16bit -24bit -32bit

Discussion in 'Soundcards, Speakers HiFI & File formats' started by Year, Apr 2, 2008.

  1. Year

    Year Ancient Guru

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    decided to try a few things to better understand how audio depth works, for this test i used my Audigy 2 and the Realtek HD.

    ffdshow includes an option to enable 16/24/32 depths so i ticked 16bit and played an AC3 movie with 6 channels and check the directsound nBlockAlign the results were quite cool, according to this choosing 32bit would give the best results.

    choosing 16bit means you get only 12 real world bits the remaining bits
    are lost somewhere.
    [​IMG]

    choosing 24bit means you get 18 real world bits
    [​IMG]

    while choosing 32bit means you get 24 real world bits
    [​IMG]

    i can only conclude that once you enable 32bit in your audio player or ffdshow would let your card fall back to the maximum depth possible, when the actors where talking to each other and used the letter S a lot there was a clear difference between 16bit and 32bit but not enough between 24 and 32bit.

    [​IMG]

    in Foobar choosing 32bit gave me the best quality possible especially when the song featured a lot of cymbals while 24bit was good but not great, 16bit with Dither was similar to 24bit, without Dither the quality wasn't that good tbh, finally in 32bit i have noticed a couple of guitar leaks and background vocals i have never heard before in a few songs, the Realtek was better than the Audigy 2 especially when playing mp3s.

    WAV files got fixed depths and there won't be any difference, mp3s however got floating depth and since it is a compressed format a higher audio depth could improve quality by recovering some of the lost bits, without good speakers you're unlikely to notice any difference in both cases and finally the Creative 24bit Crystalizer thingy takes this a step further but while the Crystalizer is a hit n miss affair choosing a higher depth in your audio player is always better.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2008
  2. spamkebab

    spamkebab Member Guru

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    you lost me at 'bits' lol
     
  3. Year

    Year Ancient Guru

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    lol did you read it bit by bit? :D
     
  4. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    I am pretty sure nblockalign is the "container" size for the audio sample and not actual bits used in the output. With digital audio, not all the bits are usable audio, some of the them are scaling and sign bits.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2008

  5. RejZoR

    RejZoR Ancient Guru

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    And your Realtek is certanly not capable of decoding and outputing 32bit audio...
     
  6. Year

    Year Ancient Guru

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    i can hear a difference between 16 and 32, could it be that all calculations are done in 32bit but the max real output is 24?

    can you prove this Realtek HD isn't capable of 32bit decoding/outputing? :)

    according to XFX

    "High Definition Audio (HDA)
    High definition audio brings consumer electronics quality sound to the PC delivering high quality sound from multiple channels. Using HDA, systems can deliver 192kHz/32-bit quality for eight channels, supporting new audio formats."


    bottom page in green...

    http://www.xfxforce.com/web/product...XFX+nForce+680i&productConfigurationId=998938

    @ROBSCIX - thanks for clearing that out.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2008
  7. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    what is the chip #?
     
  8. Year

    Year Ancient Guru

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    ALC888 ... but nevermind i just discovered that the Azalia e Realtek HD chipsets could support 32bit but has not been implemented *yet* so the maximum usable depth is 24bit just like any other card on the market, not disappointed at all because sound quality is great so not complaining, again maybe the chipset could do 32bit internally hence why choosing 32bit in Foobar results in slightly better sound. :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2008
  9. Keitosha

    Keitosha Ancient Guru

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    I'm using Winamp, but how (and what plug-in?) do i enable 32-bit with Winamp? I found 24-bit, but i'm missing 32-bit. :)

    EDIT: Found this: MAD Winamp Plug-in.

    Is this a good plug-in? I think those quotes on that site bragging how good MP3's sound when using MAD is just way too overdone.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2008
  10. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    @Keitosha, you need a different output plugin if you want to play with those settings. Try audioburst output plugin.

    @Year, if you are hearing ANY difference between 24/32 bit setting it would most likely be from anti-aliasing filters or possibly dither rounding out and smoothing some of the samples.
    If it sounds better to you, use it.
     

  11. Keitosha

    Keitosha Ancient Guru

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    Yeah, tried Audioburst and it seems very interesting. Funny that you can also enable 8-bit sound, which reminds me of the old SoundBlaster 1.0 and SB Pro cards. The noise of 8-bit. :p
     
  12. LahiruRD

    LahiruRD Member

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    I have a problem.
    I have SB Live 24bit sound card. I can choose bit depth between 16bit & 24bit. Is there a noticeable difference between them ?
    (I have Logitech X 540 5.1 speakers)

    Thanks in advance.
     
  13. Zoea

    Zoea Member

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    I can tell you that with my 1960s Harmon Kardon A500 (factory build valve amp, pretty much shop spec) and Audigy 2 ZS with KX drivers (using rear output jack) I can tell EASILY the difference between 24bit and 32bit output on Apollo (mp3 .... Working link in 2008).

    Using RCA main stage valves and 4 awesome, awesome, Telefonica preamp valves in the valve preamp stage (a phono HI level input).

    I have mission 760SE speakers dating over 10 years old and from the UK. The SE 760 variant had higher end tweeters supplied. The main cones were used across much of the Mission range before Mission outsorced speaker manufacturing, just after these speakers entered the UK audio rendition market.

    Not that I've checked out the source code which is involved though, so your mileage may vary. Stipulating usage of Windows Server 2008 on x32 and kX 3539 in any case!
     
  14. Zoea

    Zoea Member

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    Year just read your post! Scuse me :)

    Did you use any kX drivers - i.e. which part of the Audigy 2 ZS output hardware (which path) are you using? kX Win32 default??!
     
  15. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    KX drivers are great for getting good sound out of Creative cards.
    24/32 bit....big discussion and big, long, heated, long, wide, wordy, long winded debate. If the setting sounds better to you then use it.
     

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