24/192 Music Downloads ...and why they make no sense


Gentlemen, meet your ears

The ear hears via hair cells that sit on the resonant basilar membrane in the cochlea. Each hair cell is effectively tuned to a narrow frequency band determined by its position on the membrane. Sensitivity peaks in the middle of the band and falls off to either side in a lopsided cone shape overlapping the bands of other nearby hair cells. A sound is inaudible if there are no hair cells tuned to hear it. [full article]



Interesting but BIG. I got partway through it. It made me think of an ongoing talking point. We had a former member that was overly enthused with bandwidth and 24-bit DSP. Anything less was totally inferior. Others bring it up occasionally.

I am think that the article also disputes that. True?


I think it says that 16 bit can provide an adequate dynamic range as long as it doesn’t start with 0. This is what Bernafon does. However, I’d love a more educated opinion.


I guess it makes sense to bring this topic into here.
I’m no expert but I have done a bunch of reading on this topic. I’ll just go ahead and puke out a bunch of thoughts :slight_smile:
I would adhere to the 16/44 school of thought. I would understand that 24/44 would perhaps be a little better and in this day… what… 30-35 years after the advent of the cd when the 16/44 standard was laid down…24/44 should be easily implemented.
Anything more is in my opinion unnecessary baggage in the data.
How I understand the bits is that the 16 bits are how often an analog sound is being converted into a digital value. So the higher that bit the more frequent a value is being taken from the analog sound.
How I understand the second number is the total possible frequency on both left and right. So really it’s half. ie 22kHz on each side of a stereo signal in the case of the 44 number.

I have read about brain response to ultrasonic sounds where perhaps the “sound” is being detected through the skin or bones and that the brain “sees” it. But is it “music”? I understand in an analog environment that harmonics may go ultrasonic. But again is it music?

Then there are all the stops along the way from original making of the sound to recording equipment to mastering equipment to the recorded sound media. And that’s just the input. Then there’s the play back equipment from the media player to the possibly analog amplifier to the speakers or if digital then to the digital to analog converter to the digital or analog amplifier and finally out to the speakers. All of those parts (and internal filters etc) have to have all the right capabilities to maximize the sound reproduction. If some don’t (and you’re not going to know a great many of them) then you can’t possibly get that maximum sound.

Then there’s us. We are here because our ears are failing us. Good freakin’ luck with that 24/192 music file you downloaded. We will never regain the sound sensing capability that we had in our teens before we killed our ears with loud concerts, load music in headphones, loud work environments, unprotected gunfire etc. or if you did everything right…just plain old simple aging.