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Jun 14, 2016
Recommended Audio Players
What Audio Players do you use and recommend for others? I would love suggestions for Mac, PC, and phones (when available). Looking forward to finding some new ones to try out!
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I use Foobar2000 for windows and USB Audio Player Pro (UAPP) for Android (much better audio quality than PowerAmp). Really like how both function and sound.
I use Neutron Pro on Android love it,
Foobar 2000 on all my Windows systems and jRiver only on my WIN 7 system, I'm not a big fan of jRivers lay out... but it has a very powerful native DSP suite built in that I use from time to time
I really enjoy Musicbee on Windows (and Linux/Mac too if I'm not mistaken) which has very good sorting options, very advanced customization (pretty much anything can be changed up to how you want it).
There's also custom themes, which you can also change to your liking. Finally, Musicbee also has a third party remote app on Android to control your offline music through the local network, which is a neat feature that I didn't expect.
It also supports videos through any external video player you'd like. If there was one downside, I'd say that it can be overwhelmingly advanced in customization, you'll want to look up how to change some stuff because there's tons of menus.
Even though there's so many menus the program manages to stay uncluttered, and like I said before, you can make the main user interface as clean and simple as you'd like.
For Android I use Blackplayer EX, it's by far the best music player I've ever used on a mobile device. It far surpasses Google Play Music in terms of pretty much everything, from the extreme customization for the user interface to library management.
I can find zero complaints, apart from one little thing, I had an album in flac format with an average bitrate of over 5000kbps, and the player couldn't play it. It wasn't the end of the world though, and besides, this is probably an Android related issue or an issue with my specific device, not the app.
BlackPlayer EX: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.kodarkooperativet.blackplayerex&hl=en
Been using a Fiio X5iii to use out and about. Excellent sonics for on the go and pairs well with the EDC. IDSD Black Label and media monkey on my laptops.
Massdrop gotta get on some IDSD stuff. BL is truely kick ass.
My portable player is a Fiio X3 Gen2. Very good player with a nice amp that can power my HD650s with ease. I mainly use my Mee Pinnacle P1 IEMs for travel.
For home I use an Intel Nuc running Ubuntu Studio with a Schiit Joutnheim plugged in via USB. Very happy with this setup. My HD650s are my main home cans, but I also use my Fostex TH-X00 for Motown and hip hop. The Schiit has endless power, even for the most demanding headphones, and the USB DAC is superb.
For my office I use an Oppo HA-2 SE plugged into a windows 10 laptop. The oppo is very nice, but a little under powered for demanding high ohm cans (over 300 ohm), so I paired the oppo with a Nobsound Ns-01e. The nobsound is a pretty amazing little (I mean tiny!) amp for $50 on Amazon when paired with a good DAC. It is extremely powerful, and adds some tube warmth which I enjoy on my AKG 7xx and SuperLux HD668B.
will return later to read all these recommendations.
JRiver FTW. Library management, SQ, network server, remote apps. Unsurpassed on Mac or PC.
Does anyone use Media Monkey on PC and Android? I'm trying it now. Kind of a learning curve on PC. The native player in Android handles FLAC files. I haven't tried other lossless files yet. Using Note5.
Foobar2000 is my personal favorite player for Windows. Very easy to use and tons of 3rd party plugins.
Foobar2000 for PC, Audirvana for Mac, PowerAmp for Android
What ever player you guys choose I highly recommend downloading asio4all it is better than wasapi.
I use JRiver with asio4all.
Bit perfect is all I care about... I've never noticed a difference between WASAPI and ASIO other than getting a few annoying pops with ASIO. ASIO was developed a very long time ago when Windows couldn't even handle 24 bit depths and still used the KMixer as its primary audio processor. WASAPI was created after ASIO and after they killed the KMixer (Vista IIRC). Exclusive mode simply prevents other programs on your computer from utilizing the sound mixer while using your player of choice.
On Mac, I think VOX would be a great choice.
Their loop feature does not have a playlist, but if a single use as a player instead of orgnizer, VOX is a choice.
Thanks in part to this thread I've been testing out additional players for the home PC. I've taken a liking to JRivers Media Center, its interface is intuitive and I love the flexibility of the built in parametric EQ. I started with the free version of Jukebox and the free trial of Media Center has hooked me to the point at which I don't think I can go back to my beloved Winamp. It took 2.6 days to process my external drive but that's about my only complaint thus far.
I use Decibel on Mac. Very easy and simple but high audio quality oriented. I love it.
I use Foobar on my PC and also experimented with Music Bee, On my Android phone/tablet, I've tried every thing I've found in the Play store, and I settled in on Poweramp.
I'm a whore for Foobar on windows. I've got a pretty heavily customized interface that works damn well for me. It plays everything I throw at it - not that anything has issues with flac these days - so that's nice, and it's lightweight and portable.
On my phones, I mostly use the plex.tv client so I can just stream my library to myself. I'd love to have a full copy of my library on my phone, but even transcoded to MP3, it's several hundred gigs, so that's generally tough, especially considering how rare SD slots are these days. For local media, on android I've been using Foobar lately, though I used to use poweramp. On windows phone I use the stock player.
I also still have an ipod classic - it's a gen 7 slim 160gb body with a gen 6.5 face and mobo, with an SD conversion, currently using a 256gb card. I don't use it all that much now, since I finally put a stereo with bluetooth into my car, but it used to be my go-to for driving.
Left Foobar after I first tried Jriver media center. Tried using Lilith in past but didn't succeed. For phone/tab I love Neutron player. Yes Jriver's importing media functionality is very annoying. It took it 4 hours to import 6500 songs from my HDD and that was just one partition. So I am supposed to wait another 4 hours if I want to listen to my other partition?
For PC try these:
JRiver Media (Sworn by many Audiophiles)
Foobar (Sworn by many Audiophiles too)
Lilith (Japanese Player)
AIMP (Very good at least for Android Phones)
I tried all these so called "Recommended" players and I still didn't like them. They were missing something making me feel empty. JRiver Media, many audiophiles swear by JRiver and well it is not free but supports WASAPI. My honest opinion of JRiver is that the UI is ugly as hell and looks closely identical to Windows Media Player but has the play/pause/ffwd/rwd etc.. buttons up in the upper left instead. I didn't like it even though many others did say "oh yeah once you get used to the interface you'll like it" welp I didn't like it. It reminded me of a slightly more refined version of WMP. I also didn't like it that if you left JRiver open it would take over your sound pretty much and when you tried to play audio with another player it would not work.
Foobar is simple, if you want more you add more plugins and do more modifying to make it look better or configure to your use or whatever. I was too lazy to watch the setup tutorial which I never made it through (maybe I will try later when I have some time). See tutorial here:
Lilith, it's a Japanese music player. You will have to search Google to find the English version of the player. While it is nice it only plays audio. It reminds me of Winamp with the design but I do like that it actively shows me the type of audio it is i.e. VBR vs CBR and the Hz and bitrate of the audio file being played. It supports ASIO and WASAPI.
AIMP, another clean player. Very nice that you can choose the folders you want to be added to the AIMP library and choose which single files you want to be added. The one thing I hated about the JRiver Media is that it tried to search all my drives and tried to import all my music and videos. Thanks, JRiver, but I know where all my media are located at, while some consider this a convenience I consider it a nuisance. This is one strength of the AIMP player and it gets even better on Android Phones. You can select which folders you want your music played from MicroSD card and it will only pull music from those folders. Even better is that there is a function better than shuffle as IMO the shuffle feature on many players are very badly implemented with whatever algorithm they wrote for it to select a random song. You can select all the folders you want music to be played from then hit the shuffle button and it will shuffle all your tracks into a list and play that list all the way down. This is very handy when you don't have time to make a proper playlist. My co-worker asked me what kind of mix I had and I told him I just hit the random button to make me a playlist. Most shuffle buttons are very bad at actually shuffling, I found the shuffle and make a playlist in the AIMP player its greatest strength. My songs were shuffled and mixed very well and just not a random shuffle button which sounded like all the music were randomly selected.
But out of all these players, I still choose my favorite player which is not on this list. I use PotPlayer because it looks like a music player when I play music and it looks like a video player when I play videos and it also supports WASAPI. It's much more versatile in playing multipe media formats versus a "music only" player. Other players I didn't mention which were some audiophile favorite was MediaMonkey and MusicBee. I wasn't a fan of it as it just looked like another WMP clone.
Over the years I have used many music/video players but I have settled with PotPlayer because I like it's clean compact interface and design with the inclusion of being able to make the player transparent via slider to see stuff processing in the background.
Other video/audio players I have used over the years:
Xing MPEG Player (defunct, acquired my RealNetworks)
MusicMatch Juke Box (defunct now, looked similar to WinAmp but managed audio library slightly better, was awesome ripping my music CD's to MP3 with it back in the day)
Winamp (lots of skins and very super old skool, loved shoutcast back in the day)
RealPlayer (always had way too many ads)
Itunes (thanks but no thanks, the software always ran slow on Windows, I'm sure it's better now)
VLC (not really for playing music)
Windows Media Player (default Windows player, meh nothing special)
Media Player Classic (always had plugin issues when you installed too many codec packs)
Zune (for my Zune HD player, now defunct)
My top choices:
PC - PotPlayer because it's versatile and reminds me of a much better WinAmp without all the skins
Android Phone - AIMP because of the superior shuffle mix feature and add a single file or select certain folders
Windows Phone - Groove default player because all the ones in the store cost money or suck
Mac - I don't own a Mac
iOS - I don't own an Apple Phone
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