High-Resolution Audio

What is High-Resolution Audio?

A Clearer “Image”
Your Ears Can “See”

High-Resolution Audio is offering quality surpassing that of CD (16bit/44.1kHz).

The superior quality of High-Resolution Audio lets the listener discover subtle details and nuances within the music, the same way you would if you were actually at a recording studio or live performance.

In other words, High-Resolution Audio takes you closer to the original, to provide an excitingly satisfying listening experience.

Original Former Audio File
(mp3,AAC etc)
High-Resolution Audio

History Repeats Itself

Just as HDTV revolutionized television viewing with its leap in picture quality, High-Resolution Audio enables a whole new level of listening enjoyment. So if you’re wondering if your ears really need High-Resolution Audio, just ask your eyes if they’re willing to go back to the old standard definition TV. From the early days of audio recording, engineers have always pursued the highest quality with the technology that was available to them. Then came the CD, which afforded high quality sound but with capacity limited by the physical size of the disc. Digital music then broke free of the disc, but due to storage and bandwidth limitations, data needed to be compressed and lost some quality. Now we have come full circle, finally with digital audio technology enabling capture of original analog sources—the performances themselves, exactly as the artists intended—with lossless quality.

time time time Original 16bit /44.1kHz 24bit/192kHz

Sampling Specifications

High-Resolution Audio, often denoted as “192kHz/24bit” or something similar, is made by digitally sampling an original analog audio source. The rate at which a sampling is performed per 1 second is called the sampling frequency, expressed in Hz. Digitizing refers to the process of quantizing the sampled signal into binary digits consisting of 1’s and 0’s, and is expressed as “bits”. Here, a higher number of bits means a result that is closer to the original source.

CDs are standardized at 16bit/44.1kHz. There is no such single standard for High-Resolution Audio, however the most commonly used specs are 24bit/96kHz and 192kHz/24bit. An alternative means for digitizing an analog source is a method called DSD (Direct Stream Digital) which quantizes in 1 bit increments at an extremely fast 2.8MHz or higher, and is expressed as DSD 1bit/2.8MHz, etc.

File Formats / Lossless Codecs

A variety of different file formats exist for High-Resolution Audio.

Due to the amount of data carried in High-Resolution Audio files, the file sizes tend to become very large. In order to reduce file size down to manageable levels without sacrificing quality, the following types of compression have been developed.

  • DSD(DFF) is the DSD file format used in professional equipment for the manufacture of Super Audio CDs.
  • DSD(DSF) is a PC-friendly format created for use in VAIO PCs, and a DVD burned using DSF data is referred to as a “DSD disc”.
  • WAV is the audio file format developed for Windows®.
  • AIFF is the audio file format developed for Macintosh computers.
  • FLAC stands for Free Lossless Audio Codec, and as the name implies, it enables encoded (compressed) audio data to be decoded and restored to its original state, affording what is called “lossless compression”.
  • ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec), , also commonly known as “Apple Lossless”, is lossless compression technology.

How to enjoy High-Resolution Audio

Getting the Goods

Enjoying high-resolution audio to its fullest extent requires appropriate equipment supporting high-resolution audio. Here are some examples of how this can be done, from acquiring high-resolution audio source titles to setting up a SONY high-resolution audio system.

How to enjoy High-Resolution Audio

Music Services

  • proStudioMasters
  • Blue Coast Records
  • LINN
  • Naim Label
  • 2L
  • Pro Studio Masters

    ProStudioMasters is a premium online music store specializing in high-resolution audio downloads.

    ProStudioMasters offers high-resolution digital masters received directly from major and independent record labels — never from media transfers. Audio files are available for download in uncompressed AIFF, FLAC, DSD (DSF) and lossless FLAC formats without Digital Rights Management (DRM).

    For music lovers that demand the best, ProStudioMasters features the finest music, premium performances and the highest-quality sound recordings.

    file formats

    • AIFF
    • ALAC
    • DSD
  • Blue Coast Records

    Blue Coast Records sets a new standard in acoustic recording and now brings master-quality sound into your home using DSD (Direct Stream Digital) audio.
    We specialize in capturing the sounds of superior musicianship using high resolution techniques to deliver all the passion and dynamics of a live performance. Our first allegiance is to the music and DSD lets us bring the listener into the studio in a way never before possible.
    DSD audio is sampled 2.8 million times per second - 64 times that of a CD! The DSD format is used by many audio professionals for its ease of use and sound quality similar to analog tape. DSD files are many times larger than your normal mp3. With internet speeds increasing, a resolution revolution has come - led by Blue Coast Records.
    Our downloads are available anywhere in the world for your listening pleasure. Explore a new world of sonic sensations from Blue Coast Records.

    file formats

    • DSD
    • WAV

    Linn Records was the first label to offer Studio Master downloads DRM-free. Linn Records offers a library of over 750 Studio Master albums from 100 different labels, with Studio Masters accounting for over 85% of all download purchases. Thousands of customers have already downloaded Studio Masters from Linn Records, demonstrating the demand for high quality music at home.

  • DSD

    Naim Label is a record company devoted to the best musical talent and superb sound quality. Our Hi Definition Download Store offers our artists’ music in CD quality and Naim Hi Definition. We offer 320kbps MP3, FLAC, ALAC and fully uncompressed WAV downloads up to 24bit 192kHz.

  • Trax

    The Nordic Sound by Lindberg Lyd. Music in stereo and surround with Pure Audio Blu-ray and HiRes music file distribution. 14 american GRAMMY-nominations.


Learn more about these High-Resolution Audio products

The product with this logo has been designed to maximize the sound performance of High Resolution Audio*. Learn more
*High-resolution audio generally refers to music data with a volume of information exceeding that of CDs.

1. Minimum specifications to be satisfied

Process Minimum requirements
Microphone Microphone response performance of 40 kHz or above during recording
Recording Capability of recording using the 96kHz/24bit format or above
I/O (Interface) Input/output interface with a performance of 96kHz/24bit or above
Decoding File playability of 96kHz/24bit or above (FLAC, WAV required)
※This includes 44.1kHz/24bit、48kHz/24bit、88.2kHz/24bit playability as well.
※Depending on products, some are capable of 192kHz/24bit or DSD format.
Please check the details of each product
Digital Signal Processing DSP processing of 96kHz/24bit or above
D/A conversion Digital to analog conversion processing of 96 kHz/24 bits or above
Amplification Amplification performance of 40 kHz or above
Transducer Transducer (Speakers/headphones) performance of 40 kHz or above

2. Listening evaluation process

Listening evaluation process is added, by Sony acoustic engineers to make a final decision.


We offer a variety of audio system solutions for the enjoyment of High-Resolution Audio.
Choose the system and products that best match your preference and lifestyle.

Audio File Format

Format Name Transmission by “HAP Music Transfer” Play by “HDD AUDIO PLAYER/SYSTEM”
DFF 2.8MHz
DFF 5.6MHz
DFF 2.8MHz
PCM WAV 192KHz/24bit
AIFF 192KHz/24bit
FLAC 192KHz/24bit
ALAC 192KHz/24bit
Compression MP3
ATRAC/ATRAC Advance Lossless

non-DRM content only

Format Name USB Streaming by “Hi-Res Audio Player” Play by “USB DAC AMP” Play by “Portable AMP”
DSD DSF 5.6MHz *1
DSF 2.8MHz *1
DFF 5.6MHz *1
DFF 2.8MHz *1
PCM WAV 192KHz/24bit
AIFF 192KHz/24bit
FLAC 192KHz/24bit
ALAC 192KHz/24bit
Compression MP3
AAC × *2 *2
WMA × *2 *2
ATRAC/ATRAC Advance Lossless × *2 *2

○* 1 "Hi-Res Audio Player" for Windows is capable. "Hi-Res Audio Player" for Mac is not capable.
○* 2 "Hi-Res Audio Player" is not able to play AAC,WMA and ATRAC. For playback use other application such as Sony's "Media Go".

Format Name Transmission to “Walkman” from “Media Go” Play by “Walkman”
DSD DSF 5.6MHz × ×
DFF 2.8MHz × ×
DFF 5.6MHz × ×
DFF 2.8MHz × ×
PCM WAV 192KHz/24bit
AIFF 192KHz/24bit
FLAC 192KHz/24bit
ALAC 192KHz/24bit
Compression MP3
ATRAC/ATRAC Advance Lossless

non-DRM content only
○* DSD is converted to AAC or MP3, then transfer to "Walkman".

Format Name Play by “Linear PCM Recorder” Recording by “Linear PCM Recorder”
DSD DSF 5.6MHz × ×
DFF 2.8MHz
DFF 5.6MHz × ×
DFF 2.8MHz ×
PCM WAV 192KHz/24bit
AIFF 192KHz/24bit × ×
FLAC 192KHz/24bit ×
ALAC 192KHz/24bit × ×
WAV 96KHz/24bit
AIFF 96KHz/24bit × ×
FLAC 96KHz/24bit ×
ALAC 96KHz/24bit × ×
Compression MP3 (320Kbps,128kbps)
ATRAC/ATRAC Advance Lossless × ×

non-DRM content only

  • Digital Music PlayerWalkman
  • Linear PCM Recorder

New music experiences

New music experiences with LDAC

Enjoy music wirelessly in high quality sound

High quality wireless listening

LDAC is a new audio technology from Sony that allows you to enjoy high quality wireless audio via Bluetooth. With 3x the data transmitted, LDAC provides an enhanced wireless listening experience for all your music.

Comparison between LDAC and conventional Bluetooth

Don’t be satisfied with sound quality via Bluetooth?
With 3x the data transmitted compared to existing wireless technology, LDAC can maintain maximum bit depth and frequency range of 96kHz/24bit during transmission and realizes high compression efficiency and reproduction.

Key products with LDAC 1

New music experiences with SongPal Link

Enjoy music anytime, anywhere in high quality sound.

Bring your music together

Enjoy music in any room via Wi-Fi
Control devices in your house with the SongPal app.With touch controls you can group music players together, start and stop songs and change settings. You can even control devices on other floors – all through one app.

Expand your music libraries

Enjoy the latest hits, or your old favorites. Google Cast™ lets you cast your favorite audio entertainment from your mobile device to your speakers. Simply tap the cast button in your favorite music or radio app on Android, iOS or the web, and select your Google Cast Ready™ speaker. And Spotify Connect lets you control the music playing on your speaker, using the Spotify app on your mobile, tablet or PC. With DSEE HX™ –enabled streaming, existing sound sources are upscaled to near high-resolution sound quality. So what you hear is clear and detailed – putting you ‘right there’ in the moment. 2 3 4

Sony speakers are Google Cast Ready so you can cast your favorite music, radio stations and podcasts from your mobile device to your speakers.

Explore Google Cast for audio

Spotify logos are trademarks of the Spotify Group.

Explore Spotify Connect

1. Typical products compatible with the LDAC in January 2015.

2. Service start dates and service conditions may change by country.

3. Certain services may require firmware updates.

4. Disclaimer regarding third party services. Sony bears no responsibility in the event that services offered changed, suspended or terminated.

5. Google Cast Ready and the Google Cast Ready Badge are trademarks of Google Inc.