View Full Version : 16-bit and 24-bit

2007-06-12, 09:01 PM
can someone explain the difference between the 16-bit and 24-bit to this moron?


2007-06-12, 09:14 PM
Bit Depth refers to how much information is captured with a sample )I.e. 44.1 khz, 48 khz, etc...). Each sample measures the amplitude (shape) of the wave, and higher bit depths allow the analog shape to be more closely matched.

Bit depth is exponential, so a 24-bit sample holds 256 times as much information as a 16-bit sample. A 16-bit sample has a range of 65,536 values, while a 24-bit sample has a range of 16,777,216.

In other words - high bit rate means more info which means better quality of recording!

The obvious downside is a CD-R is 44.1 KHZ sample rate/16 bit.

So 24 bit is only useful if you ((1) got a kick ass sound system on your PC or (2) burn the file onto a DVD-A.

2007-06-12, 09:31 PM
There are some 24-bit CD's available in stores, but only for specific albums and not CDR's of course.

2007-06-12, 09:50 PM
You can certainly burn 24 bit audio on a CDR. Playing it, though, would be a challenge ;)

2007-06-12, 11:00 PM
24 bit offers more detail than 16 bit, so in a comparison between a 16 bit source and a similar 24 bit source, the 24 bit recording will always win based on sound quality. Compare the original Nintendo Entertainment System that was 8 bit with the new systems like the XBOX 360, Wii, or Playstation 3 that are 256 bit (I think). The new systems' graphics look more realistic because they can display more detail.

Basically, the sound waveforms we hear live or from vinyl records or analog sourced tapes are round, smooth curves. A digital representation (compact discs, DAT, etc.) of an analog or live waveform looks like staircase steps, at 90 degree angles. In other words, jagged edged instead of smooth and rounded. As you increase the bit depth, the steps become smaller and higher in number, so they more closely resemble the ideal round, smooth analog waveforms.

You can read more here:



2007-06-12, 11:22 PM
You can get a good Onkyo or Denon (quality consumer brands) DVD-Audio/Video player for about $200. It would be worth it even if you don't have surround sound (5.1 receiver and 6 speakers), because 2 channel stereo DVD-Audio is still amazing. Careful, some players will only play DVD-R and not DVD+R. You may want to wait to buy a new standalone player until the format war that is currently going on between HD-DVD and Blu-Ray is over and a winner is declared. Then buy a player that supports DVD-Audio. Commercial discs are about $15, the same as CD's, but there are a lot less titles available. You can browse DVD-A titles at www.circuitcity.com (lower prices) or www.jr.com (more titles). You can also burn DVD-Audio discs from 24 bit FLAC files with free software available at:


2007-06-16, 07:45 PM
I should add that you can author and then burn an audio-only DVD-video disc with a menu from 16bit/48kHz, 24bit/48kHz, or 24bit/96kHz WAV files playable on all DVD players with Audio DVD Creator ($40) http://www.audio-dvd-creator.com

2007-06-18, 12:00 AM
thanks a lot folks