What Are the Differences Between Hi-Fi and Lo-Fi

What Are the Differences Between Hi-Fi and Lo-Fi


When people talk about sound quality, two technical terms may come onto the stage, namely, high fidelity (Hi-Fi) and low fidelity (Lo-Fi). Some of you may not be an audiophile or are just a newcomer to the audio domain, so you may be confused about these two terms. You may be wondering what the differences between Hi-Fi and Lo-Fi and which sound quality you should choose opt for a wireless microphone? Don’t worry. We are here to help you figure out the differences between these two types of sound qualities. We hope that you will have a general understanding about Hi-Fi and Lo-Fi and know how to choose a wireless mic with a proper sound quality as needed.

What Are the Differences Between Hi-Fi and Lo-Fi

Let us get started by looking at the term “fidelity”. In the electronic domain, “fidelity” indicates the degree to which an electronic device accurately reproduces the sound or image in its input signals. The following are some technical terms related to fidelity.

  • SNR represents the ratio of signals to noises in an electronic device or system. We could also say that it is the ratio of wanted sound information to unwanted ambient noise.
  • Frequency response indicates how a device responds to diverse frequencies.
  • Dynamic range is another frequently seen term in sound production, describing the performance of an audio device. It represents the difference between the loudest sounds and the quietest sounds, in decibels (dB).
  • Sample rate defines the frequency at which a digital-to-analog converter (DAC) takes samples from audio signals during the digital-to-analog conversion.
  • Bit depth specifies how many amplitude values can be recorded when audio is sampled each time.

In Hi-Fi, sounds are recorded as they are meant to be heard and are extremely similar to the original sounds, with very little noise or distortion. In the Hi-Fi sound quality, noise and distortion are minimized so as to make the recorded sounds accurate to the original sounds, to the most extent. In other words, there is high transparency and accuracy in sound reproduction. Therefore, Hi-Fi audio is also regarded as lossless audio. Lo-Fi is the opposite of Hi-Fi. Lo-Fi is basically the raw form of sounds, usually coming with distortion. In Lo-Fi, original sound elements are seen as imperfections, and there are noises and distortion. However, Lo-Fi actually delivers a two-fold experience. For some people, Lo-Fi is the symbol of imperfections and is not suitable for recordings, while Lo-Fi can be the favorite of those who would like to feel closer to the original sounds.

The SNR value is low in a Hi-Fi system, indicating that more clear and accurate information is captured and very little noise is recorded. The frequency response for Hi-Fi is rather even, indicating that frequencies are output at the same level as that when the frequencies are input across the entire frequency spectrum. However, in Lo-Fi, the frequency response is uneven. The human auditory system is capable of a dynamic range of about 90 dB. Generally speaking, a Hi-Fi sound system is featured with a higher dynamic range. The wireless lavalier microphone Lark M1 of Hollyland features a Hi-Fi sound quality with a dynamic range of 86 Db, delivering a pleasant listening experience to you. In terms of the sample rate and bit depth, generally Hi-Fi audio is featured with a sample rate and bit depth higher than 44.1kHz and 16-bit. Take Lark M1 as an example again. This lapel wireless microphone is designed with a sample rate and bit depth of 48 kHz and 16 bit, perfectly delivering a Hi-Fi sound quality.



Both Hi-Fi and Lo-Fi have their own two places. Hi-Fi is not necessarily better than Lo-Fi. Which one is better depends on your personal recording and listening requirements. If you would like to capture accurate and complete sounds without distortion, then pick Hi-Fi. If you want to stay closer to the original sounds, choose Lo-Fi if you do not mind the background noise it would carry.

Sound quality is an important consideration when you are choosing a wireless microphone. When you need to use the wireless mic for live events, such as live streaming, you are advised to consider a mic with a Hi-Fi sound quality, so that you can capture every finer detail during recordings and also deliver a pleasing listening experience to your audience. The Lark M1 of Hollyland is a wireless clip microphone with a Hi-Fi sound quality. It has a desirable sample rate and bit depth of up to 48kHz and 16-bit, helping you record incredibly rich sound details.

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