by Steven Impson

The 16-bit Audiophile Project

21 Feb 2024

Sonic 3 & Knuckles playing in Plexamp

I went looking for a copy of the Sonic 3 soundtrack the other day. It’s not available on streaming for reasons and I had a hankering for Ice Cap Zone’s music so went searching.

In doing so I happened across the extremely cool 16-bit Audiophile Project. The project was created to record Sega Mega Drive/Genesis games (among some other systems) through meticulously maintained original hardware into luxurious 96KHz/24-bit FLAC files for the world to enjoy. Emulators have been notoriously bad at representing the Mega Drive’s sound chip and so this project aims to record in the highest possible quality, precisely how this music would have sounded on original hardware.

My current collection of 16-bit Audiophile albums displayed in Plexamp.

It’s been so fun to listen to these soundtracks again through some decent audio gear and hear the things I totally missed due to either crappy TV speakers or iffy audio emulation. The 16-bit Audiophile Project is such a cool thing that I’m glad exists.