AES E-Library

AES E-Library

Native High-Resolution versus Red Book Standard Audio: A Perceptual Discrimination Survey

The perceptibility of high-resolution versus CD standard audio has been the subject of research and debate since the introduction of hi-res audio distribution formats twenty years ago. The author conducted a large survey to determine whether experienced listeners could differentiate between a diverse set of twenty native high-resolution PCM stereo recordings and down conversions of the same masters at 44.1 kHz/16-bits fidelity. Participants were encouraged to audition the files using their own systems, which ranged from modest, headphone-based personal setups to audiophile quality rooms costing in excess of $50,000 to professional studio environments. They were not allowed to use analytical tools or other non-listening means to assist in their observations. Over 400 responses were received from professional audio engineers, experienced audiophiles, casual music enthusiasts, and novices aged eleven to eighty-one years. The online survey submissions show that high-resolution audio was undetectable by a substantial majority of the respondents regardless of experience level, equipment cost, or process with almost 25% choosing “No Choice.”. However, some evidence exists that specific genres and recordings produced moderately higher positives.

Author:
Affiliations:
AES Convention: Paper Number:
Publication Date:
Subject:
Permalink: http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=20954

Click to purchase paper as a non-member or login as an AES member. If your company or school subscribes to the E-Library then switch to the institutional version. If you are not an AES member and would like to subscribe to the E-Library then Join the AES!

This paper costs $33 for non-members and is free for AES members and E-Library subscribers.

Learn more about the AES E-Library

E-Library Location:

Join the discussion about this paper! (2 comments)


AES - Audio Engineering Society