Hi-Res Audio | Everything You Want to Know

publisher: Suki Wang
Time: 2019-09-16
Summary: With the increased demand for ultra high definition televisions, consumers now expect HD content to match with it. Whether you are streaming 4K videos from Netflix or searching for Blu-Ray version of old films, visual quality matters a lot and the audio quality shouldn’t be far behind either.

by suki.wang@dgbosta.com   16 Sep.2019

With theincreased demand for ultra high definition televisions, consumers now expect HDcontent to match with it. Whether you are streaming 4K videos from Netflix orsearching for Blu-Ray version of old films, visual quality matters a lot andthe audio quality shouldn’t be far behind either.

 

Recent yearshave seen a lot of development for audiophiles and companies like Sony, AudioTechnica and Tidal are leading from the front.

 

The hi-res audioformat not only can reveal some new details in the audio but can also highlightthe nuances which can provide you extraordinary listening experience.

 

But you need tohave top-notch gear for it and the files that you are running need to be ofhigh quality too.

 

Let’s find outwhat’s all the hype about this hi-res audio and how much of it is actuallyworth considering!




What is this Hi-Res Audio?

Hi-Res Audio orHRA is a no-loss audio format and it is capable to reproduce full-range sounddirectly from the recording. This sound is mastered right from the musicresources that have quality better than the CD. This means that HRA can almostfully replicate the quality that the musicians were working on in the studioduring the recording.

 

As we havementioned above, HRA has gained plenty of momentum in recent times because ofthe demand for high-quality content. But that doesn’t mean it is new in thisworld. HRA has been around for more than a decade now.

 

And with thepassage of time new consumers are jumping on the bandwagon to fork out somecash in order to enjoy the privilege of listening to top-quality tunes on thego and at home. However, HRA is more easily accessible now than it was in thepast.

 

The growth hasbeen slow primarily because of the two reasons! One, the Hi-Res gear isexpensive and two, these Hi-Res files can take up a lot of space on yourdevice.


High Fidelity (Hi-Fi)

According to theenthusiasts of home audio and audiophiles, hi-fi or high fidelity means therecreation of high-quality sound. The sound quality is high in comparison withthe cheaper audio equipment. These high fidelity recordings don’t havedistortion or audible background noise and have a flat response to frequencywithin the hearing range of humans.


Does it really make a difference?

To understandthe difference that these HRA files make, you need to dig down deep into factsand numbers. The bit rate of the best quality MP3 track is 320 kbps. On theother hand, the CD-quality has 1411 kbps while 192 kHz/24-bit format transfersat 9216 kbps. This is the rate at which the HRA file transfers data.

 

You will noticethat there is a good deal of bit depth in the dynamic range of HRA. For thisreason, you are able to enjoy better sound range from the recording. It willallow you to listen to different frequencies and nuances from a recording.

 

For instance,you are looking outside your window through a smeared glass. The visions won’tbe that clear and this can represent your MP3 file version.

 

Now clean yourglass and you will be able to see a lot clearer version of what you werelooking through the smeared glass. This is like a CD-quality version. Now openthe window and enjoy the scene directly. Your eyes will be able to pick upeverything, even the minute details that went unnoticed the first time around.That’s HRA version for you!




Benefits of high-resolution audio

 

When youcompress audio files, they lose their quality. For example, the audio with CDquality has a little depth of encoding with 16-bits with a sample rate of 44.1kHz.

 

The digital fileformats like AAC and MP3 compress the files down a lot further than that. Theseformats have pretty good sound output but Hi-Res can encode up to 24-bits andwith 96 kHz. This increases the clarity level significantly and you will beable to listen to some details that weren’t there previously.

 

This Hi-Resaudio also offers wider dynamic range and a much better frequency response.This means that the HRA is able to recreate a sound that is close to realityand as it was intended by the sound engineers and musicians.

 

What are the common file types of hi-res audio?

There are sixdifferent types of hi-res audio file formats. These are listed as follows:

 

1. DSD (DFF)

The DSD (DFF)hi-res file format is used quite frequently with professional equipment. Mostof the professional musicians and sound engineers use this file format tocreate CDs with super audio.

 

2. DSD (DSF)

This is a morePC friendly HRA file format. Music creators use this format to work with theirmusic using computers.

 

3. WAV

The wav fileformat was developed specifically for the use of audio files in MicrosoftWindows operating systems.

 

4. AIFF

Just like thewav file format for Windows, this format was developed to run in Macintoshcomputers.


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