HQPlayer - Can it improve the audio performance of my system?

I have tried many digital hardware solutions from the very inexpensive, to the expensive, as well as pretty much all the popular software solutions both free and paid.

HQPlayer embeded is the gold standard imo. I will not even consider a server unless HQPlayer embedded can be installed. Installing the embedded version is not something for the faint of heart, and Jussy does not provide support for non-professionals installing it outside of comments on forums.

HQPlayer plays extremely well with Roon. Everything Roon does with music (up sampling, volume, etc) HQPlayer does better. Having the choice of filters and dithering methods allows you to really fine tune the sound of your system and allows you to use a filter that plays the best with the reconstruction filter on your DAC. Assuming your PC is very low noise, the HQPlayer volume control is about as good as a digital volume can be, and will be better than most preamps until you get into expensive gear.

Treat the cost as being the cost of a component.
I strongly recommend going all in, and using a dedicated media server with HQPlayer embedded rather than a general duty PC. There are a few commercial offerings, the Sonictransporter is an excellent choice, If you know your way around Linux, you can install the embedded version.


There’s an even simpler option for Embedded.

HQP OS. Burn the image to USB stick and it runs off that. Or you can burn the image to SSD drive.

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I think you’ve missed my point. That is, what’s benefit is there in doing these things with HQP is the DAC resamples everything?

Few DACs do that. Usually if you feed a DAC that internally upsamples to 352.8/384k at those rates, it bypasses the upsampling part.

From upsampling point of view, point of HQPlayer is to squeeze best possible performance out of DAC by using the DAC with most optimal input format.

Bit-perfect DACs are the best choice for HQPlayer, such as Holo Audio or T+A through it’s DSD section. Or DACs based in TI/BB DAC chips are always bit-perfect using DSD. Also many AKM chip based DACs support DSD Direct mode of the DAC chip.

DACs that use some DAC chip and don’t have a separate DSP in front (most DACs on the market), we know how the chip in question behave and can choose best strategy for it. ESS chips bypass internal upsampling when input is 705.6k or higher, DSD streams are remodulated without rate conversions.

DACs that use some custom DSP in front, we can choose the strategy. For example Chord DACs bypass WTA1 when running at 705.6k or higher, but should not be fed with DSD.

Many people choose DAC based on what is best match for use with external upsampling such as HQPlayer.

This is still not taking into account all the benefits you get from things like running digital RIAA correction for vinyl sources, digital room/speaker correction, digital headphone correction, headphone cross-feed, dynamic loudness, etc.

And of course in any case you need some kind of player for playing your digital content. HQPlayer works fine as a standalone player, or as DSP playback engine for Roon.


Again, I was giving the OP the heads-up, as the DAC wasn’t specified.

But not always.

Hopefully, the OP has enough information to make an informed choice.

In my view, understanding the current “differences” rather than adding complexity should be the first step.

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That is very small minority of the DAC market. Of course, in such cases one can replace the DAC for a better match.

I don’t know what differences you are talking about. Nothing such in the original posting. But the HQPlayer part is easy to understand through digital domain analysis and measurements from the DAC output. Even if the DAC is doing some resampling even for 352.8/384k inputs, unless it is somehow horribly mangled.

Aaviiks own app sounds better than roon…

But that has nothing to do with HQPlayer which is the topic here.

I don’t know what kind of DSP processing some Aaviiks (what is that?) is doing. But in any case it is not relevant here.

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It has everything to do with it. It’s the only reason the OP is considering HQP. IMO, helping the OP understand why there is a difference is more important since there should be no difference.

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Why there shouldn’t be? Do you know what kind of DSP there was going on in these cases?

Did you even measure there were no differences before making such statement? And what measurements did you perform?

But maybe not the reason why HQPlayer would sound different. So you cannot draw any conclusions regarding HQPlayer from some other comparison.

In any case, easy to test and costs nothing but time and effort to try.

No. That’s the point.

You should read the thread, since you appear to be barking up the wrong tree.

So you cannot either claim that there shouldn’t be any difference.

Or maybe you, because you are trying to conclude something from three unknown things that a third unrelated thing which is topic of this thread is somehow related.

So I feel that you are barking up the wrong tree.

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This isn’t going anywhere. I’m not claiming anything.

Ok gentleman, let’s cool it a little please.
No need to let things get heated here.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.


Hi all,

To help steer the topic back on track I’ve changed the topic’s title.

HQPlayer - it worth the money?

This was way too general and hence it would be difficult to reach any satisfactory conclusion, beside I believe the @Frank_Helenius2 is seeking specific advice about his system … not a general comment about the value of HQP (that after all is a very subject topic).

Thus I’ve amended to read…

HQPlayer - Can it improve the audio performance of my system?

I agree with @Martin_Webster it is important for the OP to understand what the differences are between using Roon and Aavik, this would give a base to help steer any future system changes.

@Frank_Helenius2, unfortunately your opening post did not contain enough information to get any specific advice, but you I see your have since supplied more details on your system, thank you for that.

I had a cursory read of Aavik Website but it was not clear to me which products you are using, I think it would help people here if you could provide full system details including how everything is connected.

Going back to the HQP question, I think @andybob offered some wise advice, in that you your trial HQP on your system. HQP is extremely powerful, you may love it, you may not. It also extremely complex and you should be prepared to invest time to get the best from it.