Amarra 3.0 vs. Audirvana

I have been happily using Audirvana to play my hi-res files on my MacBook Pro. The easy integration with your iTunes library is great. I tried earlier versions of Amarra and found the interface to be clunky and the program itself to be buggy and crash-prone. It's also expensive. But I'm wondering if any of you have used the two programs side by side and can vouch for relative merits in terms of sound quality.
I tried Amarra HiFi 2.5 and Audirvana Plus; eventually settled on Audirvana Plus for three reasons. 1. Audirvana Plus just sounded better to my ears, slightly higher resolution IMHO. However, I am not going to pretend the difference is night and day, it is not. 2. I prefer the Audirvana Plus interface, nice and simple to use, again IMHO. 3. What finally did it for me is the $50 version of Audirvana Plus will play virtually any HD computer file 24/96 and above; In 2012 Ammara required an expensive upgrade to do this (I believe this is no longer the case?). Bottom line, I am extremely happy to stick with Audirvana Plus.
There's only one version these days, and that includes everything. He also offers a 15-day free trial, after which you can unlock the full version by purchasing a key code.
Amarra 3.0 has improved sound wise, it has more resolution and depth BUT the stability issues persist which is a Con.

jumping in just to update this thread a tad from another perspective.

switching over to MAC and needing a more formidable media player than iTuynes, I’ve been using the trial versions of both Amara and audirvana as of March 2019. not sure of their actual version numbers though.

I’ve had significant issues with Amarra so far. Amarra support did in fact lend a hand with setup but there is still a configuration issue preventing Amarra from acting in a stand alone condition and playing Apple’s non supported file formats, FLAC,.

I’m sure this situation can be resolved.

there is one very important aspect to the installation and operation of the present Amarra app for those whose vision is restricted or severely impaired. it occurs at the activation screen where one must use a mouse to click the appropriate button to continue using the app. its an impossible item to over come with out sight or guidance from a sighted person.

it wil be necessary for anyone whose vision is so poor they can not navigate a mouse to contact amarra support and they will try to overcome this problem on a case by case basis. be paitient and things will work out.

on SQ alone, its hard to say completely but on those files which both apps do render, as said, it is likely too close to call which is best.

Audirvana Plus had no issues surrounding installaton or playback of any file types or sampling rates.

Audirvana interface is read by Apple’s screen reading facility readily. it is laid out well and easily navigable.

both apps have a significant learnign curve to get the most from them and that process is ongoing.

I’ve not taken into consideration the costs for each app yet. I am leaing towards whatever app can be used and configured easily given my circumstances that will yield better performance. period.

so far, just on points alone, Audirvana Plus is ahead in this two horse race..

the ‘jury’ is still out as a full version of VOX and the ROON Labs apps are yet to be auditioned.
I have been using A+ for quite awhile now and have been happy with it using a MacBook Pro.  I just downloaded the latest version, 3.5.x and it is hands down better than any of the previous versions I used in terms of sound quality.  I don't know how they did it but the music is clearer and more organic sounding.  It's like I upgraded my DAC.   Anyone else have this experience?

thanks for the heads up on a new ver being available. apparently setting the app to check for them weekly is not enough, or it was just a timing glitch.

I don't have extensive history with A+ and only migrated fromn 3.2 to this latest release, A+ 3.5.

In this update process one facet of operation did need to be added/downloaded following the install. size optimizer ?? it announced the need for it and handled its incorporation seamlessly.

a secondary installation process gets addressed as well with the install migrating its data out of the downloads folder and into the Apple Applications folder which Apple deems necessary to have this step done manually most all of the time. it was a relief to see Audirvana maker attend to this part of the setup as an option during the update.

I felt copying and pasting the orig key code to facilitate the update a needless step, but well, OK. it is what it is.

the existing A+ remote control mobile app automatically integrated itself to the new itteration via a six digit code, which once more was smooth and uneventful.

overall, it makes me wonder why the update process requires one to manually download the newer ver rather than have the app itself handle the whole of the process. perhaps this is an Apple thing.

I'm using a iMac 27in. 5K retina w/24GB RAM and i5 quadd core CPU running at 3.6GHz.

As for the credibility of any increase in sonic performance over the 3.2 ver, I gotta admit 3.5 does seem more incisive and transparent.

knowing a new itteration existed I ran thru a fav playlist using 3.2 first, then went thru the update process and repeated the playlist thereafter.

Vocal harmonies for example were made more individual and demonstrated greater separation with more space about them. Sonic cues gained more visibility and distinction.

the sound stage seem more expansive and as such appeared better arranged at least latterally..

this ‘new’ perspective on the music was delivered seemingly without regard to the file types. lossless and lossy files were presented simalarly, making one question which file type (lossy or lossless) was in play, as I don’t always discriminate when compiling a playlist, having various file types segregated from one another.

in the end, I’d say it provides noticeable improvements across the board sonically speaking. the update process itself however needs a bit more tweaking

do the update! SQ does get a boost.
@blindjim Thanks for confirming my initial impressions of the update.  I just have not had much time to listen since updating but am excited about the positive changes.  It's almost hard to believe since everything else is the same! 
Enter your text ...Yes, sonically improved though making it more intuitive to use especially if or when compiling playlists would be outstanding.

that, and a bit more info on how best to configure other settings for bit perfect playback .

lastly, aligning it to aid iTunes when playing files solely thru it alone.

so far I'm mystified on these finer points in A+ preferences/settings.

any pointers would be severely welcomed.