Question on DSD Streaming

Hi, in the Active Device settings in Audirvana, there is a setting called “Native DSD streaming method”, and there are 3 options: (1) NONE: CONVERT TO PCM, (2) DSD OVER PCM 1.0, (3) DSD OVER PCM 1.1

What do these mean, and when playing DSD files, which one should I choose? My DAC displays a lower sampeling rate (176) when I select #3 above, and when I select option #1 above I get 352. Any feedback would be great. Thank you

Are you on macOS or Windows? Which release? Which Audirvana release? … and which dac are you using?

Thanks for replying. I use a Mac, I have the latest version of Audirvana and I have an RME ADI-2 fs DAC.

Use DoP 1.1 (DSD over PCM).

Hello @seegem,

macOS is not able to send raw DSD streams. That’s why the DSD over PCM standard has been developed: to send raw DSD in a fake PCM stream.
To identify it as such, there are 8 bit markers in it.
And the presence of these markers doubles the need of bandwidth, thus explaining why on a mac only half of the max DSD rate is available.

Fascinating (and shocking that a modern creative/media-centric brand like Apple would not support DSD). I read up on DoP (DSD over PCM) here, this was useful (though dated):

I guess the question would be: what about USB 3 and the new standard released this year USB4? They have much higher data rates and therefore should (I would think) support even DSD1024 (if that ever even existed)…

Does anyone know of the logic (such as it may exist) why Apple (and even Windows) refuse to solve for this? lack of demand? Seems like professionals would want support without sacrificing the bandwidth?

Thanks for the input!

They’re after the 94% of average consumers are happy with mp3/aac compressed files. The other 4% is covered by CD quality FLAC. What remains is the minority of the minority.

There is so little native content in DSD that it’s almost irrelevant beyond the realm of live recordings, mostly classical music and jazz. It had some promise as a physical format when the size of the SACD was the same as that of the CD. Since then, everybody switched to streaming where bandwidth, and thus file size, matters.

Indeed for Windows 10 you can use a ASIO driver to get native DSD (DSD full capability) since it’s more open than the Apple ecosystem :wink: