USB HiFi and HighEnd

24bit96.com - USB HiFi and HighEnd

USB HiFi Glossary
Glossary and Terms of Digital Audio

This professional standard audio connector is used for the transport of digital audio signals between audio devices. Mostly used in Studio-Equipment.

Audio Stream Input/Output. Computer sound card driver protocol for digital audio with low-latency. Mostly used for audio-recording.

Audio File Formats
A distinction is made between compressed and uncompressed as well as lossless and lossy audio formats. For Hi-Res only uncrompressed respectively lossless formats are recomended (e.g. for PCM-Files use WAV / FLAC, otherwise DSD)

  • Uncompressed Audio Data
    WAV: Waveform Audio File Format (.wav)
    AIFF: Audio Interchange File Form (.aiff, .aif or .aifc)

  • Lossless Data Compression
    ALAC: Apple Lossless Audio Codec (.mp4 or .m4a)
    FLAC: Free Lossless Audio Codec (.flac)
    DXD: PCM Format that is a very high sampling rate of 352.8kHz / 24bit. Also used for mastering of SACDs.

  • Lossy Data Compression
    MP3: MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 Audio Layer III (.mp3)
    AAC: Advanced Audio Coding (.aac, .mp4 or .m4a)
    OGG: OGG Vorbis, free audio compression format.

  • Direct Stream Digital
    DSD: A digital format storing audio-signals as a sequence of single-bit values at a very high sampling rate. Not supported by all the DACs.

A bit can have only one of two values (0 or 1) and is the basic unit of information in computing / digital communications.

Bit Depth
This describes the number of bits of information recorded in an individual audio sample (= resolution). For example: Audio-CD quality can support up to 16 bits / DVD-Audio can support up to 24 bits.

Bit-perfect Playback
The audio-file is provided by the DAC without any modifications like up sampling etc.

Bit Rate
The bit rate refers to the amount of data per second is obtained from a transfer from unit A to unit B. The bit rate is always specified in kilobits (Kbps) or megabits (Mbps) per second. For example, an MP3 file reproduce 128 Kbps, therefore a device is required that can process the least amount of data.

DAC / Digital Analog Converter
The Digital Analog Converter converts digital audio-signals into analog audio-signals.

ID3 Tag
Provides meta-information in audio-files like cover, song-title, artist etc. (available only for some audio-file-formats).

Software to play and stream digital music-files. Highly recommended:
- MPD (Music Player Daemon) for Linux based audio computers
- foobar2000 for Windows computers
- Sonic Studio Amarra for Mac

The resolution refers to the word length and the sampling-rate of digital audio data and is responsible for the dynamic range.

For the quality of a digital signal it is important how often the audio-signal is scanned per second (Kilohertz / kHz). This value is called thus as a sampling rate. For example: the frequency of the CD is 44100 kHz, the DVD up to 96000 kHz.

Studio Master Download
Downloads that guarantee the best quality of the audio-file without any compression. Often directly taken from the master-file of the recording studio.

This technical feature increases the sampling rate of an audio signal.

Primephonic - Classical Music as DSD, WAV and FLAC