Term of the Moment

Halt and Catch Fire

Look Up Another Term

Redirected from: 16-bit audio

Definition: audio bit depth

The size of digital audio samples. Converting voice from analog to digital is typically done with 4-bit and 8-bit samples at 6 or 8 kHz. The standard CD sampling is 16 bits at 44 kHz; however, higher resolution samples jump to 32 bits at 192 kHz (see below).

The larger the sample size, the greater the dynamic range. The larger the sampling rate, the more faithful the replication of the sound. See sampling and DSD.

 Uncompressed MEGABYTES per Minute
 of Digital Music
                 Samples/Second (kHz)
 Sample Size   44      48    96    192
    16-bit    10.6**  11.5  23.0  46.0
    24-bit            17.3  34.6  89.1
    32-bit            23.0  46.0  92.2

 ** Traditional CD sampling

 Uncompressed KILOBYTES per Minute
 of Digital Voice
                 Samples/Second (kHz)
 Sample Size      6     8
     4-bit       180   240
     8-bit       360   480