Monday, October 26, 2015

The award for best PC audio playback software of 2015 goes to.....

Many readers will know that previously I have spoken highly of players such as CMP and MQN.

Both are excellent players.

But my new favorite player is Small player

I previously thought that MQN was the best sounding player because it is dynamic but still smooth and lacking in harshness. But now that I have heard Small player I have had to re-evaluate. What I like about Small player is that it has an extremely grain-free sound which gives a perception of greater depth and detail to the music. Edges of notes are very defined. Attack is crisp. The overall sound is nimble, and layered. The high frequencies are incredibly crisp and clean. In comparison MQN sounds slow and plodding. (Note; in all fairness there are about 50 different ways you can configure MQN and my comments relate to the version I am running)

Small player is programmed in Assembly which is one form of code above machine code.
Assembly takes longer to program but is very efficient. Software programmed in C (for example) has more lines of code and is not as efficient. Simply put, C gets converted into Assembly, and in the conversion process, lots of lines of Assembly code are created, making the software bloated.

I suspect one of the reasons Small player sounds so good is its efficient use of code.

Unbelievably this software has been around since 2005 and appears to have received very little recognition among the computer audiophile crowd. I hope this now changes!

Thanks to Igor Jerosimić for writing such a wonderful audio player!

I have been running Small player on Windows Server 2012 with Fidelizer into a USB SPDIF converter and DAC. But it also sounds excellent on my laptop without any Fidelizing.

Small player wins my award for Audio playback software of 2015.


  1. OMG. Thanks so much for this. I've always used Jriver, just because the interface is so user friendly really. Changing to this sounds like i've changed the DAC or something. The soundstage, although narrower, is far more focused, and the music is far more rhythmic. I'm amazed software can make such a difference.