Audio Engineers Question High-Res Audio Claims, Release Files for YOU to Judge

Tests done at the 139th AES Convention by ImmersAV Technology suggest there is no increase in quality with dynamic range beyond 85dB or bandwidth beyond 20kHz.

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For the past couple of years the consumer and professional audio markets have promoted the benefits of high-resolution audio. 

A newly released study conducted by the binaural and HD video company ImmersAV Technology suggests the dynamic range and bandwidth advantages that are associated with high-resolution audio, “do not offer any perception benefits beyond those of standard CD.”

The founding partners of ImmersAV Technology, Robert Schulein and Dr. Dan Mapes-Riordan, have recently released three test files that audio enthusiasts can use to judge these claims. ImmersAV Techonology says the details of the tests can be found in a YouTube video it produced, and it points out that initial tests done at the 139th Audio Engineering Society (AES) Convention in New York and as part of an AES demonstration it held in Chicago found little differences in certain areas of comparison when examining the differences between CD-quality audio and high-resolution audio. 

“We welcome interested individuals to evaluate these tests and offer comments,” says Schulein. “We are not saying that there are no benefits to high-resolution audio, however they do not appear to lie in these areas. Other factors such as anti-aliasing and anti-imaging filters may however have a perceptible influence on differences heard by some. These are areas of ImmersAV's ongoing research.”

Mapes-Riordan adds the production side of the music creation processs could benefit the most from the use of advanced technologies such as increased bit rates and higher frequency sampling. 

“Audio recording, editing and mastering can indeed benefit from sampling rates and bit depth beyond those of the CD due to the DSP processes used,” he theorizes. “However, once the production has been completed a standard format CD will offer the bandwidth and dynamic range needed to enjoy these aspects of the production.”

About the Author

Robert Archer
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Robert Archer:

Bob is an audio enthusiast who has written about consumer electronics for various publications within Massachusetts before joining the staff of CE Pro in 2000. Bob is THX Level I certified, and he's also taken classes from the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) and Home Acoustics Alliance (HAA). Bob also serves as the technology editor for CE Pro's sister publication Commercial Integrator. In addition, he's studied guitar and music theory at Sarrin Music Studios in Wakefield, Mass., and he also studies Kyokushin karate at 5 Dragons and Brazilian jiu-jitsu at Binda Brazilian Jiu Jitsu; both schools are located in Haverhill, Mass.