Have you listened to DVD-Audio much? What do you think about the sound?

Its future as a format may also be debatable, but does DVD-Audio have the sonic goods? Have you been able to spend much time with DVD-Audio? If so, what do you think about the way it sounds?

Have you listened to DVD-Audio much? What do you think about the sound?
It's wonderful
20% (44 votes)
Pretty good
12% (26 votes)
5% (11 votes)
What's the big deal?
8% (18 votes)
Don't care for it
7% (16 votes)
Have not listened enough to have an opinion
47% (104 votes)
Total votes: 219

Sam's picture

I am not going to invest it yet another audio format that is not supported by the record industry! There's not enough muusic selection!

Bag's picture

While the sound might be nice (could be great), I HATE when they move 2-channel recordings into the multichannel domoain. I will not stand for having, say, guitar moved to a rear channel (Elton John, GBYBR), or vocals moved around the channels for effect (Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody). BLEAH!

JR DiAndrea, Altoona, PA's picture

DVD-Audio can sound excellant and usually much better than any CD. However, there are many variables that go into making an exceptional audio disc—for both DVD-A and SACD. The way the original recording was done, the production values, etc, have as much if not more to do with the audio quality as the format itself.

David L.  Wyatt jr.'s picture

I liked it until my DVD-A player got stolen. it may seem strange, but i replaced it with a Sony DVP-9000ES SACD/DVD player. Of course it is a better player overall than the JVC I lost.

Brankin's picture

D.O.A. Duh! But don't let my biases stop you from buying - I don't care.

DAB, Pacific Palisades, CA's picture

All of the formats' manufacturers (CD, SACD, DVD-A, HDCD, and even LP) have the same objective in mind--to make the buck. After all, it's only a natural progression for a competitive economic system. The real question is whether enough suckers actually believe that any format approaches the sheer musicality of vinyl. Perfect sound forever, folks!

JW's picture

DVD-A sounds excellent, so does SACD, RBCD and DAD. The hardware platform is the big equalizer.

Jack Gribble, Wahington D.C.'s picture

I havn't heard dvd-a, but I'm going to give it a try, simply because I can. As I said last week, I'm trying the upsampling,jitter reducing Benchmark DAC1 soon, and I just bought my first dvd player(!) which happens to do dvd-a and the folks at benchmark say it might be fun to try my new dvd player as a transport for both cd's and dvd-a's, so why not? All I know is this: I've been shopping for a new amplifier, and the change in sound from amp to amp is much bigger than cd player to cd player these days. My cal icon II(ten years old!) with a good tube amp sounds better than an expensive modern cd player on a decent but inferior solid state amp. I've always been told the source is the most important component in the system, but I'm finding that once you have a decent source, the amplification is what makes the musical difference. And frankly, cd recordings of good performances of good music is so bad usually (as defined by me and my ears and tastes) that the whole upgrade thing I'm going through now is more than confusing, it's just downright frustating.

Erik Leideman's picture

My Esoteric plays both DVD-A and SACD. While DVD-A definitely sounds better than CD (even when an external DAC is used for CDs), it is not quite as natural sounding as SACD, at least not with the few DVD-As I have. But the major disappointment with DVD-A is that it requires a monitor to be connected (which I do not have in my audio system) so that one has to write down for each DVD-A how to navigate through the menus in order to start playing the music. Of course, the menu layout differs for most DVD-As. User friendly? Another gripe is that some DVD-As do not have a two-channel stereo track so that my player has to downmix the surround track to two-channel audio. Sorry, but DVD-A is vastly inferior to SACD.

Martin Fendt's picture

First, I think the question about "how it sounds" should be aimed at the source material, rather than the DVD-Audio format itself. In essence, by characterising the way DVD-A "sounds," one is tacitly implying that DVD-A imparts a sonic

John V.'s picture

Can't play the damn things in my two channel system since I'll never plug a dvd player into it. Have to buy a new dvd player to listen on my home theater system. No thanks. Definitely sitting this one out.

Norman L.  Bott's picture

I do not think I will care for this format because it requires you to access a screen menu. I prefer to have my video and audio systems separate. I have no interest in home theater etc.

Derek's picture

it can sound wonderful. but for the most part, i've been unimpressed. the format is cumbersome both in its often requirement for a monitor to set audio settings and also for its lack of uniformity from disc to disc in terms of sample rate, bit rate, etc. I've heard a few good discs (Swing Live, for example) but a lot that sound like total dreck.

Rene' Jaeger's picture

Great if you can get it. It all comes down to the care taken in recording and mastering - if the original recording isn't done well, the medium can't improve on it. Well recorded DVD-audio is still quite rare but it sure beats SACD.

Robin Banks's picture

DVD-Audio is okay, but I think SACD sounds better. Most of my SACD discs are proof of that! Ha! Seriously, I think that DVD-Audio is just a scheme to make money off of the success of DVD video. The whole process of DVD-Audio stunk from its inception. DVD-Audio really should be pulled from the shelves so that SACD can continue to grow at even faster pace. No one really wants to sit in front of their home theater systems to just listen to music. You can't listen to DVD-Audio discs in your walkman or car. With hybrid SACD's, you can! SACD—the future!

Esa Harma's picture

I've been listening to both DVD-A and SACD in my Denon 2900. All SACDs have been disappointments but DVD-As have been okay or wonderful.

Donald Nunez's picture

Nice sound - not always the best (compared with SACD & CD). Right now, SACD has the lead in sound quality.

John K's picture

only have 2 dvd-a so......

Mark D's picture


Frank Owens's picture

But not nearly as good a SACD

Paul Cordingley's picture

The digital dream format for the future has been with us for years. Slap a CD on the other side, call it dual-disc and everyone wins. No matter which way I look at it I just can't see a downside. I love my DVD-Audios.

C.  Healthgut, M.D., FACS's picture

It seems to me, in light of the recent "vote" questions, that even though Stereophile is in the business of assessing the gear that reproduces music, you are losing sight of the music, itself.

Dan Landen's picture

There are NO DVD-Audio discs released with music I like on it. So when I start seeing some, I'll think about it.

Chris S.'s picture

I haven't listened to it much at all, but I think it will go far simply because the unwashed masses are already comfortable with the DVD concept.

James Schrimpf's picture

I find the format's attempt at video inclusion so irritating that I won't buy DVD-As.

Brian G.B.'s picture

I own SACD and DVD-Audio players, and, the way I hear it, the key with both formats, is two-fold. It depends on how tight the recording is/was, and the Mastering is critical. The ES player is awesome, I own a JVC DVD-Audio player that is equally awesome. The big suprise was that the Benchmark DAC1 makes both players Red Book CDs sound almost equal to both new formats!

Bob K.'s picture

Surround sound is compelling once balanced properly. The extra channels open up recordings and reveal instruments in a way that is unattainable with 2 channels at any cost. I can't give up my high end 2 channel equipment because the software is not available in surround yet - not to mention that the cost would be astronomical. Still, the surround is fantastic. Loving it...

Chris's picture

Does not have a graphic interface to indicate whether I'm playing 2 channel or multi-channel, so I can't really tell. DVD-A sucks because of the need to have a monitor to access the titles and menu etc

Charles Woods's picture

it's wonderful of the recording is done right some that I wd recommend Fleetwood Mac romers the eagles:Hotel California

Fernando's picture

incredible detail and dynamic range!!!