Watch out Tidal, there's a new hi-res audio player in town

MP3s are counting their stupid lossy days

We've seen a lot of high-resolution and lossless music services launch in the UK recently. Last year brought Tidal to our shores, and Sony has been on something of a high-resolution bent, of late, launching a range of music players and headphones that are badged as being "high resolution ready".

Now Onkyo, a company mostly known in the UK for AV receivers, but with a long history of stereo and music hardware to its name in Japan, has launched a service in the UK, US and Germany.

Onkyo Music is powered by 7Digital's music store, and offers high-resolution albums for about £12 ($18US). Music ranges in quality from lossless, CD quality tracks, all the way up to stuff that's 24-bit with a sample rate of 96khz.

Onkyo says that some music is also 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz or 192kHz too. Tracks are delivered in the FLAC format, which offers some compression, but without compromising quality.

Emperor's new clothes?

There are, of course, questions about the value of high-resolution audio, with some critics arguing that it's not possible to hear the quality difference in much above CD quality - 16-bit, 44.1kHz.

Audiophiles point out that quality is somewhat difficult to measure scientifically, and that the way one audio component interacts with another will have a huge impact on the overall sound quality.

However you look at it though, these new services are welcome if they boost the quality of audio downloads, which can sometimes be enormously disappointing.

It's also nice to be able to access recordings that offer the same quality as a CD, because technology should, after all, move forwards, not backwards.