Sound quality Studio vs 3.5?

Does Audirvana Studio sound better than 3.5 ?

NO. The non-oversampled stream is audibly worse. It is not sending the bits to the DAC the same way that 3.5 and earlier used to do. There is a veil put on the sound that could well actually be from the bloated programme’s effect on the hardware–if it’s not from an altered way that the output signal is transmitted, compared to earlier versions. For what it’s worth, however, the new r8brain upsampling routine is pretty excellent compared to SoX and iZotope; if you’ve already been upsampling for a DeltaSigma DAC, there’s something worthwhile, worth the money, for you in Audirvana Studio, in my opinion. Sadly not for me.


For my system (with KEF LS-50 speakers, which are quite detailed), the sound in Audirvana Studio 1.2 is more natural. With Audirvana 3.5, I always find it a bit too bright with ‘metallic’ edginess in the upper frequencies.

Now, I am enjoying the music a lot more.


Why you put your memory buffer so low?

Mine with 16gb of memory… 13 by default…

Since you have place in your screen, you could add a or some field… Right Click…

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it is 0.2gb on your picture…

after mqa field in your picture is empty field… you can right click in the title bar like my picture and add other fields that you may like to see… or not. you can also drag thoses fields columns in the order that you like to see them…

clicking the lock on the bottom right of main window, will release your dac, then go to dac option like in your last picture and click the gear wheel there… it opens a window for you to manage the memory buffer you give to Studio… if it is at 11gb out of 16gb of computer… that is Ok, but at 0.2gb it is very low… Don’t bother if you have no trouble :slight_smile:

that is good you have a lot :slight_smile:

Might be PC limitation for the moment… i’m on a Mac, you see how many more i have…

3.5 currently offers me everything I need.
If still minor bugs would fix it would be very good.
AS is and is still in its infancy and will still need time to develop.

Considering that it is completely new.
As for the sound, it is certainly subjective as stupid it sounds.
It would be conceivable that the As version runs better on older devices than before, but the reverse is also true for 3.5.

I think everyone must decide for themselves.
Where not everyone has bought the 3.5 or had the opportunity.falls the option away.
And could decide about Roon and AS what is better for one.

As needs a minimum of 6-8 months until everything runs as desired.Larger upgrades I guess will come later.

Personally, I currently see as a 3.5 owner no reason to go to AS if you come here again and again and read you are ambivalent.
But that’s also because I’m very happy with my equipment as it is and do not want any changes.

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Absolutely veiled on every track. Music sounds like it’s pushed away. I find it irritating to listen to… like a couple of blankets are in the way.


Thanks for the r8brain tip. To my surprise it sounds better then SoX. But I can’t agree with your observation of Studio putting a veil on the sound. For me it is the other way around, with Studio being significantly more transparent and lively than 3.5, Lyrics are easier to follow and I love the delicate treble on cymbals and massed strings. Better drums too: listen to Delta Kream by Black Keys. I’ll take a subscription as soon as there is a functional remote!


I think it has to do with the synergy with the rest of the audio system. With mine, I always found Audirvana just a bit too bright with a metallic edginess in the upper frequencies. Now, Studio sounds more relaxed, natural and way more enjoyable to listen to. Also the midrange and bass has so much more to offer now.


Everyone who has responded agrees that there has been a change, whether they like it or not. It is possible even to agree about the loss of higher frequency and ambient information, and be either unhappy or happy. This change was not advertised. Could Damien please be explicit about what the change could be down to? Is it by design? I am not one of those with problems with SysOpt, but I do wonder about an effect—half confirmed—that changing the SysOpt settings in 3.5 changes them in Studio. It seemed to make a difference to turn off SysOpt in 3.5 before using it in Studio. Is it possible the changes in sound would disappear if I purge my Mac of 3.5???


Headphone user chiming in. I don’t think I like the sound with AS. Like most here I have been checking out the free trial, and now that it has almost been a month I switched back to 3.5 for tonight’s listening session and here is what I hear. For starters, my gear:

HiFiMan Sundara
Sennheiser HD 600
Meze 99 Classics
Topping E30
iFi micro iCAN SE
iFi micro iTube2

I find 3.5 to sound far more natural and analogue than AS. Vocals don’t sound as detailed, with added hotness to the sibilance. Cymbals sound too metallic and fatiguing. Piano does not sound as smooth. Electric guitars are more fatiguing. Heck, overall the whole sound is fatiguing. Yes, AS does add “presence”, but it’s artificial to the sound. Everything sounds veiled, but not in a muffled sense (ie lack of upper mids), rather smeared by the “enhanced” detail. In all honesty, the new sound reminds me of when iFi introduced their GTO filter (vs bit perfect Cookies & Cream), based off the same algorithm created/used by MQA. It wouldn’t surprise me if Damien jumped on the MQA bandwagon and now is shaping the sound off from GTO/MQA. iFi (LOVE THEM) is pushing Audirvana Studio HARD on social media. Makes you think eh?


Which version are you using? 1.2?

1.1 did have SQ problems, but 1.0 and 1.2 sound great and more interesting than 3.5

Interesting thought.


Unfortunately, no. It does not sound as good as 3.5.
I decided to take my time to compare both versions, something is wrong with Studio.
System is as follow : Macbook Pro => Diepti on RBPi 4 (through cat 7 ethernet cable through audiophile router) => DAC via coaxial.
No treatment whatsoever in both cases : no oversampling, no volume control. Nothing. Just send the signal to the DAC.
It’s a slight difference, but it’s there. 3.5 sounds more alive.
Whatever treatment was added, or changes in the treatment, strip the sound of its liveliness.
As in my configuration I’m not using any treatment to the signal, this difference shouldn’t exist.
So Studio is not sending bit perfect signal to the DAC. Something that wasn’t done in 3.5, with the same configuration, happens in Studio. End of story. Whatever has been done is detrimental to the signal.
To sum it up : 3.5 has a magic to it, that studio fails to reproduce. , I’ll stick to 3.5 as long as it is possible.
My 2 cents. Sad. Audirvana was just the ultimate player. I think they just decide to please the majority, who is not - let’s be lucid - an audiophile audience. Widening their target, Audirvana will surely lose die hard sound aficionados along the way.
I was ready to take the subscription, if the overall sound experienced hadn’t degrade, but it does.
Sorry for that. Hope they’ll achieve their goal, otherwise, it’s just such a waste.
Good luck Audirvana.


I came here to start this topic myself, but I see the discussion’s well underway.

To be honest, I was very hesitant about the Studio version and was just waiting to see how things would develop.
I had even cancelled my Qobuz subscription a couple months ago and waiting for Spotify hires streaming service.
I was disappointed Audirvana Studio only offering subscription, no hope of Spotify connect etc.

And yesterday a great audiophile friend of mine called me about the comparison he’d made between the 3.5 and Studio. He was just gobsmacked by the overwhelming differences and he just couldn’t believe how the Studio version could sound so much better! He has a great HiFi shop and is well known and respected. I had actually convinced him to try Audirvana 3.5 a few years ago.

Obviously, my friend’s enthusiasm got me excited too and I just had to try it myself. So, I renewed my Qobuz subscription and started the Studio trial to make my own comparisons.
In short; I cannot believe it but I must say the Studio version sounds much better, it really does. Much better sound stage, detail and bigger bass too.
All the settings are identical, no upsampling, nothing. Both streaming and local playback sound better.

I don’t why not everyone’s experiencing the same thing but I am convinced that the Studio version is much better all round.
I have no idea what Damien did or how he did it, but he sure did do it! :grinning:

It looks like I will bite the bullet for Studio but first I need a remote app and secondly, please the playlists on the left as it used to be. As it is, it just clatters the already very busy screen and I don’t at all find it practical. I use playlists a lot for choosing what to listen to.

Back to listening to music. :slight_smile: