Is Hi-Res Audio All Hype? Or Is It the Real Deal?

As someone who loves full-fidelity audio, I long for a day when we return to an obsession with getting the best possible sound into our ears. This is part of the reason I re-embraced vinyl and why I have cautiously high hopes for Hi-Res Audio, which is being touted by a series of manufacturers like Technics and Sony.

But is Hi-Res Audio really all that? Or is it just another scam to get people to repurchase their music in a new format? Sound and Vision takes a look.

Q For the past few years I’ve been following the High-Res Audio “movement.” After reading several articles in Sound & Vision, I finally decided to order an AudioQuest DragonFly Black and rip a few of my favorite 90s rock/alternative CDs to FLAC format. I also downloaded the HDtracks sampler and purchased 96/24 versions of Pearl Jam’s No Code and Muse’s Drones. I couldn’t wait to “hear my music again for the first time.” Know what? It didn’t matter if I listened with my Apple EarPods, Bose SoundTrue headphones, or Logitech desktop speakers, I couldn’t hear any differences!  What gives? Do I really have to spend $1000 on headphones to appreciate hi-res audio? Is the problem the distortion and effects in the music I typically listen to, or is High-Res Audio all hype? —Adam Head

A First off, let me say that I sympathize with your struggle to grasp the benefits of High-Res Audio (HRA). It’s not easy to hear differences. In some cases, there aren’t significant differences to be heard. Let me explain.

Read on.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

One thought on “Is Hi-Res Audio All Hype? Or Is It the Real Deal?

  • January 28, 2017 at 8:34 pm

    it’s worth taking the link to that article just to read the first comment.


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