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Hi Res Audio

Definition of Hi-Res AUDIO (Announced on June 12th 2014)

  1. In principle, the definition of “Hi-Res” is based on the announcement of Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA) on the March 26, 2014
  2. “Hi-Res” applicable products JAS defines is to fulfill the following specification on the recording, reproduction and signal transition process
    • (1) Microphone response performance: 40 kHz or above during recording
    • (2) Amplification performance: 40 kHz or above
    • (3) Speaker and headphone performance: 40 kHz or above
    • (1) Recording format: Capability of recording using the 96kHz/24bit format or above
    • (2) I/O (Interface): Input/output interface with a performance of 96kHz/24bit or above
    • (3) Decoding: File playability of 96kHz/24bit or above (FLAC and WAV both required)
      (In case of self-recording equipment, FLAC or WAV file is required as minimum condition)
    • (4) Digital Signal Processing: DSP processing of 96kHz/24bit or above
    • (5) D/A conversion: Digital to analog conversion processing of 96 kHz/24 bits or above
  3. Listening evaluation process is to be organized
    • (1) Listening evaluation process is added and final decision as Hi-Res Audio product to be proved according to each company’s sound evaluation standard.

What Hi-Res audio Means?

First off, let’s discuss the meaning of high-res audio. Normal MP3s that you may have ripped from CDs or downloaded online are usually compressed and while it doesn’t make any difference for anyone listening to it, most trained ears will instantly know the difference.

For Hi-Res audio, there is no specific audio format. Any format can be considered high resolution if the audio signal, bandwidth and the dynamic range is greater than the standard norm. This can include music that have sampling rates of more than 44100 Hz and bit-depth that are greater than 16. Numbers might confuse you, but that simply means that audio that you will hear will be clearer, crisper and more detailed.

Formats used for hi-res audio include FLAC, ALAC, AIFF, WAV and DSD with FLAC may be the most popular format for audiophiles. But keep in mind that the bit depth and sampling must still be above what is offered on a standard CD to be able to be considered as hi-res. For example, a file format may be FLAC, but if the sampling rate is below 44100 Hz then it is not considered hi-res.

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