We love music! It motivates us, lifts our spirits, sets the perfect mood, and so much more.
Music in many ways, an expression and extension of ourselves. When listening to our favourite music, we want to listen to it as the artist intended. We want to hear every piano key, guitar chord, bass line, and drum beat… we want to hear it all. In today’s digital age, this is where high-resolution audio comes in.
What is High Resolution Audio?
For those who remember, the CD was introduced in 1982. Since its introduction, the audio CD has set the bar for digital audio quality. “Hi-res audio” is used to describe any digital audio file or format that matches or exceeds the quality of an audio CD. In late 1999, following in the footsteps of the CD, SuperAudio CD and DVD Audio discs were introduced, which promised even higher quality audio tracks, however, they did not last. In 2001, Apple revolutionized the music industry and the world when it released the first iPod. Overnight, any growing momentum toward hi-res music was decimated by Apple’s promise of “a thousand songs in your pocket,” and music fans gobbled up iPods at a dizzying pace.
If you wanted to have thousands upon thousands of songs on your favourite portable music player, there was no way to include hi-res music files due to a lack of space. In order to fit that much music, the iPod and other players at the time relied on the MP3 digital format. A lossy digital audio format that actually deletes much of the information on an audio CD to keep file sizes as small as possible. Hi-res audio couldn’t compete. It would be almost 15 years before portable storage was cheap enough and plentiful enough to house their large file sizes.
How Do I Play High Resolution Music?
You’ll need a player or device that is capable of playing high-resolution tracks. Many devices on the market will be able to play these high-resolution tracks. Desktop computers, portable music players, smartphones, Google Chromecast, DACs (Digital to Analogue convertors), wireless speakers, and whole-home music systems are all capable of playing these superior audio tracks. But there is a catch….. While a smartphone is capable of playing these high solution tracks, in most cases, you won’t be able to hear the difference due to the speakers built into these phones. These speakers don’t have the ability to play every note. While a high-resolution player connected to a pair of bookshelf or in-ceiling speakers will do a better job of playing back every note the artist recorded.
How Do I Get High Resolution Audio Tracks?
There are many ways you can obtain high res audio tracks. Here are the top three options.
- Download the tracks you want. Here is a list of popular download sites: https://www.digitaltrends.com/music/best-sites-downloading-hd-music/
- Subscribe to a music streaming service that offers high-resolution music. Streaming providers such as Tidal, Amazon Music HD, and Qobuz.
- Deezer Hifi and Spotify both offer better than MP3 options.
What About My Existing CD Collection?
While not true high resolution, converting your CDs will allow you to playback those audio tracks on your favourite music player. All while sounding better than MP3 tracks found on most online streaming services. For help converting your CD collection, please reach out to us for more information.
The Tip of the Iceberg.
High-resolution audio is just starting to gain momentum and is predicted to replace the MP3 in a few years. If looking for more information, please click on the link below for more information.