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Where do I begin?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Hey everyone I'm pretty much new to the world of audio but am an avid music lover. Before a couple days ago when I first discovered this site, I had no idea the world of audio was so deep. I thought mp3's were the best music files and thought that the only factor for quality sounding music was just buying good headphones. Never would I have thought that you could buy amps and other special components to get even better quality out of your music except for car systems. Before a couple days ago I always wondered why anyone would ever consider another mp3 besides an iPod. I'm no Apple fanboy by any means but always considered the iPod the best player ever, maybe due to my ignorance or incredible marketing by apple im not sure. I mean everything seems to be made for iPods, even my headunit in my car has a dedicated iPod cable.


After reading a few threads the past couple days I know now that that are in fact other players(pmp's I believe is what you call them) that are in fact better then iPod when it comes to audio quality. I plan on buying some of these players in the future, but first I wanna actually test out my iPod's sound quality(iPod Touch 4g & iPod Classic 7g) by at least starting out with a good pair of headphones(looking to buy m50's for my first real headphones) and tweaking the sound a little bit by buying an EQ app.


I have a small understanding about everything so far, but still have no idea where I should start.I understand FLAC audio is the preferred audio file to get the best quality and I also understand that iTunes does not support FLAC, but they do have ALAC instead. Will I get the same great quality importing my CD's to ALAC as I will FLAC? Or do I need to ditch iTunes for another program that supports FLAC? Seeing as how I've only owned iPod's over the year iTunes has been my media manager and a program I am very familiar with. 


Sorry about the long read guys, as you can see I am quite overwhelmed by everything.

post #2 of 3

Qualitywise, lossless is lossless. FLAC vs. ALAC makes no difference but some people really like to use foobar2000 for it's small footprint and it's flexibility (i.e. you can customize it). foobar2000 can also be made to play bit-perfect playback which some say sounds better than the regular Windows mixer. I used to use foobar2000 for the dark background and bit-perfect playback but after doing the reading and some tests, I found out bit-perfect playback really doesn't make much if any difference. Now I just use iTunes to play ALAC files and because it's compatible with an iPhone control.


Lastly, please, for the love of God, please do not buy the ATH M50s without having heard it first. They're over-recommended and overrated. For me, they just sounded like a giant lump of bass. If you hear it and like it however, that overrides anyone's opinion.

Edited by NinjaSquirt - 5/14/12 at 6:55pm
post #3 of 3

A high bit rate mp3 (320kbps) and FLAC will be pretty hard to distinguish, especially if you're outdoors and not critically listening.

That said, the only way to make sure you're getting the most out of the original is to use lossless.


Headphones are best purchased if you listen to them yourself, and they're relatively easier to audition than IEMs. Most headphone shops will keep sample units for buyers to try out.

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