What is HQPlayer and why might I want it?

I keep seeing mention of HQP / HQPlayer in other threads, then I found this dedicated discussion. I’ve an inkling it might be something to do with upscaling but there I’m already using words I don’t understand! Would be grateful for an idiot’s summary, and any thoughts more generally on why I’d want to try this out in my system.

Upsampling is one feature a lot of people like but I use it for even more.

For me headphones setup my DAC (RME ADI-2 AKM edition) allows conversion of DSD directly to analogue, so I use HQPlayer to do ALL the DSP before the DAC. The DAC’s internal DSP gets bypassed entirely. Holo Audio and T+A DAC owners do similar. HQPlayer also manages the headphones EQ for my various headphones.

For my speakers setup, in addition to upsampling, HQPlayer handles the DSP crossover for my active speakers and room correction DSP also.

And all the above is done not just with Roon as the source but also Apple Music Hi-Res lossless, Soundcloud, Spotify, Deezer.

It’s powerful stuff !

Some people like @Chunhao_Lee even pass Dolby Atmos from Apple Music (or whatever multichannel source) through HQPlayer! And do personalised head-related transfer function (HRTF) advanced headphones EQ.

Some of the things mentioned above can’t be done by Roon alone.


How do you configure HQPlayer for Apple Music? Thanks


I never understood how upsampling helps the sound. Aren’t you always constrained y the amount of information in the original bit rate?

Yes, but how accurately you can turn that information back into analog waveform is the key. Since the sampled data itself is very coarse presentation that needs to be mapped on a sinc function in order to reconstruct the analog waveform. Some of the involved functions have infinite bounds both in time and amplitude, which of course is a bit of a challenge in real physical world.

This becomes more complex, since time and frequency have 1/x relationship. And PCM (unlike DSD) is strictly band-limited system. Problem there arises from the fact that regular PCM rates require band-limiting the source signal.

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Hi. I also have ADI 2 DAC and Roon with HQPlayer but with headphones I use audirvana and VST plugins. What are your HQPlayer filter settings with headphones to make them sound better?