Article ID : 00025038 / Last Modified : 10/16/2012

What are the differences between 12-bit and 16-bit digital audio?

Applicable Products and Categories of This Article

These two types of digital audio offer different recording and editing options.

16-bit mode offers one pair of stereo tracks (Left and Right) and achieves up to the same quality as a CD or DAT tape.

12-bit mode offers two pairs of stereo tracks (L1 & R1, L2 & R2) which allows you to add stereo music or narration to your on-location stereo sound.

NOTE: The recording device (camcorder or deck) must be able to record the second stereo track.

The ability to transfer an audio track recorded in 12 bit to a computer or camcorder is based on the software application being used for this transfer. Some programs will only support 16 bit audio, and others will support either 16 bit or 12 bit audio.