Why do some CDs appear to play louder than others? © Getty Images

Why do some CDs appear to play louder than others?

CDs have a wide dynamic range. In other words, there's a big difference between the quietest and loudest sounds they can reproduce.

Asked by: Steevo Barker, Stevenage

Advertisement

CDs have a wide dynamic range. In other words, there’s a big difference between the quietest and loudest sounds they can reproduce. In some cases, the music might not be mastered to use all the dynamic range. But more modern recordings use technology to optimise how much audio energy can be squeezed into the available dynamic range. The resulting music sounds punchier and brighter, making it seem louder.


Advertisement

Subscribe to BBC Focus magazine for fascinating new Q&As every month and follow @sciencefocusQA on Twitter for your daily dose of fun science facts.