Foo Fighters to work with Sony to promote hi-res audio

The deal will see the band become ambassadors for better-than-CD-quality audio and the idea of listening to your music "as the artist intended".

And it's this promise - with its similarity to the taglines that did the rounds with the launch of HD video and Blu-ray - that Sony says is delivered by hi-res audio.

And Dave Grohl seems convinced, declaring "I can hear the difference", in a video released to promote the partnership (see below).

A statement from the Foo Fighters adds: "Preserving the human element in the recording of music has been a huge part of Foo Fighters' mission and our commitment to High Resolution Audio is a major part of this.

"We've always wanted the flesh and blood and emotion of our songs to get through to every listener and Hi-Res Audio is the best way for our fans to hear the music as we want them to hear it: in its purest quality and truest form."

MORE: High-res audio - the science behind the numbers

Tomoaki Sato, project leader and senior electrical engineer at Sony, says that it's by combining hi-res audio and the necessary hardware "to reproduce exactly what the artist wants... that we can pursue our goal of bringing the listener as close as possible to the artist."

There remains some confusion between CD-quality audio, 16bit/44.1kHz files, and hi-res audio, which typically comes in the form of 24bit/96kHz or 24/192 files, however - something that Sony will have to continue to tackle.

Gavin Lursson, mastering engineer, says: "96kHz is kind of the current day standard of good Hi-Res. You start at that rate to really capture what is on an analogue signal. The audience might not understand it but they'll feel it."

Sony's flagship smartphones, such as the Xperia Z3, support hi-res audio, as well as its latest Walkmans, including the NWZ-A15, and hi-fi products such as the HAP-Z1ES streamer.

Expect to see various marketing initiatives around hi-res audio from the Foo Fighters and Sony in the near future, as Sony continues to bang the drum for upgrading your audio files.

MORE: High-resolution audio - everything you need to know

Joe Cox
Content Director

Joe is the Content Director for What Hi-Fi? and Future’s Product Testing, having previously been the Global Editor-in-Chief of What Hi-Fi?. He has worked on What Hi-Fi? across the print magazine and website for almost 20 years, writing news, reviews and features on everything from turntables to TVs, headphones to hi-fi separates. He has covered product launch events across the world, from Apple to Technics, Sony and Samsung; reported from CES, the Bristol Show, and Munich High End for many years; and written for sites such as the BBC, Stuff, and the Guardian. In his spare time, he enjoys expanding his vinyl collection and cycling (not at the same time).