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Massdrop 101: What Is A DAC?
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but what do things like 24bit/192khz mean? I was expecting to get that here
Those two numbers refer to the sample resolution and the sample rate. Digital music samples the analog signal several times per second, and turns the sampled voltage into a number that gets stored in the music file. The most common music files will be 16bit/44.1khz, the quality of a CD, which means the voltage is represented by a number with 16 binary digits, with 44,100 of these samples per second, for each of the two stereo channels. 16 bits divides the full voltage scale into about 65,000 equally-sized steps. 24 bits would divide it into about 17 million steps. The more the steps, the smaller they are, and the more precision with which the voltage is represented.