Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I bought this new HP Pavilion dv4 laptop with Beats audio. While trying to tune the audio I reached the section of sound settings where you are allowed to choose sound format (bit depth and sample rate). Then I chose the highest bit depth with highest sample rate available (24-bit 192000 Hz). After applying these settings and listening to some music for 5-10 minutes I again switched the settings back to default. My concern is, have I in this process damaged or harmed my laptop speakers in any way? Can this cause any harm to speakers? The reason I am concerned is that I remember reading warnings on those hi-fi music download sites that high bit depth and sample rate can damage normal speakers.

Here is where I tweaked the settings (click for full-size version):


share|improve this question

What you read is nonsense. The speaker only plays whatever signals the sound chip outputs; as long as the chip is not defective (e.g. generating excessive voltage) and the speakers are not abused (e.g. running at very high volumes for a long time), they won't be damaged.

Audio chips today are designed such that they prevent those failure modes (which can harm or damage a speaker).

But probably, you will not hear any benefit from higher bitrates/bit depths: they're useful for recording, but not so much for listening.

share|improve this answer
Can it then harm or damage the sound chip? – SegFault Oct 6 '12 at 23:18
Or any other hardware in any way? – SegFault Oct 6 '12 at 23:25
@SegFault I don't think so. – Renan Oct 6 '12 at 23:27

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.