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320 kbps MP3 vs. normal audio CD listening Sound quality - Page 13

post #181 of 545

More WAV vs AIFF nonsense? No offense, but it really isn't reasonable to say that the two sound different.

post #182 of 545
Quote:
Originally Posted by anetode View Post

Well, actually, you might. Not to overthink this example too much, but the recording method and mastering could easily affect perceived details. One of the audiophile draws of neutral low-distortion headphones like the 009 is that they'll let you hear way more than otherwise practically possible live due to the abundance of close miking in modern recordings. Alternately, a grossly colored phone like a Grado might lead you to think you're hearing more detail because of the bump in the presence range.

 

I specifically referred to a system that is designed to be as transparent (= flat frequency response etc., even realistic volume levels) as possible, as if the listener's ears were in the place of the microphone. A grossly colored phone obviously does not meet those criteria. I also intentionally wrote "not much more details" to account for the possibility some imperfections in the frequency response.

Anyway, my point was that "high end" headphones do not have magical detail-enhancing abilities that make the golden ears of an audiophile listener infinitely resolving.

post #183 of 545
Yes, it is unreasonable to hear differences in the science forum wink.gif
post #184 of 545
Btw, wav files are not user friendly. Why not convert them to ALAC in iTunes?
post #185 of 545

popcorn.gif

post #186 of 545
Quote:

Originally Posted by rsbrsvp View Post

 

Just a few years back everyone was convinced that a USB cable should not make any difference in sonic output- as zero's and ones are zero's and one's.

 

Today, everyone in computer audio who has tested different high end cables USB cables knows they sound different even though I am not sure there is a technical explanation.

 

My point is- we don't know everything.   Maybe that wrapper and the way it is devised or programmed can effect the way the information is stored and transmitted.

 

Putting aside the pointless debates about the sound quality effects of USB cables, cables and software are different things. Software has very limited ways to change the sound on competent playback hardware if it is bit perfect and can supply the data to the DAC fast enough that the hardware buffer does not underrun. Some will probably bring up the idea of timing irregularities in the playback, but it is hardware buffered, and the software has no direct control over the timing of individual samples: it can either send the data in time, and then the sound is fine, or not, resulting in obvious skips and break-ups. It is possible for software to have audible sound quality effects through interference (e.g. noises heard on badly implemented onboard audio outputs while moving the mouse or other activity), but not on something that qualifies as competent audio hardware.


Edited by stv014 - 12/27/12 at 12:38pm
post #187 of 545
I think it is instructive to remember that wav resolution at 1411 has no more data than flac or ALAC at 500-950 or so. The empty spaces of non information are removed. At 320 or less, musical information/data is removed. 320 sounds pretty decent but experience comparing usually results in the most powerful passages becoming distorted or losing definition with the lossy formats. Not as obvious at 320 but I hear a big step down at 256. And using the highest quality level of lossy VBR is the same quality as 320.
Edited by jvandyk - 12/27/12 at 12:19pm
post #188 of 545
Quote:
Originally Posted by rsbrsvp View Post

I am not very technically knowledgeable; however allow me to share the following: Just a few years back everyone was convinced that a USB cable should not make any difference in sonic output- as zero's and ones are zero's and one's. Today, everyone in computer audio who has tested different high end cables USB cables knows they sound different even though I am not sure there is a technical explanation.

Well, all I can say is that you are listening to the wrong people. Properly functioning cables *do* all sound the same, whether you paid $700 for them at a boutique audio dealer or $3 for them at Monoprice.

High end cables have a hefty markup over cost, while electronics generally is marked up very little. Can you think of a reason why high end audio dealers would e motivated to sell you expensive wires to go with the amp you just bought from them?
post #189 of 545
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

Well, all I can say is that you are listening to the wrong people. Properly functioning cables *do* all sound the same, whether you paid $700 for them at a boutique audio dealer or $3 for them at Monoprice.
High end cables have a hefty markup over cost, while electronics generally is marked up very little. Can you think of a reason why high end audio dealers would e motivated to sell you expensive wires to go with the amp you just bought from them?

You know BS, the high end dealers have a nice markup on the hardware too. Usually at least 50%. True, the Internet is next to nothing, but the high end gear is usually protected by MAP pricing. If a manufacturer ends up losing their margin and not protecting their brick and mortar dealers, they end up getting dropped. As for cables, a good dealer will recommend a reasonably priced set that works well with the associated gear.
post #190 of 545

@#187 jvandyk, you're talking about bitrate. For lossless compression the bitrate doesn't really matter. With improved algorithms and more computing power we could compress some tracks to below 320 kbps without any loss of information.

 

320 kbps mp3 is acoustically transparent for most tracks, i.e. people cannot reliably tell the mp3 and original apart.


Edited by xnor - 12/27/12 at 12:39pm
post #191 of 545
Quote:
Originally Posted by stv014 View Post

 

I specifically referred to a system that is designed to be as transparent (= flat frequency response etc., even realistic volume levels) as possible, as if the listener's ears were in the place of the microphone. A grossly colored phone obviously does not meet those criteria. I also intentionally wrote "not much more details" to account for the possibility some imperfections in the frequency response.

Anyway, my point was that "high end" headphones do not have magical detail-enhancing abilities that make the golden ears of an audiophile listener infinitely resolving.

 

I understood what you meant, my comment came because of a set of observations I've been pondering for a while going through various types of recordings and headphones/speakers. I've heard a recording on a flat speaker properly set up and played through a room-compensation DSP gloss over details I've heard in the 009. Also I've been uncomfortably close to acoustic musicians at live shows and heard more cacophony than detail. To be fair, after a long search at RMAF I did find a speaker system that managed to keep up with the 009's detail level. Suffice to say that due to the lack of room acoustics and the smooth fr, quick decay and low-distortion of some high end headphones I would sometimes choose to listen to them based on the criterion of detail over a set of speakers or a live performance. Again I mainly agree with you, it's just that it isn't so cut and dry as transparent in/transparent out.

post #192 of 545
Bitrate is a pretty good marker for how these formats perform. It is an indicator of resolution. There is no 320 format that is not labeled lossy. 24 bit, of course, is well above 4000kbps native and ends up in the mid 2000's after flac or ALAC transcoding. All the data is there. So there is a direct correlation between bit rate and sound quality.
post #193 of 545
Quote:
Originally Posted by jvandyk View Post

As for cables, a good dealer will recommend a reasonably priced set that works well with the associated gear.

I have yet to see any storefront audio dealer who carries reasonably priced cables. Even Radio Shack marks theirs up to $8-$15 or so.

Sound quality and bitrate are only related in lower bitrate lossy. Once a codec achieves transparency, you can pack as many styrofoam peanuts into the file size you want, but for purposes of listening to music, it isn't going to sound any better.
Edited by bigshot - 12/27/12 at 12:49pm
post #194 of 545
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

I have yet to see any storefront audio dealer who carries reasonably priced cables. Even Radio Shack marks theirs up to $8-$15 or so.
To each his own BS. I go to a high end shop to hear the difference before I buy. And I value the existence of the high end dealer and don't blame them for making a profit. As for cables, There are outstanding choices in the 60-80 range. They may be marked up 50% , but I wouldn't go listen to them and then hit the web after walking out. Even The Shack needs to make a profit or they go under.
post #195 of 545
Quote:
Originally Posted by jvandyk View Post

Bitrate is a pretty good marker for how these formats perform. It is an indicator of resolution. There is no 320 format that is not labeled lossy. 24 bit, of course, is well above 4000kbps native and ends up in the mid 2000's after flac or ALAC transcoding. All the data is there. So there is a direct correlation between bit rate and sound quality.

Bitrate is nothing more than a ratio of file size and time.

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