CES 2016 Press Center
CES' Hi-Res Audio Guide
Audio (HRA) is an opportunity for music-lovers to experience their favorite
artists and songs as they never have before. Getting involved in hi-res
listening and being able to appreciate the sonic benefits of these differences
may require some adjustments in how you collect and play your digital music, but
CEA is committed to helping consumers make the worthwhile transition.
What is Hi-Res Audio?
Hi-Res Audio (HRA) offers the highest digital sound quality while retaining the
benefits of digital audio, such as portability and personalization. HRA provides
listeners greater sound clarity and detail than MP3s and other compressed
digital audio formats.
What audible benefits does Hi-Res Audio provide?
Hi-Res Audio tracks capture the details, instrument and vocal timber and
textures that listeners typically sacrifice when listening to MP3s, CDs or
streamed Internet music.
What equipment do you need to enjoy Hi-Res Audio?
Better audio playback gear make the benefits of Hi-Res files more evident,
though an expensive audiophile sound system is not required. Headphones,
speakers, and amplifiers, and DACs (digital-to-analog) converters are necessary
for a hi-res experience, and should be selected carefully to ensure their
ability to reveal nuance in the music.
Are there streaming music options for hi-res
The higher bandwidth requirements of Hi-Res Audio, coupled with low consumer
awareness, have kept the most popular online music services from offering hi-res
streams to date. However, one music streaming subscription service, Tidal, has
announced plans to launch a hi-res music option.
Hi-Res Audio Gear Guide
Portable Hi-Res Digital Music Players
Smartphones equipped to store and play hi-res music in their native resolutions
remain rare, but dedicated hi-res portable players are increasing in numbers.
Digital-to-Analog Converters (DACs)
Virtually all audio-related products today contain a digital-to-analog
converter, or DAC, that converts digital audio bitstreams into analog signals
that can be played with an amplifier and speakers or headphones.
Premium Headphones/Headphone Amplifiers
Well-engineered, sonically revealing speakers or headphones are a critical link
in the audio chain for hearing what's truly special about high-resolution audio.
Premium headphones, coupled with a good DAC/headphone amp combo or a portable
hi-res music player, can be a great starter system for music lovers looking to
get into the game.
Speakers, Powered and Passive
Desktop speakers or studio monitors with built-in amplifiers can take hi-res
audio files off a DAC. Alternately, traditional passive bookshelf or tower
speakers can be mated with a good-quality stereo receiver or integrated
amplifier (with an attached or built-in DAC) for in-room playback of hi-res
music. Some wireless speakers and multi-room audio systems using Wi-Fi or
AirPlay do boast hi-res compliance.
Audio/Video and Network Receivers
Most A/V receivers and so-called “network” stereo receivers or amplifiers
sold today can be hooked up to a home network where they can access hi-res audio
music files stored on a network-attached computer, hard drive or even a hi-res-compatible
cloud storage locker.
Specialty Audio Cables
Premium audio cables will help with the high-quality transfer of digital audio
signals over USB and coaxial or optical S/PDIF cables.
Online Hi-Res Music Retailers
Pono Music Store
Pro Studio Masters
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Center by Enjoy the Music.com.
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