ESOTERIC HR Audio Player release vs Amarra?

Esoteric has introduced their own Music Playback Software application for owners of a select few DAC models including K-01/03's. As a long time user of Amarra and thrilled with the recent release of Amarra 3.0, I was eager to try this new application with my K-03 to compare. Not to mention I could now delve into native DSD playback without spending a penny.

Unfortunately, I found it does not support my Mac Mini (Snow Leopard 10.6.8). I would love to hear from anyone who has Amarra and an Esoteric unit supported by their new application for comparative sake. A statement from their website below with link.

"Windows/Mac application for 5.6MHz DSD and 384kHz PCM audio file playback.
Available for download, free of charge.
ESOTERIC HR Audio Player, which is available for both Windows and Mac operating systems, is a high-quality audio playback application that can handle high-resolution audio files. You will be able to enjoy the playback of high-resolution audio files, including DSD, at high audio quality without a complicated setup by using this application in combination with a Grandioso D1 or another Esoteric D/A converter with USB that supports such files."


I think you'll find that you can't get native DSD playback on your K-03 over USB.

There's a new model K-03X which will have a new USB interface that supports DSD over USB. I believe you will be able to send the K-03 to be upgraded to enable this new feature.

The software itself is pretty simple. It is I believe the same application as the TEAC HR Player that I could use on my Teac UD-501 since Teac and Esoteric as in the same family of companies.

It won't work in iTunes integration mode so it is "playlist" mode only - in Amarra terms.

You might be better off using JRiver for DSD playback or getting Audirvana Plus/Pure Music if you want to continue using iTunes and the free Remote app and play DSD files.

As for the OS, you can now download Mavericks for free. It also supports Integer and Direct modes like 10.6.8 so it may be worth upgrading your OS for.
Yeah after reading blogs on other sites it looks like Esoteric will be offering upgrades later this year to Kx for the K-01/03's to allow for native DSD playback, if I interpreted that correctly. Experimented with more current iMac I have and updated to Maverick OS. Seems it worked without issue so I will be doing the same with my Mac Mini Music Server. From what I have gathered @ Computer audiophile forum, upgrading my OS to Maverick won't provide any SQ benefits using Amarra, but; always enjoy conducting A/B comparisons, especially when it is FC. I admittedly have not tried Audirvana Plus, Pure Music or JRiver primarily because it seems the consensus is that Amarra is the best comprehensive sounding music playback software available.....though buggy compared to the former mentioned. Knock on wood, I have not experienced the same.

Thanks for the heads up.

I did recently upgrade to Amarra 3 though I haven't had a chance to listen extensively through it. What I did like about Amarra 3 was they now have a wizard to optimise Mac OS automatically which will help all the other music apps as well :)

Pure Music was my go to for a long time but they seemed to be doing nothing but patching the system to work with new versions of iTunes/Mac OS. The recent "upgrade to 2.0" which I paid for was nothing more than a bug fix - which doesn't yet address all the issues in 1.89.

Audirvana Plus has been my fave of the 3. It was the cheapest of the lot but ironically sounded the best. I like that Damien is very very responsive about bug fixes. He's going to release v2.0 which will have its own library management software and iOS remote which should be interesting.

I have been making a slight migration from iTunes to JRiver - by getting JRiver to auto import my library from iTunes. What I like about JRiver is its ability to upsample everything PCM etc to DSD2x which so far sounds best to me with the two DACs I tried - Playback Designs MPS-5 and Teac UD-501
I would respectfully disagree that Amarra is a consensus favorite. That is not saying it is bad in anyway but I think the overall opinion is much more diverse as to favorites. I do admit I have only demoed it twice and compared it to versions of Pure Music and Audivrana. My personal preference was Audivrana but more recently I am a JRiver For Mac user.