For decades, CDs have been the benchmark for quality in the audio world. Today, however, their sales are down to a few percent of their previous results. Why is this happening? It’s probably been pretty heavily influenced by competition in the form of files and music services like Tidal or Spotify.
The first music CDs were created in 1982 and were used only in phonographic studios. They appeared in our homes three years later, making a significant revolution in the world of audio. Cassettes are forgotten and digital quality prevails over analog recording. What characterizes a CD are the two most important parameters:
• Frequency 44.1 kHz.
• Resolution 16 bits.
These parameters have not changed over the years, evolving in accordance with our higher needs. The CD is a limited edition. The music contained on it had to be subjected to a dynamic compression stage, which in turn limited the frequency response.
Since it is assumed that the limit value of the audibility of the human ear is 20 kHz, then the sampling frequency in this case should be 40 kHz.
The resolution of an audio signal is a description of the number of bits of one audio sample. The larger the value, the more detailed the sound becomes. As the number of bits increases, so does the size of the file (it takes up more space on our disk). The CD has a resolution of 16 bits per sample, while the audio described on the DVD has a 24 bit resolution. Bit resolution is only valid for a digital signal.
The term Hi-Res Audio is, of course, extended by the term High-Resolution Audio, that is, high-resolution audio. This name is given to digital files with a higher sampling rate and resolution than CD (44.1 kHz, 16 bits).
Lossless compression is the most accurate form of the original file. Its goal is to present the work in such a way that not a single musical detail that we hear is damaged. In other words, the idea is to represent the same sounds with fewer bits in the memory of our portable devices or computers.
Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC) is a format developed in 2001. It reduces the file size to 50-70% of the original and can contain signals from mono to stereo up to eight-channel audio tracks. It displays the encoded audio with 1:1 accuracy without losing a single bit of digital data.
In our constant pursuit of sonic excellence, we believe that Hi-Res music will become an increasingly popular medium.