I'm not even quite sure how to phrase my question, but here it goes...

So my DAC has LED's for 44, 96, 176 and so forth. I tried to get an understanding on how the different bit rates affect quality, but quickly became confused with bit depth, Flac files, Redbook and other terminology which all plays into the equation.
Can anyone point me to a dumb-down, digital for dummies kind of resource?
Thank you.
The sample rate means how many times per second a sample is taken. Say you measure your pool's chlorine every day.

So 1/day or 365/year.

44,100/second is the CD sample rate. 44,100 times a second a measure is taken and recorded. other common rates are 48,000 and 96,000.  Usually expressed in kilohertz, like 96 kHz.

The bit depth determines the precision of that measurement. How finely can we record the signal.  More bits, more resolution.

So 44/16 refers to the CD standard. I occasionally see online radio stations offer 44/24 or 96/16.

Honestly with modern DACs 44/16 sounds so good it gets harder to justify more.
Thank you for taking the time to give a concise understandable explanation. 
Really like the pool/chlorine analogy!

Really like the pool/chlorine analogy!

Hah! I really thought that was my worst analogy ever.

If you’re new to streaming, I would not limit myself to 16bit/44.1kHz recordings as suggested above. Both Tidal / QoBuz offers high resolution (upto 24bit/192kHz) content. I would leave it up to your ears to judge if you can discern audible differences between low and high resolution tracks.

24-bit sound is a tricky thing to gauge. Does it provide for a greater resolution of sound? IMO and in my system, absolutely YES. The technical explanation is, higher bit recordings has room for 256 times the data. Are you going to be able to hear that difference? Hard to say as human hearing supposedly tops out at 20kHz, but that does not make higher sample rates useless. According to the Nyquist rate, to fully capture a wave, it should be sampled at twice its highest frequency. In other words, a higher sample rate, and a greater bit depth, gives your sound more wiggle room, meaning sound peaks are less likely to be truncated and the subtleties of the music are less likely to be drowned out.

Hope this helps!
Lalitk: The vast majority of what I stream comes with the LED on 44K. If I seek out some high resolution song, on some of them anyhow, the LED will go to 96K. How to compare if you don't know what the bit rate is? How would one determine what the bit rate of the stream is? I use Deezer and Amazon HD.  I may cancel the Amazon as the Deezer interface works better for me and I am not a huge fan of Amazon plus, I don't find a whole lot of HD albums, individual songs yes, but not a lot of albums in HD.
Um, the question is do you hear an improvement? :)

So, usually, 44 means 44.1 kHz/16 bits. That's the Redbook standard.
96 kHz music downloads are almost always 24 bits or 96/24

However!! online radio has some variations. 44/20 (or 44/24?)  and 96/16 are some I have seen.

What are you using to feed your Dac the streaming signal? A lot of streamers will show you the sample rate as you stream. Right now I am listening to Qobuz and on my streaming app the sampling rate shows as 44.1khz 16bit and hovers between 7-800 kbps.

I use QoBuz for streaming on my Aurender N10. The Aurender’s Conductor app shows each track / album resolution.

I did a trial of Amazon HD and it’s app interface and content were quite disappointing. They have a long ways to go. Since Deezer max out at 16bit/44.1kHz resolution, you can’t really compare unless you do a trial run with QoBuz. Tidal will only give you higher than 16bit/44.1 resolution if your DAC is capable of decoding MQA files.

If you choose do a trial run with QoBuz, you can then do a A/B comparison and decide for yourself if high resolution streaming is worth shelling out extra money.
In my system, QoBuz is the only streaming service that allows me to fully appreciate the high resolution content.
I am streaming via Bluesound vault so I guess there is no way to see the bit count. 
Perhaps after I quit Amazon HD I'll try the free month subscription to Qobuz and see if I can detect the difference. 
If you are streaming via the Vault you MUST be using some mobile app interface either on,phone or tablet, iPad etc.
Right there it should tell you the streaming information, i owned the Vault2 for a long time and it would tell me right on the Bluos app what the streaming quality was/is.

I do not remember if it was only displayed on the individual track info while it was playing but it should be there somewhere.
Eric gave a good a concise description.  I'll add that the LEDs you see include both actual sampling rates (44.1 and 48k samples/sec) but also a multiple (176k) Multiples are for when the source (CD player, streamer, really fast typer) "up-samples" the music.  This does not increase information, but rather is a trick to move noise out of band and make it easier to design linear, good sounding filters.  You may hear of 2x, 4x, 8x oversampling.  That's what gets you from 44.1 to 176.4.
I'll weigh in on "44/16 is really very good" though.  The problem is often the recording engineer, mastering process etc.  I can make a strong case for 24/192 in a studio - it allows for slop in level setting, and for losses while digitally mastering, yet still retains full fidelity. In the home playback equipment it is far less clear.
Typically more up/oversampling is better, but only integer multiples.
I'd spend more time on a good low-noise, low jitter USB/network feed than on bit depth games.
As Eric the pool guy says, digital music is basically a bar chart where the bars are the samples and the smoothed line connecting them is the music. With enough samples its really good!

The Bluesound Vault app on tablet or mobile phone does not display streaming resolution. Your DAC LED light is a good indicator of that minus the bits info.

To elaborate ‘itjustnotme’ point, one mustn’t confuse the native high resolution file vs upsampled file from a low resolution. I would also check Vault audio settings and tweak the sound to your liking. I have my Vault’s tone controls turned off cause I only use Vault for its ripping capabilities.
If you have a really good DAC it doesn't matter as much. I have a Benchmark DAC and play HiRes 24/192 files, DSD files, Tidal / Tidal Masters and CDs and some 16/44 files and 24/96 files sound soundcbetter than 24/192 It depends on quality of initial recording. I have a Boston DSD FILE and it seems a bit more airy and better highs but not as warm as CD quality.  Also if you read any articles from Benchmark they believe you don't really need better than 24/96 with their technology and how good their DACs are engineered and how they eliminate jitter and other artifacts. They also think the process to do MQA degrades the signal and thus they do not offer as believe it does not make better sound. 
All in all I've found in my system it greatly depends on the quality of the recording and the bit rate and resolution matter less than the initial recording quality. 
All we need to remember is this:
"It depends on quality of initial recording."
Amen.  Most recordings/masterings stink.  I'll take a Mercury Living presence in 11 bits over some crummy rock/pop ( and this is from a rock guy) screechy recording any day of the week.
Sad to say but what we all really need is better recordings, better masterings and far, far fewer folks who think they can manipulate or "improve" the sound.  Set up the mikes, leave it alone. Voici.
- the cantankerous old engineer and pianist
I just purchased a topping d50s  dac that has 7 filter settings.  Can someone please explain what they do?
Uberwalz,  I have a Bluesound Node 2i.  Can you explain how I can see on the Bluesound ap what the resolution is.  So far, I am unable to see this information.  This would be helpful, but I don't think it is possible to see the resolution on the ap.

They are different mathematical ways to deal with aliasing. For the most part, they affect the high frequency reproduction. Technically they each have their pros and cons but practically you should listen and decide for yourself which you prefer.
@61falcon - thank you for asking; I always wondered the same, however, I didn't want to ask... 

Thank you all who commented/made sense of it.

I too, have a Blusound (the Node 2i) and the highest quality Qobuz sounds much better than Tidal MQA in most cases.  But in reality it is so dependent on the quality of the recording.
My DAC always IDs the Tidal "CD" quality as 44.1k and Master / MQA shows up as 96k....    either way it sounds great in my opinion, and like bob said, very program dependent....  I think I will do a trial Qobuz script to A / B....  My Vault is the new age equivalent of a transport....   I always loved CDs,  I like owning the physical disc...   i was very apprehensive about streaming and products like the Vault and Node....  it took a while for me to jump on the bandwagon but that thing changed the way I listen to music for the better.
There is some discussion of Amazon music here.  Along with “if you can hear the difference” comments.  All valid.  The quality of your system is a significant factor in the ability to hear that difference. And if it’s important to you. I’m on a trial with Amazon now.  Sounds great on my very nice sound system in the car but rather flat and lifeless on the main rig in the house. Inside I’m running a dCS DAC, Wilson speakers and Conrad Johnson electronics.  Amazon at their 16/44 bit rate looses the sparkle and debth of Tidal, Qobuz and well recorded CDs.  On well recorded material I can hear the difference and it’s thrilling.  One of the reasons I love this hobby.  Enjoy. 
I might add... Amazon offers HD and Ultra HD to describe their resolution choices. Both sound rather poorer to me.  Their player claims 16/44 but my DAC does not agree.  It may be their player, which they admit doesn’t provide full resolution on the internet. I downloaded the Amazon ap but little improvement. And, yes I know their volume level is less so I adjusted for that as well.  Think they have some work to do.  
Going back to the chlorine question, I test once a week (as per the installers instructions) but my neighbour says I should be doing it every six days!!!!!!
Any advice warmly welcomed.