96kHz vs 192kHz: What’s the Difference?

When you hear the term ‘sampling rate’, what comes to mind? For most people it would be 96 kHz. But if you’re ever asked about 192 kHz vs 96 kHz, then your first question might not be “what’s that?” We’ll give a quick primer on sampling rates and explain why this is important for audio quality.

96kHz is the standard sampling frequency for digital audio. A sampling rate of 96kHz means that every second, a sound wave will be sampled and recorded at 96 times per second. 192kHz is the standard sampling frequency for high-quality audio. A sampling rate of 192kHz means that every second, a sound wave will be sampled and recorded at 192 times per second.

96kHz vs 192kHz: What’s the Difference?


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Because you have devices that employ these various frequency rates or sound resolutions, you may be asking what the difference is between 96kHz and 192kHz. For example, your soundcard may be capable of 192kHz output, but your DAC only supports 96kHz. Will my quality suffer as a result?

Let’s compare 96kHz and 192kHz sampling rates in this situation.

96kHz and 192kHz are both sampling frequencies or sampling rates (the number of samples per second in a sound). However, 192kHz is a higher sampling rate which means the quality is greater. However, most people won’t hear a difference in sound quality between the two so you shouldn’t worry about losing quality regardless of which one you use. 

Table of Contents

What does 96khz stand for?


96kHz is a sampling frequency or sample rate that captures audio at 96kHz. It is 96000 Hz. The Audio Engineering Society launched it in 1988. (AES). 96 kHz is a multiple of the conventional 44100 Hz CD-quality audio sampling rate, and it also twice the 35 mm cinema sound standard.

It advises using anti-aliasing filters when recording analog sources such as music or voice at 96 kHz to prevent aliasing issues.

Digital technology was widely used by studios due to the availability of professional mixing consoles with greater fidelity. This contributed significantly to its widespread usage in commercial music creation throughout the 1990s and 2000s.

However, there has been a revival of interest in analog recording and mixing equipment in recent years, resulting in the reintroduction of some of this equipment into production.

What does 192khz stand for?


192kHz is a digital audio sample rate that can capture up to double the amount of acoustic information as 96kHz. Although most people may not detect the difference, 192kHz is a superior rate and delivers greater quality than 96kHz. As a result, 192kHz is superior than 96kHz and 48kHz. To understand more, see our article on 96kHz versus 48kHz.

To put it another way, sampling at 96 kHz implies sampling 48000 times per second and accurately recording digital information.

192 kHz samplings, on the other hand, are done twice as frequently, resulting in a far more detailed and exact sound. However, it is not always guaranteed to sound as well as or better than a 96kHz recording.

If anything moves swiftly and pitches change quickly or instantly, the greater the sampling rate (and so 192kHz), the more accurate the portrayal of what was going on at the time will be when you replay your 192kHz recording.

When Should You Use 96kHz?

Between these two sampling speeds, 96kHz is the lesser of the two. However, as previously said, the majority of individuals will not notice the change.

When you sample an analog waveform, you’re simply storing the peaks and troughs of the waveform as numerical values. Higher settings suggest that these values may be more exact, resulting in a more accurate sampling of an analog signal.

When it comes to music, which normally has a fundamental tone of roughly 64 Hz, 96khz may easily outperform 44100 samples per second.

When Should You Use 192kHz?

The higher the frequency, the more precise it is. One of the most significant benefits of 96khz is its accuracy.

For recording musicians who are performing together, 192kHz is ideal. This is because, rather than losing some of the instrument intricacies while downsampling to 96kHz, it catches every detail of what everyone in the room was doing at the time.

If there are two, three, or four microphones in a room, recording at 192kHz may be beneficial for capturing additional ambience information and room acoustics. If your mixes are played back on systems with greater sampling rates, they will sound livelier and more interesting (such as DVD-Audio).

The 96kHz sound quality

The number of samples per second in digital audio is 96khz. It has nothing to do with the size of your speakers, but it may be used to estimate how much detail to anticipate from an audio source.

This is the number of times each sample (typically 16-bit) must be compressed and decompressed to reach the final, required bitrate for lossless compression. The greater this number, the more effort is required to complete the final file.

Paying attention to this value will ensure that you don’t lose too much quality when converting your music to a lossy format like Ogg Vorbis or mp3. But it’s also important that you don’t spend too many bits encoding samples that aren’t audible to humans.

The wider the dynamic range of sound (the gap between the quietest and loudest sounds heard) while retaining flawless playback without changing pitch or tone, the more samples there are. 

The 192kHz sound quality

An audio file’s bit depth controls how many parts the signal is divided into. Because noise is contributed to the signal every time it is divided, we will argue that the more parts you have, the clearer your sound quality. The bit depth has no bearing on the dynamic range (DNR) of your file.

It’s also worth noting that bit depth is limited to 16 bits. While this may seem to be a large number, many instruments and other elements in real-world recordings do not produce signals with a bit depth greater than 24 bits (and some much lower).

The sample rate refers to how often an analyzer measures the audio stream. If the sampling rate is 85 kHz, your signal will be sampled every 1/85000 of a second.

The ‘Nyquist Frequency,’ which is determined by the sampling rate, is the highest frequency that may be accurately reproduced in an audio file.

All frequencies above Nyquist are meant to be translated into lower frequencies using different math functions, however if your sample rate is too low, you won’t be able to hear all of the information in the original sound.

Is it Really Necessary to Listen to Music at 96kHz and 192kHz?


Humans can’t hear that type of fidelity unless they have a very excellent set of headphones/speakers with a high-frequency range, hence 96kHz and 192kHz aren’t essential for music listeners. 

Higher sample rates, on the other hand, capture more information (particularly when recording live instruments), which may be useful to some, but not everyone will want this functionality.

So, what’s the big deal with 192kHz/32bit?

Higher sample rates will collect more information about what is being captured at 96khz/192khz while capturing live music. If you’re recording an orchestra, for example, you’ll be able to catch the entire sound of the instrument more precisely.

The sample rate, on the other hand, has no effect on the quality or sound of music that has already been recorded or mixed in 32-bit audio.


96khz and 192khz are two distinct sample rates of the same frequency. Although 192kHz has a greater sample rate and hence better sound quality, most listeners will not notice the difference. The sampling rate is commonly expressed in kHz (kilohertz), thus instead of “96kHz” or “192kHz,” you’ll see 96kHz or 192kHz.

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The “difference between 48khz and 192khz” is a question that has been asked many times. The difference between the two is how many samples per second are used to store audio on your computer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is 192kHz better?

A: No. 192kHz is a frequency that the human ear cannot hear, so it does not give any added benefit in audio quality.

Is 96kHz good quality?

A: 96kHz is a high quality audio format that has significantly higher sound fidelity than your standard 44.1 kHz and 48 kHz formats.

Does 96kHz make a difference?

A: We recommend that you use 96kHz as the standard streaming audio.

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