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If you are a music lover, you want to know how to start listening to audiophile sound. Lossy mp3 and newer AAC file formats have brought good sonic and got first popularity among Internet downloads. But the newest wideband communications allow downloading of big files. And hi-res audio (HD music) is one of the ways to approach modern high-quality recordings. Read where to buy or get free high-definition music files, is hi-resolution downloads worth it, what's the highest quality audio formats, popular myths, and frequently asked questions.
September 4, 2023 updated | since November 25, 2018

Author: Yuri Korzunov,
Audiophile Inventory's developer with 25+ year experience in digital signal processing,
author of the articles that make audio easy for beginners

Audio Basis - articles about audio

Read below this two-part article to get essential knowledge about high-resolution music and discover it in depth even:

► HI-RES MUSIC DOWNLOADS: The definitive guide to hi-res audio (HD music, HRA): Where can you download free high-resolution files (24-bit FLAC, 384 kHz/ 32 bit, DSD, DXD, MQA, Multichannel)? Where to buy high-definition music? What formats in online stores offer? Where are hi-res audio streamings? What is the highest quality audio format download? See our top 10 of the best download sites and the long list of high-quality downloads with premium sound.

► HI-RES AUDIO TECH: What is a high-definition audio capability or it’s a gimmick? What is after hi-res? What's the highest sound quality for hi-fi? Is upsampling improve audio quality or not? Read myth debunking of audiophile music formats and non-obvious things that would surprise you. Is hi-res better than CD quality (16-bit/44.1 kHz) or not? Also, watch our videos, see Frequently Asked Questions below. All this is simple explaned by Yuri Korzunov.

Keep reading.



Watch and share: Hi-Res Audio
[How it works. Sound quality. Myths]
video about hi-res audio


Watch and share: DSD vs FLAC comparison
video guide DSD vs FLAC



DISCLAIMER: File formats, other details in this page were at the sites when we visited them. It can be non-correct, incomplete, changed, or disappear with time. The sites are looking legal in our opinion. But we can't guarantee it. Classification of resources is based on our opinion and may not be a reference for everybody.
It is not advertising or offer. Our site is affiliated with Audiophile Inventory only. We are not responsible for listed resources, record quality, and others.


Top 10 best hi-res audio music websites for free downloads


Top 10 hi-res download websites


Look at our top 10 best sites with free high-resolution music downloads [in alphabetical order].


  1. Anadyomene' Secret Rec.

    Recording label that offers 24bit/96kHz free FLAC downloads.
    Genre: atmospheric ambient transcendental experimental-electronic
    Free downloads

    File archive that contains free FLAC 24 bit / 96 kHz music.
    Genre: various
    Free samples
  3. Audiophile Inventory

    Original HD music and audio samples FLAC 24 bit | 32 bit / 96 kHz | 192 kHz | 384kHz, DSF up to D1024 (45.1 MHz / fs1024)
    Genre: electronic rock
    Free music downloads [FLAC and DSF]
  4. Blue Coast Records
    Recording label for audiophiles provides free DSD, WAV, FLAC, MQA downloads in various formats
    Genre: acoustic, americana, folk, jazz, new age, pop
    Free sample downloads
  5. Blue Moon

    Audio magazine provides hi-res sound files 24 bit / 96 kHz.
    Genre: various
    Free downloads
  6. Hifi Statement

    Magazine about audio equipment that offers free HD music downloads 384 kHz / 32 bit and DSD files up to DSD256.
    Genre: jazz/classical
    Free samples #1 Free samples #2 (WAV 24 bit / 192 kHz)
  7. NativeDSD

    Online record shop. DSD in stereo (2 channels ) and multichannel (5 channels) up to DSD512. You can get free started pack to check out sound quality.
    Genre: jazz, classical, bebop, bigband, choir, ethno, film music, fuzion, rock, electronics and others
    Free audio downloads
  8. Oppo

    Manufacturer of high-quality audio electronic. They offers free demo tracks in MQA 24-bit / 384 kHz, DSD64 2.0 stereo and 5.0 multichannel, FLAC and WAV 24-bit / 88.2 kHz.
    Genre: acoustic, folk, world, country.
    Free music samples
  9. Soundkeeper Recordings

    Record label that uses spaces which is the best for performance to better listening experience of the recordings. They offers 24 bit 192 kHz free music downloads.
    Genre: jazz, folk, world, country, rock, and others.
    Free downloads
  10. Wechseldominante

    Free samples in different formats by the self-publishing music group.
    Genre: piano.
    Free audio samples

See below the long list and essential overview of a variety of hi-res audio music download sites. You can get files in CD or hi-res sound quality for free. See where you can buy your favorite high-resolution music tracks and albums at online shops/stores/labels across all genres (classical, jazz, rock, indie, pop, and others). You can search for master studio quality recordings.



[The list continuation] Where are hi-res audio download websites [free music and buy albums]

Hi-res audio download sites


HD music download websites [list continuation]



See the long list of high-resolution audio download websites, online shops, labels, get your favorite hi-fi music albums, check out HD music samples

  1. 2L
    Norwegian label and online shop with classical, jazz music up to DSD256 (256fs, 11.2 MHz), DXD, FLAC up to 352.8 kHz / 24 bit, MQA sound files.
    Genre: classical.
  2. 24bit96
    Site about computer hi-res audio with free downloads.
    Genre: test.
    Test files in high resolution
  3. 7digital
    Music platform providing the tools that to offer and manage audio. US, NO, DE online stores with 24-bit FLAC high-resolution audio downloads.
    Genres: pop, electronic, rock, jazz, classical, others.
  4. Audite
    Label that is oriented towards high quality, online catalogue, historic recordings archive. WAV up to 44.1 kHz / 16 bit, FLAC up to 96 kHz / 24 bit, including surround.
    Genre: classical.
  5. Acoustic Sounds
    Digital download service with audiophile music that provides DSD64(64fs, 2.8 MHz), FLAC up to 192 kHz / 24 bit.
    Genres: alternative, celtic, swing, punk, folk, new age, gospel, pop, rock, jazz, hip hop, rap, easy listening, blues, classical, others.
  6. Apple Music
    Online music platform with different services that offers ALAC up to 24 bit / 192 kHz.
    Genres: pop, rock, hip-hop, jazz, country, r&b, rock, classical, k-pop, acoustic, indie, reggae, blues, and others.
  7. ATMA Classique
    Online hi-fi music shop for music lovers that require sound quality.
    Genre: classical.
  8. Audiophile Music
    Audiophile music 24 bit/192 kHz, 24 bit / 352.8 kHz audio downloads, Direct Stream Digital up to DSD512, SACD and other formats.
    Various genres: Classical, Jazz, Pop, Rock and others.
  9. Bandcamp
    Online recording store, music community supporting artists in various genres. It provides  WAV, FLAC, AIFF, mp3, aac, etc.
    Genres: electronic, experimental, alernative, rock, ambient, rap, acoustic folk, hip-hop, pop, industrial, indie, and others.

See continuation the list below...


  1. Berliner Philharmoniker Recordings
    Recordings label for classical genre with music shop for hi-fi listeners. The label offers Blu-ray, SACD, downloads.
    Genre: classical.
  2. Bleep
    Record shop that provides 24 bit music files.
    Genres: electronic, acid, house, techno, modern classical, jazz, alternative, soundtracks, new age, and others.
  3. Blue Note
    Webstore that is selling music in 44.1 kHz / 24 bit and others.
    Genres: fusion, jazz, contemporary jazz, and others.
  4. Boston Symphony Orchestra
    Website of Boston Symphony Orchestra. There you can purchase digital media up to 192 / 24. Dolby Atmos is available.
    Genre: classical.
  5. Bravura Records
    Recording label that releases albums in 44.1 and 192 kHz (master) / 24-bit resolution. Also, at the website, hi-res audio downloads are available for free.
    Free music
  6. Bruce Springsteen
    Bruce Springsteen's website with recordings in MQA, FLAC, DSD, and other formats.
    Genre: rock.
  7. Burning Shed
    Online label with shop. It is specialising in singer-songwriter, electronic, art rock. Sound format resolution is 24 bit and others.
    Free music samples
  8. Cambridge Music Technology
    Studio-production services, music-technology training. It's intended for project studios and education. WAV 24 bit is available for downloading.
    Free hi res audio samples
  9. Carpe Diem Records
    Independent record label from Berlin that produces Early Music, Classical Music, Jazz, and Early Fusion genres in 24 bit / 192 kHz and other formats.
  10. Chandos
    Classical hifi music shop
  11. Channel Classics Records
    Lossless and DSD audio files
  12. Chasing the Dragon
    DSD [2.8, 5.6 MHz] and WAV 192kHz/24 downloads
  13. Dacapo Records
    FLAC 24 / 96 and more
  14. David Elias
    DSD 2.8MHz stereo and multichannel, MQA
  15. dCS
    Sample audiophile files
    Free file downloads
    FLAC 96/24 and more
  17. Design w Sound
    Free hi-res samples
  18. Digital Domain
    Calibration files, demonstration music files, 24 bit
    Demo files
  19. Downloads Now
    up to DSD256, PCM 192kHz
  20. Dr.Z's Test CD
    PCM, DSD files
    Download file
    DSD64, 128
  22. DSD Master
    DSD, PCM 24bit 352kHz
    Free samples
  23. EClassical
    FLAC up to 88.2 kHz / 24 bit
    Free downloads
  24. e-onkyo music
    Music store
    Free samples
  25. Footprint Records
    Stereo/multichannel, DXD, FLAC
  26. Gubemusic
    24 / 96 and others
  27. Gumroad | Serieril
    DSD64, 256, 24-bit, others
  28. HackettSongs
    24-bit audio and others
  29. HDtracks
    High-resolution music platform with DSD, AIFF/ALAC/FLAC/WAV up to 352.8/24
  30. HD-Klassik
    DSD, 24/96, more
    Free test downloads
  31. High Res Audio
    DSD (up to DSD128), FLAC, DXD, MQA and Multichannel up to 24-bit
  32. High Def Tape Transfers
    DSD, DXD, 24/192, MQA, multichannel, others
  33. HiFi Track
    DSD, 24/192, others
  34. Hyperion Records
    FLAC 24/96, others
  35. ImmersAV
    24/96 and others
  36. iTrax
    WAV, FLAC, stereo, multichannel audio
  37. Kate Bush
  38. Less Loss Audio
    24/96 sound downloads
    Free samples
  39. Linn Records
    192 kHz and others
    Free test files
  40. London Symphony Orchestra
    SACD, FLAC 24/96, others
  41. Masters From Their Day
    Site about music production
    Free samples
  42. MA Recordings
    SACD, 24 bit/176 kHz, others
  43. Marten
    24-bit hi-res / 96
  44. Max Research
    24/96, others
    Download free samples
  45. Melba Recordings
    24/96 FLAC, WMA, others
    Test files for download
  46. MIR Creation
    Production and online shop that offers DSD 96/24, 192/24, DXD 352.8/24, DSD, stereo, surround.
  47. Mora
    96, 384 kHz/24 bit, DSD64/128/256, others
    Test downloads
  48. My Sound
    48, 96, 192/24, others
    Free music samples
  49. Naim Records
    24-bit lossless music
  50. Neu Records
    FLAC, ALAC, 24/96, 2.0, 5.1
  51. Nils Frahm
    24-bit audio and others
    Free samples
    FLAC-HD, ALAC-HD, MQA, DSD, others
  53. Oclassica
    WAV 24 bit / 96 kHz, others
  54. OTOTOY
    48 kHz / 24 bit, DSD, others
  55. ProStudioMasters
    Files up to DSD256 (256fs, 11.2 MHz), FLAC/AIFF up to 352.8/24. Alternative, jazz, pop, rock and other tracks
    Download free hi res sampler
  56. Qobuz
    Up to 96 kHz / 24-bit hi-res downloads. Lossless hi-res and CD-quality album catalog with albums.
  57. Patricia Barber
    FLAC HD, ALAC HD (Apple Lossless) 24/96, others
  58. Pentatone
    Super Audio CD (SA-CD), downloads (F.A.Q.)
  59. Presto Classical
    FLAC up to 192/24, also physical mediums SACD, CD, DVD, Blu-Ray are available.
  60. Rare Noise Records
    24/96, others
  61. Real HD-audio
    Free tracks by email request
    Free samples by request
  62. Reference Recordings
    WAV, FLAC, and Apple Lossless (ALAC) 88.2/24, 96/24, 176.4/24, 192/24, others.
  63. Sony
    Links to hi res music downloads.
    Genre: pop.
    Download free samples
  64. Sound Liaison
    Music shop for HD audio downloads: DXD 352/24, DSD, FLAC 96 kHz, others.
    Genres: jazz, blues, electronic, others.
  65. Spotted Peccary Music
    Independent record label from North America that provides audiophile studio master downloads in 24-bit Apple lossless (ALAC) and FLAC.
    Genres: acoustic, ambient, electornic, chillout, and others.
  66. The Spirit of Turtle
    384 kHz, DSD256, stereo, multichannel and others
  67. trptk
    DXD Studio Master FLAC 352.8/24, 2.0, 5.1 surround, DSD and others.
  68. YouTube Music
    Read details...
  69. Willowhayne Records



Download music free online resources (additional)


Name Description
Audiomack Platform for musicians and listeners
Beatstars To find free tracks, enter "free" in the site's search line
Datpiff Platform for musicians and music discovering
Free Music Archive Music library of legal audio downloads
Jamendo Music Platform for musicians and music discovering
Musopen Audio library
Noisetrade Platform for musicians and music discovering
ReverbNation Platform for musicians and music discovering
SoundClick Platform for musicians and music discovering. Lossless available (.wav, .aif)
SoundCloud Platform for musicians and music discovering
Videvo Royalty free music in CD quality and mp3. Commercial plans are included. Music categories: rock, drama & film score, sports, romantic, new age, classical, country, children, and others.





Other music libraries and resources


Name Description
Audio Check Various online audio tests
Envato Elements Music library
Epidemic Sound Music for a content
Sound Effects Sound effect archive
Undrgrnd Music sample library





What is the highest quality audio format download?


Online stores offer audio downloads in the different formats: FLAC, mp3, AAC, DSF, and others. If you has DSD digital-to-analog converter (DAC), DSF format may be suggested as the best option for you.

Lossless files (FLAC, WAV, AIFF, ALAC, DSD) are most recommended.

Here you can read advices on recommended audio resolution...

It is not matter, that are music downloadings you have. You can, also, convert FLAC, WAV, m4a to DSD and back.


Look for more information about:



High resolution and audiophile streaming


Look at the list of hi-res audio online resources >





Hi-res audio explained



What is Hi-Res audio? How it works? Why does High Resolution is need?



Below you'll read detailed explanation what is hi-res audio. If you want to read quick explaination, read this article about HD audio...

High-res music's essence:

  • High-resolution audio (hi-res audio, high-definition audio) is digital music format family with resolutions above 16 bit/44.1 or 48 kHz, including 1-bit DSD (Direct Stream Digital).
  • Hi-res music is intended to get a better listener experience, than standard CD audio, due to higher sound quality.
  • Hi-Res audio is one of widespread terms between audiophiles, hi-fi vendors and music-production professionals.


For a better understanding of the hi-resolution, let’s consider a painting.

  • Analog recording is like painting with coarse strokes. It’s beautiful and has its own artistic nature.
    However, it is not too close to actual original picture in our eyes.
  • CD audio quality is like to color photo made with old an camera. Some blurring is there. We can see not all subtle details. However, it’s like more to original object.
  • High resolution is like to photo in modern digital camera and printed with professional quality. We can see all original image details. No blurring is there.

If these modern camera and printer are not well to do, the result may be worse than the old equipment, which we compared with CD above.


Does hi-res audio really sound better than CD? There is no simple answer to the question. Keep reading to know details.

What's the highest-quality audio format? [lossy, CD, Hi-Res, vinyl, tape]
click to enlarge to see more details
What is the highest quality audio format (lossy, CD, Hi-Res, vinyl, tape) (lossy, CD, Hi-Res, vinyl, tape)

In the picture, we can see approximate artistic visualization of sound format differences. It is not a real distinction. It matters, how these music systems are done. Nevertheless, we can see general trends.

In instance, analog systems corrupt sound:

  • "Wow and flutter" is tone floating due to fluctuations in the rotation speed of tape or vinyl recording.
  • "Tape compression" is a non-linear distortion close to overload level of input signal. It reduces output level softly when the input level is increased linearly.

Some colorization can cause a more "nice" or "interesting" "look" for analog mediums, if compare with digital sources. Despite the fact that the last ones are closer to the original acoustical source objectively.

When vinyl recording is produced from studio tape, their distortions are merged in a complicated way.

High resolution does not have these "analog" issues. However, digital recordings may have aliases. They are shown as shifted copies of original signal; in the picture: shifted semitransparent images.

You can read quick start guide about high-res audio or keep reading for advanced study.


Watch and share: Analog vs Digital Audio
Video guide analog vs digital audio



Why does Hi-Res audio needed?

Hi-res audio was designed to provide higher sound quality and a better listener experience, than standard CD audio. Read below: is the aim achieved or not?

PCM 44.1 kHz / 16 bit vs. High resolution: PCM and DSD

PCM 44.1 kHz /16 bit vs Hi-Res PCM and DSD


Can humans hear in hi-res?

According to current theory and practice, human hears up to 20 kHz. At first sight, CD resolution fully covers the frequency range and hi-res doesn't need.

However, high-resolution audio may solve some distortion issues in the audible range. I.e. high-res solves equipment issues.

The author wants to remind, high-resolution doesn't guarantee improvements. It gives abilities only. Bad-made HD system can sound worse than a good-made 44.1 / 16 one.

Below read details about whether can humans hear hi-res audio or not.


Can humans hear 24-bit audio?

Below we'll consider how a bit depth increasing affects sound quality.

In theory, 24-bit has lower distortions than 16-bit resolution.

Practically, there are many factors, that may waste the advantages of the higher resolution.

Keep reading.


For instance, a picture is assembled from 100x100 squares and has a size like a home window.

This picture is well visible from 10 steps. The image looks smooth.

We want to increase the distance range (loudness range). I.e., we want to see the picture from both 10 and 100 steps.

So, we should increase the picture size to the size of the home wall.

After it, the square sizes become larger.

But, we want to keep a good look at the smaller 10-step distance too.
And we should use smaller squares in greater numbers: 300 x 300, in instance.

So, to see from 10 steps and 100 ones (both quiet and loud sounds), we need a higher 300x300 resolution instead initial 100x100 one.


Does music genres make matter?

Some kinds of music with a wide loudness range (like classical, jazz, soundtracks), demand a wider dynamic range of a music system.
The range may be achieved through resolution increasing. It allows the keeping of distortion levels at various loudness.

Also, genres may vary in a frequency range. But, according to the current common sound theory, the audible range does matter in any case. And, high-res doesn't add something to it. It is worth remembering, that a high sampling rate allows for solving some distortion issues in the audible range.

High-resolution recordings were invented for music with a wide loudness range
High resolution music records



What is the highest quality audio?

If we have the hi-res now, we can also ask: what is the highest quality music?  In hi-fi, we look for minimum distortions. Higher sampling rates and bit depths give potential abilities to achieve better sound quality. It means lesser distortions. Nevertheless, the actual result depends on implementation of audio equipment and software.

For understanding how implementation impacts audio quality, let's consider the example:

We can design several different binoculars that allow seeing at 7 miles.
But glass transparency for each binocular model makes its individual image quality.

The same things are in the audio. Even if we discard ultrasound, audio format with higher resolution should provide better sound in the audible range primarily.


In the moment of the answer writing, some DACs provide:

  • sampling rates are  DSD 1024 (45.16 MHz), PCM 1536 kHz;
  • bit depth is 32-bit.

It is necessary to remember, that an actual DAC noise floor is limited by electronic hum (approximately -120 dB). However, when using 32-bit formats, engineers do not particularly worry about digital processing into a digital-to-analog converter. On the other hand, there are other factors, that can increase or reduce audio quality.

The noise floor may be considered as a water level in a pool.

An audio signal is like a ball. The upper ball part may be visible the same way when moving from one poolside to another one. It's like the same signal level at any frequency from zero to the highest one.

The different signal levels are different altitudes above the water level.
Like a denser thing falling deeper under the water. In instance, wood floats, but an iron block sinks.

In the same way, the ball may move underwater.

The water in the pool is opaque. And we can't see the ball under the water.

In other words, the signal under the noise floor is like the ball under the water level in this pool.



Lossless audio formats (FLAC, WAV, ALAC, AIFF, DSF) are recommended. However, lossy audio formats (AAC, mp3, etc.) with high bitrates (kbps) may save hard disk space. And their sounding may be indistinguishable from lossless original files.


Read more:


Hi-res audio music. Tech explanation


Digital recording issues

We haven't full control of a recording level. As example, in classical music recordings. Digital recording demands some tricks to avoid analog and analog-to-digital conversion overload distortions, that can not be fixed after the record.


Overload is the limitation of output level growth when input level of a device or software continues to increase.

Let's look at an example:

We have an empty pot (audio unit: device or software).
And we are beginning to pour water into the pot (the input level is growing).

The level of the water (output level) is growing. It becomes higher and higher.

When the level achieves the highness of the pot (maximum signal level for the unit), water overflows.
And, after it, the pot's water level is constant despite how much water will be poured (input level growing).

If we take the pot (audio unit) with higher walls, overflow is coming after more input water volume (higher input level).


ADC overload
Hi-res audio download sites


However, reducing the analog signal level at analog-to-digital converter (ADC) input can cause a worse signal-to-noise ratio. Especially, for low-level fragments of a music piece.

So, ADC should have a wider dynamic range, to reduce the risk of damaging the recorded signal.

The inherent noise of a digital signal is called quantization noise. It rises due to the error in measurement of the analog signal that is digitized.

Analog-to-digital converter (ADC) has electrical circuits that produce electrical noise.

In general, the quantization noise should be lower, than ADC's electrical noise.


ADC's maximum level is 0 dB and the noise floor is -120 dB.

We record a symphony orchestra with 2 microphones.

To avoid overload, we reduce the input analog level of ADC. It gives some loudness reserve. But it degrades the signal-to-noise ratio of quiet musical fragments.
A lesser reserve is more the signal degradation. It happens due to a lower signal-to-noise ratio. The ratio defines waveform purity.


Lower bit depth

If we use a lower bit depth resolution, it can cause quantization noise, that may be higher than the electrical noise floor of the ADC.

In instance, 16 bits cause a quantization noise floor of about -100...110 dB. It's above -120 dB of electrical noise.

And such signal-to-noise ratio falls and audio quality gets more degradation.


Digital Signal Processing

Digital signal processing (DSP) is any kind of manipulations with digital signal: gain control, equalizer, etc.

Resolution of further digital signal processing may be increased, to "transparent" work with sound for DSP designers.

Read more details in "Does 24-bit sound better than 16-bit?" part below.

There are many questions about the necessity of hi-resolution music recordings.

One people thinks, that "excessive" resolution wastes disk space only.
Other people think, that such records are needed to produce ultrasound.

But, in the author's opinion, high-res may be useful due to other reasons. Read "Myths" part below.


High-resolution audio file formats
(sample rates)

High resolution audio formats (sampling rates)


High-resolution music file formats
(bit depths)

High resolution audio formats (bit depths)


Opinion, that high res gives advantages always, is not correct for all cases.
Sometimes people, who play records with high sample rates, stumble with unexpected noise or other unwanted sounds.
In "Myths" part below you can watch the video with example.


Watch and share: What is DSD? Video explanation
video guide what is dsd


How can I play high resolution audio on my computer and other devices

Hi resolution may be played back at:

  • computers,
  • portable audio players,
  • mobile phones [smartphones],
  • tablet computers,
  • music servers,
  • SACD and Blu-Ray players,
  • etc.
High resolution audio file player software list


Separate [DAC-headphone amplifier] device may be used to connect to a mobile phone, portable player, computer and etc.

There are high res music players Mac, Windows [PC], iPhone, Android.

There is Bluetooth for high-resolution music [aptX™ HD] may be used. It supports 48 kHz / 24-bit LPCM data.


Can phones play hi res audio?

Mobile phones on Android and iOS (smartphones) can play hi-res audio. You can install audio player software and listen to music.

Some phones have pre-installed audio player software/functionality.


High-res audio converters

Audiophile and professional audio conversion software should provide a wide range of sample rates and bit depth, including 32-/64-bit.


Hi-res audio download sites


What is after hi-res sound?

High-resolution audio solves issues of non-linear distortions primarily. However, it is one dimension of sound naturalness.

The second dimension is a spatial distribution of acoustic waves in the listening point. Read details...


How many GB is 1000 songs?

Let's suggest the average song is 3 minutes.

Approximate size of 1000 songs (stereo audio files)

Format Resolution

KBit per second*

1000 songs
(3 minutes),


mp3 44.1kHz/16bit 128 2,75
mp3 44.1kHz/16bit 320 6,87
FLAC 44.1kHz/16bit 847 18,17
FLAC 192kHz/24bit 5530 118,65
WAV 44.1kHz/16bit 1411 30,28
WAV 192kHz/24bit 9216 197,75
DSD64 2.8 MHz 5383 946.28
DSD128 5.6 MHz 10767 1892,57

* 1 KBit/s = 1000 bit/s of compressed stream
** GByte = 1024 * 1024 * 1024 bytes, average FLAC compression is suggested at 60%.


Does 24-bit sound better than 16-bit?

In itself, 24 bits does not sound better than 16 bits. It's only one of many factors. But it gives potential technical abilities to improve sound quality.

Bit depth in simple words

We can imagine music as a puzzle picture.

Bit depth is like the size of the puzzle element.

Higher bit depth it's like smaller elements.

Read more about bit depth...

When bit depth is discussed, the human hearing range (about 130 dB from inaudible to pain) is taken as the reference value.

16-bit resolution has a difference of about 96 ... 110 dB between the lowest (noise floor) and highest peak levels.
It looks like enough to cover almost the full 130 dB range.

However, the range doesn't consider sound quality aspects.

A low hearing threshold is 0 dB. It's a quiet rustle of leaves, as an example. Such sound has its own signal/noise ratio too.

As an example, we want to provide proper sound quality (like tape's 60 dB) at 0 dB audible level.

So we can add about 60 dB to 130 dB (total of about 180 dB) to provide allowable quality at the lowest levels.

Why is depth higher than 16-bit need?
Look at the signal/noise ratio of the lowest loudness (quiet instruments)

Why bit depth, higher than 16 bit, is need


It is not exact numbers, because the author doesn't have a result of researches. But we can get it as the hypothesis.

So sample depths, higher, than 16 bit, may be needed.

Direct Stream Digital solves the dynamic range issue via noise shaping.




Let's low levels of a music piece have a bad (low) signal/noise ratio.

We want to improve the listening experience of these piece places. And we boost volume control.

And we begin to listen to these places better way. But noise is boosted together with music. And it degrades the sound.


To reduce the noise in quiet places of the piece, we should reduce noise level there. If bit depth is bottle-neck, we can do nothing.

But bit depth reserve gives us the ability to boost of record level:

  • without noise level increasing (if DAC is noise bottle-neck); or
  • signal noise of the quiet places is good enough even for higher loudness.




Why sample rate above 44.1 kHz is need


Why hi-res is need [sample rate]


Sample rate 44100 Hz:

  • cover audible band 0 ... 20 000 Hz and
  • have 2050 Hz reserve for the transient band of low-frequency filter (in ADC and DAC).

However, the reserve is abstractly considered. Real-life filters are analog. They have a wide transient band.

To solve the wide transient band issue, digital filters, higher sample rates, oversampling are used.

But digital filters are not ideal and have:

  • ringing audio (property of digital filters);
  • limitation of the minimal size of the transient band (due to limited computing resources for example).

To reduce "hard" efforts to achieve a proper filter transient band, higher sample rates (including DSD) may be used.

Read details issues of sample rate and filters:



Hi-res audio myths





Myth #1. High-resolution music has no sense because we can't hear ultrasound

High res is not intended for record and playback of ultrasound.

ADC and DAC have an analog filter at input and output respectively.

Analog filters are not steep and can't suppress aliases properly in allowable band 20 000...22 050 Hz for 44 100 Hz sample rate.

Higher sample rates allow placing aliases at higher frequencies, in a better suppression range of the analog filter.

The issue may be partially solved via:

  • digital filtering and decimation in ADC or
  • oversampling and digital filtering in DAC.

However, an issue with the quality of filtering may be there due to limited computing resources of hardware.

Resume: high resolution is intended for analog filters in ADC and DAC. And ultrasound playback is a consequence of higher sample rates. Ultrasound playback is not the target of hi-res records.


Myth #2. High resolution have sense because it playback ultrasound

Practical experience, which may be checked right at home, says, that we can't hear sines with frequencies above 16 ... 22 kHz. And there are no surprises for multiple trials.

There is a study:

  1. Toshiyuki Nishiguchi, Kimio Hamasaki, Masakazu Iwaki and Akio Ando: Perceptual Discrimination between Musical Sounds with and without Very High Frequency Components

This study didn't find a significant difference between samples with and without very high-frequency components. However, the authors of the research neither confirm nor deny a general human possibility to discriminate music with and without the components.


Another hand, some researches, that studied ultrasound issues:

  1. Milind N. Kunchur, 2007: Temporal resolution of hearing probed by bandwidth restriction

  2. Lisa Zyga, 2013: Human hearing beats the Fourier uncertainty principle

  3. Tsutomu Oohashi, Emi Nishina, Manabu Honda, Yoshiharu Yonekura, Yoshitaka Fuwamoto, Norie Kawai, Tadao Maekawa, Satoshi Nakamura, Hidenao Fukuyama and Hiroshi Shibasaki, 2000: Inaudible High-Frequency Sounds Affect Brain Activity: Hypersonic Effect


Some of the studies show, that we may have a brain response to ultrasound. But, it is unknown, how ultrasound impact to sound quality.


Myth #3. Hi Res sound nicer (or closer to analog) because it cause lesser "stairs"

Digital signal doesn't cause "stairs" in any resolution. Because the analog filter at output works as an interpolator (connect momentary voltage values of digital samples via smooth curve).

Digital signal isn't stairs
Digital signal isn't stairs

For high resolutions, the interpolator (analog low-frequency filter) is easier to implement in better quality (see myth #1).


Myth #4. We can compare 24 bit / 192 kHz versus 16 / 44.1, DSD vs PCM, etc.

For the comparison, we must have pure samples, that are cleared of other factors.

As rule, such comparison is seen as a blind test of samples provided by a label in different resolution. As an example, one album is distributed in 24-bit/192 000 Hz and 16 /44 100.

However, the main issue is there, that it is impossible to record "clean samples".

As an example, we split a signal from microphone to 2 audio interfaces, that work in different resolutions. But we can't split into two completely identical signals. The identity of two interfaces is a more sophisticated task than splitting.

When a single sample (music album) is converted to test with software, we don't know whether we compare: converters or resolution.

But, even, when converted samples are played back at single DAC, it may work in different modes (electrical circuit, digital processing) for various resolutions.

The author would suggest considering all known kinds of tests like "hi-res vs 44/16" as a comparison of hardware and/or software, not as comparisons of music signal resolutions.

Test standard vs high-resolution:

  1. Joshua Reiss, 2016: A Meta-Analysis Of High Resolution Audio Perceptual Evaluation


Myth #5. Hi-res records always bring the best sound quality

Sound quality depends on many variables:

  • recording,
  • playback,
  • mixing/post-production software and hardware tools,
  • skills in recording/mixing/post-production engineer,
  • recording and playback environment,
  • quality of resolution conversion;
  • etc.

Format/resolution is one of them only. No warranties, that DSD1024 will sound better than standard PCM 44/16.


Myth #6. Hi-res formats bring advantages only

No. High-resolution formats contain ultrasound. Theoretically, it does not matter for ears, because we don't hear frequencies above 20 kHz.

But, practically, music hardware and, sometimes, software have non-linear distortions. It can cause audible products from inaudible high-frequency components (intermodulation distortions).

In the educational video below, noise removal via ultrasound filtering is shown.

Watch and share: How to remove audible noise of high resolution files
video guide how to remove audible noise


Read more about optimization of audio >

In general case, higher sample rates and bit depth guarantee nothing. The result depends on implementation quality.

A professional audio interface at 44100 Hz can give better sound, than a built-in sound card at 192000 kHz.


Myth #7. Resampling can't improve sound quality

If consider altering of resolution (resampling) as itself, it is lossy processing always.

After upsampling no information is added. Conversely, we have losses, as we told above.

But we can't consider a recording without considering of playback music system.

And the system may have different distortions for various modes (combinations of sample rates and bit depths).

So, we can optimize the recording to better playback mode: choose the mode with minimal distortions.

To reduce conversion losses, audio conversion algorithm should have minimal distortions.

However, it needs to remember, that the sampling rate increase doesn't give advantages on its own.
Theoretically, in some cases, reducing a sample rate may make sound better.
In other cases, no audible difference between resolutions.
Each case should be learned individually.

Read more about sound quality improvement >



High resolution PCM audio

High-resolution PCM is supported by lossless files: WAV, AIFF, FLAC (up to 384 kHz / 32 bit), WV (WavPack), DVD, Blu-Ray, etc.

32/64-bit float formats are intended for music production and scientific purposes rather.

Also, new digital-to-analog converters support sampling rates up to 1411/1536 kHz. High rate values are especially recommended for non-oversampling DACs.

Read details below in "Bit depth" and "Sample rate" parts.

Read more about PCM formats >



DSD (Direct Stream Digital) is a 1-bit audio format with a very high sample rate (from 2.8 MHz). This signal is based on sigma-delta modulation.

To reduce the noise level and expand the dynamic range, noise shaping is used there.

Mediums: DSF/DFF/SACD ISO files, SACD optical disk.




DXD (Digital eXtreme Definition) is a PCM format with a high sample rate, derived from Direct Stream Digital.
DXD contains a low part of Direct Stream Digital's spectrum with DSD noise "hump".
Only low part of the DXD spectrum contains useful musical signal.
Noise level is growing to higher frequencies.

As rule, Digital eXtreme Definition has sample rates 352 800 Hz and above and 24-bit and above resolution.

Primarily, DXD format is intended to edit DSD.
However, there are PCM lossless formats that may be used like DXD.
Read DSD editing details...

However, not all PCM files with such sample rates are DXD. Traditional Pulse Code Modulation has no significant noise level at high frequencies.

Playback devices can filter high-frequency noise to save dynamic range and avoid intermodulation distortions.

More about DXD here.



Audio data compression for audiophiles



Lossless method to compress PCM up to 384 kHz / 32 bit. Read details here...



DST (Direct Stream Transfer) is lossless data compression method for DSD (1-bit audio) files. It's supported in *.dff files.



MQA is intended for audio data compression of high-res PCM.
As rule, it has a compression ratio better than FLAC.
But, as the author knows, MQA is not lossless for all resolutions. Because the "classical" definition of the "lossless" term means "no binary information losses after compression and restoration of an audio file". Read details here.

Also read about MQA.

MQA official site



PCM vs DSD vs DXD vs Analog sound quality

In the first approach, DSD, DXD, PCM formats give the same opportunities to designers of a music system.

A music system may be done differently according to the real vendor's abilities.

PCM has no technological "hump" of noise at high frequencies. Direct Stream Digital and Digital eXtreme Definition have the "hump".

So, for PCM, it's not necessary to suppress the high-frequency noise.

On the other hand, we don't hear ultrasound (see details below in "Myths"). And this noise is not audible.

Nevertheless, music system hardware and, sometimes, software have non-linear distortions.
The distortions can cause the generation of audible products (noise, as rule) by inaudible high-frequency noise. It's called intermodulation distortions. See more here >

So, if you hear noise in hi-res audio playback, read what can be done...



Hi-res audio: Frequently Asked Questions



Frequently Asked Questions


Hi-res quality Sound quality improvement Play hi-res Convert hi-res Hear hi-res audio Audio formats Lossless Audio resolution Bitrate Download and listen Get FLAC music Download music Get hi-res music legally Buy hi-res music FLAC sound quality DSD audio MQA audio LDAC Audio streaming


F.A.Q. hi-res audio, sound quality



What is hi res music? What does hi res audio mean?

Hi-res music is music that is produced and stored in hi-resolution formats. They provide a sample rate over 48 kHz and bit depth is 24-bit and higher or 1-bit Direct Stream Digital).

Read details...


Is hi res audio gimmick?

No. Hi-res audio solves 44.1 kHz /16-bit issues. However, a high sampling rate and bit depth doesn't guarantee higher quality. It gives just potential possibilities.



Is high res audio worth it for gaming?

High-res audio recordings can "open" better sound quality of your audio system, if it is capable of 24-bit/88 kHz resolution and above. However, there are no warranties, that hi-res bring better sound.

Read details...


What is the highest sound quality?

There is no limit to sound quality. As rule, the quality is estimated by distortion level. Modern digital systems are close to the limit of improvement by distortions.

Digital systems are moved far ahead in this matter. However, there is the next step of enhancement.

Read more:


What is the best audio quality?

Sound quality has 2 definitions:

  1. distortion level;
  2. subjective estimation of sound "beauty".

Distortion level estimates the degrading of sound of an original. But not only integrated level of distortions does matter. The character of the distortions makes an audio quality that is subjectively perceived. This phenomenon is studied by psychoacoustics.

Subjective estimation can prefer more distorted audio as "better sounding". Because some kinds of distortions can bring "warmth", "coziness", etc. of sound.

Resume: The best sound is zero distortions. But some distortions can "enhance" sound "beauty" ("colorization"). Analog sound is more colorized and it may be considered more pleasant.

Lossless audio formats (WAV, FLAC, ALAC, DSF, DFF, etc.) provide the highest sound quality.

Lossy formats (mp3, AAC, etc.) allow for saving more space on a hard disk. But, some audio information losses are there. However, high-bitrate (256 kbps and more) formats have a sounding that is very close to lossless ones.

Audio quality of both recording and playback units is essential.


Which audio quality is best?

The best audio quality is provided by lossless audio formats.

Read details...


What is hi res audio certified?

You can read about hi-res certification.





F.A.Q. sound quality improvement



Is upsampling reasonable?

It depends on quality of upsampling and your playback audio system. In general case, a higher sample rate has a better potential for lower distortions in a DAC.

Read details...


How do I fix MP3 sound quality?

You can't restore mp3 coding losses. However, you can maximally keep what's left if uses hi-fi equipment.

Also, you can try to convert mp3 to a file with another sampling rate and bit depth that is optimal for your sound system (target lossless audio format is recommended: FLAC, WAV, AIFF, DSF).






F.A.Q. hear hi-res audio



Can you hear Hi Res audio?

Hi-res audio gives abilities to get more "transparent" sound. It happens due to higher sample rate and bit depth allopws to achieve lesser distortions. You can try this way to check it...

However, an equipment has non-linear distortions. And, some audio units may cause audible noise for certain high-resolution recordings.

See video...


Can you hear difference between CD and Hi-Res?

For certain equipment and recordings, difference between hi-res and CD may be audible. But, there is no technically correct way of comparison.


How can I hear high resolution audio?

High-resolution audio potentially allows for reducing distortions of recording and playback. But actual result depends on audio unit/system implementation.


Does high res audio sound better?

Theoretically, high-res causes lesser distortions than CD-audio. Practically, we should consider given audio units, software and recordings.



Does hi-res audio sound better?

It is not fairly for every case. Hi-res audio has potential abilities to achieve lesser distortions. And a lot of cases show that high resolution sounds better than 44.1 kHz / 16 bit.

Also, it's necessary to remember, that listening comparison between CD and high-res audio is not technically correct.






F.A.Q. audio format



What is the highest quality format for audio?

Highest quality music formats are lossless formats, that are capable save original digital data without losses.

Question "what is better DSD or PCM" has no single answer. It depends on implementation of equipment and played recording.

From point of view of format-resolution-abilities expanding, WAV and AIFF give great abilities due to flexible file structure.



What is the best hi res audio format?

Lossless audio formats, like WAV, FLAC, DSF, DFF, SACD, provide the best sound quality among hi-res audio formats. To achieve lesser space on hard disk or transmit music via a network, you can use audiophile lossy format like MQA. Also, other modern lossy formats, like AAC, give hi-fi quality at high bitrates.

Read details...


What is the best audio format for sound quality?

Lossless sound formats (WAV, FLAC, AIFF, ALAC, DSF, DFF, others) provide storing of audio stuff without losses.

So, these formats can be considered as the best by the sound quality.

Read more details...


What is the highest quality digital audio format?

To achieve highest sound quality, digital lossless audio formats are recommended:  FLAC, WAV, ALAC, AIFF, DSF, DFF, etc.

Read details...


What is the highest quality music format?

Highest quality music format is one of lossless codecs:  FLAC, WAV, AIFF, ALAC, WavPack, DSF, DFF, SACD ISO, and others.



Which is the highest quality audio format?

Audio format can't improve the sound quality. But the format can keep the quality and bring proper resolution, which allows an audio equipment use better way. Lossless formats (WAV, FLAC, DSF, etc.) are the best decision to achieve these aims.

Read details:


What is highest quality audio format?

To get highest quality you can consider WAV, FLAC and DSD audio formats. Also, you can use high-quality lossy format, in instance, MQA.

Read details...


What music format has the best sound quality?

Lossless music formats give the best sound quality.

Read details...


What format do audiophiles use?

Audiophiles uses different audio formats. Most popular: FLAC, WAV, AIFF, DSF, MQA.

Here you can read how to choose the best audio format for you...


Why do LPs sound better than CDs?

LP (vinyl) is mechanical system with its own distortions. These distortions are bigger than CD's ones.

But these distortions may sounds richer than without them. And some people prefer analog sound.



Is WAV better than MP3?

WAV is a lossless format, that fully keeps audio quality of a recording. mp3 saves free space of a data storage, but lose some sound information.

However, high bit rate mp3 is almost indistinguishable from its source WAV.

A general recommendation is to use WAV. If hard disk storage is not enough, use mp3 with bitrate higher as far as possible.



Is WAV better than FLAC?

Both WAV and FLAC bring lossless audio with identical sound quality. However, some discussion is there...





F.A.Q. lossless




Do I need lossless audio?

Lossless audio is the best audiophile choice. Lossy formats may be recommended to save space on hard disk. It is actually for mobile devices.

Read details...


Is lossless audio better?

Theoretically, lossless audio is the best format by technical reasons. Because, it doesn't cause distortions.

However, you may don't get audible difference between lossless and qualitative lossy formats.







F.A.Q. audio resolution



How many kHz is CD quality?

CD quality is 44.1 kHz (41000 Hz) / 16 bit.



Is high res audio better than CD?

There are no abstract high-res and CD (44.1/16). We can oly compare given recording on given music system.



Is 16 bit FLAC better than CD?

Sound quality of 16 bit FLAC is the same CD for 44.1 kHz sampling rate.


Is CD quality 16 or 24 bit?

CD quality is 44 100 Hz sample rate and 16 bit.


Is 16 bit or 24 bit audio better?

16 and 24 bit is only potential abilities for audio device designers. Actual result is formed from applied decissions, that absed on the abilities. More abilities don't guarantee result.


Is 24bit audio worth it?

In contrast to 16 bit, 24 bit audio has noise floor reserve for moderm DAC.

Also, 24 bit is better, than 16 bit, for music with high dynamic range. Read more...


Does 24-bit sound better? Is 16 or 24 bit FLAC better?

24 bit get potential abilites for better sound.



Is 24 bit audio better, than 16 bit?

24 bit is not better, than 16 at its own. Theoretically, 24-bit has higher signal/noise ratio (lesser distortions). But the final result depends on the implementation of software, ADC and DAC.

Read more details...


Does 24 bit sound better than 16 bit?

24-bit gives technical advantages to better sound quality. But it's not that simple.



Is 32 bit audio good?

32 bit audio may be closer studio original (32-bit float, as example). Such resolution is the good for manipulation with audio, especially 32- and 64-bit float. For a DAC float point should be converted to integer value.

24-bit has precision reserve for electrical noise and required dynamic range. So we have options: 24- or 32-bit integer format for DAC playback.

In the general case, we should not expect a better quality of 32-bit than 24-bit.


Is 32bit better than 24bit?

As rule, 24 and 32 bit's quantization noise is placed below electrical noise floor of ADC and DAC.

32 bit has great noise floor reserve comparing 24 bit.

It's recommended to use 32-bit files for music production and other audio file processing.

Actual sound quality of playback for 24- and 32-bit files may depend on DAC device and music player implementation.


Is 48KHz audio good?

48 kHz gives some technical advantages comparing 44.1 kHz. But, there are many factors, impacting audio quality, in addition.



Is 192kHz better than 96KHz?

192 kHz gives some technical advantages comparing 96 kHz.



Is 192kHz 24-bit good?

192 kHz / 24 bit give potential advantages comparing CD format.

Read details...


Is 24 bit/192kHz good?

24 bit / 192 kHz gives technical abilities to improve sound quality, comparing 44.1 kHz / 16 bit.

However, recording, device and software implementation does matter.



Is 192kHz better than 44.1 KHz?

Technically, 192 kHz sampling rate allows building analog filter of DAC better than 44.1 kHz.

It may reduce distortions and improve dynamic range.





F.A.Q. bitrate



Does higher Kbps mean better quality?

In first approach, bitrate (estimated in kbps, kBit per second) means how many information file contains about second.

Lossy files are size compressed source files. For lossy files, higher bitrate allows keeping more information about source stuff.

Of cource, losses-per-bitrate decreasing depending on algorithm of the size compression.

Also, own recording quality is primary key of audio quality for any bitrate.


How many kbps is lossless?

Different lossless formats and their settings have various bitrates. In instance, FLAC may have about 600...800 kbps for stereo 44.1 kHz / 16 bit.



How many kbps is CD quality?

CD quality bitrate is 1411 kbps ≈ 44100 kHz * 16 bit * 2 channels / 1024.


How many kbps is CD?

CD-audio bitrate is about: 1411 kbps ≈ 44100 kHz * 16 bit * 2 channels / 1024.


What Kbps is high quality audio?

As rule, high quality audio uses 250 and more kbps.



What is the best kbps for audio quality?

There is no such term by technical reasons.

In instance:

  • DSD1024 stereo has 90316,8 kbps.
  • AptX HD codec has up to 576 kbps.
  • AAC and mp3 has 320 kbps for high-quality stereo applications.

Read more about audio formats...


Is 128kbps good for music?

128 kbps bitrate of audio file may be used for music. But higher bitrates (256 kbps and more) are recommended.

Read details...


Which is better 128k or 256k MP3?

As rule, 256 kbps is more recommended for high quality music.



Which music quality is best 128k or 256k?

256 kbps is better than 128 kbps by sound quality. Read more...


Is 320kbs CD quality?

320 kbs is not CD quality. Such bitrate is property of lossy codecs. As rule, CD quality has bitrates above 600 kbps (in FLAC compressed stream). Uncompressed CD quality is 1411 kbps.



Is 320kbps hi-res?

320 kbps is not hi-res. It is term referring data compression.

Sampling rate and bit depth define hi-res or not.



Is 320k music good?

If you are need significantly keep space at hard disk of your device and high sound quality, 320 kbps is proper bitrate.



Is 320 Kbps MP3 good enough?

320 Kbps bitrate of mp3 format is estimated close to CD quality. Some listeners can't distinguish these formats.

Check out review what the best audio format...


How do I get 320kbps audio?

You can convert audio files to mp3 or m4a with 320 kbps bitrate...


Is 320kbs CD-quality?

320 kbps is lossy compressed audio stream. CD is lossless audio stream with 1411 kbps bitrate.



Is 320Kbps good sound quality?

Lossy size compression 320 Kbps has very subtle difference with lossless 44.1 kHz / 16 bit. Some people consider the distinction as unlistenable.

Read more about audio formats...


Is 320kbps high-quality?

Yes. 320 Kbps bitrate provides high audio quality.

See details...






F.A.Q. where download and listen to hi-res music



Where can I listen to hi-res audio?

You can listen to hi-res audio on computer, mobile phone, digital audio player and other devices.

Computer and mobile phone requires installing music player application.

Also, see list of online hi-res streaming services...


Where can I download hi-res audio?

Download free DSF and FLAC music files...

Check paid and free hi-res music download websites...


How do I download high-resolution audio?

You can download high-resolution audio files here...

Also, HD files are sold and available for free at these online stores...


Where can I get hi-res audio files?

Get hi-res audio files here:


Where do you get hi-res audio?

Hi-res audio files you can get at:


Where can I get hi-res music for free?

There are number sites where you can get hi-res music for free:


Can you download hi-res audio?

Yes. You can download hi-res audio files at these web pages:


How can I download hi-res audio for free?

You can download hi-res audio for free here:


Where can I download hi-res audio for free?

To download free hi-res audio files, visit these pages:



Where can I download high quality music for free?

Get free high quality music samples...

Look at paid and free download site list of high quality music...


Where can I download HQ music for free?

Free HQ music may be downloaded here:


Where can I download HiFi music? Where can I download Hi Fi music for free?

Check free hi-fi music samples...

See download site list of high fidelity music,,,


Where can I download high resolution music for free?

Check out free DSF and FLAC music samples...

Look at free hi-res music download site list here...


Where can I download hi-res music for free?

You can download hi-res music for free at these resources:


How can I download high resolution music for free?

To download high-resolution music for free, visit the page...

Also, check these download websites...


How can I get hi-res music for free? How can I get free hi-res music?

Check free high-resolution music for downloading...

Search for free hi-res music sites here...

Alternatively, try convert music files to hi-res formats...


How do I download hi-res music?  How do I download high resolution music?

Download free DSF and FLAC high-resolution files...

Look at where you can buy and download free hi-res music here...


Where can I download high-resolution music?

To download high-resolution music files, visit these webpages:


How do I get high resolution audio?

You can get high resolution audio files here:

Also, you can convert sound files to high-resolution audio...


How do I download hi-res songs?

Download free high resolution music samples...

Look at music download site list for hi-res audio files here...


How can I download high resolution songs?

To download high resolution songs you can visit listed online resources...


How can I download high quality songs? Where can I find high quality songs?

Download free high quality music files...

Look at high quality songs here...


How do I download HQ music?

HQ (high quality) music may be downloaded from HD audio stores, platforms, and other resources.


Where can I download CD quality music?

See where you can download CD quality and hi-res music...


How do I get lossless music?

Download free lossless music...

Also, look at where to download lossless music...


Where can I listen to lossless music for free?

You can download and listen to free lossless music at these websites:


Where do audiophiles get their music?

Audiophile music may be downloaded from special websites, that provides high quality music.

Check HD music samples...

See where to download audiophile grade music...


How do I get 24 bit audio?

You can get download 24 bit audio files here...


How can I download high quality music for free?

You can download free high-quality music at these websites:


Where can I download high quality music?

See the list of free and commercial audio downloads...


Where can I get high quality music?

You can get high quality music at these sites...


Where can I download free songs?

Download free music samples...

See list of free downloads >


What is the best free music download site?

Look at our top of free music download sites >


Where can I download high quality audio songs?

Get free HD music samples...

Songs in high quality you can download on sites that listed here...


How can I download lossless music for free?

Download free lossless music samples...

You can find websites to download lossless music here...


Where can I download high bitrate music?

You can download high bitrate music at these sites...





F.A.Q. where get FLAC music



Is FLAC music free?

FLAC is open-source (free) codec. However, music, that coded by FLAC, may be free or not.

You can download free music (FLAC)...

Check out free downloads (FLAC)...


Where do I get FLAC?
Where can I get FLAC files?

You can get FLAC files here:


Where can I download FLAC songs, music for free?

You can download FLAC songs and music for free here:


How do I download FLAC?

Visit for free downloads of FLAC music files...

Also, check out these download links...


Where can I download FLAC music for free?

Check out free FLAC downloads...

See list of free FLAC music downloads here...


Where can I find FLAC music for free?

You can find free FLAC music files at these resources:


Where can I download FLAC music?

You can download FLAC music by the links:


Where can I get FLAC music?

You can get FLAC music files at these websites:


How do I get FLAC audio?

You can get FLAC audio downloads here:


Where can I download FLAC albums for free?

To download FLAC albums for free, try check out


Where can I get free FLAC? How can I get FLAC music for free? Where can I get free FLACs?

Check out free FLAC downloads...

Also, you can download FLAC for free at the sites. Pay attention to


Where can I download FLAC albums?

To FLAC album download, you can visit website.

Also check these resources...


Where can I download FLAC files?

You can download FLAC files at the page...

Also, check out the website list...


Where can I listen to FLAC music?

Listen to free FLAC music files...

Download FLAC music at the websites...






F.A.Q. where download music



How do I download MP3 320kbps?

Look at mp3 320kbps at downloading resources...





F.A.Q. where get hi-res music legally



How can I download free music legally?

  1. Some labels (recording studios) have free samples at official sites.
  2. Sometimes coupons for free music downloads may be placed in pack of audio equipment.
  3. Audio magazines can provide samples.
  4. Services for promoting musicians.
  5. Others

See the list of free music downloads >


Where can I download music legally?

Check out the list of legal (by our opinion) music download websites >


Where can I download free music legally?

Download free music...

Check download sites...

Check hi-res stores...


Where can I download FLAC legally?

You can download legal FLACs for free here...

Also, you can check out FLAC for free or buy at these websites.





F.A.Q. where buy hi-res music



Where can I buy hi-res songs?

You can buy hi-res songs online at websites...






F.A.Q. FLAC sound quality



Is FLAC hi-res audio?

FLAC can contain high-resolution music (sample rate more 48 kHz, bit depth 24 bit and higher or DSD in DoP).


What frequency is FLAC?

FLAC supports up to 384 kHz standard sampling rates. Read more...


What sample rate is FLAC?

FLAC supports sample rate up to 384 kHz and bit depth up to 32 bit.


Is FLAC high quality?

Yes. FLAC is capable to store high quality music.



What is 24 bit FLAC?

It is audio file in FLAC format with bit depth (precision of a sample) 24 bit. Higher bit depth give lesser noise ability. 24 bit cover modern DAC noise abilities.


Is FLAC 16 or 24 bit?

FLAC provides integer bit depths: 16 bit, 24 bit, 32 bit. You can check it in file properties, as example in converter or player software. Read more about FLAC...


Does FLAC support 24 bit?

Yes. FLAC supports 24 bit.


Is 24 bit FLAC better than 16-bit?

24-bit FLAC provides better potential sound-quality abilities than 16-bit one.



Is FLAC 32 bit?

The standard program library of Free Losless Audio Codec may do not support FLAC 32 bit.

However, FLAC is 32 bit capable.

Read details...


Is FLAC lossless?

Yes. FLAC is lossless PCM audio format, that provides the binary identity of original and uncompressed information.

Read more details >


Can FLAC be uncompressed?

Yes. FLAC support uncompressed audio content.

Read details...


What level of FLAC compression is best?

FLAC is designed for lossless size compression of sound files. So, maximal compression ratio (minimum file size) is main criterion. Because sound quality doesn't depend on the level. It is level 9.

However, higher compression level consumes more time without dramatical improvement of compression ratio. And, if it's critical, compression level may be reduced.

There is opinion, that real-time FLAC uncompression causes additional distortions. But there is no safe evidences. And uncompressed FLAC is preferable.



Why are FLAC files so big?

It is a technical limitation for lossless formats (original and uncompressed audio are binary identical).


How many GB is a FLAC song?

We can approximatelly estimate FLAC size compression ratio about of 60%.


Uncompressed audio is 2 ch x 16 bit x 44100 Hz = 176 KBytes per second.

Thus, compressed FLAC is 176 KBytes/s * 60% = 106 KBytes per second.


What is the highest quality FLAC?

Maximum sound quality (resolution audio) of FLAC is 32 bit / 384 kHz.


Is FLAC really worth it?

FLAC is a high-resolution format for audiophile music. Its' main advantages are:

  • lossless ability (size-compressed and uncompressed audio data are binary identical);
  • wide metadata compatibility with many playback software and hardware.

However, it you need support of a hi-res above 32 bit, or float-point formats, or sampling rate above 384 kHz, WAV RF64 may solve the issue.


Is FLAC the best audio quality?

Technically, FLAC has limitations in resolution audio. However, the resolution gives potential-only design abilities to reduce distortions. And using of super-high sampling rates and bit depths is no guaranteed way to achieve sound quality. Audio-item design is the main matter.

Also, DSD format allows solving some issues of PCM analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog conversion.

Read more:


Is FLAC the best audio format?

FLAC is one of the lossless formats, like WAV, AIFF, APE, DSF, SACD, etc.

FLAC has sample rate and bit depth limitations: 32 bit / 384 kHz. WAV and AIFF are more flexible.

But FLAC has wide support (including metadata) of software and hardware and lossless size compression.

Read about:


Does FLAC sound better?

FLAC sounds good as it may be possible. However, Free Lossless Audio Codec is limited by sampling rate and bit-depth. Other lossless formats .wav, .dsf, .dff may bring abilities to achieve higher sound quality.



Is CD quality better than FLAC?

FLAC supports both CD quality and high-resolution audio. FLAC contains lossless stuff for both cases. It means CD's music keep full quality. Read more...


Is CD better than FLAC?

FLAC give more abilities to achieve lower distortion level. Read more...


Is FLAC better than CD?

Technically, Free Lossless Audio Codec allows achieving better signal/noise ratio, than a CD.

But actual sound quality depends on the implementation of audio playback system and recordings.


Does FLAC sound worse than WAV?

No. FLAC sounds the same WAV, if playback is correct. There is opinion, that WAV is sounding better. But no safe evidence are there. Read more...


Is FLAC or WAV better? Which is better WAV or FLAC?

WAV is more flexible format than FLAC. It allows higher sampling rates and bit depths. About sound quality discussion and details read here...


Is FLAC better than WAV?

FLAC is lossless format like WAV. They are same for audio quality. FLAC provides better compatibility with software and hardware for metadata, file size (more 2 ... 4 GB). However, WAV provides sampling rates up to 2^32 Hz with 1 Hz step.


Is FLAC better than hi-res? Is Hi-Res better than FLAC?

FLAC may contain high resolution audio...


Is FLAC better than MP3? What is FLAC vs MP3?

FLAC is a lossless codec up to 384 kHz 32 bit. mp3 is lossy 44.1/48 kHz 16 bit. So, FLAC is better than mp3 by sound quality anyway.

However, mp3 in 320 Kbps gives significant size compression comparing FLAC with negligible quality losses.



Is FLAC really better than MP3?

MP3's sound quality is defined by bitrate. At high bitrates (above 200 kbps), audible sound quality is very close lossless formats.

However, if listen to better sound for FLAC, use it. Except cases, where song number at a file storage is critical and FLAC can't satisfy you.



Is FLAC better than mp3 320 Kbps?

FLAC is lossless formats. mp3 is lossy. So, technically, FLAC is better mp3 in any bitrate.

But the difference between FLAC and mp3 320 Kbps is very subtle, that may be inaudible.

Read more details...


Is FLAC better than 320 Kbps?

Lossless audio formats like FLAC are technically better than lossy ones independently bitrate.

However, high bitrates 320 kbps and others are very close lossless quality.



Is FLAC better than ALAC?

For sound quality, FLAC or ALAC is not mattered. But compatibility with audio player issues may be there.


Is there anything better than FLAC?

FLAC, as a lossless codec, keeps and restores the full quality of music stuff. However, FLAC has limitations by sampling rate (384 kHz) and bit depth (up to 32 bit, integer only). For end-user distribution, it may be considered as enough.

But, sampling rate and bit depth of an audio file doesn't define sound quality separately without recording and playback equipment.

And a higher sampling rate may bring sound quality advantages potentially. For instance, WAV format has sample-rate limitation up to 232 Hz. However, ordinary WAV is limited by length (232 bytes). The issue is solved via WAV RF64 format.

RF64 has narrower compatibility with software and hardware comparing FLAC, which also is capable with audio-stuff size of more 232 bytes.

DSD files (DSF, DFF, SACD ISO) provides alternative audio coding, that has its own advantages and disadvantages: simpler audio system in some cases but higher file size and editing issues.

Read more about audio formats (codecs)...


How can you tell a fake FLAC?

Lack of spectrum content above 16 kHz may be caused mp3 compression of source of a FLAC file.

But still, there is no 100% safe methods detecting of FLAC source: mp3 or lossless audio. Because, processing can causes frequency distortions. In instance, audio optimization, cut all above 20 kHz to reduce some playback distortion for hi-res audio systems.


How do I make FLAC music?

You can convert audio files to FLAC...





F.A.Q. DSD audio



What is DSD audio?

Direct Stream Digital is high resolution audio format based on 1-bit sigma delta-modulation to achieve proper signal/noise ratio.

Read more details >


Is DSD better than FLAC?

Final result depends on the implementation and played back recording.

Read more details...


Is DSD better than PCM?

DSD neiter better nor worse than PCM. Many factors define sound quality for both modulation types.

Read details...






F.A.Q. MQA audio


Where can I download MQA music?

You can found download sites with MQA music here (see "Description" column)...


Can I download MQA files?

Yes. You can download MQA files at these sites...


Is MQA better than CD?

MQA is format supporting high-resolution. It may give some advantages, that high-resolution technologies bring. However, recording quality and implementation of used audio system is matter in comparison hi-res vs CD.


Does MQA sound better than CD?

Decoding with spectrum unfolding of MQA let support high resolution audio. As hi-res format, MQA allows using abilities of such type of audio in improving of sound quality.



Is MQA better than FLAC?

Both MQA and FLAC support high resolution. However, FLAC is a lossless format. It means that both coded and decoded binary content are identical. But, as far as the author know, Master Quality Authenticated is not a lossless format in this meainig. However, MQA provides high sound quality. Thus, we can compare certain recording played back on certain hardware/software.


Is MQA worse than FLAC?

MQA and FLAC are hi-quality sound formats. Read more here...



Can normal CD player play MQA CD?

Ordinary CD player can play MQA CD. "Unfolded" MQA is compatible with ordinary audio systems.




F.A.Q. LDAC audio



Can LDAC play FLAC?

LDAC is Bluetooth protocol for wireless speakers or headphones. An audio player decodes FLAC to lossless audio stream. The stream may be transmitted thru Bluetooth via LDAC protocol.



How do I know if my phone has LDAC?

On your phone, at the Settings > About phone, check Android version. LDAC codec is available at Android 8.0 and above [*].


Is LDAC really lossless?

LDAC operate on Bluetooth at bitrate up to 990 kbps 24bit / 96kHz. CD quality is about 1411 kbps.

CD quality is transmitted losslessly. 24/96 is transmitted with losses but in high quality [*].


Is LDAC better than aptX HD?

LDAC codec for Bluetooth provides bitrate (24bit / 96kHz, up to 990 kbps).

aptX HD provides 24-bit / 48 kHz with maximum bitrate 567 kbps.

In the first approach, 990 kbps give more abilities for the sound quality. But, practically, we anyway discuss system contains recording and given equipment.



Is LDAC better than AAC?

LDAC and AAC are used in Bluetooth wireless audio connections (speakers, headphones).

AAC provides bitrate up to 250 kbps (96 kHz), LDAC provides up to 990 kbps (24bit / 96kHz).

We can consider LDAC as better codec due to higher bitrate. But actual result is implementation defined.



Is LDAC better than aptX?

There are several aptX codecs. It defines result of comparison with LDAC. See details...


How do you get Ldac songs?

LDAC is a codec for wireless audio (Bluetooth). The codec provides higher bitrate (24bit / 96kHz, up to 990 kbps) of transmitted audio stream.

It means that it is not only compression, but transmit syncronization.

As the author understand, the technology can't be applied to audio files in full range at least.


Where can I buy Ldac songs?

Sony LDAC is a type of a Bluetooth audio codec to improve sound quality. If the codec is available for your mobile phone, DAP, etc., you can choose it in the device's Bluetooth settings.


Is Ldac better than FLAC?

LDAC codec supports 24bit / 96kHz (up to 990 kbps) audio.

FLAC supports up to 32 bit / 384 kHz audio.





F.A.Q. play hi-res music



Are hi res music players worth it?

Hi-res audio players allows use full technical abilities of hi-res music formats. Read more...


How do I play a FLAC file?

You can play FLAC files via music player...


How do you play multichannel FLAC?

Multichannel FLAC may be played back via software tools...


What is the best FLAC player?

It is a personal choice. But there are some general recommendations.

Read details...


How can I play high resolution audio on my computer?

To playback hi-res audio, use compatible audio player software...


Do audiophiles use equalizers?

Audiophile system implies best sound quality as the setup can. Theoretically, lesser processing cause lesser distortions. Thus, removing an equalizer avoids its distortions (phase and non-linear). Read more about sound quality...




F.A.Q. convert hi-res audio



How do I turn on high resolution audio?

High resolution audio is recorded in HD formats that are above 44.1 kHz / 16 bit.
However, 44.1 kHz / 16 bit recordings may be upsampled (converted to higher sampling rate and bit depth). How it can help you read here...


How do you convert lossless to MP3?

Read how to convert lossless music files to mp3...


Is it worth ripping CD to FLAC?

Ripping of CD audio to FLAC allows:

  • saving space at a hard disk;
  • storing metadata (track and album name, performer, artworks, etc.) and wide compatibility with various devices and software.


Should I rip my CDs to FLAC?

FLAC is lossless format, that can store CD content without losses. Unlike WAV, Free Lossless Audio Codec can reduce size of file.

If you upsample CD content above 384 kHz or 32 bit for audio optimization or editing purpoces, WAV or WAV/RF64 sound file format is recommended.






F.A.Q. audio streaming



How do I stream high resolution audio?

There are online services, that provides high resolution streaming. It requires installing special software at your device or purchasing of a service-compatible hifi device. Read more...


Does CD sound better than streaming?

If a streaming supports lossless (coded and decoded binary content is identical) transfer 16 bit / 44.1 kHz, it provides sound quality identical to CD. However, stable and fast internet connection is need with proper data packed delay.


Is CD quality better than streaming?

There are hi-res streaming services that has resolution higher than CD.

Other services provides lossy streaming, that is technically worse than CD quality.

However, audio system and listening conditions are matter.



How do I stream FLAC music?

You can check audiophile music streaming services...


Is Spotify hi-res?

On moment of the answer writing, the Spotify supports AAC lossy codec up to 256 kbps [latest state]. Looks like, it's not hi-res audio.

Look at hi-res streaming websites...


Does Spotify have hi res audio?

On moment of the answer writing, looks like, Spotify doesn't support hi-res audio [latest state].

Check out high-resolution audio streaming services...


Does Spotify accept 24bit?

On the moment of the answer to the question, Spotify doesn't support 24-bit audio [latest state].


Is CD quality better than Spotify?

On the moment of the answer question, Spotify uses high-bitrate AAC codec that provided hi-fi quality [latest state]. It's close to Compact Disk quality.



Is Spotify as good as CD quality?

On the moment of the answer to the question, AAC codec up to 256 kbps is supported [latest state]. It provides quality close to CD's one.



How many kHz is Spotify?

Looks like, on moment of the answer writing, Spotify streams music with sampling rate 44.1 kHz.


Does Spotify have lossless audio?

When the answer to the question, Spotify doesn't support lossless audio [*].

Also, look for lossless streaming...


Does Spotify have LDAC?

LDAC is Bluetooth codec. Spotify uses AAC.


Does Spotify have FLAC?

On moment of the answer to the question, FLAC isn't supported by Spotify [*].


Is Spotify a FLAC?

On moment the answering, Spotify doesn't provide FLAC codec [*].


Is Spotify lossless?

On moment of the answer writing, the Spotify supports lossy codec: AAC up to 256 kbps.


How many kbps is Spotify?

On moment of the answer to the question, Spotify supports codec from 24 to 320 kbps [latest information].


What bitrate is Spotify very high?

On moment of the answering, Spotify declares 320 kbps as highest bitrate [latest information].


Is Spotify a Hi Fi?

Yes. Spotify provides hi-fi music.


Is Spotify high quality?

On moment of the answer writing, lossy codec (AAC up to 256 kbps) is supported by the Spotify. It is high quality codec.


Is CD quality better than Spotify?

On moment of this answer writing, the Spotify uses lossy codec (AAC up to 256 kbps). It is high qualitative audio format.

CD quality audio is lossless sound format. And it's better AAC technically.

But, you can don't get audible difference between these formats.


Does Apple music have hi-res audio?

Yes. Apple music have hi-res audio coded to lossy AAC and lossless ALAC (up to 24-bit / 192 kHz)[*].

Tech details.


What Kbps is Apple Music?

Target bitrate of apple music is 256 kilobits/second. It uses variable bitrate (VBR) to more effective compression.

Tech details.


Can Apple Music FLAC?

No. Apple Music don't use FLAC format. They use ALAC instead[*].


Does Apple Music LDAC?

No. LDAC is Bluetooth codec. Apple uses AAC and ALAC[*].



Does YouTube support hi-res audio?

Yes. YouTube supports hi-res audio[*].

Look at list of hi-res streaming...


Does YouTube support 32-bit audio?

No. On momemt of the answer writing, YouTube doesn't support 32-bit audio[*].


Can YouTube play lossless?

No. YouTube stream lossy audio on moment of the answer to the question[*].


Is Tidal free?

On moment of this answer writing, Tidel provides free trial ability.




Hi-res audio





  1. Higher sample rates are not intended for ultrasound recording. It allows solving issues of analog and digital filtering of analog-to-digital (ADC) and digital-to-analog (DAC) converters.
  2. Higher bit depths are not for providing sound level above thresholds of human hearing. Such bit depths bring proper signal/noise ratio for quietest musical signals. It's important for some music genres (classical, jazz, cinema audio, etc.).
  3. Now saving space is not so actual as before. Except portable devices. But, lower bit stream (bit per second) value is actual for network streaming yet. So high-resolution data compression is very demanded.
  4. Hi-res audio improves (in potential) some non-linear distortion issues. For better naturalness, spatial sound reproduction (acoustic wave field) should be enhanced too.