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Audophile quality vs 256kbps? Please HELP

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 

Hello, I am going to have the VSonic Gr07's soon, so ive been trying to upgrade the quality of music in my itunes library. The problem is I have quite a bit of songs and it will most likely be costly to buy the cds for them all to rip them, but i was wondering if 256kbps is good enough because i was thinking about getting Itunes match. Would i still be getting the most out of my headphones if i was to use 256kbps? and would i hear a huge difference? Which option would you chosse? On a side note here is my complete setup: 32gb Ipod touch 3rd gen with Vsonic Gr07's (do I need a headphone amp?) Please Help.

post #2 of 32

For casual listening on the move, no.

For critical listening, when you want to spend an hour or two single-tasking,  yes.

post #3 of 32

The one I tried before is GR07 mkII (very balanced IEM), and frankly, it's not so revealing to my ears as in picking up minor details because I find it rather dark (lesser treble). Therefore, I think 256kbps is really good enough.

 

I second proton007's opinion. During casual listening, it's quite difficult to pick up the difference compared to lossless. If there's very glaring or bothering difference, then you consider lossless copies.

 

Me? Rip all the CDs and convert into ALAC all the way. iPod Classic is a garbage can!

post #4 of 32

Yeah I forgot to add this ^^. 

If you have the capacity in your player, then why not. Saves the need of keeping both compressed and non compressed formats.


Edited by proton007 - 9/24/12 at 2:06am
post #5 of 32
I did a line level matched comparison between AAC 256 and the original CD. They sounded exactly the same. I compared using the kick ass speaker system I've been building for thirty years, and my Sennheiser HD 590s.

There is absolutely no reason to worry about sound quality at AAC 256. It is good enough for the most critical listening. Any difference between CD and AAC 256 is probably all in your head, not your ears.
Edited by bigshot - 9/24/12 at 5:42pm
post #6 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

I did a line level matched comparison between AAC 256 and the original CD. They sounded exactly the same. I compared using the kick ass speaker system I've been building for thirty years, and my Sennheiser HD 590s.
There is absolutely no reason to worry about sound quality at AAC 256. It is good enough for the most critical listening. Any difference between CD and AAC 256 is probably all in your head, not your ears.

 

Agree pretty much with this ^^

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by proton007 View Post

For casual listening on the move, no.

For critical listening, when you want to spend an hour or two single-tasking,  yes.

 

Quick question - have you ever actually performed an abx yourself between aac256 and lossless?  If not, it is very easy to set-up.  Rip a CD with something like EAC to lossless, encode using a good encoder to aac256.  Use Foobar2000 with the abx comparator plugin.  Make sure you level match (there is an option in Foobar2000 to do it).   Run the tests with your most "revealing" headphones.  You need to do at least 15-20 samples to make it significant.  The plug-in means there can't be any placebo - as the files really are blind.

 

If you haven't tried it - you should do.  It's quite enlightening.

post #7 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

I did a line level matched comparison between AAC 256 and the original CD. They sounded exactly the same. I compared using the kick ass speaker system I've been building for thirty years, and my Sennheiser HD 590s.
There is absolutely no reason to worry about sound quality at AAC 256. It is good enough for the most critical listening. Any difference between CD and AAC 256 is probably all in your head, not your ears.

AAC is transparent at an even lower bitrate than that.

post #8 of 32
Thread Starter 

So it seems like using 256kbps isnt a problem, so i guess ill switch to that, but how do i do that on itunes. I have tried right clicking and tried the advance tab, but i cant figure it out, any help? Also, is there anything wrong with using an ipod as my audio source instedad of something like a cowon?

post #9 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by SlyCarrot View Post

So it seems like using 256kbps isnt a problem, so i guess ill switch to that, but how do i do that on itunes. I have tried right clicking and tried the advance tab, but i cant figure it out, any help? Also, is there anything wrong with using an ipod as my audio source instedad of something like a cowon?

No. Ipod's have very good audio hardware in them.

post #10 of 32
Thread Starter 

Well here is my last question, should I use a headphone amp with my ipod touch and vsonic gr07 earphones?

post #11 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by SlyCarrot View Post

Well here is my last question, should I use a headphone amp with my ipod touch and vsonic gr07 earphones?

 

not if your ipod drives them loud enough.

post #12 of 32

I wouldn't worry about it...  too much. For IEMs, don't worry. For hi-fi speakers or full size audiophile headphones, it does matter a little. 

For me, it is worth it to have loseless rips of my best recorded albums, which are generally ones that feature a lot of acoustic instruments (Jazz, etc...). If you are listening to some underground black metal album that was recorded on a 4 track tape recorder in some Swedish dude's bathroom, who cares.

 

The effect of mp3 compression on audio fidelity is real and measurable. If you spend a lot of money on your stereo setup, it is a little silly to listen to mp3 rips if you could be listening to CD quality instead.

Certain individuals can consistently tell mp3s apart from loseloss in blind listening tests, but it isn't always the case that they'll prefer one over the other because the effects are pretty subtle.

There are a lot of other things that have huge effects on sound quality that don't get mentioned ever. Cord noise from IEMs, background noise (AC, street traffic), and various issues with room acoustics (for speakers), can seriously detract from sound quality. But these are much more difficult to control than simply ripping/downloading loseless music.

post #13 of 32
Thread Starter 

Well i am not going to go the lossless route because they take up way too much space, im compressing them in itunes. btw, it gives me the option to use VBR, should i use it? and it gives me what quality do i want to use with VBR (lowest to highest), so which shall i choose?

post #14 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by yepimonfire View Post

AAC is transparent at an even lower bitrate than that.

I found one CD that artifacts a bit at 192. For everything else, 192 is fine.
post #15 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by SlyCarrot View Post

Well i am not going to go the lossless route because they take up way too much space, im compressing them in itunes. btw, it gives me the option to use VBR, should i use it? and it gives me what quality do i want to use with VBR (lowest to highest), so which shall i choose?

Always use VBR. It can only help. It can't hurt.
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