Decibel
Decibel
1.3.5

4.3

Decibel free download for Mac

Decibel

1.3.5
22 October 2018

Audio player tailored to the needs of audiophiles.

Overview

Decibel is an audio player tailored to the particular needs of audiophiles.

Decibel supports all popular lossless and lossy audio formats including FLAC, Ogg Vorbis, Musepack, WavPack, Monkey's Audio, Speex, True Audio, Apple Lossless, AAC, MP3, MOD, DSF, DSDIFF, WAVE and AIFF.

For lossless formats such as FLAC and WAVE, and for Ogg Vorbis and specially tagged MP3 files, Decibel supports gapless playback with seamless transitions between tracks. Decibel also features replay gain adjustment for more comfortable listening.

Decibel has an intentionally minimal user interface designed to be instantly intuitive and non-intrusive. Decibel has an optional 31-band equalizer for unlimited sonic adjustment and provides precise digital and device volume control.

For users desiring more control over their audio, Decibel can take exclusive control of the output device using hog mode. Additionally, Decibel can automatically adjust the output device's sample rate to that of the playing track, preventing audio quality degradation associated with software sample rate conversion.

Finally, Decibel can load and play files entirely in memory, eliminating audio glitching associated with disk access.

For users with exaSound DACs, Decibel supports native DSD playback via ASIO. Decibel also contains DoP (DSD over PCM) support.

What's new in Decibel

Version 1.3.5:
  • macOS 10.14 compability
  • DSD64 to PCM conversion

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27 Decibel Reviews

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Rate this app:

Robotank
15 February 2012

Most helpful

I've been using Decibel for a couple months, and I'm very pleased with it. The sound is great, and I like the minimal interface. I do hope that some form of global control comes in a future version (i.e., global hotkeys, menubar item). Native FLAC support is also essential for me in an audio player. Regarding comments from a certain individual about player sound quality, I'd like to clear a couple of things up. Strictly speaking, iTunes can be bit-perfect (i.e., it will accurately process the digital information in a sound file) with some features disabled and its digital volume slider at 100%. Where quality degradation usually occurs is along the path between the player and the speakers; Decibel's features are designed to minimize such degradation by minimizing the amount of processing, alteration, and interference to the digital signal. For example, iTunes enables by default the Sound Enhancer feature and (I think) the equalizer. Other possible stops beyond the player include CoreAudio-handled sample rate conversion and audio stream mixing (for handling simultaneous audio from multiple applications). Decibel omits features such Sound Enhancer, can automatically adjust the output device's sample rate to match the track playing, and can "hog" the output device so no other apps can send it audio (bypassing the mixer). There's also integer mode with some caveats (see link below) Memory play can also improve quality and avoid skipping by avoiding interference that can occur when disk access is occurring. The point is that avoiding unnecessary alteration, interference, and processing helps maintain the integrity of the digital signal, and thus the quality of the sound. For a more thorough and technical explanation of how audiophile players work, see this paper by the developer of Audirvana (which uses similar principles to Decibel: http://www.amr-audio.co.uk/large_image/MAC%20OSX%20audio%20players%20&%20Integer%20Mode.pdf ).
Like (9)
Version 1.2.6
Sissy_Princess
24 January 2018
It's a good audio player, but the $33 price, rudimentary interface, and lack of updates since 2015 make it a hard purchase to justify. Lower it to $9.99 and you'll have my order.
Like (1)
Version 1.3.3
1 answer(s)
Uncoy
Uncoy
25 January 2018
Hi Fmaxwell,

I just checked. I paid full whack of $33 myself as well in Feb 2014. Decibel works well on all my computers all the time (I've had about seven in the last two years out of which four are active at any given time). Fidelia (theoretical two computer license) has only ever worked on one computer at a time, worst purchase ever, I've spent more time running around after licensing for Fidelia than using it. Mac App Store apps have choked a couple of times. Other indie apps require a song and dance to authorize. Decibel was engineered to work and work well from the beginning. On the other hand, the lack of development since I bought it in 2014 really annoys me too. Decibel is not a throw away purchase.
Like
Tekl
26 March 2017
I wonder, if this project is dead? Does it work well with Sierra?
Like
Version 1.3.3
Big Johnson
13 July 2015
This app is worthless as far as I'm concerned.

First of all, I don't want to load a few songs or a single playlist, I want ALL my iTunes tracks loaded and ready to play just as if I were in iTunes, and I want them to STAY there!
Loading all my tracks takes about 15 minutes. That's okay...ONCE. But when I quit and reopen, it's blank again and I must start over!

There's no Help file.

The search function in the forums was useless - I wanted to know how to add tracks from iTunes.
A search for "itunes add tracks" (without parenthesis) yields this message: "The following words in your search query were ignored because they are too common words: add tracks itunes."

It's missing a column for Date Added. My iTunes are sorted by date added and I expect the same in other players.

There's NO visible volume control! Either have to click the speaker icon to change the levels, or use odd keyboard shortcuts.

I tried to close Decibel and it hung with a track playing loudly and I couldn't mute or turn down the volume - had to force quit.

There's no equalizer! I suppose this is done for the purists, but guess what? Not all playback devices and speakers produce perfect sound! Adjustments may be needed. Even audiophiles may want to increase the bass, vocals etc. because not everyone's ears hear the same and listening preferences differ.


For these reasons I much prefer Amarra, although I've only used it a few times.




Like
Version 1.3.2
5 answer(s)
Lvdoc
Lvdoc
11 September 2015
It has a 31-band equalizer. Lower right corner. In the preferences "Output" tab, click "Enable equalizer."
Like
Uncoy
Uncoy
26 February 2017
If you like music, Decibel is a great player. Sound quality is second to none. Price is extremely fair.

I don't know why you need to run down so many great independent developers. Are you trying to kill the platform personally?

I use the finder to manage my music. For me Decibel is brilliant.
Like
Sissy_Princess
Sissy_Princess
24 January 2018
@Uncoy: Whether the price is "fair" is a subjective call. Decibel works fine and I'd be happy to pay $10 for it, but its level of complexity, limited feature set, and lack of active development argue against a $33 price tag. I understand that its appeal is more limited than something like Angry Birds, but it's a lot wider than vertical market products that struggle to get 100 users.
Like (1)
Uncoy
Uncoy
25 January 2018
Hi Fmaxwell,

I just checked. I paid full whack of $33 myself as well in February 2014. Decibel works well on all my computers all the time (I've had about eight in the last three years out of which four are active at any given time). Fidelia (theoretical two computer license) has only ever worked on one computer at a time, worst purchase ever, I've spent more time running around after licensing for Fidelia than using it. Mac App Store apps have choked a couple of times. Other indie apps require a song and dance to authorize. Decibel was engineered to work and work well from the beginning. On the other hand, the lack of development since I bought it in 2014 really annoys me too. Decibel is not a throw away purchase.

Big Johnson is the least reliable reviewer on MacUpdate and his constant slamming of good indie apps really gets in my craw. Wow, what a platform destroyer.
Like
Big Johnson
Big Johnson
16 March 2018
"Big Johnson is the least reliable reviewer on MacUpdate and his constant slamming of good indie apps really gets in my craw."

Hmmm, then how do you account for my 480 score, Uncoy?
A website glitch?
Sorcery?
Serendipity?
Russians hackers raised it?

I don’t "slam" apps unless my experience with them dictates a negative response.

That’s called an HONEST REVIEW.

Doesn’t matter if it’s a huge company or an "indie" developer.
If a small dev. can’t make their software functional or they’re gonna abandon it after people have paid for it, then they shouldn’t be selling software - McDonald's is hiring.

I’m also just as happy to post positive reviews when my experience using the software was positive.

I test and use a lot more software than your average user, and the majority gets removed because I just don’t like it or it’s flawed in one way or another - at least it didn’t work right for me.

Others I continue using despite their many shortcomings because using them is better than not using them.

Path Finder is one such app that has a LOT of issues that users want resolved but I continue using because it’s still so much better than Crapple’s Finder. Its dev's keep promising the new version will fix a lot of them IF it ever gets released - it’s long overdue.
Like
Jazzyguy
12 January 2015
I'd like to get this update but the app store is behind as usual.
Like
Version 1.3.2
1 answer(s)
WetNet
WetNet
11 February 2015
What's with all the double posting around here?! You are like a cry baby emo. "I want *blah*!!", "I want *blah*!!", "This don't work!!!", "This don't work!!!, "Developer won't respond!!!", "Developer won't respond!!!", . . .Get over yourself! What a moron!
Like
Jazzyguy
12 January 2015
I'd like to get this update but the app store is behind as usual.
Like
Version 1.3.2
1 answer(s)
Sbooth
Sbooth
12 January 2015
The new version has been submitted but the current wait time for app review is around 8 days. In the meantime you can use the direct download version with your app store receipt.
Like
chawya22
18 February 2014
A good sounding audio player which allows native playback of many audio formats without conversion. The unfortunate side is the dubious continued development or support. I purchased Decibel in Dec 2013 and attempted to join the support forum, for some questions I had. I'm still waiting for forum posting approval almost 2 months later. I was initially concerned, at the time of purchase, that there had been no updates in a year. The positive reviews I read were encouraging, so I pulled the trigger. I'm hoping this wasn't a mistake.
Like (2)
Version 1.2.11
6 answer(s)
chawya22
chawya22
18 February 2014
Update: Since there is no support, I tried to solve some of the problems I was experiencing by doing a clean install. Surprise, when starting Decibel again I was informed I'm in demo mode. Using the license email I was supplied 2 months ago, I was informed my decibel-license (Not Available). So now I'm out $33.00 and no one to complain to. The world of Shareware. Buyer beware.
Like
chawya22
chawya22
22 February 2014
Was finally able to contact the developer and the licensing issue has been resolved. Still waiting for access to the support forum.
Like (1)
pl-svn
pl-svn
20 June 2014
same here with this 1.3 update: "This copy of Decibel is Unregistered" =:-0 contacted developer. let's see! :-/
Like
Lvdoc
Lvdoc
04 January 2015
Can you please tell me how you contacted the developer? I just tried sending an e-mail, and it came back as undeliverable.

Although I like Decibel, I'd like to have it be able to use AU plugins. Their forum said that those would be implemented, but that was back in 2011! I find this discouraging, in terms of expecting continued development.
Like
chawya22
chawya22
04 January 2015
You may want to try support@feisty-dog.com. That was the email address the developer gave me after I was able to contact him. Before that, I remember I actually had to do some sleuthing for Stephen F. Booth (the developer) to get an email address for the initial contact. It's been almost a year now, so I really don't remember all of the details. Good Luck!
Like (1)
Lvdoc
Lvdoc
04 January 2015
Thanks! I'll give that a try.
Like
hwgray
22 November 2013
Those three freebies are hardly "similar" to Decibel. Comparable music-players are Amarra Hifi, Fidelia, and Media Center, etc., at a more-or-less similar price-point.
Like
Version 1.2.11
Jadco
29 March 2013
For a good review of three Mac playback apps, including Decibel, that use itunes only as a database: http://www.stereophile.com/content/listening-103 Ideally you would send the output of Decibel to your DAC and amp by way of asynchronous USB.
Like (1)
Version 1.2.11
1 answer(s)
Ozron
Ozron
04 June 2013
Considering the initial review was over 2 years ago, only the update at the end is relevant. And considering their verdicts, you only give Decibel 2 stars? And don't add any comments of your own? Completely useless review mate... As a comment it would be fine however.
Like (1)
GeogProf
29 December 2012
For some reason, when I Command-click a FLAC file, Decibel is not listed as one of the apps it can be played with in the “Open With” menu. MP3s and AACs do list Decibel in the "Open With" menu, but not FLACs.
Like (1)
Version 1.2.11
Jazzyguy
26 December 2012
The BEST Music Player on OSX! The Developer is very responsive and caring about his users. The forum is also very helpful!
Like (4)
Version 1.2.11