To study perceptual discrimination between two digital audio coding formats, ?Direct Stream Digital? and highresolution (24-bit, 176.4 kHz) PCM, subjective listening comparison tests were conducted with specially recorded sound stimuli in stereo and surround. To guarantee their reliability, validity and objectivity, the double-blind ABX tests followed three main principles: The signal chain should be based on identical audio components as far as possible; these components should be able to convey very high audio frequencies; and the test population should consist of various groups of subjects with different listening expectations and perspectives. The results showed that hardly any of the subjects could make a reproducible distinction between the two encoding systems. Hence it may be concluded that no significant differences are audible.
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