Amarra
Amarra 2.6
Your rating: Now say why...

(6) 4.75

High resolution music player for audiophiles.   Demo ($189.00)
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Amarra is a high resolution music player designed for the discriminating ears of audiophiles and professionals.

Deep, analog, natural, and musical; these are words Amarra our customers use when describing their Amarra listening experiences.

With Amarra, you'll have many "oh wow!" moments even with tracks you've listened to for years. That's because Amarra enables your music to sound the way it was intended to be heard: beautifully.

If you're looking for the best sound, try Amarra.
  • Support for sample rates up to 384 kHz
What's New
Version 2.6:
  • Fixes for Metadata and Artwork for FLAC files in Playlists and iTunes
  • Added file type, artist and album name to Amarra UI
  • Added Sonic Studio iRC Impulse Response Correction functionality to Amarra Symphony
  • Created separate Installers and manuals for Amarra and Amarra Symphony
Requirements
Intel, OS X 10.5.8 or later



MacUpdate - Amarra




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    +9

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Amarra User Discussion (Write a Review)
ver. 2.x:
(6)
Your rating: Now say why...
Overall:
(7)

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burypromote

+837

Espiridion reviewed on 23 Dec 2013
I write this quick review in case someone wants to take advantage of their promo (Amarra for $99.00 until Dec 23rd).
What does Amarra offer?
• Adds Sonic Studio Engine to iTunes
• Sample rate support up to 192 kHz, 24-bit
• Automatic sample rate switching
• Plays mp3, mp4, alac, aac, wav, aiff
• FLAC to AIFF conversion
• EQ via iTunes interface or via Amarra Presets
• 384 kHz support
• FLAC file playback
• Cache play
• Amarra playlist creation
• Can work independently from iTunes
• Sonic Mastering dither algorithms
• Independent Amarra EQ Window
• Includes Sonic Studio Processor Sample Rate Converter application

It's up to each individual to decide what features they need, and whether they're willing to pay for those features. For example, Fluke or X Lossless Decoder may provide some features for free.

There's a simple test that shows objectively whether 2 audio files are different. I recorded the output from iTunes into Audio Hijack Pro, and then recorded the same file but this time played via Amarra. If both files are identical, inverting the polarity on one yields silence. This can be done with Sonalksis' FreeG. For example, Fidelia -and IIRC Decibel- sound exactly the same as iTunes. On the other hand, Amarra and Pure Music do not sound exactly the same as iTunes.

Does Amarra sound $189 "better"? Not to me. Since I had tried the demo before, I wrote support asking for a new evaluation. I received no answer. I purchased Amarra and although I will use it, it is buggy. For example, artwork was incorrectly displayed, and it takes a bit of configuring and often relaunching the program in order to get it to work properly. At first it would not play 96 kHz files. On another occasion no sound came out at all.

iTunes measurements in dB after playing a song fragment:
Max Peak: -8.47 L, -8.57 R
Max RMS: -14.02 L, -14.09 R
Average RMS: -22.25 L, -22.33 R

Amarra measurements in dB after playing the same song fragment:
Max Peak: -3.35 L, -3.45 R
Max RMS: -8.91 L, -8.98 R
Average RMS: -16.76 L, -16.84 R

Most people listening to iTunes and to Amarra would perceive Amarra as better due to the increase in volume.

After getting both files to the same levels, the differences between Amarra and iTunes, at least in this test, are very subtle. For example, using FreqAnalist Pro iTunes is stronger (i.e., louder) at 120 Hz and from 18 kHz and above, but in this last case at levels around -93 dB, so no one would hear those differences.

Definitely not a thorough test, particularly since the song I used only has piano and vocals. Still I wanted to get this done quickly in case anyone wants to take advantage of the promo. Pure Music is only slightly more expensive than this promo, so you may want to try both. Amarra does sound good and $99 is certainly more reasonable than their regular pricing.
[Version 2.6]


burypromote

-20
Tomeg commented on 02 Oct 2013
How does Amarra differ from a good DAC (which is what I have now)?

Would Amarra work satisfactorily with a good DAC?
[Version 2.6]

4 Replies

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-29
UniqueNickName replied on 02 Oct 2013
makes one wonder why you have a good DAC and ask a question like that. =0) no offense.

Amarra is a must have if you have a good DAC. high definition music is also a must have in that case, but that's another universe of problems and trials for you.
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Tomeg replied on 02 Oct 2013
your sarcasm doesn't address my question. unfortunately i can't help you with your attitude problem. i wonder why you bothered yourself to reply at all. it certainly didn't help me. if you know so much about high definition audio, perhaps you would do the courtesy of pointing me to some sources and/or resources where I good obtain a proper education in high definition music, whatever it is you imagine "high definition music" is or should be. try again, i'm sure you'll do better next time.
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-20
Tomeg replied on 23 Oct 2013
Now I've tried and bought Amarra, I acknowledge the salient point in @UniqueNickName's reply. The difference with Amarra is subtle but for a classical music lover capable of perceiving hypercritical distinctions of timbre and other aspects of instrumental, choral, and vocal sounds, it is definitely a boon paired with a good DAC.
burypromote

-29
UniqueNickName replied on 29 Oct 2013
i'm glad i stimulated a purchase =0)
burypromote

+99

lamontDakota reviewed on 01 Oct 2013
Now at v2.6, still a free upgrade, still has to be re-registered from scratch as with previous upgrades; paid sidegrades from less-expensive versions - Amarra Hifi, Amarra Jr - available; paid sidegrade to premium Amarra Symphony also acailable.
[Version 2.5.1]

1 Reply

burypromote

+100
MacUpdate-Jess replied on 02 Oct 2013
Thanks for letting us know about the availability of v.2.6!
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-1

-29

UniqueNickName reviewed on 11 Jul 2013
Nothing can compare if you have a nice set of ears
[Version 2.5.1]


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+2

-109
BigJohnson commented on 02 Mar 2013
Sorry, this belongs in the Troubleshooting tab, but no one looks there.

$189 and you only get 30 days of technical support?! No forums or other support options.

I've asked a support question, but since I'm past the limit I've never received a reply, maybe someone here can help?

Almost all my songs in iTunes (mp3 and AAC) have artwork, yet no artwork has ever been displayed when in Amarra mode. According to the FAQs, artwork from tracks should be displayed in Amarra mode.
[Version 2.4.5]


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-3

+99

lamontDakota reviewed on 13 Sep 2012
Currently at v2.4.1 and, at a price of $189.00, an absolute *steal* for computer-audiophiles who understand what the purpose of an app like this is.

It's Lion-ready, but has not yet been upgraded for Mountain Lion. So, Sonic Studio does *not* recommend using Amarra in conjunction with the newest version of OS X. You can do it, anyway, but the results may not be satisfactory for some.
[Version 2.3.4310]

13 Replies

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-1

+378
Lvdoc replied on 13 Sep 2012
For less than $200, I've purchased AudioHijack Pro and a variety of AU plugins that let me create some very customized, quality sound on my Mac. And for those without such a budget, there are a number of very good FREE AU plugins - particularly Blue Cat Audio and Melda Plugins (just Google those terms) that can give you Mac audio quality for any program you use.
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+1

+140
Pl_svn replied on 13 Sep 2012
... sorry Lvdoc but you don't get what's the purpose/use of apps as Amarra, Audirvana, Decibel, Fidelia etc. :-(
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+1

+140
Pl_svn replied on 13 Sep 2012
... no problem: just, please, don't mislead people saying you can obtain the same results by other means ;-)
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+1

+378
Lvdoc replied on 13 Sep 2012
Please clarify. For $189, I would hope you could say more than just that "it's a steal." Why is that so?
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+1

+140
Pl_svn replied on 13 Sep 2012
in short: this kind of applications are intended to be used as software music players (possibly on a dedicated computer) in a hi-fi system
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-2

+99
lamontDakota replied on 13 Sep 2012
Lvdoc, this is an app that sells itself to those who understand what it's for, know how to use it, and want it. If you can't understand why $189 is a steal for this app, then Amarra is not meant for you. I'm not a salesman for SonicStudio and I don't intend to try to persuade you to buy any of their products. OTOH, if what you're trying to say is that you're contemplating getting into computer-audiophilia - for which the various Apple computers are the preferred platform, BTW - and you'd like to know more about it, then join Computer-Audiophile (www.computeraudiophile.com) or a similar S.I.G. But I'm not going to try to explain why someone would pay a fortune for a Ferrari, when he could buy a Honda, instead. As for AH Pro, I use it and like it a lot, too. It's a great tool. But it simply comes to this:

If you see no reason to buy Amarra, then *don't* buy it. But don't pretend that those of us who *do* want to buy it somehow owe you an explanation.

Different strokes for different folks.

That's freedom, isn't it?
burypromote
+4

+837
Espiridion replied on 15 Sep 2012
I think Lvdoc has a valid question. Just as it is very easy to compare a Honda to a Ferrari in specific terms such as engine, fuel economy, price, power, handling, etc., as well as the use the car will get, it should be easy to point out the advantages that Amarra supposedly has.
I ask this after trying the demo and not hearing an $189 sound improvement. Amarra did sound better than iTunes, in part thanks to a volume increase. Audio Hijack with Slate FG-X also sounded better than iTunes.
I tried to use additional tools for comparison purposes while using Audio Hijack, like Nugen Visualizer, but Amarra seems to be incompatible with Audio Hijack and all I got was the spinning beach ball.
What makes Amarra better? Is there any specific interface with which it really shines? Specific headphones or speakers?

Since Fidelia was mentioned, the last time I tried it it was awful. At least that one is "cheap." Of course, added features cost extra and are considered add-ons, making the real price quite higher. I am a fan of Wave Editor btw.

I've used Audio Hijack with plugins for a long time now with great results. Better than many enhancers such as HEAR and others. I'll be happy to read about the advantages Amarra offers.
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+1

+140
Pl_svn replied on 16 Sep 2012
... really, guys: if you don't hear any difference using apps as Amarra, Audirvana, Decibel etc. with your setup... that's just fine (you should notice nonetheless some difference that, obviously, isn't worth the money)

but if you have the setup this kinds of apps is meant for... then you'll definitely hear the difference! *definitely*!

it's actually just as simple as this
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+2

+837
Espiridion replied on 16 Sep 2012
I guess I have the ears and can certainly hear the difference.

I also know that the use of plugins (i.e., using Audio Hijack Pro) is very different than the approach these applications have. I've only tried Fidelia, Amarra, Pure Music and Decibel.

There's also the issue of hearing what we want or expect to hear. Or the fact that just a slight volume boost, even for some specific frequencies, will result in a perceived improvement.

Is it possible to say specifically why Amarra is a steal at $189? What are specific advantages over the cheaper Pure Music, Audirvana, or Decibel?

For example, Pure Music offers support for up to 14 Audio Units. I'm only using 2, but that's certainly an advantage that I would pay for. It also offers more customization than Decibel. To some it may be worth it.
Other specifics may include use of memory, use of specific converters, etc. I don't think it is a question about whether or not there's a sonic improvement, but rather about more specifics that make a $189 a "steal" when compared with arguably equally capable applications.

I remember trying Amarra when it was more expensive. Nice to see the price drop. I'll probably end up with Pure Music since I liked -among other things- the plugin integration. Unless there's something I'm missing with Amarra and it is indeed the clear choice (no pun intended). :)
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+140
Pl_svn replied on 16 Sep 2012
first: I'm not the one who said "it's a steal" and, honestly, the only reason I see to say so is that up to a few months ago Amarra's price was four or five times as much =:-0

then... let's not open a can of worms ;-) but, again, if you're happy with plugins (= doctored sound :-p ) then... ok: that's your choice and/or personal taste
in the end it all comes to personal tastes (there's no "the one and only true hi-fi" except... a live audition ;-)

personally, after trying Decibel (very good for the price point but... still pretty rough UI and unbearably slow developement) I moved to Audirvana Plus and I'm very, very happy with it (plus Damien, the developer, keeps improving both the UI and "the engine" at a steady rhythm)
when I tried Amarra... I liked a lot "its sound" (each of these apps has *its* peculiar sound) but found the iTunes integration UI very hugly, the "list view" disappointing (none of the embedded tags was displayed: just the filenames) and, at the time, no gapless playback so I sticked (happily) to Audirvana

the day these glitches will be fixed (and the app will be fully ML compatible) I'll give it another shot and seriously consider buying. 'cause... it really sounds *damn* good (to me, my SE tubes and cornwalls III ;-)
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+1

+837
Espiridion replied on 29 Sep 2012
I apologize for the delay (bad pun). Thanks for your reply
I know you're not the one who said it was a steal :)
After trying Pure Music and Amarra further, using Audirvana would have been my choice as well. BTW, there's a more recent Amarra version now.
In the end I went with Decibel since it yielded a nice discount at HDTracks. The same applies to Amarra and Pure Music, but not Audirvana. That influenced my choice.
The plugins I've used are used very subtly. Given the choice of processing via Amarra or Pure Music (i.e., using their equalizers, limiters, etc.) I prefer to use my plugins (e.g., Brainworks, Sonnox). With Decibel I can't use them, though.
I'll keep an ear on the development of Amarra, Pure Music and Audirvana, as well as Decibel. Decibe was my "good enough for now" choice. Hopefully all of these applications will improve. :)
burypromote

+99
lamontDakota replied on 08 Dec 2012
I'm the one who claimed that it was a "steal" and, as is so often the case, I went off half-cocked. I was unaware, at the time, that Amarra is continually revamping its product line. The Amarra described here is not the Amarra that I own. "That* Amarra is now called the "Amarra *Symphony*" and, at $489.00, it's no "steal," though that price *is* lower than it was for those of us who paid the early-adopter tax. But all upgrades are free. So, WTF?Those who want more than iTunes, but who are unwilling or unable to part with big bucks, might want to check out the Amarra Hifi, which competes with Audirvana in price at a very reasonable $49.00, cheaper than the two upgrades needed to make Fidelio be any good.
Computer-audiophiles usually own one or more of everything that's out there, whether software or hardware. It's the way that the game is played. You mix and match, according to the kind of music that you're listening to. As with any other hobby, you spend all of your spare time and spare money on it not because you have to, but because you *want* to! That's why I don't think that there's any point in trying to explain it. If it matters to you, price is no object. If "good enough" is good enough, why waste time trying to persuade you to blow money on something that you don't care about? Like, I drive a VW. I *know* that a Ferrari is WAY better, but I don't care. I wouldn't take one as a gift, all expenses paid. My nine-year-old, second-hand VW is good enough.
But clementine isn't, even for free.

As Damon Wayans put it, "*Colostomy*, if that't your bag." Different strokes for different folks.
burypromote
-1

+99
lamontDakota replied on 05 Feb 2013
You keep saying, "Explain why Amarra is a steal at $189.00." How about this: get Sonic Studio to hire me as a salesman. Otherwise, if you don't want it, then don't buy it. It's not my business. I don't care. The choice is yours. It's up to you. Amarra is free to use for fifteen days, during which period the app will be fully functional. Try it. If you like it, then buy it. I won't make a cent. If you don't like it, then don't buy it. I won't lose a cent. Nobody is trying to confidence you out of your money. Nobody is trying to sell you a pig in a poke. I'm not going to argue with you about it. Do what seems right - or left, if you're a liberal - to you. I just don't care.
burypromote
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-3
Almegalli commented on 21 Dec 2011
Get SRS iWOW and turn on iTunes Equalizer ( play with the Equalizer setting to suit your taste ) .. and voilà......I guarantee you a better results.
[Version 2.3.4310]

4 Replies

burypromote
+2

+767
Robotank replied on 15 Feb 2012
That statement is so hopelessly inaccurate. You may be right that casual music listeners with lossy MP3 and AAC music files would prefer iTunes/iWow doctored sound, or notice no benefit from Amarra. On the other hand, no $300+ music player is targeted at such users. Amarra is an audiophile/professional grade app, and it is quite well regarded in the audio community. Read up on what benefits players like Amarra actually offer before posting a hair-brained comment like that.
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-3
Almegalli replied on 17 Feb 2012
@ Robotank
I did read about Amarra and my opinion here is actually based on my experience with this app. Quite frankly I think you guys are targeting rich naïve boys only, Reminds me of an $1000 App for the iPhone it was called ( I Am Rich ).
burypromote
+2

+767
Robotank replied on 17 Feb 2012
It seems to me that Amarra is really only targeted at audiophiles and professionals. For example, the app description reads: "The audiophile quality computer music player for the most discriminating enthusiast." It's hard to make a value judgment on something if you neither need nor understand its benefits. For comparison, take Adobe Creative Suite. It's very expensive and would offer little benefit to anyone who doesn't require professional-grade design and production software. There are audiophile-grade music players for $50 and under (i.e., Audirvana Plus, Decibel, BitPerfect) that offer similar playback quality to Amarra but lack some of its advanced features. Amarra is a niche product, not a scam. I doubt you'd earn much status by owning Amarra, except among audiophiles who probably own it anyway.
burypromote

+99
lamontDakota replied on 13 Sep 2012
SRS iWOW is dead.
burypromote
+2

-2
Holypoly commented on 26 May 2011
MASSIVE price drop! More than 60 % OFF now!! ONLY $295!!! Hurry...
[Version 2.2.4286]

2 Replies

burypromote
+1

+837
Espiridion replied on 26 May 2011
LOL. I do wish they had a price drop :)
This is the same price that Amarra MINI Computer Music Player has had. In contrast, Amarra Computer Music Player is $695 and their Firewire Audio Interface is $3995.
burypromote

+99
lamontDakota replied on 11 Jul 2013
"Firewire Audio Interface is $3995" If you own a recording studio, then this is an excellent price for an absolutely-essential piece of HARDWARE. Otherwise, this pricing factoid is irrelevant.
burypromote

+1

Thommmy40 reviewed on 17 Sep 2010
Hi there..
I tested the demo with my ENSEMBLE DAC and my high resolution speakers. The difference is so small that it´s more a kind of phantasie. The EQ works perfect ! Congratulation. Why does AMARRA not work with the DVD Software ?
[Version 1.2.3203]


burypromote

-32
Hello. tipped on 09 Mar 2010
Demo time...
[Version 1.2.3203]


There are currently no troubleshooting comments. If you are experiencing a problem with this app, please post a comment.


jpetergeol rated on 23 Feb 2014

[Version 2.6]



Rainbox rated on 17 Sep 2011

[Version 2.3.4310]


Downloads:10,255
Version Downloads:1,759
Type:Multimedia Design : Audio
License:Demo
Date:02 Oct 2013
Platform:Intel 32 / OS X
Price: $189.00
Overall (Version 2.x):
Features:
Ease of Use:
Value:
Stability:
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Amarra is a high resolution music player designed for the discriminating ears of audiophiles and professionals.

Deep, analog, natural, and musical; these are words Amarra our customers use when describing their Amarra listening experiences.

With Amarra, you'll have many "oh wow!" moments even with tracks you've listened to for years. That's because Amarra enables your music to sound the way it was intended to be heard: beautifully.

If you're looking for the best sound, try Amarra.
  • Support for sample rates up to 384 kHz
  • Special Cache and Playlist modes
  • Runs perfectly with or without iTunes
  • Amarra 3-band adjustable EQ including room node corrections
  • Great customer support and online FAQ help


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