March 18, 2023

Audio vs Sound: Understanding the Difference

Discover the crucial differences between audio and sound in music, film, podcasting, and more. Improve quality and create immersive experiences.

Audio vs Sound

Audio vs Sound

Audio and sound are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same thing.

Understanding the difference between audio and sound is crucial in various industries, including music, film, theater, podcasting, and virtual reality.

In this article, we will explore the differences between audio and sound and their applications in different fields.

What is Sound?

Sound is a physical phenomenon that refers to the vibrations that travel through a medium (usually air) and can be detected by the human ear. Here are some key points to understand about sound:

  • Sound is a type of energy that travels in waves
  • These waves have specific properties, such as frequency, amplitude, and wavelength.
  • Sound waves can be reflected, absorbed, or refracted by different surfaces and materials.
  • Humans can hear sounds that have frequencies between 20 Hz and 20,000 Hz.

What is Audio?

Audio refers to the electrical or digital representation of sound. It is the process of capturing and reproducing sound waves through electronic devices such as microphones, speakers, or headphones. Here are some key points to understand about audio:

  • Audio can be captured and recorded in different formats, such as WAV, MP3, or FLAC.
  • Audio files can be manipulated and edited using digital audio workstations (DAWs) such as Pro Tools or Logic Pro.
  • Audio can be compressed to reduce file size and make it easier to transmit or store.
  • Audio can be transmitted wirelessly or through cables.

Key Differences between Sound and Audio:

Understanding the differences between sound and audio is important in different industries, such as music, film, theater, and virtual reality. Here are the key differences between sound and audio:

  • Physical vs. Digital: Sound is a physical phenomenon that can be felt and heard, while audio is a digital representation of sound that can be stored and manipulated.
  • Objective vs. Subjective Experience: Sound is an experience that occurs in the physical world, while audio is a subjective experience that occurs in the mind of the listener.
  • Manipulability: Audio can be manipulated, edited, and processed in various ways that are not possible with sound waves.

Applications of Sound and Audio:

Both sound and audio have numerous applications in various industries. The following are examples of how they are utilized:

In the music industry, sound serves as the basis of musical composition, while audio is employed to record, produce, and distribute music.

In film and theater, the sound is employed to produce a genuine and immersive experience for the audience. Audio is used to capture and mix sound effects, dialogue, and music.

In podcasting, audio is the primary medium used for creating content. Sound, on the other hand, is utilized to create a specific atmosphere or mood.

In virtual reality, sound is used to produce a 3D audio experience that matches the visual effects, while audio is used to simulate a variety of environments and situations.

The Importance of Quality Sound and Audio:

In various industries, such as music, film, and virtual reality, the quality of sound and audio is crucial.

Poor sound or audio quality can negatively impact a product or project. Here are some tips for improving sound and audio quality:

  • Use high-quality microphones and recording equipment.
  • Invest in a good pair of headphones or speakers.
  • Choose the right environment for recording or mixing.
  • Pay attention to the frequency response and dynamic range.


In conclusion, sound and audio are not the same thing. Sound and audio quality is also essential in these industries, and there are different ways to improve it.

By paying closer attention to sound and audio, we can create more engaging and immersive experiences for ourselves and our audiences.