Hi-Res Audio Passes Key Test!

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Sony RSX-GS9

It turns out you really can hear the difference between Hi-Res Audio and everyday audio, according to researchers in London.

A study examined data from over 12,000 trials where listeners were asked to sample different music.  It found that listeners can distinguish between standard audio and better than CD quality audio.  The study was conducted by Queen Mary University of London.

Listeners could be more discriminating when they were given a music sample that was longer than 30 seconds.

Dr. Joshua Reiss from the University’s Centre for Digital Music said, “Conventional wisdom states that CD quality should be sufficient to capture everything we hear, yet anecdotes abound where individuals claim that hi-res content sounds crisper, or more intense. And people often cherry-pick their favourite study to support whichever side they’re on.”

So Reiss’ study examined the results from 18 different studies and gathered data from 80 publications, sometimes asking authors of earlier studies to produce their original findings.

“Our study is the first attempt to have a thorough and impartial look at whether high res audio can be heard,” he said, adding, “The effect was clear, and there were some indicators as to what conditions demonstrate it most effectively. Hopefully, we can now move forward towards identifying how and why we perceive these differences,” he said.

The music in the study was mostly classical and jazz.

An analysis of the study will be published in the June issue of the Journal of the Audio Engineering Society.

Some define Hi-Res Audio as CD quality or better and others (including Wikipedia) describe it as better than CD quality audio.   CD quality audio has a sampling rate of 44kHz and a bit depth of 16.

Some car audio industry members say Hi-Res Audio sounds clearer, and is more nuanced than standard audio.  Other industry members  say you can’t hear the difference.


Source: Phys Org

Photo: Sony RSX-GS9

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  1. A few of your betters are no more then profits in your pocket. Let’s face it HDMI at 4 dollars often is the same as HDMI cables at 150.00 dollars. If a consumer can’t hear the difference why push it on them? But then you will get others saying it could be improved on. Where you stand on this should effect your budget. I always demo the best on the board and step down in price. You almost can’t start at the bottom and go up from there. Also some people won’t question what you sold them they respect your opinion this isn’t always good. A system needs to fit its owner, not the owner firing the system. I’d love to hear this new stuff I’m sure I’d hear a difference, and what your hearing is harmonics that set up outside your ears ability to hear and changed what you can hear. Your moving air this is what you hear and any noise mixed in will change its tonal qulity and add to the experience. This is how you teach this.

  2. Ray is correct, I see it where I work, not educating the consumer as to what is better or why it is better. Drives me nuts!!!! They come to us for a reason! I say we are tripping over dollars to pick up cents!

  3. Ditto what Ray just wrote. Too often specialty retailers forget that they are the specialist and the consumer needs to be educated. You will be appreciated and rewarded in the long run.

  4. At my age, I have come to realize the uphill nature of the battle of helping specialty retailers (creators of demand) to hear better quality and teach (create demand) their consumers about the better sound, that the vast majority of consumers will never learn about (have no demand for) unless we the specialty retailers deliver that education with passion and conviction. Everyone knows the objections. That notwithstanding, I encourage specialty retailers to take the test themselves. Hear the difference. Assign a value to that difference. Be the guy who is capable of educating the consumer. The actually educate the consumer (create demand). Think about the improved top line sales… Start with a better, higher price head, better audio cables, better amplifiers & processors, better speakers & speaker wire, sound deadening in all of those installations and most important FOR SURE… Evangelist consumers telling all of their friends about their great experience with your expertise… This could be fun and profitable and very satisfying…

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