Should I convert my SACD ISOs to FLAC, DFF, or DSF?

I have a bunch of SACDs in ISO format. I began ripping them to FLAC to use in Kodi. Now that I am using Roon, I am wondering if I should start using DSF or DFF instead? Recommendations?

24-bits FLAC PCM at 88.2 or 176.4kHz for maximum compatibility, and for when people can’t remember what the acronyms “SACD”, “DSF” or “DFF” ever stood for.


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If you have the ability to process DSF natively and space is no issue then it is worth converting them to that. Otherwise FLAC is your next best bet.

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I convert mine to DSF using ISO2DSF converter, and also to a 16bit 44Khz Flac version, for compatibility, ie for “general use” with other devices and phones and such. I still keep the ISO’s for good measure :slight_smile:

I use for the ISO to DSF conversion, which works really well.

& use foobar for converting to Flac, there are loads of options you can configure to downsample, etc.

As Henry intimates, if you have enough room, no problem to have multiple formats.

Hope this helps.


DSF. I would never convert SACD to flac. That’s a large loss of resolution. Roon (and other modern media players) will downconvert your SACD/DSF files down to lower resolutions for compatibility as needed on the fly.


Hate to be a wise arse, but you are mixing up concepts and confusing the OP.
What format a file is in have absolutely nothing to do with resolution, which means a specific FLAC file can hold way more information than, say, a DSD64 file in .DSF

And Roon does not downsample for compatibility reasons unless your endpoint cannot handle the stream you wish to play to it.

Concerning the original posters question i agree with @Sallah_48, use ISO2DSD from Sonore. Free, stable and reasonably fast. Remember to “decompress” and save as .dsf to allow metadata and portability.
For the PCM copies i bought DSDMaster for Mac, it adjusts gain in an intelligent way which makes the PCM counterparts appear similar in terms of volume.
Doesnt cost a lot, and works fine in batch conversions.


Another vote for DSF. I’ve found that this (MacOS) software is really good for converting SACD iso’s to pretty much all popular formats:

Way more versatile and polished than ISO2DSD, IMO.

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What you’re saying is certainly true in a technical sense, my understanding is that people use flac to store audio data in common PCM resolutions, which can be read by most DAC’s.

DSD64 has 64x the 44.1 data rate of Redbook audio. I would not convert my DSD64 data to Redbook or even 24/192 flac for any reason. My system streams to all of my music (differing formats and bitrates) to all of my devices with automatic upconversion to DSD256 for the main zone and automatic downconversion as needed for my phone and other devices.

Other peoples system and needs vary of course, but my answer to the OP’s question is DSF, never flac, for SACD ISOs.


When convert DSD64 to PCM, this process is lossy resulted in loss of resolution. On top of that, ultrasonic noise will rise above 20kHz in PCM. In order to prevent this a sharp digital filter must be placed to attenuate noise around 30kHz bandwidth. This type of conversion is best to avoid at all cost unless you don’t have a DSD capable DAC.

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If you’re a Roon user, there may be no need for any “hard” PCM conversion. Just let Roon convert to PCM on the fly.

(I confess to doing an additional AAC version for playback from my iDevices. Once you have DSF files, XLD does a creditable job with the AAC conversion.)

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Thanks everyone. I am going to give DSF a try.

Appreciate your comment Keith, this made a lot more sense (to me)! And also put your previous post into another light. :slight_smile:
And that real time transcoding that Roon performs so well, is one of the best features with Roon.


Belated heh heh, Adam. My sentiments too.

I had some SACDs (40 +) converted to DSF. The owner of Golden Era Digital recommended the DSF conversion. He does flac too, but recommended the DSF conversion. Files came out great.

One of the reasons that made me move to Roon from discs players was the ability to output DSD files to a DAC. My SACDs were a large part of my listening but once I found out how to rip them and then play them with Roon I was happy to leave docs behind.

What hope have I of getting dsd or close to same quality versions of the rollling stones albums to play via Roon? Any idea? Or is Qobuz hi res streaming my best bet?

If you want DSD specifically, then you have to purchase or download the albums in DSD and you can convert them to DSF if you want to embed metadata into the files . There are plenty of free programs that will do the conversion from DSD to DSF. If you are fine with PCM then Qobuz streaming or downloading the album from HDtracks, Qobuz, HiResAudio or wherever you get your music from

Edit: I forgot to mention that you have to have a DSD capable DAC and depending on if your DAC can read native DSD or only DSD over PCM (DoP) you can set up Roon accordingly.

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Do you have web-links to the DSD conversion programs?

Which ones? There are some that do ISO DSD to DSF or DFF conversion and some that do the DFF to DSF conversion. Some of them have already been posted in this thread, like the Sonore ISO2DSD. Since I use Mac the dff2dsf app by 2manyrobots is good
XLD is another one for Mac that will take ISO DSD and convert it to DSF. I think dbpoweramp can do it too it has both an ISO decoder and a DSF encoder in it

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Seems all a big pita!