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The article says:

"[...] does not quite cover the entire theoretical dynamic range of the human ear in ideal conditions."

Note the words "theoretical" and "ideal".

In your post it sounds like you're claiming that you can regularly hear a difference under normal listening conditions - which contradicts my reading of that sentence.

My gut feeling is that the difference you're hearing is placebo.

To put it another way - either the article is making an inaccurate statement, you're mistaken - or you've got golden ears and only ever listen to music in specially prepared environments.

The article is making numerous inaccurate statements, because it's got an agenda and the author is invested in lossy media encoding quite heavily. There's a degree to where it's relative: in the car with the windows open you'll not be hearing 16 bits of audio resolution.

Monty's gotta monty, and this argument has been going on from the very earliest days of digital: back when people behaved exactly the same way over digital recordings that are now commonly accepted to be excruciatingly bad for a variety of reasons (generally having to do with bad process and wrong technical choices).

You can get a HELL of a lot out of 16/44.1 these days if you really work at it. I do that for a living and continue to push the boundaries of what's common practice (most recently, me and Alexey Lukin of iZotope hammered out a method of dithering the mantissa of 32 bit floating point (which equates to around 24 bit fixed for only the outside 1/2 of the sample range, and gets progressively higher precision as loudness diminishes). Monty is not useful in these discussions, nor is anyone who just dismisses the whole concept of digital audio quality.

I'm not dismissing anything. I'm arguing for the power of human self-deception. I feel the same way about connoisseurship in most other realms; food and wine being the obvious examples.

I believe it's a combination of imagined differences and barely perceptible differences elevated to implausible heights of significance.

Even if one can hear the difference between 16 and 24 bits it will be almost imperceptible in most listening conditions and when it is perceptible it will on the threshold - and certainly too subtle to affect the quality of the experience in any meaningful way.

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