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192 kbs and 320 kbs, is there really a difference? - Page 8

post #106 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by sahwnfras View Post
I really cant believe this has gone to 11 pages. I mean for everyone reading this wondering whats better here is what to do.
1. Rip from a CD a 192 track
2. Rip from a CD a 320 track
3. Listen
4. Realize they both suck in comparison to the CD

Really people just listen for your own ears, if you cant tell the diff good for you and save some space. You could argue all day on the internet but that will never chage what you hear in your own ears.
Use the ABX Comparator and you'll be surprised at the little difference at regular safe volumes, even at 64kbps VBR compared to FLAC. I can tell 100% between 64kbps VBR and FLAC, but I have to listen for a while!

It's interesting how people perceive "differences" with audio. I guess many of the people here who claim they can tell the difference through "testing" got it right a few times in a row and then concluded they can hear some difference! Do 10 tests of the ABX Comparator, then come back and tell us your results!
post #107 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by powertoold View Post
Wow, I was playing with the ABX Comparator, and it's difficult to tell the difference between 100kbps VBR (encoded from FLAC) and FLAC.

Can anyone actually tell the difference with some certainty?

I've only tried Beethoven 9th - Molto Vivace with my laptop.
From what I've read, cymbal crashes are one of the sounds where it's easier to hear the difference. That said, I've not heard it. Somewhere on Hydrogen Audio, I saw some sample tracks that are supposed to be easier to hear the difference. I saw them before doing ABX tests and haven't been able to find them since.
post #108 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by scompton View Post
From what I've read, cymbal crashes are one of the sounds where it's easier to hear the difference. That said, I've not heard it. Somewhere on Hydrogen Audio, I saw some sample tracks that are supposed to be easier to hear the difference. I saw them before doing ABX tests and haven't been able to find them since.
I don't doubt that there are audible differences (100kbps VBR vs FLAC), but in terms of being able to notice them when you're normally listening, it's not worth it if you have a small capacity MP3 player.

I'd definitely use FLAC for peace of mind, but otherwise, I think those claiming to hear differences haven't been truly tested.

This is an interesting discussion on the perception of audio differences. A lot of people will go around claiming differences in file compression, source, cables, power cables, you name it, but in the end, I'm not sure if any of these people have done any critical testing. Perhaps a lot of the "differences" we hear about on Head-Fi are caused by wanting to hear a difference - in other words, a placebo effect. I know that I've fallen victim to this many times.
post #109 of 372
I listen to lossless on my computer because I have it. I want the lossless archive. I almost always listen to my iPod in very noisy environments, like the subway or mowing the grass. I think that even if I could hear the difference, I'd still use 128 on my iPod because the background noise would overwhelm any subtle difference.
post #110 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by powertoold View Post
Use the ABX Comparator and you'll be surprised at the little difference at regular safe volumes, even at 64kbps VBR compared to FLAC. I can tell 100% between 64kbps VBR and FLAC, but I have to listen for a while!

It's interesting how people perceive "differences" with audio. I guess many of the people here who claim they can tell the difference through "testing" got it right a few times in a row and then concluded they can hear some difference! Do 10 tests of the ABX Comparator, then come back and tell us your results!
Meh, you know what i really havent tested extensivly. But from times i have tested, i wasnt impressed. And really if i found that i couldnt notice a diff i still wouldnt change. It would be to much work to rip it all, and/or convert it.

Im a ease of use kinda guy, CDs are easy and sound great.
post #111 of 372
I think it's easiest to tell the difference with jazz, since it extends to both frequency extremes with the cymbals and bass.

Using my iBasso D2 Viper and FreQ Shows, I could easily tell the difference between 100kbps VBR and FLAC by listening to the cymbals, but at 130kbps VBR and FLAC, there was absolutely nothing obvious that I could tell. I think with a Stax system, I would be able to hear more of the high frequencies and tell the difference. It's funny too! At times, I thought I figured out something different - for example "one is sounding more open and spacious!", but it turns out they're the same - oh the glories of deceiving and nonexistent audio differences.

I know people will come in here thinking "it's this guy's source" or whatever

EDIT: Ok, woohoo! I found a track where I could tell the difference between 130kbps VBR and FLAC. I lost at 190kbps
post #112 of 372
I can usually hear a difference between 128kbps and 192kbps and up especially during busy passages or when there's very heavy bass and high highs.
post #113 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by moonboy403 View Post
I can usually hear a difference between 128kbps and 192kbps and up especially during busy passages or when there's very heavy bass and high highs.
Test it with ABX! The differences are not obvious at all!

Plus, I doubt you can hear a difference between 128 and 192 (VBR) since they are so close in bitrate, and both are taken through the pass filter, so they lose some of the highs.
post #114 of 372
Interesting how this is 12 pages. I do for VBR (Rarely have) 128, 160, 192, and some cases 256? for what I rip or download. For CBR usually 192-320. After 192 for most songs not really a difference, but it also depends on the type of music IMO. For example, Vivaldi's Four Seasons versus Pendulum's Blood Sugar. In Four Season's I'm sure you would notice a difference in CBR, but as for VBR not really, though the instrumentals will be easier to tell apart, less sibilance in some cases, it can be more airy and clear in general. Blood Sugar is just drum n bass so it doesn't really differ in CBR or VBR. The type encoder say Lame, Xing, and what not also play a difference in the quality for mp3s.

If you can't find a difference in SQ for either VBR or CBR pick the more space efficient VBR and smaller Bit rate. For peace of mind like me I just pick like 192, 256, or 320.
post #115 of 372
I just used audacity to rip a coldplay viva la vida flac to 128kb and 320kb. Then I randomised the list in foobar and changes the names and repeated such that I had no idea which song was which. I was able to tell which one was FLAC however I wasn't able to hear a difference between 128kb and 320kb. For anyone interested the section of the song I was using was between 1min49sec to 2min.

Edit: I accidently ripped it at a constant bitrate rather than VBR.
post #116 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by No Smoking View Post
Then I randomised the list in foobar and changes the names and repeated such that I had no idea which song was which.
If you're using foobar, you can just use the ABX comparator built into the program. I don't have foobar on the computer I'm using, so I'm saying this from memory, but I believe you select the songs, right click -> utils -> ABX; something along those lines.
post #117 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by royalcrown View Post
If you're using foobar, you can just use the ABX comparator built into the program. I don't have foobar on the computer I'm using, so I'm saying this from memory, but I believe you select the songs, right click -> utils -> ABX; something along those lines.
A lot of people don't have ABX installed because it's an optional utility during the installation.

Go download the newest foobar, and when it's installing, check out the optional plug-ins and choose ABX Comparator and freedb tagger. After this, you can select two songs (by holding down the control key), right click one of the songs, then go to Utils -> ABX Two Tracks.
post #118 of 372
There certainly is a difference. I can tell with 100% accuracy on an ABX the difference between 192k and 320k (both lame cbr q0). It's still possible for me to tell between 256k and 320k, but only on certain recordings. That comparison takes much more critical listening than I usually have time for these days.

VBR is a different story altogether though. I haven't tried 192 VBR in an ABX, but I suspect that it would be difficult to distinguish from 320CBR on many recordings. More complex/deep/well recorded music will stretch the limits of what MP3 can accurately encode with a given bitrate, so these tracks would be most likely to show 320k to be superior.

Plus, there's always the negative subconscious effect that low bitrate MP3s seem to have (at least for me). Anything 128k-192k can give me a headache if I listen too long, but better encodings never give me problems.

It never hurts to encode things in the best quality you can- storage is dirt cheap these days, and a lossless library means you'll never have to re-rip. Even if you can't tell the difference now, you might later after some upgrades.

Edit: I use my HQ collection to feed my portable collection, where I use Lame v2. The difference is non-existent for me with my portable equipment, but at least I have a good collection to take from should this change.
post #119 of 372
if instead of playing a whole song/piece, you just A/B a section, it should be quite clear, even on a system that is not otherwise revealing
post #120 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by MCC View Post
It never hurts to encode things in the best quality you can- storage is dirt cheap these days, and a lossless library means you'll never have to re-rip. Even if you can't tell the difference now, you might later after some upgrades.

Edit: I use my HQ collection to feed my portable collection, where I use Lame v2. The difference is non-existent for me with my portable equipment, but at least I have a good collection to take from should this change.
The argument that storage is cheap is made frequently without the qualification of your edit. Yes storage is cheap for computers, which is why I'm slowly reripping everything to lossless for an archive. However, storage is not cheap on portables. Except for Archos players, large capacity isn't available for any price, new. Unfortunately, Archos players don't meet my other requirements such as gapless playback. If my 160GB iPod dies, I'll have to go back to deciding what music to not have on my iPod and I hate doing that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by melomaniac View Post
if instead of playing a whole song/piece, you just A/B a section, it should be quite clear, even on a system that is not otherwise revealing
I've never used a longer clip that 30 seconds and I've used as short a clip as a single cymbal crash, and I've never heard the difference with my Stax SR-Gamma. Part of it probably has to do with age, part to lousy memory for subtle differences in sound, and part not training my brain on what to listen for. Although the last 2 shouldn't have been a problem with a single cymbal crash.

There was a thread last year with Dave Mathews and Guns & Roses samples and directions for using a Java based ABX software that produced tamper proof results. If memory serves, one person who participated in the thread, passed the ABX test.
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