Industry Groups Set Definition of Hi-Res Audio

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ARLINGTON, VA–Several audio groups have joined forces to create a formal definition for High Resolution Audio, which can be used in marketing to consumers. They defined High Resolution Audio as “lossless audio that is capable of reproducing the full range of sound from recordings that have been mastered from better than CD quality music sources.”

Hi-Res audio such as FLAC files provide demonstrably better sound when played back on a sound system. Hi-Res files may be downloaded from web sites such as

Where CD tracks are recorded at 16 bit/44.1 kHz, Hi-Res recordings capture more information from the original audio signal and at a faster speed, (at 24 bit/48 or 24 bit/96kHz).  The outcome is they sound better than a typical CD.

Hi-Res audio also means “lossless” compression, whereby none of the music has been removed in the compression process as it is in MP3 and AAC files.

Since there are a few different levels of better sound recordings, the group defined these different Master Quality Recording categories as follows:

From a PCM master source 48 kHz/20 bit or higher; (typically 96/24 or 192/24 content)

From an analog master source

From a CD master source (44.1 kHz/16 bit content)

From a DSD/DSF master source (typically 2.8 or 5.6 MHz content)

The new specifications were the result of joint cooperation between the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), DEG: The Digital Entertainment  and The Recording Academy,  in partnership with Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group.

Gary Shapiro, CEO of CEA, said the new definitions will “help provide more clarity about HRA (hi-res audio)  for consumers.”
A High Resolution Audio Listening Experience event, will be held during CE Week this month at Jungle City Studios in New York on Tuesday, June 24 from 6pm to 9pm.

For the full press announcement see,-CEA,-The-Recording-Academy%C2%AE-and-Major-Labels.aspx


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  1. Hi-Res Audio most simply is a path for consumers to hear what the artist and producer intended. While mp3 has and is terrific in many ways, this lossy format throws away over 75% of the data. When you hear these lossless files not only do they sound better, but you may hear instruments or voices you could not in the lossy files. The difference is clear and now lots of this music and terrific gear to hear it is on the way. There is no longer a trade off between convenience and quality. Take a listen.

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