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High-resolution Audio

What is high-resolution audio?

If you've ever downloaded a song from iTunes® or Amazon, or streamed music from Pandora® or Spotify®, you didn't exactly get the whole song. Sure, the words, the chords, and the drumbeats were still there, but many details were lost when the song was squeezed into a small file for delivery to your computer or smartphone. Fortunately, you don't have to settle for these "lossy" digital tunes anymore. With high-resolution music, you'll hear every song in all its detailed glory – just as the artist intended – for sound that's more engaging, dynamic, and lifelike.

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More detail, more clarity

High-resolution music – sometimes called HD music – captures more of the magic of the original recording. These digital files contain even more information than CD tracks. You can hear individual instruments more clearly thanks to the improved detail and sense of space that these files offer. A high-res version of a favorite tune can make it sound new again, revealing nuances you may never have noticed before. If you own good speakers or headphones, high-res music will help them sound their best.

Where do I find high-resolution music?

High-res music is available for download at a growing number of online stores. HDtracks is the most popular, with millions of songs across all genres, from rock and pop to classical and jazz. You can find lots of old favorites as well as new releases in high-resolution formats, with more titles being added every week. There aren't yet any options for streaming high-res music, though services like TIDAL and Deezer Elite offer CD-quality streams. While not as detailed as high-res files, they offer improved sound over other services.

What equipment do I need to listen to high-res music?

There are lots of ways to enjoy high-res tunes, either at home or on the go. You need a computer to download music. Once you have some high-res files, you can connect your computer to a high-res-capable device, stream your files over a network connection, or transfer them to a high-res player.

Check out some of our top choices for high-res listening from Sony. They offer great-sounding gear for getting the most from high-res music in any setting. Want more advice? Read our high-res audio Q&A.

Want fast download speeds and reliable wireless streaming for high-res files? Make sure you have a high-quality router.

High-res music offers more detail

High-res music offers more detail

High-resolution files delivers more info than other formats, as shown in this bitrate comparison