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iTunes and Bit rates: Is there an audible benefit using Lossless encoding compared to say 320mbps?

Poll Results: Can you really hear improvements in the playback of CDs that have been imported using iTunes at bitrates of 320mbps and higher?

Poll expired: Jan 30, 2011  
  • 12% (1)
    Yes, but you will need a better set up than Westone 3s and your iPod to appreciate it.
  • 25% (2)
    No
  • 37% (3)
    Yes, and you will be able to notice the benefits on your Westone 3s and iPod.
  • 25% (2)
    Yes, but I don't know how it would be with Westone 3s and an iPod.
8 Total Votes  
post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hi,

I am using westone 3 phones in my ipod touch, and iTunes to import CD's.

I clearly notice the difference when I hear 128mbps conversions, compared to the 320mbps ones.

Being a bit of an enthusiast with all this I want to maximise what I am getting out of my headphones, so I tried Apple lossless encoding. It uses a relatively huge amount of memory for each CD, so I am wondering how far do i need to go with this.

Presumably, there is some level where differences cannot really be heard,

Can anyone give me advice on what encoding to use, because space on my hard disk is an issue, and so is the number of records i want to populate my 8Gb ipod with.

I think 320mbps is the minimum I want to use because I can clearly hear the difference with recordings up to this level, but above that I am unsure because since getting my new headphones I haven't really imported stuff at anything other than lossless.  I also haven't been to the trouble of encoding the same CD at various bitrates to give it a fair assessment.

What are other headfiers' experiences with encoding at higher bitrates please?

Many thanks

James

post #2 of 6

You know what, you got me.  I have no idea.  I think bit rates above 320 are one of those things that may smack you in the face with subtleties.  To me it comes down to this.  Sound is data.  Compression, depending on the method certainly removes the data.  Is your brain or mine sensitive enough to notice? Hell if I know.  

 

But, I use all apple losseless on my iPhone.  The most important part of any of your equipment is the source you are listening to.  So, why wonder if you are missing subtleties and just go with losseless.  I have a 32g iphone 4 and about 1 terabyte of lossless music (that I actually purchased over the last 20 years you damn dirty pirates).  I have no problem changing the music out once or twice a month to mix things up. 

 

I actually believe that a big reason that people prefer a mid-bass hump on headphones is related to mp3 compression and loss.  It can sound empty and hollow.  If you toss in some bass that has no business being there it magically sounds like it isn't missing anything.  But at the same time, you don't hear the actual wonderful sound you were supposed to.

 

 

 

post #3 of 6

I don't use iTunes, so what compression type is it?

post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by TopspinTEC View Post

I don't use iTunes, so what compression type is it?


You have a choice between apple lossless and AAC, AIFF, Apple Lossless, WAV, and MP3. I mainly use apple lossless since I am most familiar with it. AIFF is more versatile but it consumes more space. WAV can be ripped lossless but like AIFF it consumes a lot of space.

post #5 of 6

I did really think I could up to last night. I've been getting my friend to test me with LAME 320 or VBR (I have long concluded the difference between those two is non existent) and FLAC and had been getting it right pretty much every time.

 

Last night it was explained to me how to use the ABXY tester on Foobar2k.

 

Massive fail.

 

My friend must have been giving me some hint on a very subtle level and neither of us realised.

post #6 of 6

I noticed a very, very, very slight difference between my 320kbps rip and my Apple Loseless rip for a few of my songs. Like so minisculely small that I actually just kept the 320kbps versions on my iPod and left the Apple Loseless versions in my computer.

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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › iTunes and Bit rates: Is there an audible benefit using Lossless encoding compared to say 320mbps?