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A New Study Proves That CD-Quality Sound Is Not Good Enough

You can finally throw out all of those CDs you’ve been holding on to.

A day of reckoning has arrived. A new study has demonstrated that humans can tell the difference between CD-quality audio and better-than-CD-quality audio. Despite the seeming obviousness of this statement, it’s actually a controversial finding.

It’s long been thought that the CD-quality audio standard—that’s 16-bit 44.1 kHz—exists at the boundary of human perception. Many flame wars have been waged over the topic with one side saying that you can’t hear more than CD-quality and with another side suggesting that you can. And, in fact, the research itself was done out of a desire to put an end to this arguing once and for all. Dr. Joshua Reiss, the study’s author, writes:

“The motivation for this research was that people in the audio community endlessly discuss whether the use of high-resolution formats and equipment really makes a difference. Conventional wisdom states that CD quality should be sufficient to capture everything we hear, yet anecdotes abound where individuals claim that hi-res content sounds crisper, or more intense. And people often cherry-pick their favorite study to support whichever side they’re on.”

While we hope this puts the issue to bed, we have a feeling that all you audiophiles, headphone heros and cellar dwellers will keep right on arguing.

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(Via Sonic State)