If you've come across a DSS file and don't know what it is or how to open it, this article can help you. Developed by Grunding, Philips, and Olympus, DSS is short for Digital Speech Standard. It's a proprietary compressed digital file format for storing voice audio in a highly compressed format.

Aside from storing compressed audio and voice recordings, DSS files are also associated with the configuration backup data created by DiskStation Manager.

Today, we will delve deeper into files with the .dss file extension, their technical specifications, and everything else you should know about this file format.

In this article
    1. Overview: DSS File
    2. Technical Aspects of DSS Files
    3. Advantages of DSS Files
    1. Best Tools for Opening DSS Files
    2. Steps to Open DSS Files
    1. Reasons to Convert DSS Files to Other Formats
    2. Steps to Convert DSS Files to Other Formats

What Is a DSS File?

Overview: DSS File

DSS is short for Digital Speech Standard and is a digital version of an audio file format presented by the International Voice Association. This file format saves and stores the voice audio data in a highly compressed file format.

Compared to standard WAV or MP3 files, a DSS file is up to 20 times smaller. Therefore, it is the perfect file format for transcription files, dictation, and audio voice data in a highly compressed format.

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Technical Aspects of DSS Files

Here's a quick overview of the technical aspects of DSS files:

File type Audio file
File formatDSS
File extension .dss
File size Small
Conversion optionsMP3, WAV, etc.
Supported data encryption 128/256-bit AES (DSS Pro or DS2)
File security Password-protected
Main useDigital dictation and speech recording

Advantages of DSS Files

Here's a summary of the advantages of using DSS:

  • High compression ratio – DSS is ideal for storing large volumes of audio data in small-sized files during long recording sessions.
  • File security and confidentiality – DSS allows you to password-protect your audio files, ensuring high levels of privacy and confidentiality of sensitive data.
  • Noise reduction – thanks to advanced noise algorithms, DSS is perfect for enhancing speech clarity by removing background noise and producing cleaner audio for streamlined content transcription.
  • Metadata support – DSS files include metadata, enabling more efficient file retrieval and organization.
  • Superior audio quality – DSS provides high-end audio quality due to its exceptional compression rate, thus allowing for higher intelligibility and clarity of audio content, including more accurate comprehension and transcription of voice recordings.
  • Efficient transfer and storage – useful for professionals looking for an ideal file format for easier sharing and management of large volumes of voice recordings.
  • Improved workflow – DSS facilitates efficient and streamlined file management and retrieval.

How to Open DSS Files

Below are the best tools for opening DSS files and the steps required to successfully open the DSS file format.

Best Tools for Opening DSS Files

While DSS files may not be as popular as other commonly used audio formats like WAV or MP3, many software apps can open these files. To open a DSS file on your computer, you'll need a specialized media player like Player Standard R2, DSS Player Lite, or Olympus DSS Player.

Here are the best tools to open DSS files on Windows, Mac, and Linux:

  • Windows – VLC media player or Windows Media Player;
  • Mac – Switch Audio File Converter or VLC media player for macOS;
  • Linux – ExpressScribe (Linux/Wine).

Using an Online DSS File Viewer tool, you can also play DSS files directly in your browser. Contrary to popular belief, VLC media player and Windows Media Player can't open DSS files.

Steps to Open DSS Files

Download and install a DSS-compatible media player like DSS Player Standard R2 on your computer, then follow the steps below to open a DSS file:

  1. Locate the DSS file you want to open on your computer;
  2. Right-click the file;
  3. Select Open with and choose DSS Player Standard R2 to set it as a default media player for opening DSS files.

How to Convert DSS Files

Now, let's see the best method to convert DSS files to other audio formats.

Reasons to Convert DSS Files to Other Formats

Since the DSS file format is flexible enough to let you access and share DSS files across different devices, operating systems, and platforms, you can convert it to better quality audio formats, such as WMA, WAV, and MP3. That allows you to improve the quality of your audio files.

On the other hand, you should also consider converting DSS files when your Windows Media Player or VLC media player can't open your DSS files.

Steps to Convert DSS Files to Other Formats

You'll need dedicated conversion software to convert DSS files to other supported audio formats. If you want to convert a DSS file to MP3, use Switch Audio Converter.

This professional audio conversion tool works well on Mac and Windows operating systems and supports various audio file formats like M3U, WAV, AAC, MP3, MPA, etc.

Download and install Switch Audio Converter on your computer, then follow these steps to convert DSS to MP3:

  1. Launch the converter on your computer;
  2. Click Add File(s) to upload the DSS file you want to convert;
    add dss files to switch audio converter
  3. Click Browse to select an output folder;
    choose an output folder
  4. Select .mp3 in the Output Format section;
    choose an output format
  5. Click Convert to start the conversion process and save the converted file on your PC.
    convert dss to mp3

How to Recover Lost DSS Files

DSS files can get corrupted, damaged, or lost due to common data loss causes, such as computer system crashes, file corruption, unintentional deletion, accidental formatting, and virus/malware infection.

If you can't access or find your DSS files, use professional data recovery software like Wondershare Recoverit to scan your device, locate your missing files, and repair and recover them to a safe location.

It's a user-friendly file and data recovery tool that can recover over 1000 file types from over 2000 storage devices across over 500 data loss scenarios. Recovering lost, deleted, unsaved, or corrupted DSS files with this app is simple.

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Download and install Wondershare Recoverit on your computer, then follow the steps below to get your DSS files back.

  1. Launch the app on your computer and navigate to the File Recover menu;
  2. Click Hard Drives and Locations and select the drive for recovery;
  3. Click Start to scan the drive for retrievable DSS files;
    wondershare recoverit dss file recovery
  4. The app will automatically scan the drive to locate recoverable DSS files;
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  5. Pinpoint the specific DSS files you want to recover using search filters and filtering options;
    pinpoint the files you want to recover
  6. Once the app completes the scanning process, click Preview to preview the recovered DSS files before recovery;
    preview files before recovery
  7. Click Recover > Save to recover and save your DSS files on your computer.
    choose a path to save the recovered files


This article shows you how efficient and versatile DSS (Digital Speech Standard) can be as an audio format. It was designed for digital dictation, voice recording, and audio playback. Its file security, metadata support, noise reduction capabilities, superior audio quality, and high compression rate make it the perfect audio file format for professional use across various industries and fields.

In case you can't open DSS files on your computer, use the compatible tool with your device to open DSS files across operating systems like Windows, Mac, and Linux. If your default media player can't open DSS files, consider using Switch Audio Converter to convert DSS to other supported formats like MP3 and WAV.

Though DSS packs tight file security, it isn't resilient to common data loss causes like file corruption. In such situations, use a reliable DSS file recovery software like Wondershare Recoverit to fix the corruption, repair your files, and get your data back.

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David Darlington
David Darlington Apr 15, 24
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