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24bit vs 16bit, the myth exploded!

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by gregorio, Mar 19, 2009.
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  1. board
    And again, you just keep talking although I asked you to post the log of your passed blind test. I'm starting to think that if you actually had one, or were wiling to take the ABX test and post the log, you would have done that a looooong time ago.
    So last chance: Post a log, or shut up!

    But I am of course aware that you will choose a third option: Keep talking and don't post a log :-/.

    And for the record: The reason I asked about your nationality is because I found your grammar difficult to understand, so I figured that if you were a non-native speaker it might explain why, since we can't expect non-native speakers to write perfect English. So it wasn't meant as an insult.
    But also for the record: I'm actually from Denmark, and I've only spent six months in the US, a year and a half in the UK, two months in Australia and two months in New Zealand, and I would say that I write better English than you. And unfortunately (again, not meant as an insult, just an observation) it's difficult for me to take your claims seriously when you write like this + when you refuse to back up your claims, of course.
  2. board
  3. castleofargh Contributor
    guys, stick to facts and avoid trolls and insults. you know, rules, Head-Fi, all that.
    if like in this case, we're dealing with unsubstantiated claims and you really have no fact to discuss, well then that's it. don't forget the burden of proof and who's carrying it. @ALRAINBOW claims he hears the difference, allegedly with ease(which really puts the last nail in the coffin IMO). listening tests and research disagree pretty consistently, while he's presenting zero supporting evidence. the verdict is pretty straightforward IMO. extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence that he doesn't have and probably doesn't plan to gather. which calls for my sig "What is freely asserted is freely dismissed."
    case dismissed!
    taffy2207 and KPanaAudio like this.
  4. bigshot
    I am 60 years old. I'm not sure what difference that makes, but I will answer you politely and in perfect keeping with the rules of this forum...

    If you are basing your discernment on anything but a line level matched, direct A/B switched, double blind test, I can say with almost perfect certainty that you are absolutely wrong.

    You think you can hear a 16 bit noise floor in a hotel ballroom with hundreds of people in it? The noise floor of the room itself would be over 45dB I would guess, more likely in the 50s. Even with isolating cans it would be hard to screen all that room noise out. You set your volume level for the loudest sound you could possibly tolerate... let's say 120dB, the threshold of pain. The room tone bleeds through at around 30dB let's say. You're still not going to hear -96dB. And at that level, you would incur hearing damage if you listened longer than a few minutes. At a normal listening level of 80dB or so, even if you were in an anechoic chamber, you still couldn't hear -96. And I haven't even started talking about the dynamic limitations of human hearing yet... Sorry, but no way. You are wrong. You think you know more than you actually do.

    Actually bit depth is directly related to bit rate. They both relate to the noise floor. The term that might be clearer when referring to overall file size/audio quality is data rate. That is the general term for indicating a higher resolution file- both bit rate and sampling rate.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2019
  5. TheSonicTruth
    I see it more straight-forward: Bit-depth(Y-Axis) concerns amplitude/dynamic range, and Bitrate(X-Axis) concerns amount of data, measured typically in kilobits-per-second. This is what I tell members of the public, my clients, etc, when I hear Bit-depth and Bitrate used interchangeably.

    Just like the unit of measure - feet: Bits can be used in both the vertical and horizontal axes.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2019
  6. bigshot
    He said a higher bit rate means more dynamic range, which is correct because higher bit rate also means higher bit depth. No matter though.
  7. TheSonicTruth
    I strongly and vehemently disagree:

    Bit rate(or data rate) and Bit depth describe two different axes. Bit rate is a temporal(time-based) attribute, X-axis, and Bit Depth is an amplitude-based attribute, Y-axis.

    This is Digital Audio 99, not even 101! smh..
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2019
  8. sander99
    I think you are confused, maybe you confuse bit rate with sample rate?
    Bit rate means how many bits per second, so that would be (at least) the product of a) bit-depth and b) sample rate and c) the number of channels (without data compression or data reduction, data compression and/or data reduction would bring the bit rate down of course).
  9. TheSonicTruth

    Not at all. 'Rate' to me signifies the frequency at which something occurs, again, in time - X axis. Kilobits-per-second, samples-per-second, hundreds of feet per second(if you're a Nascar driver lol!). All measures of occurences per unit of TIME. No confusion there.

    'Depth', to me, equates intensity, or amplitude, in an audio sense, betweem full scale and the noise floor. Y-axis.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2019
  10. sander99
    The meaning of bit rate is bits per second. So if you have 2 channels of uncompressed PCM audio with 48 kHz sampling frequency and 24 bits bit-depth then every second of audio needs 2 x 48000 x 24 bits, that is 2304000 bits. So that gives a bit rate of 2304 kbits/s. That is excluding extra data that sometimes is added to an audio stream.

    Example from Wikipedia:
    Oh one last thought how about you guys upload on a cloud share link some files and I’ll comment honestly on them ok. Just do aiff and flac and
    16/24 bit depth ok I mean this. You guys are clever enough to make me not know the file info and my dacs don’t show it. Only my player ok. Lets have some fun as a group on this ok.
    I will learn I’m sure
    Good night
  12. gregorio
    In this instance, TheSonicTruth is correct and bigshot is wrong. CD for example, has a bit rate of 705,600 bits per sec (per channel), while SACD has a bit rate of 2,800,000 bits per sec (per channel). SACD has a far higher bit rate but a bit depth of only 1bit, while CD has a bit depth of 16bits. So, contrary to bigshot's assertion, higher bit rate does NOT also mean higher bit depth! Same with dynamic range, SACD only has a dynamic range of ~6dB (without noise-shaped dither), while CD has a dynamic range of ~96dB (without noise-shaped dither). So again, SACD has a far higher bit rate than CD but a far lower dynamic range.

    1. You seem to think this forum (and it's members) exists for you personally. This is the Sound Science forum which as the name suggests, exists to discuss the science of sound, it's NOT the "Alrainbow learning" forum. In other words, if you really want to learn the facts/science that's good but it's your responsibility to learn, it's not our responsibility to teach you. Therefore, if you want various test files, it's up to YOU to make or find them yourself, it's not up to us to make them for you.

    2. Why would it be fun for us as a group? Creating various test files for you, in order to prove something to you that science has already proven and that we already know, would not be fun, it would be boring.

    If you are polite and ask questions, then the members here are generally very good at answering those questions. However you've been the exact opposite, you've been very impolite and rather than ask questions you've just make-up some false assertions, which is a perversion of this subforum and therefore even more impolite! With regards to your aiff vs flac comparison, you can easily do an equivalent test yourself: On your computer, simply select your aiff file, right click and copy & paste (or duplicate) it. Play both files and if you can hear a difference between them, either you're imagining a difference where there isn't one or you have a faulty system. A 16 vs 24bit comparison is more involved but again, if you're polite and ask, I or another member here will explain how to create the test files.

    Last edited: Nov 27, 2019
  13. board
    This, to me, is another nail in your coffin, because it shows that you didn't read the very first post on page one by Gregorio, which shows exactly why what you're saying is wrong. But please don't take that personal - most unknowing audiophiles believe the same thing as you. The point that Gregorio was making was the entire argument of his post, and you completely missed it. But I won't quote what he said, but instead ask you to go back and read the very first post again, hoping that you will learn something.
    Or it's also possible that you did read the original post, but then simply didn't understand the central and very clear message. Either option supports why you're saying the things you're saying - either you didn't read it, or you didn't understand it.

    But I do actually have a serious question for you:
    What, if anything, can make you change your mind about your claim that you can hear a difference between 16 and 24 bit?
    Or to be more specific, what, if anything, can make you change your mind about your claim that you actually heard audible differences, and can demonstrate it in a blind test, between those particular 16 and 24 bit files that you claim to have listened to?

    And in case anyone was wondering (I assume nobody is), then I won't ask you for a log again, 'cause it's very clear that you don't have one, nor will you ever post one.
  14. board
    Also, if we send him files, he will most likely look at what file is which and then claim to have heard enormous differences. Alternatively, he might guess and get it right, since there's a 50 % chance anyway. One thing is for sure: He won't do an ABX test of the things he claims to be able to hear.
  15. bigshot
    I was corrected here in the past for using the term "bit rate" as the combined data rate of both bit depth and sampling rate. I was told that "bit rate" (16, 24, etc) is to "bit depth" (noise floor expressed as -96dB, -144dB, etc.) as "sampling rate" (44.1, 48, 96, etc.) is to "frequency response" (20 to 20kHz, 20 to 48kHz, etc). That makes sense to me, but perhaps in practice the term has different meanings, or perhaps the usage has changed over the years. I'm perfectly comfortable using "bit rate" as a synonym for "data rate". I was just trying to use the most specific definition.

    Interesting to see the term "rate" correlated to time. I always have correlated it to the amount... higher rate = bigger number = more. Like with "tax rate" or "rate of speed".
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2019
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