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I know there is 16-bit, then there is 24-bit. Now I know 24-bit is higher quality, but is there a difference is kbps or what?

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3 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

FLAC accepts a couple of integer parameters:

  • PCM bit resolution (4 - 32 bits)
  • Sampling rate (1 Hz - 655,350 Hz)
  • Channels (1 - 8)

All parameters ultimately affect bit rate (in kbps).

The difference between 16-bit and 24-bit FLAC lies in the PCM bit resolution.

The Pulse-code modulation (PCM) is used to digitally represent the audio signal, which is analog.

See also:

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FLAC is a method to compress PCM (WAV) without loss. Those WAV files can be of different quality, including 16 or 24bit. 24bit allows better dynamic range at the cost of larger file sizes, so yeah the final kbps will be higher by definition. Expect at least 1.5x the size of 16-bit FLACs.

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24-bit does take up more space, so the bitrate (kbps) will be higher, but that doesn't mean anything, quality-wise. Also, your hearing and the nature of the recordings you listen to are such that you almost certainly stop noticing the effects of higher bit depth around 12 bits of precision. So 16-bit, 24-bit, and 847250348952-bit are the effectively same quality, as far as what you can perceive. One is not "higher quality" than the other. I suggest reading this: http://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html

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