The introduction of the "high resolution" digital formats for the recording of sound has initiated wide-ranging discussions on the audibility of the improvements, compared to the CD-format, which has been around for almost 30 years now. In this article, Hans van Maanen reviews some of the initial drawbacks of digital recording as well as the paradoxes it entailed. He uses some results from the analog era to illustrate that the CD-format has audible deficiencies and the paradoxes are explained by phenomena, which can be attributed to the anti-aliasing filtering and the interaction of the temporal and amplitude quantization. It is shown that the "normal" definitions of Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) cannot be applied in the same way for digital systems as for analog systems.
On the audibility of “high resolution” digital audio formats and how to test this