Bit Depth

The on/off status of each switch in a computer is represented as 1 or 0, a system known as binary. Thus, a string of binary digits—bits —is used to describe anything a computer does, including manipulating and displaying text, images, and audio. Computers can manage entire strings of these bits at a time; a group of 8 bits is known as a byte; one or more bytes compose a digital word. Sixteen bits (two bytes) means that there are 16 digits in a word, each of them a 1 or 0; 24 bits (three bytes) means that there are 24 binary digits per word; and so on.

The number of bits in a word determines how precise the values are. Working with a higher bit depth is like measuring with a ruler that has finer increments: you get a more precise measurement. When the values are in finer increments, the converter doesn’t have to quantize as much to get to the nearest measuring increment.

For more information, please refer to this article.