Bit rate refers to the amount of data used to represent audio per unit of time. It is typically measured in bits per second (bps) and is used to quantify the quality and size of audio files. Higher bit rates generally result in better audio quality but also larger file sizes.
When recording or encoding audio, a higher bit rate allows for a more faithful reproduction of the original sound, capturing nuances and subtleties. Conversely, lower bit rates might lead to audio quality loss, particularly in complex or dynamic audio content.
Common bit rates for audio recording and encoding include:
- 128 kbps: A lower bit rate commonly used for online streaming and portable audio players. While it reduces file size, there can be some loss of audio quality.
- 192 kbps: Offers a compromise between file size and audio quality. Suitable for many online streaming services.
- 256 kbps: Provides relatively good audio quality, suitable for higher-quality online streaming and personal listening.
- 320 kbps: Is often considered the highest bit rate for compressed audio formats like MP3.