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Low bit (short for low bitrate, also known as lobit) is a musical aesthetic characterized by lossy data compression artifacts caused by encoding songs at low bitrates. Artists making low-bit music believe that if a song is good, it can be appreciated at any bitrate or on any speakers.


The low-bit style emerged as an avant-garde reaction to the perceived bitrate snobbery in the organized music piracy (on peer-to-peer networks) and net label scenes. It also shares a strong do-it-yourself ethic with punk ideology.

Low-bit music is distributed primarily through net labels. Unlike most net labels, many low-bit labels do not focus on representing a single music genre. Instead, the catalog of each label reveals the personal tastes of the curator.

Because of the small file sizes of low-bitrate encodes, it is possible to download an entire EP from a low-bit label in the same time it would take to download one song from a standard net label. This makes low-bitrate releases accessible to listeners who have only a dialup modem as well as conserving space on portable music players with limited memory.

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Low-bitrate labels[]

  • 20kbps Rec. - the mothership of lobit
  • Microbit Records - only lobit
  • lalala4e - netlabel based in mexico with artists from all over the world with a variety of genres such as lobit, techno, electro, dance, field recordings, chiptune.
  • abulia concepts - experimental chiropody and lowbitrate
  • bootlegs for real life - bootlegs and mix sets @ 13 kbit/s
  • fashion proof - new face from the east coast of America
  • gainlad - playful chip music and techno out of south America and worldwide
  • mp3death - run by a net label pioneer who started broke bunnie in 1996
  • NORTHAMERICANHARDCORE - punk rock, noise music, hardcore techno, and other raw sounds
  • stars in rehab - run by an old school Demoscene member
  • Unaware Records - All electronic subgenre-encompassing netlabel from South West England.
  • Diskette Etikette Rekords New label dedicated to releasing music solely on Floppy Disk, focusing on lo-bit but encompassing all genres.
  • 8Ravens - lowbit net-label for 8 kbps music.
  • Unicode Music - Italian lowbit netlabel.
  • Oh! Bleep Records - Low-bit netlabel based in Australia.
  • [1] - Lo-bit netlabel for minimalist music.
  • sub65 - 64kbps and below, variety of genres, creative commons