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16bit vs 24bit which one should i use

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𝗘𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗻𝗲𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝗸𝗻𝗼𝘄 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗮𝘂𝗱𝗶𝗼 𝗽𝗹𝗮𝘆𝗯𝗮𝗰𝗸 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗱𝘂𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻…
TLDR: 16 bits is enough for playback, and 24 bits is only helpful for production.
Small correction: Bit-depth doesn’t really get you “resolution”.
 
𝟭) 𝗙𝗿𝗲𝗾𝘂𝗲𝗻𝗰𝘆 𝗴𝗶𝘃𝗲𝘀 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗼𝗹𝘂𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗮𝘂𝗱𝗶𝗼.
As far as frequency goes, 44-48kHz is enough because human hearing doesn’t really go beyond 20-20k, and 44.1 gives you up to 22kHz accurately according to the Nyquist formula.
44.1kHz is the CD audio standard.
48kHz is DVD audio standard.
 
𝟮) 𝗕𝗶𝘁 𝗱𝗲𝗽𝘁𝗵 𝗴𝗶𝘃𝗲𝘀 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗱𝘆𝗻𝗮𝗺𝗶𝗰 𝗿𝗮𝗻𝗴𝗲.
6dB of dynamic range per bit.
This means 16-bit has 96dB DR and can easily cover from 20dB (silent room) to 116dB (front row at a rock concert, almost hearing damage).
24-bit has 144dB DR and can cover the range between a silent room and a jet engine.
 
𝟯) 𝗛𝗶𝗴𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝗯𝗶𝘁-𝗱𝗲𝗽𝘁𝗵 𝗹𝗼𝘄𝗲𝗿𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗲𝗳𝗳𝗲𝗰𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝗻𝗼𝗶𝘀𝗲 𝘄𝗵𝗶𝗹𝗲 𝗺𝗶𝘅𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮𝘂𝗱𝗶𝗼.
When you process audio, every operation adds a little bit of noise.
With 16-bit, you have 65k steps.
With 24-bit, you have 16M steps.
A random error shift of 10-100 steps will be ever-so-slightly more significant if you have less steps to scale it.
The absolute range means you have more room for error.

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