Decibel
Decibel
1.3.5

4.3

Decibel free download for Mac

Decibel1.3.5

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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How would you rate Decibel app?

27 Reviews of Decibel

Robotank
15 February 2012
Version: 1.2.6

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 ).
(9)
2.5
Sissy_Princess
24 January 2018
Version: 1.3.3
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.
(1)
Show comment (1)
Tekl
26 March 2017
Version: 1.3.3
I wonder, if this project is dead? Does it work well with Sierra?
(0)
Big Johnson
13 July 2015
Version: 1.3.2
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.




(0)
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Jazzyguy
12 January 2015
Version: 1.3.2
I'd like to get this update but the app store is behind as usual.
(0)
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Jazzyguy
12 January 2015
Version: 1.3.2
I'd like to get this update but the app store is behind as usual.
(0)
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3.5
chawya22
18 February 2014
Version: 1.2.11
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.
(2)
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hwgray
22 November 2013
Version: 1.2.11
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.
(0)
Jadco
29 March 2013
Version: 1.2.11
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.
(1)
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GeogProf
29 December 2012
Version: 1.2.11
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.
(1)
5
Jazzyguy
26 December 2012
Version: 1.2.11
The BEST Music Player on OSX! The Developer is very responsive and caring about his users. The forum is also very helpful!
(4)
wickedsp1d3r
02 May 2012
Version: 1.2.8
I have about 4000 songs in my current playlist. The application always freezes when quitting and I have to force quit it. Very frustrating!
(0)
Robotank
15 February 2012
Version: 1.2.6
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 ).
(9)
Show comment (1)
4.5
muirtone
14 February 2012
Version: 1.2.6
I am currently listening to Decibel, and find it does enhances the music in the way others have said. I too would like to have equalization, the Fletcher-Munson curves would be nice. Has anyone compared it to Bitperfect, and Pure Music? Does it support Direct DSD streaming without PCM conversion on supported DACs? Is there device integer support, or is the way things are set up on the Mac not allowing this? I use a NuForce D/A convertor, Beyer DT770, Senn HD600, and Genelec 8030A Nearfield Monitor Speaker, and I hear a difference.
(0)
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Echorob
26 December 2011
Version: 1.2.5
Audio players do not differ in sound quality unless something is seriously wrong, in which case it will certainly not be “sonically better”.
(1)
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Penguirl
06 December 2011
Version: 1.2.5
Seems odd to use Taylor Swift for the screenshot of an audiophile oriented app when she has no talent at all other than a good engineer.
(2)
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El-Duderino
06 December 2011
Version: 1.2.5
Can't speak on Decibel yet but does anyone, who knows at least a bit about audio, think that these kinds of iTunes alternative programs are basically snake oil, i.e. they just EQ and compress & louden the signal which obviously makes it seem better to the layperson. I'd be interested to hear from anyone that thinks the same as me on this, thanks.
(1)
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Echorob
01 September 2011
Version: 1.2.4
Using this player and my $800 Audiophile ethernet cables the sound is incredible.
(1)
Show comments (3)
5
Jazzyguy
19 August 2011
Version: 1.2.4
This is the BEST performing Music Playing App that I encountered.I have tried them all,Cog,Play ,Songbird ,Taplay even Foobar(which is pretty good but has to be configured with X11) but this is special.I bought it sight unseen without trying it because of the Developer's reputation. It turned out to be a good decision.
(4)
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4.5
emce
09 August 2011
Version: 1.2.4
Pricey and lacking some features I'd love to see (library management and internet radio are the big ones), however, it plays my preferred formats and gets me out of the iTunes bloat and store front. Overall the best iTunes alternative I've found thus far. Thanks!
(1)
4
Barrettisgold
07 July 2011
Version: 1.2.4
I was looking for a simple good quality audio player to make playlists, without the bloated features that iTunes and Songbird offer. I also wanted FLAC support. Really pleased with it and SBooth seems on top of the development, ironing out bugs. Keep up the good work.
(3)
Arjuna
21 May 2011
Version: 1.2.2
Still crashes upon start up, as v. 1.2 :(
(1)
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anonymous-mollusk-5346
15 May 2011
Version: 1.1
At the risk of being flamed by Echorob, I wanted to post my preliminary opinion of the difference in audio output quality between iTunes 10.2.2 & Decibel 1.1. System: Mac Pro 2010, OS X 10.6.7, optical cable to upgraded Beresford DAC, Alessandro MS1 headphones. SecureRipped ALAC audio files. Decibel: Obtain Exclusive Access; Load Files In Memory; Adjust Sample Rate for Best Quality. Whilst the difference is not always apparent, I've certainly noticed that the bass produced when playing through Decibel appears tauter and perhaps a little deeper - certainly better controlled. Most noticeable so far with Johnny Cash's "A Satisfied Mind," where he sounds distinctly more gravelly through Decibel; with the cello in Thomas Newman's "Shawshank Prison (Stoic Theme)" and also with the grinding bass guitar in Blue States' "Season Song" from the 28 Days Later OST. Also, there seems to be more clarity and decay to high trebles, such as in "Urami Iibushi" from Kill Bill 2 OST. Finally, the timing when played through Decibel seems superior also - Johnny Cash seems to hold his rhythm far better than in iTunes. At the moment, the difference isn't sufficient to make me pony up for Decibel (using the trial just now) , and there does seem to be ways in which iTunes remains superior - some detail comes through in the latter when it doesn't seem to in Decibel. But perhaps my setup isn't sufficient to properly resolve the differences. One thing's for certain - Decibel shouldn't be ignored by experimenting with improving their audio output on the Mac.
(5)
4.5
Docmark
25 April 2011
Version: 1.1
I've been using Decibel for the past while, along with an external DAC, either the DACport from CEntrance or the DAC 202 from Weiss. Decibel is a great program, and very definitely does make a difference to sound quality. Echorob's sweeping statements are ridiculous - I suspect he hasn't tried Decibel or any other newer apps. Many things make a difference to the quality of the music, including interconnects and power cables, and in this case, Decibel. If Echorob can't hear this, he should get a better system or have his ears cleaned.
(4)
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Blacksmith-tb
24 April 2011
Version: 1.1
As the screenshot shows, audiophiles are always listening to Taylor Swift...
(2)
5
Lyr
18 April 2011
Version: 1.0.2
I am very new in the macworld and tested several musicprogs to replace foobar what i loved in the Windowsworld. I also tested VOX and was very happy about the customisabilities there, but i have to say, no one can beat the Soundquality of Decibel. Maybe iam not that professional in adjusting and hearing good quality like you (iam a normal user), but the audible experience in Decibel was very convincing for me. That much convincing that i have not much problems to pay the money for the prog (and iam a student) and accept some missing feature like last.fm-support (Hope it will be added in future). great prog!
(3)
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5
Ozron
10 April 2011
Version: 1.0.2
I've compared this to all the free and paid alternatives. That includes Amarra, audirvana, Clementine, Play, Fidelia and Pure Music. Some of these are very much more expensive, so $33 is very reasonable indeed. The sound quality through my high quality system (top of the line Audio-GD DAC & amp units and BeyerDynamic DT880) is noticeably or significantly better than the alternatives. Where it beats most of the alternatives however is that it is rock stable, unlike any flavour of Amarra. It does what I need it to do - play music from my Mac that sounds musical, detailed, non-fatiguing, and without crashing. Yes it's a relatively basic GUI, but it's functional, and it's the results which matter. It lets me enjoy the music, in whatever format it might be in, more than any other player I've compared it to. At the end of the day, that's what it's about. And the cost is nothing compared to the cost of my Mac, hi-fi gear, and high quality music collection.
(3)
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Echorob
07 April 2011
Version: 1.0.2
$33 For this? you got to be joking. One must be silly to spend this much on this app when their are free better alternatives. This has to be a joke. $33?
(1)
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