High resolution audio (Hi-Res Audio) becomes more an more popular as it brings a lot of benefits to the music listeners.
There are two scenarios which involve hi-res audio:
- Source music file has hi-res audio format (> 48 kHz, >16 bit) which needs to be preserved by the music player and sent to the DAC with the same format;
- Improve sound quality when playing regular music file (44.1 - 48 kHz).
Even though some may argue that human hearing is capable of perceiving maximum 20-22 kHz and hi-res audio is not needed at all we actively object - even though you may not hear frequencies above 22 kHz you will definitely benefit from a higher precision due to higher resolution of audio processing of those frequencies which you can hear! Conclusion: hi-res audio improves perception of the music content even though it can have frequencies below 22 kHz.
Resolution of the digital audio data is usually limited to 24-32 bits because modern audio DACs are either 24 or 32-bit but there is another approach to increase resolution - increase frequency of the audio data, and it is what many modern audio DACs are capable of by supporting output frequency up to 768 kHz.
If music player supports hi-res audio output it means that you will not loose frequencies (due to frequency conversion process called - Resampling) when playing hi-res music files and it will improve playback of the regular music files if additional DSP is used such as Equalizer, Filter, Surround, Crossfeed, Compressor and etc. when Oversampling is used which increases processing frequency.
Only those players which have own custom audio engine capable of running at high frequency can serve these two scenarios and there are very few players in the world (!) which do have own audio engine and are not just a User Interface on top of the media playback API provided by the OS which is usually very basic and does not offer any advanced audio processing. Neutron is one of the few music players with own audio engine which offers extended DSP capabilities. Neutron's audio engine is capable of satisfying all the audiophile requirements:
- Bit-perfect processing;
- 64-bit processing from the decoding stage up to the output;
- Support of any output frequency.
Neutron's audio engine (internal mixers and DSP) is capable of running at any frequency and its maximum is limited by the audio hardware capabilities and CPU's processing power. All DSP effects (Equalizer, Filters, Surround, Crossfeed, ...) are running at the same output frequency too.
By activating Oversampling and in case audio hardware supports higher frequencies than 48 kHz you will get much smoother and pleasant sound when playing regular music files with Neutron. Besides the support of the high output frequency Neutron's audio engine offers possibility to process data with 64-bit resolution, therefore you get extremely high processing resolution and thus - best possible quality of the sound.