal enjoyment.

Many music lovers have several devices they use for playback. DSD files are huge and will take a long time to download. They may not be the optimum choice for small, portable playback devices like smart phones. Note: if you use an iPhone you will need some kind of interface to playback DSD. We're happy to announce that many Samsung and other Android phones will play DSD. This test will allow you to find out if your phone plays DSD.

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Audio Basis - articles about audio

yuri korzunovSee long list of DSD free music downloads (hi-res Direct Stream Digitalaudio files), hi-fi recording stores, stereo / multichannel; where download DSD64 (2.8 MHz), DSD128 (5.6 MHz), DSD256 (11.2 MHz), DSD512 (22.5 MHz) audio samples for music lovers; what's DSF, DFF, SACD; FAQ and what sound quality better FLAC or DSD. Author: audiophile software developer Yuri Korzunov.

DSD audio file conversion

Watch and share: What is DSD audio? Video explanation

Where can I download DSD music for free and paid?

DSD music downloads

If you are interested where to download free and paid DSD audiophile music, look at the table.

WARNING: Noted in the table file formats and other details were found at the sites at the time of publication. It can disappear or be changed with time.
We publish here only sites, that look legal in our opinion. But we don't guarantee it.
It is not advertising or offer. Our site is not affiliated with listed sites (except Audiophile Inventory, of course). We are not responsible for listed resources, quality of distributed records and others.

SiteDescriptionDSD music free download links
Bruce Springsteen Live Bruce Springsteen site  
Channel Classics Records Recording label. In the store DSD64, DSD128, DSD256 and other audiophile formats  
Chasing the Dragon DSD 64, 128  
Cybele Records Recording label, store  
Downloads NOW! Music reseller. D64, D128, D256 and other hi-res formats  
Design w Sound Blog  
Dr.Z's Test CD DSD audio files DSD music file store  
DSD Master DSD samples  
Online musical store with hi-res sound formats
HDtracks The big online store of high definition music in DSD (up to DSD512), DXD, stereo, multichannel  
High Definition Tape Transfers Recording store. DSD64/128/256 and other audio formats are available  
Highresaudio The online store of hi-res recordings. The site provides .dsf files in D64, D128, D256  
Hifi Statement  Free DSD64, DSD128, DSD256
Hi Fi track High quality music store  
Gumroad | Serieril DSD64, DSD256  
MIR Creation DSD64  
Mora Online musical recording store  
NativeDSD Hi-Fi store: 64fs, 128fs, 256fs DSD and other, stereo and multichannel

Download DSD music free DSD64 sound quality  
Onkyo Audio recordings store  
Oppo Digital DSD download free musical samplesFree downloads
Ototoy DSD music online store  
Pentatone See F.A.Q. (Downloading SA-CD)  
ProStudioMasters Online recording store. There are DSF files (2.8 and 5.6 MHz) are placed.  
The Spirit of Turtle D64/128/256 (2.0 and 5.1) and other sound formats  
SONY High-resolution audio including DSD downloads by SONY  
trptk DSD albums DSD64/128/256  
Wechseldominante Site of Japanese self-publishing music groupDSD downloads free


DSD streaming

It is possible to listen DSD streaming.

SiteDescription Free trial
PrimeSeat DSD streaming service Some free content is available

Look at other hi-res streaming...


DSD software for audio



What is DSD music?How good is DSD audio?

What does DSD mean in music?

DSD is audiophile format of digital music recordings. DSD content is represented as:

  • audio files and
  • optical discs (SACD).

DSD file extensions: .dsf, .dff, .iso (SACD ISO - optical disc image).

SACD ISO file is ripped optical disc. How to rip it read here...

See also:

Read more about DSD...


Technical details: Is DSD better than FLAC? Is DSD better than CD? Is PCM better than DSD?

DSD has bit depth 1-bit.

DSD file supports sample rates: DSD 64, DSD 128, DSD 256, DSD 512, DSD 1024, ... More number more sample rate.

If compare DSD and FLAC, providing 16 bit and more, or mp3 or CD audio, it seems that multibit sound formats provide better sound quality than 1-bit audio samples.

However, extremely high DSD sampling rates allows providing tricks, that provides sound quality like 24- or 32-bit.

It is potential sound quality that depends on used DAW or converting utilities, recording and playback equipment. Electronic circuits and processing algorithms causes lesser or more distortions.

Thus, we can suggest approximately that:

Approximate comparison DSD, FLAC, mp3, CD audio
(depending on implementation of a DSD system)

Audio format DSD distortions
mp3, CD audio, FLAC 16bit DSD64 is better
FLAC 24 bit DSD64 and DSD128
FLAC 32 bit DSD256 and above


Read more about comparison DSD and FLAC and other PCM...


Is DSD better than CD?

DSD appeared as CD development to bring higher resolution at that time. DSD allows slightly simplify DAC scheme theoretically. Also, DSD has no some issues with nonlinear distortions like R2R DAC. I.e., theoretically, DSD should give better sound quality than CD format.


The author suppose, that ultrasound playback is not target for this format development.


Sound quality of DSD downloads

In general, it is recommended to download hi-fi/hi-end music records with the maximal sample rate of your system. But it can't guarantee maximal sound quality though. Read details here >

Some people try to analyze audio files. Bandwidth is checked in most cases. But the width may be defined by used audio tools. And band limitation is not an unambiguous sign of upsampling from CD, as an example.

DSD resampling quality (losses) depends on the used converter. Technically, these losses like PCM resampling losses. If you use a professional resampler you can don't worry about it in general.

If original studio master in PCM, you have two options:

  • purchase DSD copy;
  • purchase PCM and convert it to DSD via your converter software, which should provide a low distortion level.

The second way may be preferable if you are sure that your converter is the same or better than a studio one.


The most recommended format is DSF file downloads. Because the format can contain metadata, including artworks, standard way. DSF files have lesser compatibility issues with hardware and software, as rule.

DFF files may be recommended to provide compatibility with some professional software and equipment.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is DSD music?

DSD music is computer audio files in Direct Stream Digital format. This format consumes significant hard disk space and is intended for music lovers, primarily. Read details below.


What is DSD music format?

DSD music format is an audiophile format, that solves issues of 16 bit/44.1 kHz CD resolution. This music format is available in DSF, DFF, SACD ISO files. Read details...


What is a DSD download?

DSD downloads, primarily, are audio files in .dsf, .dff, .iso (SACD ISO) formats. They are intended for lovers of high sound quality. See download list...

What is DSD music file?

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


Can you download DSD files? Where do I get DSD music files?

You can download DSD files at these sites...


Is DSD better than FLAC? Does DSD sound better than FLAC?

No single answer to the question.

Theoretically, DSD system is simpler, that FLAC (PCM) one. So, lesser distortions are there.

Actual sound quality depends on recording and playback music system.

Read about comparison DSD and FLAC...


Is DXD better than DSD?

DXD is PCM format, that intended to DSD editing. As rule, DSD is converted to DXD. Such kind of conversion causes losses, that rely on sound quality of audio conversion software. As we noted above, DXD is ordinary PCM format with sampling rate 352/705 kHz and bit depth 24 or 32 bit.

Both DSD and DXD formats have as advantages as disadvantages. So, given recording and audio system makes audio quality.

Read DSD vs PCM...



MQA is not DSD. It is compression method for PCM audio.

Read more about audio formats...


Is there anything better than FLAC? Is FLAC really worth it?

FLAC is lossless format. It's equivalent is other lossless format only.

Lossy formats with bitrates 256 kbps and above have sounding very close to lossless original. But mp3 supports 44.1 and 48 kHz sampling rates. So,  aac is more recommended than mp3 due to wider range of the rates.
But, you can't convert lossy format to lossless original, if found issues.

Conversion between FLAC to/from DSD is lossy. But, DSD may have lesser distortions at your playback system. Also, opposite variant is possible at other musical system. Sampling rate and bit depth may be matter. Higher DSD discretization frequency allows achieving clearer audio signal. But, it varies from one unit/software to other one.

In both cases, backup of original files is recommended.


Can I convert FLAC to DSD?

Yes. You can convert FLAC to DSD. Read details here >


Is DSD better than mp3?

DSD is lossless audio format. mp3 is lossy format. Thus, DSD causes lesser distortions than mp3 and it is better for music lovers.

However, DSD consumes significantly more space at hard disk. It may cause lesser song number at mobile devices especially.

Read more about audio formats...


How do I convert mp3 to DSD?

Read how to convert mp3 to DSD files >

Remember, you can't improve sound quality of source audio stuff. But, in some cases, you can optimize audio resolution to your hifi DAC.


How do I convert DSD to mp3?

Read how to convert DSD to mp3 files >

Remember, DSD to mp3 file conversion causes audio quality losses. It has justification in the case of low HDD space of a sound file storage.


Are SACD worth it?

SACD is optical disk, that contains DSD musical tracks. Some disks are recorded in DSD format without editing.

Hi-Fi DSD system is simpler than PCM one, in theory. Thus, lesser distortions should be there. But, actually, many factors are there. And real PCM may sound better than Direct Stream Digital or vice versa.



What is the difference between DSD and DSF?

.dsf is file type that contains audio stuff coded in DSD (Direct Stream Digital) format.


Where can I find DSD music? How do I download DSD files? Where can I buy DSD music files?

See online DSD music downloads free and to buy at website list...


Is there a DSD streaming service?

See DSD streaming service...


Is DSD audio worth it? Is DSD good?

In the general case, DSD allows solving some issues of ADC and DAC analog filters on lower sampling rates. Potentially, it gives advantages of sound quality. But each case should be considered separately, because recording quality and audio system implementation does matter. Read details...


Is DSD the best audio format? What is the best format for audio quality?

Each audio format solves a number of certain issues. One format try keep the maximum sound quality. Other formats keep occupied space at hard disk. Third formats solve streaming issues, etc. So, audio format may be best for given target only.

DSD format tries to solve some issues of PCM format recording and playback. However, DSD has more sophisticated editing and may consume higher hard disk space comparing CD-audio, in instance.

Read more (it's recommended to read in order of the links):

  1. What is DSD
  2. DSD vs PCM DAC comparison
  3. DSD vs PCM
  4. What the best audio format


Which is better DSD or FLAC?

FLAC is PCM format. DSD can solve some their issues. But how it is solved depending on audio system' components.



Is DSD better than PCM? Is PCM better than DSD?

Only audio system implementation defines sound quality. Potentially, DSD gives some design advantages to achieve better sound quality.

It is necessary to remember, PCM DAC contains DSD modulator. This enables reduce non-linear distortions of R2R-matrix of a DAC.



Is DSD better than PCM? Which is better PCM or DSD?

Only audio system implementation defines sound quality. However, potentially, DSD gives some design advantages to achieve better sound quality. Read more...


Is SACD better than vinyl? Is DSD better than vinyl?

Vinyl is analog recording system. It adds additional engineering issues comparing digital ones.

However, specific "vinyl" distortions may be liked by some people.



Is there anything better than FLAC?

FLAC hase some limitations by sampling rate. Incteasing of this parameter makes it possible to reduce distortions of an audio system. Of course, no warranty is there.

In this case, you can use WAV or AIFF. If sound file size is more 4 Gbytes, WAV/RF64 is recommended.

Hoiwever, FLAC hase wider compatibility with musical devices.



What is the highest quality format for audio?

No single audio format what brings highest sound quality. Quality of recording and given audio system and its modes (resolution audio) are main factors, that provides sound quality.

Audio file can:

  • store resolution;
  • keep stored audio stuff without changes (lossless);
  • reduce size of the stored audio stuff.

So, lossless audio formats are the most recommended.

Read more:

  1. What is DSD
  2. What is PCM
  3. DSD vs PCM DAC comparison
  4. DSD vs PCM
  5. What the best audio format


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 sound quality. Read DFF file details here...


What are DSD files?

DSD files (.dsf, .dff, .iso [sacd iso], DoP FLAC, WAV, others) are files, that contains DSD audio data. Read details...



SACD is optical disk containing DSD audio recordings. It's music in most cases. Read details...


Where can I download DSD music for free? Where can I get DSD audio (music) files?

See DSD music-file download site list...


Where can I download high-quality music for free?

See high-quality music download site list...


What is DSD256? What is DSD512?

DSD256 is sample rate 11.3 MHz=44100 Hz * 256;

DSD512 is sample rate 22.6 MHz=44100 Hz * 512. Read more...


What is the best audio quality?

Audio quality is defined distortion level and individual preferences. There is not single best audio quality for everybody.

In instance, some people prefer 44.1 kHz / 16 bit, because they don't listen difference with high resolution. Other people listen the difference and prefer high resolution. Third people choose DSD instead 24 bit / 96 kHz. Analog-sound lovers like vynil and/or tape because it causes "cosy" sound.

Read more:

  1. Does hi-res audio sound better?
  2. What is better DSD or PCM?
  3. What is better Analog or Digital sound?


What is the highest quality music format?

The highest quality music format is a one of lossless formats. DSD vs PCM, sampling rate, bit depth comparisons are not correct for common resume. Recording quality, audio unit design is primal factor.

Read more:

  1. What the best audio format?...
  2. DSD vs PCM...


Where can I find DSD example files?

See the list of free DSD example files for test your music system here...


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

See the list of FLAC and other high-quality music for free download...


What is DSD music player for Windows?

See the list of DSD music players for Windows here...


Which is the best audio player for Windows 10?

See player-choice recommendations and the list of high-resolution music players for Windows here...


How can I play DSD files on my PC?

See list of DSD file players for PC...

Can Windows Media Player play DSD?

As far as the author knows, Windows Media Player doesn't support DSD files. You can look for alternative software...

Can iPhone play DSD files?

Check the list of DSD players for iOS...


What is DSD over PCM?

DSD over PCM (DoP) is DSD digital audio data packed as PCM to standard transmitting to a DAC. Read more...


Why does MQA sound better?

If MQA sound better for you, the author suppose, that it's your audio setup's matter or personal preference rather.

Recorded musical instruments and performance character may be relevant.

As the author know, MQA is not lossless and used apodizing filters are not ideal ones.

However, it is compression format specially designed for hifi applications and save traffic for audiophile streaming comparing FLAC.




Read more

Author: Yuri Korzunov,
Audiophile Inventory's developer
October 11, 2021 updated | since April 20, 2018



DSD music download

If you want to add new information, change the wrong one, send feedback, contact us, please.


Read other articles about audio issues


Adele - Hello {32Bit/192Khz Wav} (Hires Audio)
Performer From the albumStereo
24BIT/96kHzMQA stereo
original resolutionMQA-CD
16BIT/44kHzoriginal CD
16BIT/44kHz5.1 Surround
24BIT/96kHz Stereo DSD 256
11.2896Mbit/sStereo DSD 128
5.6448Mbit/sStereo DSD 64

5.1 Surround
DSD 64


Hoff: Innocence
Hoff Ensemble5:07POLARITY — an acoustic jazz project (2L-145-SABD) 330 MB155 MB72 MB46 MB 19 MB 19 MB208 MB847 MB423 MB211 MB635 MBDXDChromatic Fantasia and Fugue in D minor, BWV 903: Fantasia
Christian Grøvlen6:54BACH - Inside Polyphony (2L-139) 355 MB197 MB99 MB62 MB 26 MB 26 MB287 MB1.2 GB584 MB292 MB878 MBDXDArnesen: MAGNIFICAT 4. Et misericordia
Nidarosdomens jentekor & TrondheimSolistene4:55MAGNIFICAT (2L-106-SABD) 410 MB185 MB90 MB50 MB 24 MB 23 MB215 MB840 MB420 MB210 MB630 MBDXDMozart: Violin concerto in D major - Allegro
Marianne Thorsen / TrondheimSolistene9:14MOZART (original 2006 edition) 760 MB338 MB171 MB98 MB 49 MB 49 MB470 MB  750 MB375 MB1.1 GBDXDMozart: Violin concerto in D major - Allegro
Marianne Thorsen / TrondheimSolistene9:14MOZART (MQA remix 2016) 760 MB338 MB171 MB98 MB 49 MB 49 MB470 MB 1.4 GB750 MB375 MB1.1 GBDXDBritten: Frank Bridge Variations - Romance
TrondheimSolistene1:37REFLECTIONS (2L-125) 85 MB42 MB26 MB18 MB 8 MB8 MB72 MB164 MB132 MB67 MB198 MBDXDCarl Nielsen: Chaconne op 32
Christian Eggen
9:10Carl Nielsen Piano Music (2L-120)    80 MB 32 MB 33 MB     DAT 16/44Frode Fjellheim: Kyrie
Cantus & Frode Fjellheim5:42SPES (2L-110) 348 MB   55 MB  26 MB245 MB  462 MB 695 MBDXDMagne Amdahl: Astrognosia - Aquarius
Norwegian Radio Orchestra1:25Astrognosia & Aesop (2L-111) 72 MB   16 MB  7 MB62 MB 125 MB 180 MBDXDJan Gunnar Hoff: The Elder
Jan Gunnar Hoff2:15Stille lys - Quiet Light (2L-109) 134 MB   23 MB  8 MB96 MB 195 MB 288 MBDXDOla Gjeilo: North Country II
Ola Gjeilo
5:13Stone Rose (2L-048-SACD)   81 MB50 MB  19 MB205 MB     96 kHz Ola Gjeilo: Ubi Caritas - piano improvisation
Ola Gjeilo4:16

Ola Gjeilo - Piano Improvisations (2L-082)

322 MB142 MB60 MB 42 MB  18 MB150 MB   125 MB410 MBDXDBritten: Simple Symphony, Op. 4
344 MB 106 MB51 MB 32 MB   135 MB 190 MB83 MB 295 MBDXDBøhren/Åserud: Blågutten
HOFF ensemble3:57Quiet Winter Night - an acoustic jazz project (2L-087)331 MB148 MB68 MB 40 MB 19 MB 20 MB168 MB  252 MB167 MB380 MBDXDVivaldi: Recitative and Aria from Cantata RV 679, "Che giova il sospirar, povero core"
Tone Wik & Barokkanerne (period instruments)
4:03Bellezza Crudel - VIVALDI (2L-056 SACD) A: 61 MB
R: 284 MBA: 29 MB
R: 134 MBA: 16 MB
R: 70 MBA: 10 MB
R: 39 MB  A: 6 MB
R: 21 MBA: 38 MB
R: 178 MB

A: 122 MB
R: 577 MB

A: 63 MB
R: 290 MBA: 33 MB
R: 247 MBA: 94 MB
R: 435 MBDXDFinzi: Come Away, Death
Marianne Beate Kielland, mezzo soprano
Sergej Osadchuk, piano

Come Away, Death (2L-064-SACD)

442 MB126 MB59 MB 44 MB   147 MB   110 MB DXDGroven: Undring
Sigmund Groven, harmonica
Iver Kleive, organ

harmOrgan (2L-077-SABD)

417 MB137 MB68 MB 42 MB   166 MB  215 MB104 MB330 MBDXDEugène Bozza: Children's Overture
The Staff Band of the Norwegian Armed Forces5:27

La Voie Triomphale (2L-086)

448 MB202 MB98 MB 64 MB   250 MB  345 MB166 MB520 MBDXDJan Gunnar Hoff: LIVING
Jan Gunnar Hoff

Jan Gunnar Hoff - LIVING (2L-092)

470 MB210 MB90 MB 52 MB  19 MB230 MB  375 MB190 MB550 MBDXDJoseph Haydn: String Quartet In D, Op. 76, No. 5 - Finale - Presto
Engegård Quartet3:36

STRING QUARTETS vol. I Haydn - Solberg - Grieg (2L-053)

303 MB142 MB73 MB 40 MB 21 MB 21 MB178 MB  306 MB153 MB460 MBDXD 

Dsd file sample

What is DSD audio? How the format works, where to download files, and more

The DSD audio format seems to be back in fashion again. Most new digital products boast DSD compatibility, and the music catalogue is now big enough to command respect, especially if you’re into jazz and classical music.

But what is DSD? And how is it different from the digital signals used in CDs and every other hi-res music format? Let us explain.

First, PCM explained...

Digital signals take the form of two states that can be represented by 0s and 1s, but this information needs to be arranged in a specific way to be of any use. In just about every case, the system to organise the digits is known as PCM (Pulse Code Modulation).

Let’s have a quick recap of how PCM works before we continue.

With PCM, the original analogue music waveform is described in two parts. The first is its amplitude (size). In CD this is represented by 16-bits of digital data, which gives us the ability to define 65,536 different signal levels.

The original music waveform has to be measured at regular intervals in order for it to be represented properly. The measurement is done 44,100 times a second. While that looks like an arbitrarily large number, it’s chosen quite carefully to ensure that the full frequency range of human hearing (20Hz to 20kHz) is covered.

So, what is DSD audio?

DSD (Direct Stream Digital) takes a different approach. Back in the mid-1990s, it was originally conceived as a way of archiving old analogue recordings.

It was designed to be a simpler, more space-efficient way of storing digital music data than PCM. Importantly, DSD was also designed to be easy to convert to PCM files with sampling rates based on multiples of 44.1kHz.

Around the same time, Sony and Philips were developing a replacement for CD, something that ultimately became the SACD disc. DSD seemed an ideal system to build the new format around, particularly as it has great copy protection.

The main attraction of DSD is its simplicity and, with that, cheapness of implementation. It needs less processing than PCM and can use simpler, far less expensive DACs.

How does DSD work?

DSD uses a single bit of information, and all this information tells us is whether the current sample of the analogue waveform is higher or lower than in the previous one. Compared with the over 65,000 different values 16-bit PCM has, the two values (0 if the new sample if the signal is lower or 1 if it’s higher) of DSD appear mighty limiting.

That resolution shortfall is made up by the very high sampling rate of over 2.8 million times a second – that’s 64 times the speed of CD. Standard DSD is sometimes called DSD64 for this reason, with double and quadruple speed versions called DSD128 and DSD256 respectively. There's even a DSD512 spec, though we've never heard any material encoded in it.

Standard DSD recordings are still relatively rare compared with the PCM alternatives, and those higher speed versions are extremely niche. DSD fans claim the format is as close to analogue as digital gets.

If you could look at a DSD digital stream, it’s possible to draw the analogue waveform simply by looking at the density of 0s and 1s. The more 0s there are, the lower the waveform goes, and it’s the opposite for ones. Where there is a balance of the two values, we’re at, or close to, the zero signal point.

That all looks good, but there are also issues with DSD. It’s not very practical to manipulate a DSD recording.

All the things that are required post-recording such as equalisation, editing, dynamic range control and adding reverb usually involve the DSD stream being converted to PCM to do the processing and then switched back.

That’s hardly a pure way of doing things, right? Just about every studio recording made with DSD goes through this process. It’s down to a lack of suitable equipment and processing software.

You may come across the term DXD on a recording. This is where the original DSD signal has been converted to 24-bit/352kHz PCM and processed in that form throughout. While the name (intentionally or not) sounds like DSD, it is simply very high-resolution PCM.

When it comes to measurement, DSD also has issues with high levels of noise compared with PCM. Clever processing techniques allow the engineers to shift the noise above our hearing, and optimise the performance and dynamic range in the audible region. The high-frequency noise is generally filtered out.

Is DSD hi-res?

So how high resolution is a DSD recording? There’s no exact way of striking equivalence between PCM and DSD but it’s around the same as 24-bit/88.2kHz PCM.

In terms of dynamic range, DSD is claimed to be around 120dB in the audible frequency range. In comparison, CD measures around 96dB, and 24-bit/192kHz recordings have a theoretical maximum of around 144dB.

Although the bigger numbers are more impressive, even the range of CD is considered more than enough to cope with any recording.

How do you play DSD?

DSD playback has become far more common in digital equipment over recent years and that’s down to the greater availability of downloadable music files. Just make sure your portable music player, music streamer and/or DAC are compatible with the format.

Most recent mid-to-high-end digital playback equipment tends to be compatible, so if you have something suitable there’s no reason to treat it any different from FLAC or WAV files. Some flagship smartphones support DSD natively. You can even play DSD audio files on an iPhone using additional equipment.

On a download site, you may occasionally come across the terms DSF and DFF. These are two kinds of DSD files, but the only thing you need to know about them is that you should always choose the DSF version if your player is compatible – it’s better at holding a track's metadata information (artist/song name, album art etc).

Where can you buy DSD audio files?

While hi-res download sites are far and few between these days, those audiophile music sites that are still around mostly sell DSD downloads. The likes of HDtracks, and Native DSD are good places to start.

Alternatively, if you prefer physical formats and have a compatible disc player, then SACDs are still fairly widely available.


Where can you buy hi-res music? Here are the top download sites

Our pick of 15 hi-res album downloads to test your hi-fi system

Here are the best portable music players, the best music streamers and the best DACs – many of which support DSD

Ketan Bharadia is the Technical Editor of What Hi-Fi? He's been been reviewing hi-fi, TV and home cinema equipment for over two decades, and over that time has covered thousands of products. Ketan works across the What Hi-Fi? brand including the website and magazine. His background is based in electronic and mechanical engineering.

Where To Find DSD Files For Download

Where can you find DSD Music Downloads?

Updated 7/14/2018. List of sites that sell DSD Downloads

Blue Coast Music: - Worldwide Distribution.  Blue Coast Music brings Direct Stream Digital to the forefront while not forgetting other high resolution audio formats like FLAC and WAV.  Blue Coast Music offers a "test your systems" downloads of DSD, WAV and FLAC with one song in all foramts created at the Blue Coast Studios under strict quality control.

Blue Coast Music specializes in acoustic music of all genres including jazz, classical, new age, folk, americana, alternative, electronica, world and many other formats from independent artists. Many Grammy award winning albums are included in their catalog.  Distributes Blue Coast Records, San Francisco Symphony, Mack Avenue, Little Hartley Music and many other high profile independent labels. You can audition all of the catalog as full length streams before you buy.  Coupons, backend customer management of files and other features available.

Blue Coast Records: -  Worldwide Distribution.  Blue Coast Records has been recording, mixing and mastering to analog or DSD audio for more than 10 years.   These music files are excellent examples of acoustic music recorded directly to DSD.  Label producer, Cookie Marenco, created a recording technique for acoustic music specifically for Blue Coast called E.S.E. (Extended Sound Environment).  With gold records and Grammy nominations in her past, for Blue Coast Records she now controls the audio quality direct to music lovers worldwide.

Downloads NOW!: - Worldwide Distribution. Downloads NOW! offers Direct Stream Digital (DSD) , full size WAV and FLAC files with a growing catalog of new music from various independent labels and artists.  Distributes Blue Coast Records, San Francisco Symphony, IsoMike and many other high profile independent labels. Downloads NOW! has created their own platform for delivery.  Their customer support is top notch and always willing to answer questions.  You can audition most of the catalog as full length streams before you buy.  Single song downloads, SACDs, and more available in MicroStores.

High Definition Tape Transfers: One of the first companies to offer High Resolution downloads since 2006. Music from rare reel-to-reel-tapes in high-bit quality (DSD / Flac). Also offering downloads from private labels such as Albany Records, Direct to Tape Recordings,The Klipsch Tape Project, International Phonograph Inc., Houston Symphony Chorus, Texas Music Festival, David Elias, and more. provides audiophile listeners a top quality resource for DSD Stereo & Multichannel music directly from native DSD recorded Master Data, Analog Master Tapes and Native DXD Recorded Music. The tapes and data we use to prepare the DSD downloads come directly from the record labels, engineers and artists recording in DSD and Analog Master Tapes. does not offer any physical SACD's or up-sampled PCM, that's how we bring you as close to the actual performance as possible. 

2L: - Worldwide Distribution. From Norway, this Norwegian label has developed music without fences, originating from classical European art music and traditional folk music, recognizing the fundamental values of musical performances and excellent sound production.  Morten Lindberg does an excellent job leading his label with natively recorded DXD files.  While not native DSD, we encourage you to sample the music from NL.

Channel Classics: - Worldwide Distribution. Channel Classics Records is a quality record label based in Holland. Director, producer and recording engineer is C. Jared Sacks. Having grown up in Boston Massachusetts, schooled at Oberlin Conservatory and the Amsterdam Conservatory of music with 15 years experience playing French Horn, Jared decided to make his hobby of recording a profession in 1987. The label started in 1990 with the name Channel Classics coming from the street he lived on in Amsterdam. (Kanaalstraat).

Ototoy from Japan:  - Japan Only Distribution.  We don't know much about this label.  The site is in Japanese.  It was recommended by Andreas Koch, so there must be some great DSD music there!  If you'd like to add comments or help with the translation, please send us a message.

Onkyo:   Japan Only Distribution. (If you have more information to offer about this distributor, please submit to [email protected] )

Acoustic Sounds Super HiRez: - USA and Canada Only Distribution.  The Super HiRez music store, powered by Acoustic Sounds, offers the finest selection of high-resolution downloads with an emphasis on DSD. Find full album selections from the biggest artists in an assortment of genres as well as answers and clarifications to the many questions about DSD and high-resolution digital audio. We’ve made getting started easy with simple-to-follow tutorials and an assortment of software and hardware options.  Acoustic Sounds is the world’s leading supplier of audiophile recordings for more than 25 years. The largest catalog of high-quality LPs and SACDs now expands to include the ultimate in digital audio. Find it at Super HiRez. 

Cybele Records:  - One of the few classical labels which produces music in native DSD format.  Any product which is listed on their website in DSD was originally recorded in DSD (and not upsampled, which comes straight from Ingo Schmidt-Lucas at Cybele).  To find out which products are recorded in native DSD just go to the website and click on the top left on the 4th dropdown menu which contains "Select Audio format". Opus 3 Records was founded in 1976 and was one of the first to start with SACD in year 2000 and recorded in DSD.  They now offer DSD direct copies from more than 50 original analogue MasterTapes, all recorded in pure crossed figure of eight, i.e the Blumlein technique.  The recordings are made in real life environments like Concert Halls, Churches and Jazz/Blues clubs etc.   Recorded in this very special way shows the superiority of DSD 5.6 when it comes to reproducing depth of Image and resolution.  As far back as 1979, Opus 3 brought this to public attention on Test Records 1 "Depth of Image".  They offer a broad selection of many musical genres like Jazz, World Music, Blues and Classical.

Chasing the Dragon:  - Chasing the Dragon Audiophile Recordings, have created downloads on their site which were recorded with individual DSD recorders,  24/192 PCM recorders and presented on the site, in their native resolution.

Free DSD Audio Downloads

Blue Coast Music - Test Your Systems

Blue Coast Music delivers one song in many formats for the listener to test their systems and their listening skills.  The song every few months.  Come back often to build a catalog of free songs in DSD.   These are master quality files.


DSD-Guide offers new samples from various record labels on a limited basis.  Check back often to grow your collection!

updated 7/14/2018 To Be Continued....

Note!  If you are a DSD Download Distributor and interested in a listing, please contact us directly at using the contact form.  At this time, we are not taking submissions from record labels that don't directly distribute DSD Downloads from their site.

Thank you!


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