Consumer Reports puts high-resolution audio to the test [video] reports with Consumer Reports that high-definition video has taken over TVs, phones, and tablets, but sound quality is worse than it was 10 or 15 years ago. Now, new high-resolution audio promises to change that. Consumer Reports has partnered exclusively with 7 On Your Side to explain how.

Audio aficionados like Roberto Hull say the sound quality from hi-res files is far superior to digital downloads and online streaming music.

“It’s richer, it’s warmer — everything is different. It’s listening to live music versus music in a can, basically,” said Hull.

Consumer Reports checked out the audio quality of hi-res audio files on three players: the Sony Hi-Res Walkman for $300, the PonoPlayer for $400, and one from Astell and Kern for $900.

And Consumer Reports had a group of staffers see if they could tell the difference between hi-res music and iTunes downloads played on an iPod touch.

“Both our trained reviewers and regular staff were able to hear the difference. But you need high-quality gear for it to be noticeable,” said Hull.

Read more and see the video at

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