A Complete Guide on Audio Bitrate

So what exactly is a bitrate? 

Why is it so important to understand what bitrate streaming should be done?

What is the best audio bitrate, what affects a streaming bitrate?

If you are wanting to get all the answers right, then you are at the right place, read further to get them all sorted.

What is Bitrate?

When you start streaming an audio or video file online, the number of bits processed during the stream in a particular amount of time is what bitrate actually means!

Bits are digits represented in 0’s and 1’s, these binary digits when it is higher, the quality of the stream also gets higher.

Bits are usually measured in bits per second (bps), or megabits per second (MBps)

What Is The Difference Between Audio Bitrates and Codecs?

Audio bitrates are the amount of data transferred in a specific period of time. These bitrates are commonly represented in Kbps (kilobytes per second)

These bits of data determine the quality of audio input, the more the bitrate is, the higher the quality gets. Most popular platforms like Spotify and apple music use a low kbps of 128 whereas music festivals and concerts use 256 kbps to achieve the sound quality.

Audio codecs on the other hand are physical devices or software which are used to compress and decompress an audio file to achieve a better streaming quality.

These two entities are entirely different from each other as they handle different processes in streaming an audio file.

Recommended Audio Bitrate for Streaming

There are different scenarios where one can record an audio so based on that we have recommended the best bitrate below,

For a Professional music recording the recommended best bitrate is 1411 kbps (CD quality) or 960 kbps (FLAC).

And nowadays podcasts and audiobooks are booming effectively, to efficiently record a Podcast or audiobook the recommended best bitrate is 192 kbps or higher.

On a personal usage level, voice notes are covered under a bitrate of 128 kbps and for music streaming in online platforms, the best recommended bitrate is 160 kbps. Simple smartphone recordings cover a low-quality MP3 with bitrate of 64 kbps.

Apart from recording an audio, video recording in Full HD is processed  at 320 kbps and 720p Video is 192 kbps.

How To Achieve High-Quality Audio Streaming?

Based on the streaming space the bitrate and bandwidth differs, but to achieve a seamless and high-quality audio streaming you will require a higher bandwidth and a bitrate of 256 kbps and above

The higher the bitrate the wider and greater the frequency response from the original audio, because lower bitrate will cause loss of audio quality.

Factors That Disturb an Audio Bitrate?  

Audio bitrate is affected by various factors but the major ones that take place while streaming are listed below,

  1. Sample rate
  2. Bit Depth
  3. File size and device compatibility.

Sample Rate

A sample rate is measurement of audio and it is technically measured in kilohertz representing the original audio recording; 

The average sample rate for audio CDs and digitally transmitted audio is 44.1kHz. The increase in sample rate increases the file size and large file size will lead to poor audio quality.

Bit Depth:

The second major thing that you must look into is the bit depth is the number of bits every audio sample represents. 

Points to remember here is more bit depth will lead to superior audio quality and less distorted noise. A bit depth of 24 bits will lead to higher sound quality but with a larger file.

File Size and Device Compatibility: 

With the increase in sample rate and bit depth, the file size will increase, leading to audio bitrate damage, compatibility issues are huge concerns as some of the output devices don’t support the necessary formats or play the codec which is represented in the media file.

Ensuring all these and assuring the viewers a better audio quality and experience is the reason why one should understand all these technical aspects of an audio.

Final note

As you start Streaming you will go through a learning process of what works the best for you and our viewers; in that process the best audio output will be achieved, 

we hope the above points would have helped you understand audio bitrate and how to achieve supreme audio quality with ease. Streaming in a secure and technically sound platform like OnTheFly, Restream will manage most of your work.

For more information on audio codec and how it helps streaming, click here.

FAQ

Which is better: 128kbps or 320kbps MP3?

320 kbps gives out a higher audio quality and it has huge device compatibility with most of the current digital smart devices.

Is 160 audio bitrate good for streaming? 

The bitrate totally depends on the platform and the audio type, spotify and apple music enables at 160kbps whereas youtube recommends a bitrate of 128kbps.

What is the highest audio quality?

While a 24-bit/192kHz file has a data rate of 9216kbps, the highest quality MP3 has a bitrate of 320kbps.

 What is good sound quality?

A good sound quality can be defined from different perspectives but an audio with balanced  pitch, duration, intensity and timbre is a good quality sound.

How do I increase audio bitrate?

Bitrate can be increased while exporting a file in the editor, once you increase the bit rate the equality and file size also gets increased.

Leave a Comment