Audio:

Sound in binary

Sound quality

This refers to the quality of audio from an electronic device. This can be specifically measured using devices or can be compared to its (perceived) similarity to another sound.


Quality can be changed by the bitrate and sampling rate of the audio:

The lower the bitrate the worse the sound quality is.


  • 32 kbit/s - generally acceptable only for speech
  • 96 kbit/s - generally used for speech or low-quality streaming
  • 128 or 160 kbit/s – mid-range bitrate quality
  • 192 kbit/s - a commonly used high-quality bitrate
  • 320 kbit/s - highest level supported by MP3 standard


The higher the sampling rate the better the sound quality.

Lower sampling rates have smaller file size and easier storage and transport.

This image shows what the sampling rate is:

Big image
This basically means that a sample is taken whenever the grey bar juts out onto the analogue wave.