Originally Posted by looniam
first of all, i have been an audio engineer for live music events for 8 years and to say 5.1 and 2.0 are or to even equate them as having the same features is complete ignorance and also SNR, the most important quality of an audio chip, is very pertinent. obviously you seem to be the type that considers mp3s as acceptable sound quality
and wouldn't know. also most "mastering studios" i have walked into work in 24 bit depth because it is much closer to analogue sound than 16 bit depth. it is only when buring a CD that is in 16 bit depth. but for recording and editing 24 bit is much much better. just as working with images, it is better to edit with the most information available before "down sizing" to "published size."
i don't have to talk to anyone, even gaming with a decent pair of headphones will tell the difference -
just stop right now. you need to pull your head out of your anus before you have any right to point at anyone and call them ignorant, a moron, a dick or heretic.
Didn't mean to say 5.1 is equal to 2.0... I said if they gave the same features, the quality of the music is going to be the same. The amount of channels isn't, which I could have worded it differently but life caught up with me and I got distracted. Oh sorry, life happens. The amount of channels doesn't exactly equal the quality of music coming from the chip, that's audio displacement to give you a surround feel. I'm aware of that, sorry for the misconception.
Never said studios don't use 24bit, the mastered tracks aren't 24 bit. That's the track that gets released to be pressed, or put on whatever medium they want to distribute. I'm aware of that, the point was the consumer (general use of YOU) won't get anything higher than the mastered tracks. Unless you can get an unmastered track of higher quality or they release high quality masters, you won't find it. Since that is rare, very rare, you are going to more commonly find a 16bit audio track. (Some exceptions arise, http://www.ektoplazm.com/
electronic music can have high quality tracks and I'm sure other examples exist)
As far as telling the difference, I've gone to extensive measures to find answers to this. I'm extremely picky when it comes to audio. While I'll spend a good chunk on my audio equipment, that money is going to be spent reasonably and justifiably. SNR isn't exactly a clear cut situation either. It's been proven over and over again that you can do simple things to "improve" audio fidelity. One of those nice tricks is boosting the signal, or making it louder. We as humans have this neat little issue in our ears, we perceive louder noise as cleaner noise regardless if the audio is cleaner or not. I could go on and on about this, obviously your an audiophile so I'm not going to waste my time. You will believe what you want to believe, do the research that justifies it, come to your own conclusion. The same thought process applies to conspiracy theorists, they will come to the conclusions with the information given. A good movie that sheds light on this idea is Number 23. If a person believes something they will search for it, eventually they will find patterns if the belief (faith) is high enough. Those patterns cause justification for their beliefs even more, allowing them to come to conclusions that may possibly be wrong.
Unless you have audio input that is of high quality, most likely the difference you hear in audio goes down to how they set preferences. Kind of like "color" issues with nvdia/ati, in this case it's much harder to get audio chips tweaked. Sometimes a software equalizer doesn't do justice, in which case you cannot tweak the sound to feel "better". What you hear and what I hear are not the same, because of that it is impossible to say which sound is best. Unless you equate for all factors and get graphs of the sounds played (digital representation of the audio out of the speaker) you can't prove anything. All you can justify is your preference for a certain audio setup, that's it.
If you want to believe what you purchase is justified, go right ahead and do it. I treat it as buying a Titan or going Intel for gaming. You may not need it, you might never notice the difference. It makes you feel better, who cares?