OK, I recently had the chance to get a high resolution audio soundtrack, it is a 24-bit/48KHz sound track, so quite a bit better than the compressed MP3s that most folks listen too. But how it is actually pretty hard to make sure you can listen to it and use it.
There are a few questions, first is how to convert a massive WAV file that is uncompressed into something useful. The older format was FLAC, but now there is Apple Lossless encoding. Now with iTunes it is easy to convert from WAV to Apple Lossless. It is a bit complicated but there are three steps.
Start iTunes, then, you have to change the conversion options which is buried pretty deep in iTunes/General/Import Settings/Import Using and set this to Apple Lossless Encoding.
Then you click on the tracks and then hold the OPTION key and press on go to File/Convert and then choose Apple Lossless Encoding and this will open up a file dialog and select the WAV file and then this will copy the new Apple Lossless format into the iTunes.
Then there is how to listen to it. On your Mac be default, it plays at 44.1KHz (the old CD standard) but with 24-bit (not the usual 16-bits). How do you change it to use more, well, crank up the Midi Audio Setup and change the output to 96KHz for example.
The current versions of MacOS and iOS do support 96KHz/24-bit sound after you turn this on. But then the problem is how do you get that sound to your ears.
Well, on the MacBook Pro before 2016, they had a TOSLINK optical interface built into the headphone jack, so you could audio output that way. From 2016 onwards, they deleted this, so you have to rely on the headphone jack and their internal DAC (digital to analog convertor), this handles at most 96KHz/24-bit (with the default at 44.1KHz/24-bit). The iPhone’s also have the same limit.
However true audiophiles want a dedicated DAC convertor and amplifier that hooks into USB C for the MacBook or Lightening for the iPhone for true audiophile uses. I have a small Coby which is about $200 and is tiny, it fits into Lightning or USB with a small adapter cable and has a 3.5mm headphone jack. At least to my ears, it sounded pretty darn good, although the iPhone is actually quite good.
You can also so go crazy and spend up to $2K for one as whats-fi.com points out. The Audioquest Dragonfly Red for $200 seems like a decent choice or pop to $600 for a Chord Mojo (although then you should really get some wonderful headphones to enjoy it).

I’m Rich & Co.

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