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Try the best MKV player on Mac — Elmedia Player

MKV Player for Mac: overview of the best solutions in 2022

As macOS doesn’t play MKV format natively, we have gathered a detailed review of the most popular MKV players for Mac, and Elmedia Player is among the best ones.

Top choice
Elmedia: universal video player
4.8 Rank based on 1531+ users, Reviews(793)
Let's find the best MKV player for Mac.

List of best MKV players for Mac: paid and free versions

When searching for the best MKV player for Mac, there are different criteria you should take into consideration such as the ability to play different formats and not only MKV, support for playback control, the ability to handle high-quality videos, etc. Make sure you have investigated the issue thoroughly and without any rush. To help you, we have made this comparison table so you can have a better picture of what each MKV player for Mac has to offer.

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Top features
VideoDuke
Elmedia Player
VLC
5KPlayer
MKPlayer
IINA
Movist
Mac Blu-ray Player
Plex
MPlayerX
DivX
Plays MKV on Mac and other popular video formats
Plays MKV on Mac and other popular video formats
yes (AVI, FLV, SWF, MP4, WMV, MOV, DAT, M4V, MPG, DivX, MKV etc.)  
yes (MKV, MP4, VOB, WMV, MPG, AVI etc.)  
yes (MKV, M2TS, MP4, AVI, WMV, FLV etc.)  
yes (MKV, MP4, VOB, WMV, MPG, AVI etc.)  
yes (AVI, MP4, FLV, SWF, WMV, MKV, M4V etc.)  
yes (WMV, AVI, MOV, MP4, M4V, FLV, MKV, MPEG, RMVB etc.)  
yes (WMV, MKV, MPEG, DV, Xvid, DivX, RV, Cinepak etc.)  
yes (AVI, MOV, MP4, MKV, MPEG, WMV etc.)  
yes (MKV, MP4, MOV, AVI, WMV, FLV, ASF, RMVB etc.)  
yes (AVI, MKV, HEVC)  
Supports several popular audio formats
Supports several popular audio formats
yes (MP3, WMA, AC2, MKA, OGG, FLAC, AAC etc.)  
yes (AAC, AC-3, FLAC, MP3, ALAC etc.)  
yes (MP3, AAC, AC3, WMA, FLAC, ALAC etc.)  
yes (AAC, AC-3, FLAC, MP3, ALAC etc.)  
yes (AAC, FLAC, MP3, WAV, WMA etc.)  
yes (AAC, MP3, FLAC, WMA, ALAC etc.)  
yes (AAC3, AC3, ALAC, APE, M4A, MP3, WMA, OGG, DTS etc.)  
yes (AAC, ALAC, FLAC, MP3, M4A, WAV etc.)  
yes (MP3, WAV, WMA, FLAC, APE etc.)  
yes (AC3, DTS)  
Enables local file streaming to other devices (TV, streaming device, etc.)
Enables local file streaming to other devices (TV, streaming device, etc.)
yes (PRO)  
yes  
yes  
yes  
no  
no  
no  
yes  
yes  
yes  
Featured audio equalizer
Featured audio equalizer
yes  
yes  
no  
no  
yes  
yes  
no  
no  
yes  
yes  
Supports subtitle feature
Supports subtitle feature
yes  
yes  
yes  
no  
yes  
yes  
yes  
yes  
yes  
yes  
Enables subtitle synchronization
Enables subtitle synchronization
yes  
yes  
no  
no  
yes  
yes  
no  
yes  
yes  
no  
Free option
Free option
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
no
yes

Elmedia Player — versatile player for macOS

Elmedia: universal video player

4.8 Rank based on 1531 + users Reviews(793)
Requirements: macOS 10.12+
Version: v8.10(3265), Released 24 Nov, 2022 Release notes
Category: Video

Elmedia Player is a go-to choice when choosing MKV player for Mac. Powerful, convenient, and reliable, it includes all the necessary features for both advanced users and newbies. Here you can find the ability to export/import bookmarks, video tuning, DLNA streaming, playlist creation, saving, automatic screenshot series, and way more. It is a constantly updating player that can be used on the latest macOSes.

In terms of compatibility, Elmedia Player supports almost all formats including non-native/unplayable for macOS so you won’t encounter any playback issues. You are guaranteed smooth playback of your audio and video content no matter whether it is FLV, SWF, AVI, MOV, MP4, MP3, MKV or etc. In addition, this video player for Mac comes with support for external and internal subtitles, as well as an online search for subtitle tracks.

Play MKV files on Mac with Elmedia Player.
Note:

According to the MacSources’ review, Elmedia Player is a rather versatile and user-friendly app that guarantees smooth video and audio playback. As for the price, this MKV player Mac app is worth every dime user spends on it. However, there is some confusion when trying to download this video player as there are several versions of it in the App Store as well as there are several online ways to get it. For more information, visit MacSources.

icon pros Pros:

  • Support for hotkeys
  • Wide list of supported formats
  • No codes or plugins required
  • Impressive support for subtitles
  • Ability to stream across different devices
  • AirPlay support.

icon cons Cons:

  • PRO version is required to unlock some additional features
  • Available for macOS only.

Supported OS: macOS

Price: free to use, PRO upgrade priced at $19.95

VLC

Another decent variant to play MKV on Mac is VLC. This video player started its history back in 1996 as a diploma project of a few students from École Centrale Paris in France and was called VideoLAN Client. With time, the popularity of this player got wider and wider and developers decided to make it an open-source project so that everyone can contribute to it.

Since that time, the app has recommended itself thanks to its high-security measures offering the most convenient use. VLC can boast support for almost all file formats and MKV is not an exception. This video player offers a wide variety of enhanced features among which are the ability to create a custom playlist on the fly, configure the design of the interface, high-speed audio and video converter, etc.

VLС is one of the popular MKV players for Mac that supports almost all file formats.
Note:

Despite being a well-known and popular video player, VLC is far from being perfect and as the rest of MKV file player Mac apps got issues when playing videos. Among the issues, there are problems with audio syncing, video stuttering, etc. More reviews can be found on Trustpilot.

icon pros Pros:

  • Highly customizable with an editor tool for personalized extensions and skins
  • No spyware or user tracking
  • Compatible with all platforms
  • Support for bookmarks.

icon cons Cons:

  • Unreliable playback for Blu-ray and DVDs
  • Interface feels outdated and not as intuitive as other updated apps
  • Inconsistent performance with music.

Supported OS: macOS, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android

Price: free and open-source, offers in-app purchases

5KPlayer

5KPlayer has a reputation as one of the free MKV player Mac solutions. Having a user-friendly interface the app makes it possible to quickly get used to it and benefit from all the features like downloading videos right from the Internet, extracting the audio in lossless quality, and way more. 5KPlayer offers a wide set of different options to tune your perfect picture. In addition, the file format compatibility of this player is very huge.

5KPlayer is a аree Mac MKV player with AirPlay support.
Note:

However, there are several aspects users should take into consideration. According to the statements of some users they face the issue of their computer slowing down when using this MKV player Mac app. Besides that, the free mode is full of ads users can face up to when searching the library or adjusting settings. Another downside of this MKV video player is the difficulty in uninstalling it from your Mac. More reviews from the users can be found here.

icon pros Pros:

  • Simple to use video to MP3 audio converter
  • High-quality and lag-free AirPlay connectivity for screen mirroring and screen recording capabilities
  • Support for the latest macOS version and other popular devices
  • Supports downloading from Vimeo, YouTube, etc.

icon cons Cons:

  • New users may need time to get used to configuration.

Supported OS: macOS, Windows

Price: freeware

MKPlayer

Next on our list of the best MKV player for Mac solutions is MKPlayer. Like the rest of the third-party MKV players, it offers the standard set of features, however, there is something distinguished in it, namely user experience. You can simply install it from the App Store and adjust the audio and video settings according to your needs with just a couple of clicks.

MKPlayer has a special user interface and supports multi-tasking on a Mac.

icon pros Pros:

  • Reliable performance of MKV files
  • Responsive control panel for mini-player settings
  • Distinctive UI.

icon cons Cons:

  • Advanced features like Safari extension, advanced video adjustments, and multilingual subtitle selection limited to macOS High Sierra and Mojave (unlocked for $6.99).

Supported OS: macOS, Windows

Price: free, PRO features $6.99, Play on TV $4.99

IINA

IINA is considered the most well-designed MKV player Mac app that fully integrates with the macOS environment. Every feature you can find on a MacBook is supported by this app, including Retina, Touch Bar, Gestures, Picture-in-Picture, and Dark Mode. As for the file format compatibility, well, this player can handle almost all formats, including the ability to play MKV on Mac. Another great thing about IINA is that it offers plug-in support, so the users can enhance the app according to their wishes.

IINA is a modern Mac MKV player with an intuitive and easy to use interface.
Note:

Compared to the rest of MKV player for Mac alternatives, namely VLC, it is worth noting, that IINA is easier to use, though in terms of functionality it can compete with the most well-known players. Additionally, this MKV file player gains lots of positive reviews and ratings on different platforms and you can check one of them here.

icon pros Pros:

  • Consistent and reliable performance with MKV files
  • Browser plug-in for Firefox and Chrome
  • Up-to-date UI and clean interface that’s simple to navigate.

icon cons Cons:

  • Not as energy-efficient as other video players, which is a concern if battery life is important to you.

Supported OS: macOS

Price: totally free

Movist

For the fans of QuickTime we found more enhanced version called Movist. This MKV player for Mac features user-friendly interface, the one that QuickTime admirers got used to, however, the developers of this video player went further and brought unique high-quality capture function. With Movist you can not only easily play MKV format but also almost all possible video formats available on the market. The app offers an impressive playback navigation options and the built-in ability to create screenshots.

When comparing Movist Pro with the rest of MKV file Mac players, it definitely stands among the others, as the player offers a wide work with subtitles. You can not only work with multiple subtitles, listen to subtitles set the default ones but also disable, enable, select the language, and way more.

Movist supports almost all video formats and has a high-quality capture function.
Note:

Among the rest of advantages of Movist Pro, we can also highlight the controller overlay feature. With its help, you can adjust almost everything while watching MKV movies and not only. For more information about all the features available in Movist Pro, we recommend reading Setapp article.

icon pros Pros:

  • Supports auto-filling and export of the playlist
  • Unique user interface
  • Support for aspect ratio settings
  • Support for parallel subtitles.

icon cons Cons:

  • You need to buy the Pro version to benefit from all the features
  • No support for Apple Remote
  • Setapp subscription required.

Supported OS: macOS

Price: free, PRO version costs $4.99

Mac Blu-ray Player

Next on our list of the top MKV player Mac apps is Mac Blu-ray Player. According to the developers, the app is very easy to use and supports all the most common media files. Mac Blu-ray Player is capable of handling both Blu-ray and DVD formats and plays HD content from both your hard drive and Blu-ray devices (internal or USB). The simple and intuitive interface will allow you to get real pleasure from watching your favorite movies.

Mac Blu-ray Player is a cross-platform solution that easily plays video files in high quality.
Note:

However, when talking about the price of this video player, Mac Blu-ray Player is more expensive compared to the rest of the apps. Originally, this player was mostly designed to handle Blu-ray format and we should admit it does its job perfectly, still, it doesn’t make much sense to overpay for an app if you need to play MKV on Mac only. In case you need both, try cheaper yet more powerful alternatives, for instance, Elmedia Player.

icon pros Pros:

  • Compatible with all Mac devices
  • Can play files in 1080p HD without quality loss
  • Support for DTS 5.1, Dolby TrueHD Audio DTS-HD Master Audio, and Pass-Through
  • Cross-platform solution.

icon cons Cons:

  • MKV support is available in paid version only
  • Pricy app
  • Unable to support 3D.

Supported OS: macOS, Windows

Price: free, Pro version costs $64.99

Plex

Plex can be your answer if you are looking for an app that can easily play MKV on Mac. Frankly speaking, it is not a video player that users got used to. It is more like a streaming service where you can upload your own content instead of taking it from the platform. Plex offers a free version of the app with limited features and a subscription package called Plex Pass that offers more enhanced settings and features. So if you have a huge collection of MKV movies - consider getting a Plex Pass.

Besides that, the service can boast a huge list of supported media files, and devices as well as synchronization with cloud storage.

Plex supports many devices and syncs with cloud storage.
Note:

According to the reviews at PCMag, Plex is an all-in-one solution for convenient and easy video playback. However, if to take a look at Trustpilot, users have a more negative experience from using it than positive.

icon pros Pros:

  • Support for network syncing
  • Ability to stream media files to different devices
  • Provides high-quality audio output
  • Provides video editing settings
  • Support any type of subtitles.

icon cons Cons:

  • Difficult in configuring
  • Requires installation of Plex server
  • Free version has limited functionality.

Supported OS: macOS, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android

Price: free, $4.99 monthly for Plex Pass

MPlayerX

Powerful management, support for an impressive set of formats, classic design, and Apple Remote support make MPlayerX truly one of the most popular MKV player Mac apps. MPlayerX can seamlessly deal with the files stored on your Mac computer as well as play media files from the Internet that are accessed using the HTTP protocol.

MPlayerX is one of the popular MKV players for Mac with classic design and Apple Remote support.
Note:

However, there are several downsides worth noting. The last update of this MKV video player was back in 2016 since then there have been no changes. Additionally, in 2020 MPlayerX was claimed to be malware according to some sites. Still, there is no one hundred percent proof for this statement it is better to be careful and try one of the more reliable MKV player Mac apps.

icon pros Pros:

  • Ability to remember the interrupted point
  • Supports casting video to Smart TVs
  • Ability to control playback with the Apple Remote and mouse
  • Synchronization of the audio track and subtitles
  • Search by filenames.

icon cons Cons:

  • Available only for macOS
  • The last update was in 2016
  • Is not compatible with the latest macOS versions.

Supported OS: macOS

Price: $1.99

DivX

Last but not least MKV file player Mac solution is DivX. The app features a user-friendly interface so it won’t take a lot of time to figure out how it works. Among its wide range of features worth noting are support for most popular video formats, the ability to compress files without affecting the quality of both picture and sound, as well as support for DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD.

Despite being safe and easy to use, this Mac MKV player had some issues with the installation process, as while installing the app to a computer you also get unwanted software. However, there is no need to panic as long as you are downloading this MKV player from the official site. You can even find the article concerning this issue on the official site of the developers where they explain everything and assure users about the safety of the app.

DivX is a player with a simple and easy to use interface with support for DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD.
Note:

DivX is proudly considered among the best MKV player for Mac apps for a reason. According to the review article, the app can seamlessly play not only MKV file but also any other audio and video formats and is trusted by millions of users.

icon pros Pros:

  • Cross-platform solution
  • Ability to broadcast to any DLNA-compatible device
  • Supports Chromecast
  • Ability to play right from Google Drive or Dropbox
  • Support for AC3, DTS Surround Sound.

icon cons Cons:

  • Requires the web installation of the application
  • Limited list of supported formats.

Supported OS: macOS, Windows

Price: free, Pro version $19.99

Things to consider when choosing the best MKV player for Mac

A good MKV video player Mac app ought to be:

  • Able to support high-quality videos like 4K and 8K
  • Compatible with macOS
  • Without annoying ads or malware
  • Easy to manage, with the right interface and intuitive modern design
  • Lightweight and use fewer system resources
  • Able to play videos without delays.

What are MKV files?

MKV files are multimedia container formats that can hold an unlimited number of video, audio, picture, and subtitle tracks, all in one file - irrespective of the type of encoding needed for each. So that means you could have an MKV file that contains both H.264 video and AAC or MP3 for audio. The great thing about the MKV format is it was designed to be future-proof and that way its files wouldn’t become outdated. A few ways this was achieved include:

  • Accelerated seeking
  • Online streaming compatibility
  • Subtitle support
  • Metadata support
  • Corruption recovery - allowing corrupted files to be recovered and playable.
This format has a large number of pros and cons.

How to open MKV files on Mac

There are various options to play MKV on Mac, unfortunately, it can be done natively on Mac. In order to play MKV files, Mac users need to install the QuickTime Plugin, a third-party player, or even use video conversion apps. So how to open MKV files on Mac? Follow this guide to know more.

Choose any MKV player Mac solution and launch it. There are several ways to open files, namely:

  1. Drag and drop the desired video onto the player’s window.
  2. Go to the main menu > Open > File.

Another variant is when you found the MKV file, you need to right-click it and choose the "Open With" option, after that select the desired MKV player for Mac.

For the convenience of use, once you have found your perfect MKV player Mac app, you can set it as the default one. By doing this the process of opening MKV files will be easy as they will be automatically played by the chosen player.

You can set one video player to open all kinds of formats.

Advantages and disadvantages of MKV format to consider

Just like any other video format, the MKV format has both pros and cons.

Pros:

  • Supports all video and audio codec combinations including H.265 (MKV HEVC movies)
  • Highly flexible as it contains a large number of videos, audios, subtitles, pictures, 3D objects, and other files
  • It’s nonproprietary (open source and totally free)
  • Two compression options: Lossy and Lossless
  • Amazing video and audio streaming dynamics
  • Uses both LAN and standard Internet protocol for streaming
  • Can play corrupted files
  • Has reliable error restoration mechanisms
  • Offers accessible, comprehensive, and clear documentation
  • Allows you to add metadata without rewriting the whole file. You can also include your own self-documentation
  • Enables fast seeking using chapter markers
  • It’s supported by the Library of Congress, FADGI, and PERFORMA (preservation formats) project.

Cons:

  • Has a larger file size than most other formats can offer
  • Additional file editing tools may be required
  • Not all players can open MKV files.

Most of the listed cons are relative. For instance, the last one can be avoided when you use Elmedia Player because it’s a multi-feature Mac MKV player.

Categories of Matroska files

Matroska Multimedia Container is a free open-source format that contains four types of files: MKV (Matroska video), MKA (Matroska audio), MKS (subtitles), and MK3D (stereoscopic/3D video). These four categories are the best choice for whenever you want to play MKV files on Mac. Here is an overview of the four Matroska file categories.

MKV files. MKV extension is commonly used for HD movies and TV shows. It is great for playing videos, audio (in movies), and videos with subtitles. The best MKV player for Mac to open the MKV extension includes Elmedia Player, Windows Media Player, 5KPlayer (containing MKV codec), and VLC (although sound and subtitles may be unavailable).

MKA files. These are mostly used as audio files and normally contain various audio compression formats such as MP2, MP3, AAC, AC3, and DTS among others. This extension can have either music albums or display karaoke subtitles. With MKA extension, you can easily divide audio files into tracks or chapters, change tracks and merge MKA with MKV format.

MKS files. With MKS extension, you can easily import various subtitle formats, including VobSub (.sub), SubRip (.srt), Sub Station Alpha (.ssa/.ass) and Core Media Player XML Universal Subtitle Format (.usf). Any open-source Mac MKV player can launch an MKS file by simply double-clicking on it.

MK3D files. MK3D extension is commonly found in home theaters because it’s a special 3D option of MKV multimedia. It provides 3D video support in two isolated video tracks – one track for each eye, but at times it can be one track with data for both eyes in numerous formats.

Conclusion

If you want to play MKV on Mac freely, then you need to have a decent player that is MKV compatible. Definitely, you can make QuickTime player support this type of file by installing plugins. However, this solution doesn’t satisfy some users as they want more from a video player. We recommend Elmedia Player, as it has proven to be the most convenient player with lots of handy features. And what is your favorite MKV player Mac app? Leave a comment below.

Frequently Asked Questions:

You can try Elmedia Player, as the app doesn't require any additional codecs or plugins to be able to handle this format. Follow this guide to be able to play MKV files on Mac:

  • Download, install and open free Elmedia Player on your Mac device.
  • Open your MKV video.
  • Click the "Play" button.

Depends on the needs of the user. We have gathered our top choices. However, many men, many minds. All these MKV player Mac apps have their advantages and disadvantages and there is no clear answer to what is the best player for MKV files, However, we would recommend Elmedia Player as the most decent and reliable to our mind.

Yes, MKPlayer is free, however, keep in mind that it offers additional advanced features. To unlock these features you have to pay $6.99.

For a vast majority of users, VLC is the best player for Mac. However, it is worth noting that the user interface of this app is a bit outdated, though the app is among the first video players known worldwide. Still, there are some users that don’t like it due to its complicated features and are longing for something more simple.

Unfortunately, no. QuickTime player is unable to play MKV files, as the component that helped it to play them is not maintained anymore. However, don’t be upset, as you can try any of the MKV player Mac apps described in our article and choose the one most appealing to you.

Elmedia: universal video player
Requirements: macOS 10.12+ , 89.23MB of free space
Version 8.10(3265) (24 Nov, 2022) Release notes
Category: MultimediaApplication