16bit sources on 32bit USB receiver

General Discussion about MPD – anything that doesn't fit in the other MPD forums.
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Joined: August 24th, 2019, 5:45 pm

16bit sources on 32bit USB receiver

Post by bradleyrose »

I found this on well tempered computer -

Will playing 16 bits sources on a 24 DAC affect sound quality?
Very unlikely, all what is done is padding 8 zero’s too the 16 bits to make it a 24 bit word.
In fact there might even be a benefit, if you apply digital volume control, you can chop off these eight zero’s (48 dB reduction) without losing resolution.

I own a Audio-gd NFB-17.32 DAC which has a 32bit receiver and Wolfson 8741 can accept 32bit data. On the Audio-gd site it is recommended to set the bit transfer to 32bit for better quality.

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Re: 16bit sources on 32bit USB receiver

Post by max »

Should not affect sound quality, and your point about software volume sounds reasonable.

Note that MPD attempts to preserve as many bits of precision as possible; for example, it reads 24 bit samples from a MP3 file, and 32 bit float from Ogg Vorbis. Even though their input files were probably 16 bit, most lossy codecs are bit depth agnostic, and their internal decoding output has a precision higher than 16 bit. MPD attempts to keep this higher precision for as long as possible.

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