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Which one do you guys/gals use and why not the others?
I am not familiar with Fidelia. I have BitPerfect and Audirvana. Audirvana wins hands down and very well worth the money. Right now I'm just playing thru Logitech TMX speakers and it sounds awesome. I run on Mac Lion and BitPerfect has issues playing Flac.
I just stared using BitPerfect today with iTunes. I think it's helping a little. Kind of reminds of the time my friend bought a "magic pen" to trace on the edges of compact discs to improve the sound. It's like I think I hear a slight improvement, but if it wasn't on, I might not notice.
Fidelia seems pretty cool if you're craving the higher bit rates. I don't own any FLAC files so I'm not that motivated to try it yet.
I don't have any interest in BitPerfect because iTunes is crashes my mac constantly, but I'm taking a look at the other two and would also be very interested to know what others think about them.
I listened to them all at one point or the other. My Preference is for Audirvana Plus because it sounds the best and seems to have a brilliant designer who is always adding good things like direct and integer mode and it just seems to work well.
I just downloaded the Audirvana 15 day trial. So far, so good! BitPerfect added a harshness in the highest end of treble. I read a reviewer refer to it as "Digital Glare". Also, I tweaked it a bit and it was causing some crashes with my Mac. I don't blame BitPerfect for that, I was the one messing with settings. Anywho, so far Audirvana is sounding good. I like that it's integrated with iTunes. I'm too lazy to start a new library.
... I may try Pure Music next.
Out of these three players, Fidelia sounds the best to me.
I like both Audirvana & Fidelia for different uses.
Fidelia works well with headphones because of the FHX processor. The playlist allows header sorting but it doesn't handle .cue files.
Audirvana has a much better GUI, handles .cue, and is much less buggy (on my system). The playlist could use some work but for speaker listening, I prefer Audirvana.
I haven't compared the sound between them because they both sound good and I don't care enough at this point to do it.
I use Audirvana Plus paired with my iMac and Cambridge Audio DacMagic 100.
I cant however compair to the others listed as to be fair this is the first ive heard of them when looking at this thread now lol.
But for me I will say that Audirvana does what I need it too in a very good way Well worth the cost imo.
I'm trying Audirvana right now and I do notice a very slight improvement. The upper midrange sounds a bit more natural/less digital.
But the freaking program SUCKS! It slows down iTunes massively, and often crashes or freezes. And when I shut it down, sometimes services like Spotify won't work through the DAC, it's blocked. Changing the system optimizing settings doesn't make things better.
I've tried an earlier version and it was the same there.
Any advices? I'll soon throw this crap away before it pisses me off completely..
As far as iTunes Integer mode goes, In the settings I have all iTunes controls etc switched off so that Audirvana only can control iTunes.
Mine has been crashing from time to time recently, I have a hunch its memory based but I need to upgrade from my existing 2gb's.
Once Im at 6gb's Ill give the Dac/Software more mem allowance.
I really like all 3 programs, but, Fidelia with the FHX plug-in gets my vote.
Since the latest mac OS and iTunes updates, I've been trying BitPerfect, Amarra and Audirvana
I have a Mac Mini running iTunes, usb to Stello U3 converter, aes/ebu to W4S DAC-2
Absolutely, BitPerfect sounds the best of the three, and has the least hiccups
I never satisfy with sound quality produced by iTunes's decoder, thus has been looking for alternative media player. I want to have a media player independent of iTunes though able to access iTunes's library files. iTunes has been rededicated to only synching iPhone 5 / iPad mini and ripping CDs. I suppose iTunes 11 upgrade make the situation worst then before.
I have purchased BitPerfect and basic mode of Fidelia and have performed trials with Pure Music and Amarra HiFi, right now I have been using trial version of Audirvana Plus for a week. BitPerfect, Pure Music and Amarra HiFi depend on iTunes for song selection/management and other controls to certain extend. Thus any future upgrades of iTunes will affect their compatibilities. Sonic Studio studio does offer independent version of Amarra but it costs a lot more than Amarra HiFi. As far as media player independent of iTunes and performance/cost ratio are concerned, I am left with only two options: Fidelia or Audirvana Plus. Playlists in iTunes can be imported into these two players easily though new playlists can be created within the applications as well.
Audirvana Plus has direct and integer modes and it bypasses Apple's CoreAudio layer to present audio data in digital format directly to external DAC in purest form. You don't need additional audio effects provided by Apple CoreAudio as far as music appreciation is concerned (unlike online game and movie). To match bundled features of Audirvana Plus, Fidelia must be operated in advanced instead of basic mode (additional USD 50 for plugin). Since Fidelia still depend on Apple CoreAudio for processing and I do not need FHX processing module for headphone, most likely I will go with Audirvana Plus with following audio hardware setup:
iMac (2.8 GHz Core i7 / 256 GB SSD / 16 GB DDR3 RAM) > nuForce DDA-100 Direct Digital Amplifier (USB 2.0) > Wharfedale Diamond 122 Bookshelf speaker
Note to those who complain that Audirvana is crashing your Mac frequently, you must understand that Audirvana pre-loads audio data in memory before playing, thus it needs certain amount of memory to work properly. In Audirvana Plus preference's Audio System window, you can set size of memory buffer for Maximum memory allocated for tracks pre-load. Make sure you set this parameter according to size of available memory on your Mac. Generally I don't think anything below 8 GB of installed memory is adequate to run latest Mac OS X and other applications properly. Common sense dictates that you should not run too many applications simultaneously if the installed memory is small, in fact there are users dedicate a Mac mini as music server solely for running a media player application.
According to what I have head so far, following is my rating of various media player applications:
1. Audirvana Plus (USD 70)
2. Fidelia (USD 20 + USD 50 for advanced mode)
3. Pure Music
4. Amarra HiFi