March 2019 What Is Hi-Res Audio And Hi-Res
Music? If 24-bit/96kHz Is Officially
The Minimum For High-Res Audio...
Why are 24-bit/44.1kHz music
files labeled 'Hi-Res Audio'?
Editorial By Steven R. Rochlin
some food for thought:
official definition of Hi-Res Audio by the Japan Audio Society (JAS) is
a minimum of 24-bit/96kHz [Decoding: File playability of 96kHz/24bit or above (FLAC and WAV both
required – source JAS)], then why are 24-bit/44.1kHz digital music files being called Hi-Res Audio?
Is the music BUSINESS not adhering to the JAS's
minimum Hi-Res Audio standards or are the Recording Industry Association Of
America (RIAA) standards not being adhered to? Are lower than 24-bit/96kHz quality files labeled
"Hi-Res Audio" possibly misleading? And if so,
then why are major record labels and the music BUSINESS labeling digital music Hi-Res Audio
and not Hi-Res Music (using the appropriate logo), when in fact 24-bit/44.1kHz
digital music files certainly do not meet
the bare minimum of what is the official JAS stated Hi-Res Audio
standard of 24-bit/96kHz nor the Hi-Res Music standard of 20-bit/48kHz as set by
Below is (basically) a copy/paste from the JAS' own website
on February 27, 2019. There are screen captures near the bottom of this article.
Definition of Hi-Res Audio (Announced on June
12th 2014) Updated on Dec. 7, 2018
1. In principle, the definition of "Hi-Res
Audio" is based on the announcement of Japan Electronics and Information
Technology Industries Association (JEITA) on the March 26, 2014
2. "Hi-Res Audio" logo
applicable products JAS defines is to fulfill the following specification on the
recording, reproduction and signal transition process
(1) Microphone response performance: 40
kHz or above during recording
(2) Amplification performance: 40 kHz or
(3) Speaker and headphone performance: 40
kHz or above
(1) Recording format: Capability of
recording using the 96kHz/24bit format or above
(2) I/O (Interface): Input/output
interface with the performance of 96kHz/24bit or above
(3) Decoding: File playability of
96kHz/24bit or above (FLAC and WAV both required)
(In case of self-recording equipment, FLAC or WAV file is required as minimum
(4) Digital Signal Processing: DSP
processing of 96kHz/24bit or above
(5) D/A conversion: Digital to analog
conversion processing of 96 kHz/24 bits or above
3. Listening evaluation process is to be organized
(1) Listening evaluation process is
required by each applicant.
(2) Each applicant must assign the
audio/sound quality control manager in addition to the product quality control
(3) The audio/sound quality control
manager should be responsible for final decision as Hi-Res Audio product to be
proved according to each company's sound evaluation standard.
4. Additional Condition for Wireless
Digital Audio data transfer
Regarding recent Audio Products with Wireless Audio Data Transfer, Hi-Res Audio
Wireless logo has been introduced after Nov. 28, 2018. Above conditions except
conditions described in ＜Wireless
Audio Data Transfer＞ shall
be applied to Hi-Res Audio Wireless logo applicable products.
<Wireless Audio Data Transfer>
The Hi-Res Audio Wireless logo
can be granted to wireless connection capable products which meet following
conditions. Such Wireless connection are not be used inside product or between
unit of product, such as Left and right transducer.
Wireless connection capable products which meet conditions for Hi-Res Audio logo
described above can be granted to use the Hi-Res Audio logo.
(1) Wireless Audio Data Transfer shall
connect Products defined as Hi-Res Audio logo applicable or Hi-Res Audio
Wireless logo applicable.
(2) Wireless Audio Data Transfer shall use
Audio Codec which defined by JAS for this purpose.
(3) Wireless Audio Data Transfer shall not
have enough band width to transfer Digital Audio data defined at ＜Digital
Wireless Audio Transfer may not work correctly with some
environment or incorrect usage. Please refer product manual to have best audio
quality to meet "Hi-Res Audio Wireless logo"
Certified Audio Codec name for Hi-Res Audio Wireless logo:
And so my friends, it's time to start asking some very pointed
questions. Don't be fooled by the music BUSINESS side of the industry, you
deserve better than 24-bit/44.1kHz being labeled as Hi-Res. One could then
possibly 'stipulate' that these digital music files showing the Hi-Res Audio logo are
being used incorrectly (at a minimum) and perhaps misleading. Who / what is benefiting from such possible misleading
labeling activities. Who / what
companies benefit... and who is being mislead?
The RIAA clearly states that, "High Resolution Music is officially defined as
"lossless audio capable of reproducing the full spectrum of sound from recordings which have been mastered from better than CD quality (48kHz/20-bit or higher) music sources which represent what the artists, producers and engineers originally
intended." This definition ensures consumers receive music that is delivered in a digital format that retains the highest quality captured during the creative process."
Note: Bolded text 'lossless audio' is mine so ensure you see
it must be lossless as that is a requirement.
Are We Purposefully Being Mislead?
JAS clearly states that
Hi-Res Audio is 24-bit/96kHz ("Recording format: Capability of
recording using the 96kHz/24bit format or above" -- JAS). So if you see the Hi-Res Audio logo
on digital music files or streaming music services that
are less than 24-bit/96kHz....
You be the judge and jury. Vote accordingly with
your Dollars, Yen, Euro, etc.
Please show everyone you know this article.
Share it on social
media, in e-mails, etc.
voice be heard!
Click below images to see a
larger screen shot from JAS' and RIAA's official website taken on February 27, 2019.
As always, in the end what really matters is that you...