What is Hi-Fi Sound?

- Jun 19, 2018-

Speaking of High Fidelity (Hi-Fi) audio, almost everyone hears people say, but do not necessarily know how to explain. Then, what exactly is Hi-Fi?

IEEE (Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineers) "IEEE terminology dictionary" explains "Hi-Fi signal" as Hi-Fi signal system uses the most advanced devices such as microphones, power amplifiers, speakers, or headphones to send the signal. In addition, the interpretation of “high fidelity” in the “Electroacoustic Dictionary” compiled by Mr. Shen et al. refers to the term “used to evaluate the characteristics of the original sound source that faithfully reproduces the high-quality sound reproduction system. It strives to accurately and faithfully record or reproduce the program. The original characteristics and subjectively do not cause a discernible distortion sensation. The evaluation of high fidelity includes both objective and subjective. The former is to make the characteristic parameters of the sound release satisfy the specified technical indicators, and the latter is to let the listener to the sound quality. To perform a comprehensive subjective evaluation, therefore, the concept of high fidelity is not exactly the objective soundness of the original sound and the replay sound, and sometimes refers to the necessary modification process to turn the sound into a subjective hobby.

Therefore, the so-called Hi-Fi means "Technology for recording and reproducing original sound signals with maximum fidelity, as well as audio equipment and related technical test methods and instruments used therefor." In addition, the so-called maximum fidelity does not rule out the necessary modification and beautification (such as the elimination of noise on the scene recording and only retain some applause and cheers). However, some people have different opinions on how to make sounds more relevant. They think that high fidelity is a faithful reproduction of the original signal. It can neither be distorted nor add anything, that is, it must remain authentic.

However, people have achieved a relatively unanimous agreement on the following technical features of high fidelity.

(1) Wide frequency response range: It was once thought that the listening range of the human ear was from 50Hz to 15KHz. At the time, it was also a requirement for recording products and sound reproduction facilities. As the technology progressed, the ear could be heard again. The listening range is expanded to extend from 20Hz to 20KHz. However, not all audio equipment can reach such a wide frequency response range. Not only does it require such a wide frequency response range, but it also has a non-frequency response range. On any frequency, the replay must not impose or reduce any of the original sounds. Of course this is an ideal situation.

(2) Large dynamic range: High-fidelity audio equipment must be low-noise, and when the system performs sound reproduction, there will be a large dynamic range, ie, dynamic range, between maximum loudness and minimum background noise. At the same time, high-fidelity recordings require that recordings be made without compression (ie, without changing the levels of the loudest and loudest music passages) to maintain the dynamic range of the original sound.

(3) Low noise: it is a parameter of the dynamic range, but is often listed separately in the technical specifications.

(4) Low distortion: In a broad sense, distortion refers to any change in the original sound number. There is no distortion-free audio device. Even the most perfect audio equipment will make some changes to the original signal in some aspects. Distortion is usually represented by total harmonic distortion (THD) and intermodulation distortion (M). Distortion indicators of modern audio equipment have been numerically unbelievably low, such as a few thousandths or less. However, what is puzzling is that some Hi-Fi audio systems with fairly good performance may even have distortions of up to 0%. It seems that there are still some differences between the technical indicators and the human auditory experience. Technical parameters do not fully explain the problem.

(5) Moderate Power: Power is an important indicator when purchasing a power amplifier. Even if the power value is stipulated according to the most stringent standards, the power of the power amplifier still has an indirect relationship with the loudness of the complete set of sounds during sound reproduction.

Finally, we try to make some definitions of Hi-Fi. Of course, first of all, it should be understood that using certain technical indicators to define Hi-Fi is incomplete and inappropriate. In addition, it seems that the level of Hi-Fi alone is judged by sound effects. So instead of defining Hi-Fi with technical parameters, we try to explain Hi-Fi from the perspective of music.

The so-called Hi-Fi sound system refers to the technically exhaustive efforts to preserve the melody, rhythm and taste of music, and to retain as much as possible the exciting and fascinating aspects of music. , and even want to let people dance with the musical connotation of the audio equipment.

As music and audio enthusiasts, playing sound is possible, but to be moderate, according to their own conditions, the power to do it. This is because any audio equipment, whether analog or digital, whether it is expensive or cheap, is nothing more than a tool for sound reproduction. It is all for us to enjoy music services. Listening to music is the goal, and hardware and software such as audio equipment and CD recordings are the means. Don’t put the cart before the horse.



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