How do you play your 24-bit FLAC files?

The 24-bit FLAC files we offer full members of Society of Sound are proving incredibly popular. They are close to being the most popular of the three formats we offer, which is both reassuring, and a little bit surprising. Reassuring because we feel that they offer the best sound quality possible, and we know that like us you care about sound quality. Surprising, because they are a little trickier to handle than the other options – for example, Apple Lossless, which you can just dump them into the massively popular iTunes and listen to them.

So we’d like to ask you a question? How do you play them? On your computer, streamed to your hi-fi, copied to DVD or some other way?


  • Keith Graham says:

    Winamp with Maiko WASAPI addon (WASABI is a method of by-passing the windows mixer and delivers the stream in a more pure form).
    Chord Company USB SilverPlus USB A-B Digital Interconnect ->into Musical Fidelity V-link192 ->
    Chord Company Prodac VEE 3 Digital Coaxial Interconnect ->into a 24bit mini DAC ->
    QED Reference Audio 40 -> into a vintage Quad 303 /34 combo ->
    Chord Company Rumour 2 Speaker Cable finally through a pair of Focal Aria 901’s.

    I have to say a 24/192 track sounds utterly wonderful, hard to believe it is digital – it almost rivals my Planar 3, and I don’t have to keep changing records.

  • Henk Beijsens says:

    Apple Lossless on iTunes, playing through my Zeppelin Air or my installation (Bowles and Wilkins CDM NT series) or multiple (house full of sound).

  • John says:

    I’ve downloaded the FLAC 5.1 version of Tubular Bells. My USB drive shows a stereo signal going into my receiver (Marantz 5008). How do I play the 5.1 files over my system? Thank you.

  • David Shaw says:

    I have a 3 month free trial, which allows me 2 albums this is great but how is it possible to hear a sample first?
    thanks for help-

  • Bowers & Wilkins says:

    Hi David,
    You can download all the available albums for three months, not just two. The best way is to download and see if you like it.

  • tom laperna says:

    i too, am wondering how to play downloaded 24/96 flac files.. i have downloaded a few, but cant get them to play. i download them on my windows 7 lap top then put them on an external hard drive. which i then plug into a seagate freeagent theater, which is plugged into my pioneer elite via hdme..i have downloaded movies and music that is encoded in dts and dts-es. the movies encoded in these formats sound spectacular. i had downloaded dark side of the moon, the one that is in dts,, it has phenominal sound.. however, the flac encoded music files i have downloaded, they only sound as good as a normal cd.. i am wondering how i can get the superb sound of 24/96 to play over my system.. my elite does have a usb port , though i keep getting the error, not supported when i plug into it.. any body got ideas for me.. should i transfer the files onto dvd and play through my blue ray player….. help,, thanks guys…

  • Matias Elena says:

    24bit 96 khz flac and DSD: played by Audirvana plus through airplay or USB to zeppelin air.
    24bit 96 khz ALAC via Itunes airplay to my zeppelin air.
    I have only one problem (and also a question). I have a macbook air. It doesn’t has an optical out. I use the USB port, but the MIDI program recognize the zeppelin air a 16bits 46 kHz. The airplay out don’t say anything (nobody can confirm if the internal DAC receive and play 24-96 or its downsample to 16-44). Sometimes i take the old macbook of my wife and connect the zeppelin by the optical port (the best sound by far).
    The zeppelin air is a great product.

  • Johnson says:

    Hi, how do I play 24/96 bit files on my Zeppelin Air connected via USB to my Mac? In the audio midi settings the Zeppelin bit rate is fixed at 16 and I can only choose between 44.1 and 48 sample rate. Audirvana shows the Zeppelin DAC maxing out at 16/48 too. Quite disappointed as it was advertised to do 24/96.

  • michael says:

    I would like to play a mix bounced to 192 khz 24 bit without passing it thrue dither and downhrade to 44.1
    Can I do it with flac or do y I u have another suggestion

  • Bill Barner says:

    Just got a Ponoplayer. The 24-bit FLAC files sound good with the Pono and my Grado RS1 headphones and RA1 headphone amp.

  • duane says:

    I play hi res downloads through a computer using jriver media center19. All downloads from all other sources sound fantastic but….since joining SOS I cannot play downloads from SOS. Could it be because the files have .zip as a suffix? None of my other hi res downloads have this suffix. Please help.
    Thank you.

  • Liz says:

    Hi Duane

    Can I just confirm which software you’re using to unzip your files? The software should unzip the files into .flac files.

    Kind regards


  • Martin says:

    I have the FLAC files stored on a home server. They are provided to the home network by Universal Media Server. As “media renderer” I directly use a Yamaha RX-A2040 that is hooked up to 5 wonderful B&W CM S2s (5.0 surround setup).
    This configuration plays most of the FLAC24 files nicely, but some files (that can be decoded by VLC) result in error messages on the receiver.

  • Bill says:

    On a PC you can play 24bit files using WinAmp or Foobar2000 but I think you will probably hear it converted to 16bits unless you have a posh soundcard. Don’t bother with the MS offerings!
    My main system comprises a NAIM UnitiLite going in to a pair of Kef R700s and boy does it sound good. 24bit files lose that congested sound that you get with the 16bit version and gain a beautiful delicacy of sound. You can easily pick out different instruments in the orchestra, it is worth the effort especially for classical fans.
    I bought the UnitLite version with a built in FM tuner which is very good, especially on Radio 3!

  • Bill says:

    duanne you have to unzip them and play the FLACs or am I missing something her?

  • Federico says:

    FLAC files are natively supported in Windows 10, also in 10 Mobile..

  • Ethan Burmeistet says:

    Mac to Yamaha RX A2040- how do I connect and play a 24/96 track?

  • Robert Fauchon says:

    I play my Flac files through winamp and interconnect my CP’s sound card to my Older Stereo system. A rotel pre-amp and rotel 60w/ch power amp. My speakers are B&W DM220. 24bit 192k sounds great this way, but I feel the sound card D2A isn’t giving me the best. I’m researching an outboard DAC to connect USB2. Another thing is I wonder how the FLAC files have been made? Are they uploaded via a CD or Vynil? How can you tell?

  • David says:

    Been using Logitech Squeezebox Touch for years now. Handles 24-bit FLAC with no problems. Playing through Icon Audio amp into my old Yamaha NS1000M speakers. Sounds awesome. My other system is a Squeezbox going into a Naim setup and B&W speakers. Again sounds superb

  • Bob says:

    I play my FLAC files with VLC on my desktop and my mobile devices. I also have a head unit in my car that plays FLAC, but with an interesting glitch. All of the album covers for the world/pop selections show up fine on the media screen, but none of of the classical covers show up. Audio is fine, but I would like to get the covers. How do I fix this? (This is only an issue in my car – VW head unit.)

    I know SoS is moving to .aiff, but I still want to listen to my library of SoS FLAC albums.

    Any help appreciated.

  • Kennet Jonsson says:

    I copy FLAC files to a Asus tablet, play with Groove Music through the Bluetooth interface to an Netgear Bluetooth/DAC device to a Quad 33/303 with Carlsson OA-116 speakers. Simple and stable, I sit in the sofa and select from FLAC/Spotify music, google artists and get more input to look for new music.

    Playback quality is so great that the main issue now is recording/mastering issues. So thank you for providing well made recordings!

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