Everyone's all about high-definition video these days. Standard-def content? Pfft. Call me when you've got a resolution of at least 720p. And yet everyone short of picky audiophiles (who are just as likely to prefer lo-fi vinyl recordings) seems to be perfectly happy with 16-bit, CD-quality audio.
Perhaps the problem is simply a matter of supply. Higher quality 24-bit audio tracks have largely been limited to specialized media like Super Audio CDs and DVD-Audio discs. However, according to exec Jimmy Iovine, the Universal Music Group is talking with Apple and other music service providers about giving users access to 24-bit content.
Tested has a good rundown of the differences between 16- and 24-bit audio. The site suspects that the larger file sizes associated with 24-bit audio could tank its appeal for portable devices, although desktop users with capacious hard drives shouldn't feel much of a squeeze. Since music is typically recorded with 24 bits to start, there isn't a lot of extra work to be done on the publisher side.
Unless 24-bit tracks are offered at the same price as their 16-bit counterparts, I just don't see many users making the jump. The fact that so many people seem perfectly happy with their stock iPod earbuds tells me that fidelity isn't a priority for most. Even though I still buy my music on CD to avoid lossy compression, I'd have a hard time justifying paying more for 24-bit recordings. I'm much more likely to re-rip my entire collection and encode it with a lossless scheme like FLAC, which even with only 16 bits of resolution, still sounds fantastic on the sort of headphones and speakers most of us can actually afford.
|1. Ryszard - $603||2. Hdfisise - $600||3. Andrew Lauritzen - $502|
|4. Redocbew - $350||5. the - $306||6. SomeOtherGeek - $300|
|7. chasp_0 - $251||8. Ryu Connor - $250||9. mbutrovich - $250|
|10. aeassa - $175|
|TR's October 2015 peripheral staff picks||12|
|AOC's gaming-oriented FreeSync displays start at $269||13|
|Thinner Surface Pro 4 gets improved pen and Type Cover||47|
|Surface Book is Microsoft's take on what the laptop should be||167|
|Microsoft Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL showcase mobile Windows 10||57|
|Microsoft shows off mixed-reality gaming with HoloLens||9|
|Be Quiet hushes the mid-tower with the Silent Base 600||8|
|Color is key with Dell's latest trio of Ultrasharp displays||38|
|Android 6.0 Marshmallow rolls out to Nexus devices starting today||27|