How do I know if my system is capable of playing 24bit/96kHz sound?

Posted by Igor Zinov'yev on Ask Ubuntu See other posts from Ask Ubuntu or by Igor Zinov'yev
Published on 2010-12-29T09:48:33Z Indexed on 2010/12/29 9:57 UTC
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Let me state for the record that I'm a total noob when it comes to Hi-Fi sound systems, but I am rather picky about the sound quality. Normally I listen to CD recordings ripped to FLAC in 16/44, but I have several albums that are also ripped from vinyls to FLAC in 24/96. But it seems that I can't tell the difference between 16-bit and 24-bit versions (except for some vinyl noises, of course). That can be due to several reasons:

  • my equipment (onboard audio, monitor headphones) isn't good enough to make any difference,
  • my system is not playing audio in 24-bit 96 kHz,
  • I am physically unable to hear the difference.

So here is my question, how do I tell if my system can play 24-bit sound with 96 or 192 kHz resolution? And if it can, how do I tell that it plays it instead of downsampling to 16-bit / 44 kHz?

Also, what hardware (audio cards, amplifiers, etc.) would you recommend to play such recordings on Ubuntu?

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