Top 7 Best MKV Player Mac Apps Tested in 2019

Elmedia logo
Top choice
Elmedia 4.9 Rank based on 378+ users, Reviews(367)

MKV is an open and free container format that can keep any number of video and audio tracks. It can also contain multiple subtitle tracks, DVD menus and chapters, which gives it an excellent flexibility. Here are the top seven best Mac MKV players that you can use to play MKV on Mac smoothly.

Best Mac MKV players for new MacOS

Elmedia logo
1. Elmedia Player
Requirements: OS X 10.9+. 55.1MB free space. Version 7.6(1831). (30th Sep, 2019). 4.9 Rank based on 378+ users, Reviews(367)
Category: MultimediaApplication

As a free multifunctional MKV player for Mac, Elmedia Player supports all kinds of video and audio formats for maximum convenience. So, you can run any MKV video without experiencing irritating errors such as “MKV won’t open in WMP”, “MKV stuttering playback” or “MKV no sound”. Aside from MKV files, Elmedia Player also plays MP4, MPEG-4, AVI, MOV, WMV, FLV and many other uncommon formats.

MKV player mac

To give you even more in terms of playback experience, Elmedia Player also offers a wide range of customization tools including 10-band equalizer, video tuner, adjustable aspect ratio, playback speed control, native volume control, hardware acceleration for better HD experience, etc.

Moreover, you can easily download subtitles for different movies directly from opensubtitle.org using Elmedia Player PRO. With its deinterlace option, Elmedia Player PRO allows you to remove annoying horizontal stripes on fast moving objects in your videos and improve the overall quality of the videos.

2. VLC

MKV player for mac

VLC player has been found to be a great MKV player as it offers unmatched support for MKV format. It is fully compatible with Matroska and supports most video and audio streams available in MKV file. Therefore, you might not have to install additional codecs and filters depending on the content you want to play. What is more, this player helps you manage MKV multiple video, audio and subtitle tracks without a hitch.

However, VLC Player still has a rather complicated interface. For instance, when you drag an MKV video on a VLC playlist, you can’t change its position. Additionally, it is very difficult for this player to accept RM video and Blu-ray Disc, which can be quite disappointing. Nevertheless, VLC player comes with some highly advanced features.

3. 5KPlayer

Mac mkv player

5KPlayer provides 4K/8K FUHD MKV playback on M and supports Dolby surround 7.1 sound while taking the least amount of Mac’s CPU/RAM. It also has a powerful playback engine with the capacity to handle 8 bit-depth 4K HEVC MKV file without a hitch. 5KPlayer has a stylish interface that matches the elegant style of iMac Pro macOS Mojave.

Other great features in 5KPlayer are its unmatched ability to stream MKV, download online MKV videos as well as embed subtitles to MKV videos. However, this player does not allow skin changing.

4. Mac Blu-ray player

Best mkv player mac

Mac Blu-ray Player is a free MKV player that is completely compatible with all Mac operating systems. Its interface and layout are quite stylish. This player has a high MKV decryption capacity, which enables it to offer great MKV experience. Moreover, it supports a wide range of video formats including AVI, DVD, Blu-ray, Video CD, MOV, FLV, WMV, MPEG, RMVB, MP4, MP3, WMA, AAC, AC3 among others.

5. MPlayerX

Top mkv player

MPlayerX is known for its excellent performance and support for MKV files. It comes with an interface similar to QuickTime Player’s black minimalistic style, making it a great choice for watching high definition movies on Mac. Another important thing about MPlayerX is the fact that it supports a wide variety of video formats including AVI, MOV, RM, MPEG, DVD among others. Its only setback is that it may crash occasionally and utilizes too much of system resources. Also, it may disappoint you if you want to edit videos and embed subtitles to your MKV videos.

6. Aimersoft Video Converter for Mac

Free mkv player mac

Aimersoft Video Converter for Mac combines video converter, editor, player and downloader, offering you a better way to play MKV videos on Mac. It allows you to convert MKV videos to M4V, AVI, WMV, ASF, FLV and QuickTime supported MP4 or MOV.

7. IINA Player

With IINA Player, you can play virtually anything as it is an open source video player for Mac OS. It allows you to open MKV files in a few clicks, making your MKV and Mac experience amazing. Its compatibility with YouTube and browser extensions makes it easier for you to play different online streams in one click.

If you are looking for a video player with various customizable playback settings and an advanced clean minimalist user interface and music mode, then IINA Player is your choice.

Things to consider when choosing an MKV video player


A good MKV player ought to be:

  1. Able to support high-quality videos like 4K and 8K.
  2. Compatible with macOS Catalina.
  3. Without annoying ads or malware.
  4. Easy to manage, with the right interface and intuitive modern design.
  5. Lightweight and use less system resources.
  6. Able to play videos without delays or braking.

Advantages and disadvantages of MKV format to consider


Just like any other video format, 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 PREFORMA (preservation formats) project.

Cons:

  • Has 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 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 your Mac device. 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, audios (in movies) and videos with subtitles. The best players to open the MKV extension with include 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, 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 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.

The top MKV player for Mac

That’s our complete guide to the top MKV player for Mac. Depending on what you want from your multimedia experience, you’ll probably be expecting different things when you come to make your choice. We’d love to hear exactly want you want from an MKV player for Mac, and your opinions on which one is the best. Just use the comments section below to provide us with any feedback you may have.

The next step for MKV players

At this point, multi-streaming programs have been available for many years, and most people are familiar with them. Matroska isn’t the first to offer a wide range of different formats. Other options, such as QuickTime, have had the same capacities, though they were often not used to their full potential. That was mainly due to the fact that most users were just happy with being able to access good-quality media with little difficulty. However, people are now used to being able to use a range of different functions with multi-media players. Many players offer a huge range of different options, and can support many different files. This isn’t a surprise when you consider how much more powerful our computers are, compared to what they used to be. The best MKV players are designed to take full advantage of this progress.

Matroska has been designed to utilise the best technology available today. It’s also been created with consideration for the future, and will be able to adapt to any new technological changes.

Frequently Asked Questions

To play MKV files on Mac, you need to download a third-party video player that can play MKV files without additional codecs or plugins. You can choose any of the seven best MKV players we have discussed in the above article. Click on the download link and continue enjoying your videos.

Unfortunately, QuickTime doesn’t support MKV format. In fact, the component for QuickTime that allowed playing MKV files on Mac no longer exists. Therefore, the easiest way to play MKV is to download a 3rd party video player like Elmedia, which can easily run MKV files without the need to install extra codecs and plugins. Otherwise, the only other option available is to convert MKV files to MOV, the most Mac-friendly format.

To play MKV files in VLC Player, you simply open VLC and select File > Open file... and then locate the MKV video and click Open. You can also right click on the MKV file, click Open within the context menu and choose “VLC Player”.

Since QuickTime, the default video player on Mac, doesn’t support MKV format, you need to download a third-party player to open your MKV files. Even watching an MKV video requires a third-party player. It’s advisable to use a player like Elmedia because it doesn’t require additional plugins and codecs. Here are the simple steps to follow when downloading Elmedia Player.

  • Download, install and open free Elmedia Player on your Mac device.
  • Open your MKV video. You can simply drag the video onto the open app or onto the icon in the Dock. Another option is to right click on the video file in the Finder and choose “Open with” option and then select Elmedia Player.
  • Click the Play button and enjoy your video.

Yes, it is very easy to play MKV files on Mac, provided you have a third-party player like Elmedia Player. All players covered in the above article are multifunctional and highly reliable. You simply click on the download button and install the app.

Elmedia Player
Requirements: OS X 10.9+ , 55.1MB free space
Version 7.6(1831) (30th Sep, 2019) Release notes
Category: MultimediaApplication