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I was wondering what's the best setting for typical music playback.

Songs are encoded with 16 bit & 44kHz, but my windows 7 sound playback is set to 24 bit / 48kHz (that was the default). Does that lower the playback quality because of downsampling? enter image description here

  • Properly implemented resampling is lossless... but that doesn't necessarily mean the Windows sound system doesn't do some mingling which does degrade quality, no matter if it's 48 of 44.1. In doubt, use ASIO drivers if your sound card and music player support them: that gives direct access to the hardware, with least possible conversion. – leftaroundabout Sep 7 '14 at 19:48
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    tbh, unless you're playing back over speakers that cost a grand each, it'll never make any difference.... less-so if your audio is already stored as MP3 [with apologies for the cynicism] – Tetsujin Sep 7 '14 at 19:57
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    And you need a power amplifier and ear quality to match that $2k pair of speakers. I also think you meant upsampling from 16/44 to 24/48. In upsampling, you can't add detail that wasn't in the source material, so it can only sound as good as the 16/44 source. – msw Sep 7 '14 at 20:02
  • 24/48 does help with recording because it allows for more dynamic headroom and less artifacting provided your input pre-amps are expensively high quality too. – msw Sep 7 '14 at 20:04
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    Sorry Carrie, but this is a bit of topic + you can find this information elsewhere. This is a sound design q&a site, not a general audio questions site. But you've got your answer, so that's nice :) – Arnoud Traa Sep 7 '14 at 20:18