What is the difference between Analog Audio and Digital Audio

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Popular Analog and Digital Storage Types

The simplest way to easily distinguish between Digital and Analog Audio is to remember the analog and digital audio formats.

Currently, there are quite a few analog music storage formats. As common as tape, cassette, vinyl, or even VHS film tapes are also analog forms.

With Digital music, all the music you listen to from your computer, music player, the phone is Digital music, also known as digital music. Music from CD, SACD, DVD, Blu-ray players is also digital music.

So what is the difference between Digital and Analog formats?

All stored audio signals represent changes in electrical signals over time. When the sound wave is transmitted to the vibrating diaphragm of the microphone, this signal is recorded as a variable alternating current. However, the difference between Analog and Digital Audio lies in recording the current variation of the sound.

– Analog: This variation of current will be recorded in real-time and continuously represented by the variation of the groove depth on the turntable or the magnetic variation (AC & DC Bias) on the magnetic tape.

– Digital: Then, the variation of this current will be stored in the form of a digital file by the method of quantization. There will be two methods, PCM (Pulse Code Modulation) and DSD (Direct Stream Digital), but either way, the audio is recorded as sampled value at a different time (1 sample). Between a sample will be separated by a certain amount of time, not continuously like analog.

Roughly speaking, 16bit/44.1kHz CD/lossless music quality will sample 44100 times (44.1kHz) per second with values ​​from 0 to 15 (16bit), and DSD64 2.8MHz means sampling 2,800,000 times for a second with a value of 0 or 1.

Advantages and disadvantages of Digital and Analog Audio


– Advantages: High storage capacity, universal, easy to use, and convenience. Along with a lot of formats to meet different usage needs.

– Cons: When playing high-end, there are too many factors affecting sound quality, such as source noise, EMI/RFI, jitter, even CPU pulse, hard drive type, and operating system…


– Advantages: Collectible value, classic style, easy to impress women

– Cons: Preservation and storage, a bit difficult to set up with new players.

Which format sounds better?

In terms of popularity

In terms of popularity and convenience, digital music has been much superior to analog music since its debut. The period when digital music began to appear with CDs and then MP3 music has made the Analog music format almost forgotten and has just begun to recover thanks to the vinyl player movement in recent years.

In terms of specifications

In terms of technical specifications, digital music is much better in terms of dynamic range and a much lower noise floor. However, many people believe that analog sound through fewer processing steps should be more realistic than digital.

The sound quality will depend more on the recording and mastering quality than on the storage format. In addition, the quality of the decoder device will also have a major influence on the sound quality. The most important thing is the type of music, and your listening needs also determine whether to play analog. I often listen to Japanese and Korean music with Chinese and VPOP music added from time to time. It’s hard to listen to vinyl, compared to AudioPsycho, or listen to more genres like Jazz, Blues, Classical, Rock; playing vinyl is an extremely reasonable period.


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