An Explanation of the Super Audio CD

Share Button

The super audio CD was introduced about a decade ago by Sony. This was described as the next generation of the classic music CD. Let me take a look at the technology which is used by the super audio CD and highlight the difference between the classic music CD and the SACD.

Now it is therefore standard formats for audio being recorded onto a disc. The probably best known format is the classic music CD. The music CD has been a huge leap in terms of audio quality from classic albums. Problems associated with album such as crackling and degradation of the audio was solved with the CD. As a result, music was almost exclusively distributed via CD for almost a decade.

However, Sony thought that the sound quality could be improved even further. It then went ahead and launched the super audio CD. There’s another format available which is competing with Sony’s super audio CD which is called DVD audio. DVD audio works fairly similar to the classic music CD by sampling the analog signal and saving it as digitized values. However, both the word width as well as the sampling rate have been increased.

wireless speakers for outdoors

The soup audio CD is supported by Sony only. They are only a handful of manufacturers who sell players which are compatible with that format. There’s a crucial difference between the way audio is being stored on to the CD compared with the DVD audio format. The audio instead of being sampled into a value which is represented by several bits, it is stored as a one-bit value. However, the sampling rate is much higher than the one employed by the classic CD and DVD audio. It is hard to imagine how exactly this format works but by looking at today’s digital amplifiers, you can sort of envision the working principle.

Modern audio amplifiers which employ the switching principle also switch the voltage between two states. The output is either connected to ground or the positive voltage. This means that there only two states known to the power stage of modern audio amplifiers. This is fairly similar to the way the super audio CD works. There only two states namely zero and one. There have been extensive listening test and to compare the quality between the soup audio CD and the DVD audio formats. There is no prevailing opinion favoring one or the other. However, most people in those listening test to agree that there’s a difference between the two formats.

Nowadays, the Blu-ray format has started to replace both the DVD audio and super audio CD formats. In addition to audio, the Blu-ray also has enough capacity to store video tracks. Movies nowadays are distributed not only on DVDs but also Blu-ray discs.