Dynaudio’s product designers and engineers talk about what hi-res means to them… and what they want to hear.

Ask anyone who knows hi-res audio to describe what it sounds like, and the response is always the same. Pursed lips. A corrugated forehead. A long exhale. And then a smile.

It’s the same whether you’re asking someone who’s just heard it for the first time, or you’re sitting with someone who works with it every day. Just like the folk from Dynaudio, who we caught up with at their recent reader event

More after the break

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Graham Luke's picture

What does it sound like...?

What does it sound like...?

Given the same recorded and mastered source, it is indistinguishable from 16/44.1

Did I just make that up? No, this is the result of blind testing as reported in 'Why 24-192 music downloads are very silly indeed'.

Ask Monty on xiph.org before you whip out the folding...

Killian O'Sullivan's picture

Agreed, although 48KHz may

Agreed, although 48KHz may make the reconstruction filter a little easier to accurately render 20KHz, 44.1KHz needs a more complicated filter to accurately reconstruct the transients near the nyquist limit. The idea of 24 bits though is plainly ridiculuous unless you are looking for dynamic range that can range from orders of magnitude below the threshold of human hearing to +124dBs which if rendered as audio on a sufficiently powerful system would cause instant death as the sonic energy would be comparable to a large explosion.  That said 24bits was introduced in the recording process so that the studio engineer did not have to worry about the analog gain of the various input stages before commencing a recording. Post processing can reduce it to 16bits with no loss in audible quality.

Bartdude's picture


I totally disagree. A high-res recording is easily distinguishable. To prove the point I got a friend to put together 10 musical pieces,consisting of MP3 320kbs,16 bit 44.1 CD and 24bit 96k FLAC ensuring that all levels were identical. I then listened to all the recordings randomly selected without knowing which was which and on EVERY occasion I detected the hi-res recording. To my ears it was night and day !!

dtroughton's picture

Hi Res

This is worth watching - Discusses HiRes Audio



Mbinku's picture

Too many Zeppelin gigs

...and some people claim you have to sit with your nose touching the screen to see the difference in 4K... I'm sure the first humanoids that built fires got berated, "cooked meat is no better than raw, why spend 20minutes concentrating its nutritional value and making it more digestible.. That's 20minutes lost in my book" 

I don't think anyone really cares whether you reckon its perceptible or not, especially given you've never experienced it.

Mbinku's picture

Monty@xiph says

"It's true that 16 bit linear PCM audio does not quite cover the entire theoretical dynamic range of the human ear"

Then goes on to say:

"16 bits is enough to store all we can hear, and will be enough forever"

What a lucky man to live in the final days of technological endeavour.. The Golden Ear-a of Sound.

With regards to Nyquist theorem, 44.1khz allows regeneration of 20khz audible sound with horrifically bad inconsistent transients. Our ears can assess reflections with incredibly accuracy, it's what gives us our aural spacio-location gift. So higher sample rates are imperative for digital technology to convincingly embed audio with sonic signature artefacts to make 3D sound a reality.