I've done my personal testing and I did hear a difference between 16/44.1 and 24/96. It was the same track from the same artist, just different rates. I heard more detail in 24/96 than 16/44.1. The instruments sounded more alive and with even more detail. It all comes down to if you can hear it or not.
Did you try this method ?
- take a high resolution 24-bit/96 kHz audio file, let's call it A.wav
- convert A.wav to 16-bit/44.1 kHz with a good resampler (like the SoX sample rate converter plugin of foobar2000); make sure that the output is not clipped, and it should preferably be properly dithered
- convert the low resolution file back to 24-bit/96 kHz, let's call the result B.wav
- make sure that A.wav and B.wav are perfectly (sample accurately) synchronized, are of the exact same length, and that there is no artifact like a pop or click at the beginning or end of one of the files
- compare A.wav and B.wav with the foobar2000 ABX comparator plugin. Do not forget to enable ReplayGain, or make sure that the files are accurately level matched, this is important. Even a fraction of a dB volume difference can give a false positive result
Can you get less than 5% chance reported that you are just guessing, without any cheating ?
It is a common mistake to compare different masters of the same music, they will sound different for reasons other than the resolution and sample rate. Also, only with careful blind testing (with matched levels etc.) can you know for sure if you really hear a difference.
Edited by stv014 - 12/20/12 at 11:48am