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Signal-to-noise ratio

Posted by Bruce Kahl on August 15, 2005

In Reply to: Signal-to-noise ratio posted by Frank Di Silvestro on August 14, 2005

: What does the phrase "signal-to-noise ratio mean?

Put very simply, the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR or S/N) measures the clarity of a signal.

It refers to the amount of signal power that gets transmitted in digital communications compared with the amount of noise (unwanted signal interference) that accompanies the signal.

A higher ratio indicates higher sound quality (less noise). Most transmission techniques try to minimize noise on the receiving end of the transmission.

The terms "signal" and "noise" are also used in chat rooms and discussion groups to refer to "meaningful discourse" versus "worthless blather." Of course, the latter is always a subjective opinion.

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