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Why would 24 bit / 192 khz flac sound any better than 16 bit / 44.1 khz flac if both are lossless (if at all)?

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by thesuperguy, Mar 15, 2014.
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  1. thesuperguy
    If both formats are lossless, what differentiates the 2 versions in terms of sound quality if at all?
  2. KT66
    It depends on the source, a straight transfer of 24/192 to 24/192 should sound better
    than a 24/192 converted to 16/44.1
    If the source is 16/44.1 both should sound the same
  3. Kaffeemann
    Both do sound the same. The additional information 24 bit/192 kHz files can store is inaudible.
    See here.
    Vkamicht, Safarix and Champ HkGt like this.
  4. KT66
    That's just opinion,
    I can hear the difference between 24/96 and 16/44 if the source is good enough.

    I can't hear much difference between 24/96 and 24/192 if any
    Erfan Elahi, Surf Monkey and HiFi1972 like this.
  5. mikeaj
    "Lossless" just means that no data has been lost relative to some version somewhere along the line. In other words, the data is compressed to take less space, like in a .zip or .rar file. So what is the format of the original?
    24-bit / 192 kHz contains more data than 16-bit / 44.1 kHz, around 550% more data. With 192 kHz, you can represent more sounds that are too high for people to hear. With 24 bits, you can capture the noise floor of the recording setup and such with more resolution and detail, even though at playback that extra stuff is generally going to be below your ambient room noise level anyway and drowned out by that, not to mention by the actual intended sounds (music) itself.
    In terms of having enough data for playback purposes for human consumption and perceived sound quality, they are pretty much equivalent because the extra data is not really anything noticeable or useful for that purpose.
    In practice, it is possible for some playback gear to misbehave more with one sampling rate than another, and there are more technical constraints with 44.1 kHz and so on, but generally it still shouldn't make an audible difference. Similarly, you can construct some very artificial scenario where the extra bit depth is audible as lower noise. But usually under more controlled testing (perhaps not always) the differences people think they hear vanish.
    dockie7 likes this.
  6. kraken2109
    It's not opinion, it's basic digital audio theory.
    44.1kHz can perfectly store frequencies up to 22.05kHz. Unless you're telling me you can hear higher than that then it shouldn't sound different. There are some other complexities like anti-aliasing filters but those changes shouldn't be audible.
    Bit depth of 16 or 24 isn't going to make a difference when you're playing back recordings with a dynamic range of less than 20dB in 95% of music.
  7. BlindInOneEar

    Can you name some examples of tracks where you can hear the differences?  Could you describe what the differences sound like?
  8. thesuperguy
    Gotta love headfi debates :D
    Erfan Elahi and FraterOiram like this.
  9. RazorJack
    It's quite simple really, one is unneccesarily more expensive than the other.
    cjl, xylin6 and csglinux like this.
  10. elmoe
    Are you saying there is no audible difference between a CD and a SACD version of the same album?
  11. RazorJack
    If there are audible differences I'm sure it's just because of remastering.
    Identical source music on a CD and SACD will sound the same to humans, or I'd like to see some DBT results showing otherwise.
    Champ HkGt and xza23 like this.
  12. kraken2109
    Assuming they're the same master then yes.
    willyvlyminck and Champ HkGt like this.
  13. elmoe
    But the whole point of SACD is that they're remastered to sound better.
  14. Digitalchkn
  15. ralphp@optonline

    And the high resolution one may actually contain LESS information than the CD resolution one, in that many, many high resolution downloads, especially those purchased from HDTracks, do not come with full information booklets containing information such as recording data (time and place of the recording, the equipment used to make the recording, producer, recording engineer, mastering engineer) and musicains, etc. - i.e. LESS information.
    But hey it costs more and the high end audio press just love high resolution digital audio so high resolution just has to be BETTER [​IMG]
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