High-resolution audio is a lot older than you might have thought
What was the original high-res audio format? That’s the question asked by CNET.com.
Some say the first true consumer high-res digital audio format was the Super Audio CD (SACD) that was introduced by Sony/Philips in 1999. The DVD-Audio (aka DVD-A) disc arrived soon after, and their prolonged format war produced no decisive winner.
Both formats sounded better than CD, there’s no doubt about that, but not better enough to woo huge numbers of music lovers (or mainstream record companies) to commit long term. The SACD is still around, serving the niche classical music market; music-only Blu-ray discs are rarer still.
The vinyl LP debuted back in 1948 with better sound quality than the previous popular disc format, the 78 rpm record — and here’s the best part: well recorded LPs still sound great today, even when compared with SACD, DVD-A, Blu-ray, or for that matter, with high-res FLAC files.