The recent resurgence of vinyl is exciting but as anyone who visits an audio show can testify, digital audio playback is making solid leaps forward in terms of both capabilities and acceptance. Poor CDs. We got a sneak peek into the yet-unreleased version 3.0 of Sonic Studio’s Amarra digital playback software at this year’s T.H.E. Show Newport and I can tell you things are definitely still moving in the right direction.
Amarra’s latest update brings something to the fold that a lot of users have been eagerly waiting for – DSD playback. For some time there has only been an unusually small number of high-end players capable of DSD playback. With update 3.0 users can now join the ranks of DSD enthusiasts with playback up of .dsf two channel files up to 2.8224 MHz.
In addition to DSD playback Sonic Studio’s has thrown in a few new features to 3.0 including Real-Time Sample Rate Control, a noise reduction capability called “Amarra Clarity”, frequency and impulse timing analysis and room correction for low frequency problems called iRC(b) and Amarra sQ (pictured above). Of this list the most interesting addition for most users will most likely be the new sQ app. From the press release:
“Amarra sQ is a separate app that breaths life into any streamed content service. sQ integrates a mastering level four-band EQ with linear phase filter technology and advanced dither that allows users to tailor the tonal output with an extremely intuitive user interface. Content from Spotify, YouTube, Beats Music, iTunes Radio, and video services such as Netflix and Hulu sound significantly better when used with Amarra sQ.
With Amarra 3.0 we have broadened the scope of what is possible with high quality music playback… Combined with a new modern look and increased stability, Amarra 3.0 achieves a level of playback enjoyment that is noticed from the very first beat.”
While its not a replacement native player for steaming services (version 4.0?), the new separate app jumps into play with almost any streaming source on your computer and promises to bring it all up to speed with improved performance. Check out the video below for a first hand look at sQ and the new player. Amarra 3.0 and the sQ app should be available to the public by June 16th this year.