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Amarra Reviews4.3.510

23 August 2019

High-resolution music player for audiophiles.

Big Johnson
29 January 2016
Version: 3.0.4559

Most helpful

Amarra makes my music sound like it's being sung by The Chipmunks! Well, not quite that bad, but tracks play too fast through my speakers.

I'd installed Amarra last summer and after many emails with support I uninstalled it due to its inability to properly play my iTunes tracks through my JBL Pebbles computer speakers.

Recently I installed it again because I'd forgotten what the issues were and I have a new computer, but am now having the same problems. I found the old emails and this is what SonicStudio Support said:

"It appears from your description that you have manually changed the sample rate on your DAC from 44.1 kHz to something else like 48 kHz. When using Amarra products, it's important to let our software control the sample rate..

Your JBL rep is not completely correct when it comes to outputting audio from a computer. Specifically, on a Mac, the sample rates that are listed in Audio Midi Setup under the Format menu are the sample rates supported by that device. The signal coming out of the computer must be converted to that sample rate for your speakers to play the tracks back.

That all said, each program deals with mis-matched sample rates differently. Some will convert the file in real-time and play back your upsampled track without issue. Unfortunately for you, Amarra does not up sample any information so we cannot up-sample a 44k track to 48k in real-time. This is why Amarra is not playing back your 44k tracks in your current setup. We believe that up-sampling a track will create non-bit-perfect output, an audiophile no-no."


I had not touched the sample rate - my desktop speakers ONLY play at 48 kHz - that can NOT be changed in Audio MIDI Setup.
So maybe the "problem" is with my speakers, but the dev's are aware of this issue and fail to warn people that Amarra may be incompatible with some speakers and that you should check your specifications before installing.

The problems last year occurred on my old computer running Yosemite.
Now I have a 2-month old computer running El Cap. and have identical issues (same speakers).

Since Pure Music and BitPerfect play the tracks correctly through my speakers, I must put the blame on Amarra.

There were other bugs on both computers as well, such as the EQ window always opening almost half way off the side of the screen, and other GUI issues. Thus, only 1/2 star.
(2)

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Read 18 Amarra User Reviews

Big Johnson
29 January 2016
Version: 3.0.4559
Amarra makes my music sound like it's being sung by The Chipmunks! Well, not quite that bad, but tracks play too fast through my speakers.

I'd installed Amarra last summer and after many emails with support I uninstalled it due to its inability to properly play my iTunes tracks through my JBL Pebbles computer speakers.

Recently I installed it again because I'd forgotten what the issues were and I have a new computer, but am now having the same problems. I found the old emails and this is what SonicStudio Support said:

"It appears from your description that you have manually changed the sample rate on your DAC from 44.1 kHz to something else like 48 kHz. When using Amarra products, it's important to let our software control the sample rate..

Your JBL rep is not completely correct when it comes to outputting audio from a computer. Specifically, on a Mac, the sample rates that are listed in Audio Midi Setup under the Format menu are the sample rates supported by that device. The signal coming out of the computer must be converted to that sample rate for your speakers to play the tracks back.

That all said, each program deals with mis-matched sample rates differently. Some will convert the file in real-time and play back your upsampled track without issue. Unfortunately for you, Amarra does not up sample any information so we cannot up-sample a 44k track to 48k in real-time. This is why Amarra is not playing back your 44k tracks in your current setup. We believe that up-sampling a track will create non-bit-perfect output, an audiophile no-no."


I had not touched the sample rate - my desktop speakers ONLY play at 48 kHz - that can NOT be changed in Audio MIDI Setup.
So maybe the "problem" is with my speakers, but the dev's are aware of this issue and fail to warn people that Amarra may be incompatible with some speakers and that you should check your specifications before installing.

The problems last year occurred on my old computer running Yosemite.
Now I have a 2-month old computer running El Cap. and have identical issues (same speakers).

Since Pure Music and BitPerfect play the tracks correctly through my speakers, I must put the blame on Amarra.

There were other bugs on both computers as well, such as the EQ window always opening almost half way off the side of the screen, and other GUI issues. Thus, only 1/2 star.
(2)
Show comments (3)
JohnHaley
08 August 2015
Version: 3.0.4552
I'm running Amarra HiFi 3.0 from a MacBook Pro through a SraightWire USB cable to a Schitt BiFrost with Uber Analog and USB Gen2, (using BetterCables all the way from here) to a Schitt SYS , and finally to Focal CMS40's on my desk. I'm getting a much improved sound from iTunes and also iTunes Radio from the HiFi version. Finally... my question is for anyone running a similar setup, is the full version or SQ+ a major improvement and worth the cost?
(1)
hwgray
01 August 2015
Version: 3.0.4552
Now priced at an even $99.00.
(0)
hwgray
04 April 2015
Version: 3.0.4552
The current price for Amarra is $99.99, probably in response to competition from Pure Music and Audirvana Plus. In addition to the Amarra sQ mentioned below, there is now an additional, very different player confusingly named the Amarra sQ+, even though it's a new product and not an upgrade of the sQ. However, the sQ is still being supported and has been upgraded recently, to v2.1.

The sQ costs $29.99
The sQ+ costs $49.99
(0)
GeogProf
12 January 2015
Version: 3.0.4552
The description of this app says almost nothing about how it actually works.

Cheesy marketing-speak from a lazy (and greedy) developer.
(2)
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4
Kzx72
03 January 2015
Version: 3.0.4552
I'm telling you, you can hear a difference when using this w/ ITunes - more precise, technical, clear. Interface needs to be more polished, looks like something from the Windows XP age.
(1)
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UniqueNickName
23 July 2014
Version: 3.0.4545
found a 100$ discount coupon: https://store.kagi.com/cgi-bin/store.cgi?storeID=6FHVW_LIVE&redirect=no&action=addnew&view=cart&order/javascript=YES&currency=USD&product/413578655847/0/quantity=1&order/coupon/code=realhdaudiospecial not sure how long it will last
(0)
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4
Espiridion
23 December 2013
Version: 2.6
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.
(1)
Tomeg
02 October 2013
Version: 2.6
How does Amarra differ from a good DAC (which is what I have now)? Would Amarra work satisfactorily with a good DAC?
(0)
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5
hwgray
01 October 2013
Version: 2.5.1
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.
(0)
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5
UniqueNickName
11 July 2013
Version: 2.5.1
Nothing can compare if you have a nice set of ears
(1)
Big Johnson
02 March 2013
Version: 2.4.5
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.
(2)
5
hwgray
13 September 2012
Version: 2.3.4310
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.
(1)
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Almegalli
22 December 2011
Version: 2.3.4310
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.
(1)
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Holypoly
26 May 2011
Version: 2.2.4286
MASSIVE price drop! More than 60 % OFF now!! ONLY $295!!! Hurry...
(4)
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2
Thommmy40
17 September 2010
Version: 1.2.3203
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 ?
(0)
Studiodave56
10 March 2010
Version: 1.2.3203
And it's not even April 1st.
(3)
Sebuchen
09 March 2010
Version: 1.2.3203
You're kidding, right? This software costs almost as much as a Mac and it only improves sound quality? I don't think so. I can buy a pretty top of the line brand of music amp for this price. I wouldn't be holding my breath if I were planning on making any money from this little adventure.
(7)
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