OMG! It sounds like — pun always intended — that Microsoft may be lowering the sound quality of the startup sound in Windows 11 22H2. Perhaps in the name of optimization, perhaps just so.
Similarly, just a couple of months back Panos Panay hyped up the quality of the operating system, talking about how they want to ensure that every nook and corner of Windows 11 is top notch and up to the mark.
In other words, quality was the main driving factor for Redmond throughout the whole development process of the new operating system.
But contrary to that, it seems like the company is okay with lowering the bitrate of the startup sound in the upcoming Windows 11 version 22H2. The audio file for the startup sound now has a reduced rate of 1536 Kbps, down from the 2304 Kbps.
The latter was recorded in build 22463, which was released last year, while the change was spotted in the newly released build 22621 in the Beta channel that has been confirmed to be the RTM candidate of the Sun Valley 2 upgrade.
All this comes from prolific leakster Xeno who first noticed these changes.
Additionally, Microsoft has also made changes to the music itself, with the silence at the start being slightly elongated.
While that may be the most minor of revisions, the real change is the 33% reduction in bitrate that may or may not ultimately lead to a perceptible difference in the fidelity of the Windows 11 startup sound for users.
After all, a sizeable chunk of the bitrate has been taken away here.
But it will ultimately come down to the compression algorithm that Microsoft has used, which may be Huffman or Arithmetic or something else.
Here’s hoping that this change does not result in perceptible reduction in quality of the Windows 11 startup sound. Particularly for users with good auditory setups that prefer high-fidelity crisp audio wherever possible.
Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.