HD audio and frequency response of Amplifiers


New member
Aug 10, 2019
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I don't know whether I'm misunderstanding what these numbers mean but something doesn't make sense. The majority of high resolution audio is either 96 kHz or 192 kHz. The top end frequencies of most popular amplifiers seems to be 50 kHz - 70 kHz with one or two designed to 100 kHz. Most loudspeakers seem to have top frequencies in the region of 25 kHz - 30 kHz. Surely this means that buying 192 kHz tracks over 96 kHz track is pointless as the vast majority of equipment couldn't handle those frequencies anyway?

Yes and I realise that human hearing is only usually up to 20 something kHz at best (I can guarantee that someone will still mention this)!


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Jan 15, 2009
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It's nothing to do with audible frequencies, it's the sampling rate of the digital file/signal. Standard red book CD standard (44.1KHz) chops every second of audio into 44,100 chunks. 96KHz or 192KHz just splits every second into more chunks. ;)

Dan Turner

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Jul 9, 2007
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Yes the sample rate dictates the highest frequency that can be captured in the recording, but a higher sampling rate captures samples of the original analogue signal more often, therefore giving higher resolution.


Well-known member
Sep 29, 2011
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As chebby said the frequency quoted for digital files is the sampling rate (or upsampled rate) and is not the same as the audio content it contains - this will still be in the normal audio freqency range.

Amplifiers and speakers have extended frequency ranges quoted because these upper limits of the frequency band are usually at the -3db points, when the amp or speaker gain starts to roll off significantly. So when listening to audio at the upper limits of audio frequency (20kHz ish), the gain is still within the amp's/speakers normal operating capability.


Did you know that most humans can't hear above 18kHz? :rofl:

We've had this discussion before, and I've given it some more thought. These higher sampling frequencies do offer a wider frequency range but that's a moot point because as you say, speakers and human ears don't respond to higher frequencies. What they do offer though, is a higher phase accuracy in representing high frequencies: in order to accurately represent frequencies near the sampling frequency, their phases have to be synchronized so the peak occurs exactly synchronized to the DAC's clock. That leads to phase smearing of those frequencies.

Whether the above is of any real-life practical concern is up for debate, though. We're talking about frequencies over and above 21kHz with standard sampling, and above 46kHz with higher sampling.


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