Posted on Thursday, 17th January 2008 by Auw Jimmy

Okay, I still read a lot of people claiming that he has a 24 bit 192 kHz CD Audio. And he asks me which CD Player will suit him to play 24 bit 192 kHz CD Audio. I will explain a little bit. Read it carefully.

susanwong.jpg

You may see a lot of “audiophile wanna-be” CD Audio with 24 bit 192 kHz logo like the picture above. I never say that the CD Audio with that label will have bad sound. No and never. I never say that. The quality of a CD Audio will be affected by many factors.

The point from this article is to clarify that there’s no such thing of 24 bit 192 kHz CD Audio.

All CD Audio will follow Red Book standard which means that all CD Audio will have 16 bit 44.1 kHz as standard. Otherwise, it will not be playable on your standard CD Player.

So why do I see many claims “24 bit 192 kHz” on their CD Audio?

It’s not totally a bullshit. The producer from that CD may work in 24 bit 192 kHz domain while editing or mastering the music. But at the end, you have to dither it down to 16 bit 44.1 kHz to fit it on the CD Audio standard. So what you buy is a 16 bit 44.1 kHz CD Audio.

Some player (stand alone/dedicated player) or PC/Mac/Linux audio software player may have resampling/oversampling/dithering function to raise the resolution. But believe me, higher doesn’t mean always better. Poor implementation resampling/oversampling/dithering will bring you trouble than good result. Usually, only special/expensive resampling/oversampling/dithering will bring good result.

This kind of 24 bit 192 kHz logo is also nice, short, and effective way to attract newcomer audiophile. They will easily attracted to such thing. And also the sales/marketing understands this kind of phenomena. That’s why you can see many CD Audio use such 24 bit 192 kHz label, though when you hear the sound, (for some of them) the quality is below average. Good CD Audio like this one and this one and this one usually never put such information. Good is good, despite of what label used on the cover.

Do I need 24 bit 192 kHz sound card?

Question above also very popular asked to me. My short general answer to most people: No. In the real life, almost all people never use resolution higher than 16 bit 48 kHz. All your MP3, WAV, CD Audio, Loseless compression, iPod, AAC, etc will run at 16 bit 44.1 kHz. Your DVD will run at 16 bit 48 kHz.

Maybe some of you have DVD Audio (with the one and only sound card support it, the Creative Audigy/X-Fi family). This is the one and only high resolution recording which needs 24 bit 96/192 kHz features on your sound card. Off course, if you have it!

If you don’t have it, then there’s no use to buy 24 bit 192 kHz sound card. Exception if you are doing recording. Though in many occasion you will never record at 24 bit 192 kHz, but it’s a quite must for your investment in the future.

Ok, end of the short course for today. Enjoy the music!






Posted in DIY Audio, Personal | Comments (20)


20 Responses to “There’s No Such 24 bit 192 kHz CD Audio in The World!”


  1. budmen says:

    How about HDCD ?

  2. Jimmy Auw says:

    HDCD is 20 bit 44.1 kHz. But you need a special HDCD Player to read the 4 bit extras. Otherwise, you only can read 16 bit (it means equal with standar CD Audio). So it’s similiar with SACD Hybrid, which you can only read 16 bit 44.1 kHz with typical/standard CD Player.

  3. Tin says:

    Hi Jimmy, do you know where I can pick up the CDs you recommended above as test cds? I can’t seem to find them in music stores or even online shops. Thanks for the help.

  4. Jimmy Auw says:

    Which CD? Most of them available on the online shop…
    Please search at Google or give me the CD’s title and I try to recommend an online store for you.
    Thanks.

  5. Tin says:

    Hi Jimmy, I can’t seem to find this CD any where on the web

    Burmester Vorfuhrungs CD III

    Thanks for the help.

  6. Jimmy Auw says:

    That one is quite rare…
    I’ve ever found a website that sells this CD, but forget the name.
    Sorry.

  7. heavymetalblues says:

    I don’t agree with you. If I just use the CD as a medium to store a recorded wave file that was produced using the 24 bit 192 khz tech, then I can have a cd (playable using a dvd player designed to be capable of playing 24/192) that is 24 bit 192 khz. Although it maybe only hold a few minutes recording due to the large file. Of coz, I doubt any commercial producer would do that, i.e., to sell a cd with only a few minutes 24/192 recording.

  8. Jimmy Auw says:

    Hi,
    There is no such compatible format between your “24/192 recorded CD” and your “24/192 DVD Player”. So the CD wont be recognized. We are talking about the format (which is defined as Red Book for CD Audio with 16/44.1 as standard).

    Anyway, 24/192 in DVD is only for DAC capability. It doesn’t reflect the player capability to play 24/192 stream. Even a DVD Video standard doesn’t have 24/192 standard. So you want to play 24/192 kHz CD?

    Thanks.

  9. Patrick says:

    When your friend asked you, “which CD Player will suit him to play 24 bit 192 kHz CD Audio,” you probably should have just told him a dvd-audio or sacd player. Many people less electronically educated than yourself simply call anything that looks like a CD a “CD.” Thanks for spreading the word that the CD format, introduced nearly 30 years ago, is not capable of as high resolution sound as two formats (dvd-a & sacd) introduced 8 years ago. 24 bit/192 kHz cards are useless for blu-ray too, right?

  10. alfred ez says:

    Hi jimmy, I have been using a 5 bit cd player from revox. Recent swap to a budget sharp dvd player and was taken by surprise by its resolution and body to the sound.Is it true that a dvd player can decode a cd with ease that’s why it sounds better.

  11. Jimmy Auw says:

    Hi Alfred,
    Most likely, newer player will provide “better” sound, especially at first impression, due to newer components.

    What they decode is basically the same. The different is “who” and “how” they process the sound.

    Thanks.

  12. Paul says:

    Keep in mind that the output devices, Op Amps etc., will make a player sound different, be it better or worse, as well.

    Yes, the DAC will play a part in audio performance but so will the output device(s).

    For example, I recently replaced the M5238PF op amps in an older 16/44.1 cd player because the sound was just not as warm and involving as my 24/192 dvd/sacd player. To my surprise, putting in Burr Brown OPA2134PA op amps made a significant improvement in the sound quality of the 16/44.1 unit. If there is a difference between the 2 players I can no longer hear it.

    Just thought I would share my experience. Hopefully it will help others to understand that the DAC is not the only important factor in how your cd player sounds.

  13. Andy says:

    Damn, I just bought a new PCI USB 2.0 card for my e-mu to get exactly 24 bit/192khz recording.
    Maybe I wasted a few bucks.

    The playback sound is somewhat showing in the higher frequencies. But, that ads a certain hiss thru those freqs as well.

  14. Jimmy Auw says:

    Recording at 24/192 is possible, but you will dither it to 16/44 anyway when burning it to standard Red Book CD Audio.

    Thanks.

  15. name says:

    Actually if the 192khz 32 bit audia cd is put into ordinary cd audio player it can play it really well. Even if I put it 8 speakers digitally in my audio files.

  16. name says:

    the audio quality do not shrink at all.

  17. hmmm says:

    your claiming just half true. There is 24/192 recording and that plays with 24/192. if you convert it down ,there is no point to make that quality. The SACD sampling rate is 2822.4 kHz and the resolution is one bit. A stereo SACD recording can stream data at an uncompressed rate of 5.6 Mbps; four times the rate for Red Book CD stereo audio. But the reality is this are DVD-5 , so not CD’s. the name can be confusing Super Audio CD.

    you might mixit with DSD-CD ,which is a variant of the Compact Disc Digital Audio format. The difference with the regular version of CD is that the sound is derived from a DSD master. A DSD-CD however does not achieve the same sound resolution as SACD because the high-resolution DSD sound has to be down-converted to 44.1 kHz, 16-bit PCM in order to be compliant with the ‘Red Book’ audio CD standard. DSD-CDs are fully compatible with CD.
    Audio is stored on the disc in Linear PCM format, which is either uncompressed or losslessly compressed with Meridian Lossless Packing. The maximum permissible total bit rate is 9.6 Megabits per second. Channel/resolution combinations that would exceed this need to be compressed. In uncompressed modes, it is possible to get up to 96/16 or 48/24 in 5.1, and 192/24 in stereo. To store 5.1 tracks in 88.2/20, 88.2/24, 96/20 or 96/24 MLP encoding is mandatory.

  18. Jimmy Auw says:

    Hi,
    Indeed, theory and practical in audio sometime become a two different world. What good in the theory, may have poor result in the reality and vice versa.

    Thanks.

  19. Johnny says:

    how do i play SACD? can i play it with ordinary dvd player?

  20. Auw Jimmy says:

    Hi Johnny,
    With DVD or CD Player, you can only read the CD layer from SACD (just make sure the source is SACD Hybrid which consists of CD+SACD layer on same disc). Not all SACD is Hybrid type. If not Hybrid type, then the only option is to use SACD Player.

    If you want to read the complete SACD layer, then you will need SACD Player.

    Thanks.


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