Best MKV Player for Mac in 2021

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About MKV file format

MKV files are tricky – there’s no telling how it may be encoded. That’s why a good MKV player should be able to decode any video or audio track. But there’s more you can get from a high-quality app – the features may improve your viewing experience, and even allow you to do additional things – for example, streaming. You can see it all in our list.

Free MKV Player for Mac – Elmedia Player

Looking for the ultimate MKV player on macOS? Need to play other formats, like MOV, AVI, and WMV? Elmedia Player will open almost any media file on the newest Apple M1 Macs. When watching MKV, you can open external audio and subtitles, and sync them up with the video. Playlists and bookmarks will make it easier to manage your media, mark chapters, or simply leave a movie to come back and watch it later.

Elmedia MKV Player for Mac

Elmedia PRO is a significant upgrade, enhancing the player with many customizable options. After purchasing the PRO license, you can use the 10-band equalizer and apply visual effects in the video tuner, including useful tools like color correction and deinterlacing. You can also stream your videos over AirPlay 2, DLNA, and Chromecast.

Pros:

  • Compatibility with most formats and MKV codecs
  • Configurable audio and video
  • One-click streaming
  • Easy to use
  • Works on the newest systems

Cons:

  • Full upgrade costs money

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

User rating: 4.8 out of 5, based on user testimonials

VLC Mac MKV Player

VLC (formerly VideoLan Client) comes with plenty of codecs out of the box. As a result, it has no issues with MKV videos. The multitude of playback options makes it possible to configure every aspect of video, audio, and subtitle playback. In addition, VLC supports MKV chapters and other such features.

VLC as MKV Player for Mac

On the other hand, finding the right options can be difficult, since many are hidden in sizable menus, and mixed with other, less useful settings. Sometimes, the options are unexplained, or they have an unclear description. Nonetheless, it’s one of the best options to play MKV right now. And it’s not hard to just open it and load a file.

Pros:

  • Will play almost anything, including DVDs
  • Advanced settings for the perfect setup
  • Completely free to use, no ads

Cons:

  • May be hard to navigate
  • Useful settings blend in with the niche ones

License: free and open-source

User rating: 4.6 out of 5 on CNET

5KPlayer

5KPlayer offers a lot for free – viewing, customization, streaming, and downloading don’t require you to activate or purchase anything. But it’s not completely free – the player features ads in the interface, and it launches on startup, without any easily accessible ways to disable this behavior.

5KPlayer opens MKV files

Despite that, it’s a pretty usable player that offers many premium features without any sort of payment. 5KPlayer can, indeed, open MKV and lots of other file types. It’s capable of HD playback, if not UHD. Depending on what you expect from an MKV player for Mac, some things may be missing, but the added streaming and downloading functionality may make up for it.

Pros:

  • Free streaming and downloads
  • Supports a wide range of codecs

Cons:

  • Limited options
  • Contains ads

License: freeware

User rating: 3.7 out of 5 on Trustpilot

Movist

Movist doesn’t include any fancy features, such as streaming, or video filters. It can simply play any FFmpeg codec, which is more than enough for MKV. Movist is a cheap, reliable player that has a reasonable amount of settings for everyday viewing or listening. For example, it has an audio equalizer and subtitle sync.

Movist as MKV player

The “sliding panel” design is unusual, and it has its benefits. You can access a large portion of Movist’s functionality without clicking through menus or memorizing hotkeys. It’s a breath of fresh air compared to the uniform interfaces in other players.

Pros:

  • Simple and feature-rich
  • Unique interface

Cons:

  • No free trial

License: paid, $4.99

User rating: 4.3 out of 5 on the App Store

Cisdem Video Player

Cisdem provides a minimal experience, lacking many settings that are otherwise common in media players. This includes playback speed, bookmarks, audio equalization, track syncing, etc. However, it has enough to open and view MKV files.

Cisdem Video Player

Cisdem allows you to open additional audio or subtitle tracks, and also to create playlists. More importantly, you can do it for free, since video conversion is the only feature that requires paid activation. And, as a commercial product, it’s a lot safer than a freeware app.

Pros:

  • Plays MKV
  • Free to try

Cons:

  • Extremely simplistic
  • Many important features missing

License: free, with a $9.99 upgrade available

User rating: 3 out of 5 on MacUpdate

OmniPlayer

This Mac MKV player can be configured in many different ways. This includes subtitle colors and fonts, video color correction, playback speed, and more. Not to mention, OmniPlayer can stream over AirPlay and DLNA. Most of these features can be accessed for free.

OmniPlayer supports MKV files

It’s not all perfect, though. Users note that some conveniences are missing. For instance, you can’t use the scroll wheel to change the volume. Also, it should be noted that the free version contains ads, and the calls to leave a review and a rating may stay even after purchasing the VIP upgrade.

Pros:

  • Full control over subtitles, audio, video
  • Convenience features, such as progress bar preview thumbnails

Cons:

  • Purchase or subscription required to access all features
  • Ads and constant reminders to rate and review

License: free with paid options

User rating: 4.7 out of 5 on the App Store

What is an MKV File?

Matroska Video is an open container format that was developed to contain any amount of audio, video, and subtitle streams, in addition to XML metadata and images. MKV metadata can be used to delimit chapters, among other things. As any open-source project, it’s extensively documented, and the tools to create or edit MKV files are available for free.

What is MKV File

Currently, MKV does not enjoy the same popularity as MP4 or WMV. Matroska support may be difficult due to the possible variety of its contents. Still, Windows 10 already includes native support for MKV. It has the potential to become more widespread.

Pros Cons
Tools and documentation available freely Hard to support completely due to having no codec restrictions
Contents aren’t limited by number, size, or encoding Still in development; not all desired features are implemented
No licensing issues – FOSS Isn’t backed by large organizations
Can contain lossy and lossless data

Conclusion

We hope that this article helps you find the app you need on Mac, play MKV files, and enjoy the result. You can’t go wrong with any software from the list above. And if it’s not to your liking, most of these applications have a free trial version available. Good luck with your videos!