What is the Difference Between Sound Effect and Sound Quality

With the continuous improvement of people's requirements for mobile phone functions, the sound quality of mobile phones has gradually become the focus of mobile phone purchases. Therefore, many mobile phone manufacturers vigorously promote the role of symmetrical dual speakers and cooperate with some major audio brands. This has led to a misunderstanding of sound quality - the sound quality of mobile phone speakers is good and bad. In fact, the comparison of the external sound between different mobile phones is only the sound effect, not the sound quality. So what is the difference between sound effect and sound quality?

1. Sound Effect

Sound effect refers to modifying the sound in order to increase the auditory experience of the original sound, so as to change the auditory experience of the human ear to the original sound.

Classification of Sound Effects

Digital Sound

Digital sound effects are referred to as EQ mode. Different EQ modes will bring different sound playback effects to the listener. At the same time, EQ mode is also the place that can best highlight the personality of music, which will bring more music enjoyment to users.

Digital sound mode is divided into: CLASSIC, POP, JAZZ, ROCK, NOMAL and AUTO. By changing the decibel value of different frequency gears in the equalizer, the auditory experience brought by the sound can be changed.

We can find "Equalizer" in "Sound Effects" in the mobile music player. Different player equalizers use different frequency band division and adjustment levels, so if you want to debug your favorite music style, you need to have a certain understanding of the effects of different frequency ranges after adjustment. The next article will show you how to adjust the equalizer to create your own unique sound effects.

Ambient Sound

Ambient sound effects refer to the processing of sounds by digital sound effects processors to make sounds sound with different spatial characteristics, such as halls, opera houses, theaters, caves, stadiums, etc. By performing environmental filtering, environmental shifting, environmental reflection, and environmental transition processing on the sound, the listeners feel as if they are in a different environment.


Due to the need to process the sound, the environmental sound effect will inevitably lose some sound information, and there is still a certain gap between the simulated effect and the real environment, so some people will feel that the sound is "false".

Professional Sound

B&O Ice Power

B&O Ice Power sound enhancement technology is the Ice Power amplifier module technology developed by Powerhouse under the famous Danish audio brand Bang&Olufen (B&O).


BBE High Definition Sound System (BBE High Definition Sound System) is patented by BBEsound, Inc. in the United States. The technology originated in 1985. After several generations of development, BBE technology has developed from the patented technology originally applied to power amplifiers to From AV audio-visual, Walkman, radio, CD and now digital audio technology and other fields.

SRS (WOW) 2.0

SRS (Sound Retrieval System) is the most representative 3D stereo technology developed by SRS Research Institute. The core of the technology is the ability to use 2 speakers to obtain surround sound effects.


LifeVibes technology is a professional-grade sound effect technology developed by Philips and specially developed for digital music products with extremely low memory usage.

Iriver Xtreme 3D

 Xtreme 3D sound technology is jointly developed by IRIVER and Philips and uses virtual surround sound technology.


The full name of DNSe is Digital Natural Sound Engine. It adopts 5.1 audio DSP audio technology of Samsung home theater system, combines mp3 of portable sound system, dynamic sound effect with DNSe function and street mode with "Dynamic Range Control" function, etc.

Of course, there are far more types of sound effects than those listed above. By changing the sound decibels in different frequency ranges, the sound effect makes the human voice and the accompaniment sound distinct, making the sound more clear and delicate in hearing, so as to reduce noise and improve the texture of the sound.

2. Sound Quality

Sound quality refers to the fidelity (reduction) of the recorded original audio after transmission and processing.

Sound Quality Standard

Industry-recognized sound quality standards divided into 4 levels:

① Digital CD-DA: signal bandwidth 10Hz~20kHz;

② FM radio: the signal bandwidth is 20Hz~15kHz;

③ AM broadcast AM: signal bandwidth 50Hz~7kHz;

④ The voice quality of the phone: signal bandwidth 200Hz ~ 3400Hz.

Types of Audio

Digital Audio:

The technology of recording, storing, editing, compressing or playing sound by digital means. Process: Convert the audio files, then convert these level signals into binary data and save them. When playing, convert these data into analog level signals and send them to speakers for playback. For example, stereos, mobile phone players, etc. are all digital audios that are played. Digital audio has high fidelity audio quality. The following figure shows the process of converting analog audio to digital audio:

Analog Audio:

The technology of transmitting, recording, replaying and processing sound signals in an analog state. Process: The sound is picked up and recorded by magnetic recording or mechanical scale. For example: tapes, phonograph turntables and other physical storage belong to analog audio. In the process of recording, transmitting, processing and amplifying analog audio, it is easy to produce distortion and noise. Because the electro-acoustic technology of analog audio software and hardware is difficult to improve, it has been gradually replaced by digital audio.

Factors that affect the sound quality of the audio source

Sampling Frequency

Sampling rate refers to the number of times a sound signal is sampled by a recording device in one second. The higher the sampling frequency, the higher the restoration of the sound, and the more realistic and natural the sound is. On today's mainstream capture cards, the common sampling frequencies are generally divided into five levels: 11025Hz, 22050Hz, 24000Hz, 44100Hz, and 48000Hz. In principle, the higher the sampling rate, the better the sound quality.

Sampling Bit Depth

Sampling bit depth can understand the resolution of digital audio equipment processing sound, that is, the resolution of sound. Just like the number of bits representing colors (8 bits represent 256 colors, 16 bits represent 65536 colors), there are 8 bits, 16 bits, 24 bits, etc. The larger the value, the higher the resolution, and the more realistic the sound recorded and played back.

Bit Rate

Indicates the speed of bps (bit per second, bits per second) transmitted per unit time (1 second). As a reference index of digital music compression efficiency, kbps (in layman's terms, 1024 bits per second) is usually used as a unit. In principle, the higher the bit rate, the smaller the sound compression loss, and the higher the sound restoration.

3. Summary

Sound quality is the quality of sound. Since the sound has been stored, the sound quality cannot be changed. Only through an excellent decoder can the sound quality of the audio source be greatly preserved during the process of outputting the analog audio, and an excellent decoder can determine the sound quality.

Sound is a sense of hearing. By changing the sound decibels in different frequency ranges, the vocals and the accompaniment of various instruments are clearly layered, giving people a clear and bright sound texture. But this is only a hearing improvement, not a sound quality improvement.

Few mobile phones on the market will add an independent audio analysis chip in the mobile phone. Usually, the DSP processor built in the mobile phone SoC is used to process the digital audio signal, and we often compare the mobile phone with only different sound effects.


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