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post #1276 of 2040
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hi-Fi Guy View Post
 

I use the hp50 with my iPhone through the line out with an E11 playing Spotify (320kbps) and on my Mac through the headphone jack also playing Spotify.

Would the headphones benefit from using FLAC/ lossless files instead of 320kbps, and would i be able to tell a difference?

I would think it very difficult if not impossible to reliably tell the difference. Most people who think they can are wrong and have never attempted to prove it using blind testing. Try it yourself, put the same song on your device twice, named differently, one lossless, one 320. Have a friend help you, get them to do say 10 trials that they randomly decide which file plays and for how long (2 minutes per trial for instance). If you can hear the difference around 75% of the time that means you are reliably hearing the difference, if it is 50% or less, that is explainable by pure chance.

post #1277 of 2040
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic Defender View Post
 

I would think it very difficult if not impossible to reliably tell the difference. Most people who think they can are wrong and have never attempted to prove it using blind testing. Try it yourself, put the same song on your device twice, named differently, one lossless, one 320. Have a friend help you, get them to do say 10 trials that they randomly decide which file plays and for how long (2 minutes per trial for instance). If you can hear the difference around 75% of the time that means you are reliably hearing the difference, if it is 50% or less, that is explainable by pure chance.

 

Don't forget they have to be volume matched. 

post #1278 of 2040
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyman392 View Post
 

 

Don't forget they have to be volume matched. 


Thought I had mentioned that my bad. Volume matching would be critical as apparently our psychoacoustic brain interprets louder as sounding better (up to a point of course, too loud will have the opposite effect).

post #1279 of 2040
Quote:
Originally Posted by dan.gheorghe View Post

These headphones were a really pleasant surprise. I've reviewed them and compared them to AKG K545, k550, Focal Spirit Classic, Spirit One S, Sony MDR-1R here.
Well written review!!! Than you for taking the time to compare the HPs!! Really assures me that my money was well spent on my HP50s
post #1280 of 2040
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic Defender View Post
 

I would think it very difficult if not impossible to reliably tell the difference. Most people who think they can are wrong and have never attempted to prove it using blind testing. Try it yourself, put the same song on your device twice, named differently, one lossless, one 320. Have a friend help you, get them to do say 10 trials that they randomly decide which file plays and for how long (2 minutes per trial for instance). If you can hear the difference around 75% of the time that means you are reliably hearing the difference, if it is 50% or less, that is explainable by pure chance.

Thank you for the response I'll try it out


Edited by Hi-Fi Guy - 7/21/14 at 9:21pm
post #1281 of 2040
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hi-Fi Guy View Post
 

Thank you for the response I'll try it out


It is a great idea to do this as it may make some future decisions easier to live with. For instance, if you determine that you are not able to distinguish between lossless and 320 with any reliability you might save money and rather than purchase a album in lossless you might save a little and opt for 320 downloads. I find music like electronica to be a great candidate for 320 versus going lossless. While I can't prove this, I feel that it is reasonable that music that is more complex in structure or diversity of instruments, or using tonally complex instruments is a better candidate for lossless as there are likely more nuanced elements that might be trimmed with compression.

post #1282 of 2040
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickhawk22 View Post


Well written review!!! Than you for taking the time to compare the HPs!! Really assures me that my money was well spent on my HP50s

Thank you, Rick and indeed :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic Defender View Post
 


It is a great idea to do this as it may make some future decisions easier to live with. For instance, if you determine that you are not able to distinguish between lossless and 320 with any reliability you might save money and rather than purchase a album in lossless you might save a little and opt for 320 downloads. I find music like electronica to be a great candidate for 320 versus going lossless. While I can't prove this, I feel that it is reasonable that music that is more complex in structure or diversity of instruments, or using tonally complex instruments is a better candidate for lossless as there are likely more nuanced elements that might be trimmed with compression.

 

The GoldenEars challenge included some mp3(including 320k) vs lossless tests.


Edited by dan.gheorghe - 7/22/14 at 7:08am
post #1283 of 2040
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic Defender View Post
 

I would think it very difficult if not impossible to reliably tell the difference. Most people who think they can are wrong and have never attempted to prove it using blind testing. Try it yourself, put the same song on your device twice, named differently, one lossless, one 320. Have a friend help you, get them to do say 10 trials that they randomly decide which file plays and for how long (2 minutes per trial for instance). If you can hear the difference around 75% of the time that means you are reliably hearing the difference, if it is 50% or less, that is explainable by pure chance.

75% is still random guessing, and I agree most if not all so called "audiophiles" would fail a correctly conducted DBT.

post #1284 of 2040
Quote:
Originally Posted by LajostheHun View Post
 

75% is still random guessing, and I agree most if not all so called "audiophiles" would fail a correctly conducted DBT.


I'm not sure 75% would be random guessing, but perhaps it still wouldn't be a statistically significant result, not really sure as this would be a subject where there are no population norms from which to start the comparison. Personally, if somebody was able to pick out the differences 75% of the time, I would feel fairly confident that they were indeed hearing a difference. Perhaps that number should be moved up to 80%?

 

I am going to try this experiment with my brother who is an audio nut and very much skeptical of the golden ear that is widely accepted to exist. I would be shocked if I could tell the difference in a well designed experiment. I also have read a great deal about the whole high resolution files and I will not waste any of my money ever again at HD Tracks and other sites selling these high rez files. The support for such files is quite weak and even if there was a difference, it must be so very, very small as to be questionably even audible. Again, I would love to see these golden eared proponents of high resolution files be subjected to well designed blind testing and see how reliable those golden ears are.

post #1285 of 2040

Most definitely. To me its always the same pattern: using simple numbers to compare things (be it MHz in CPUs or bitrates in music). There are so many factors that are not adequately represented with these simple numbers that I just can't accept that as a serious discussion.

 

I think there is indeed a lower bound to quality, which I would put at 256kBit for AAC, 320kGit for MP3, 16bit/44,1kHz for lossless. Anything beyond is of no interest to me: I'm not listening to music for differences between fileformats but for fun. I buy most eletronic music as compressed files (AAC or MP3), but stick to CDs when buying classics as there is still a certain feel to a physical medium which is important to me. Still prefer LPs... but CDs are OK.

 

I think a good midrange headphone like the HP50, which I enjoy very much, is fully adequate to even critical listening (in the sense of actually listening to music, not analyzing equipment) if the source material is of good quality. If someone finds joy in dissecting electronic equipment, using music as a tool to that end, it might be interesting to check out highres audio files. I doubt that the technical difference is of any relevance to the enjoyment of listening to music.

post #1286 of 2040
Quote:
Originally Posted by dan.gheorghe View Post
 

These headphones were a really pleasant surprise. I've reviewed them and compared them to AKG K545, k550, Focal Spirit Classic, Spirit One S, Sony MDR-1R here.


Excellent review!

post #1287 of 2040
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic Defender View Post
 


I'm not sure 75% would be random guessing, but perhaps it still wouldn't be a statistically significant result, not really sure as this would be a subject where there are no population norms from which to start the comparison. Personally, if somebody was able to pick out the differences 75% of the time, I would feel fairly confident that they were indeed hearing a difference. Perhaps that number should be moved up to 80%?

 

I am going to try this experiment with my brother who is an audio nut and very much skeptical of the golden ear that is widely accepted to exist. I would be shocked if I could tell the difference in a well designed experiment. I also have read a great deal about the whole high resolution files and I will not waste any of my money ever again at HD Tracks and other sites selling these high rez files. The support for such files is quite weak and even if there was a difference, it must be so very, very small as to be questionably even audible. Again, I would love to see these golden eared proponents of high resolution files be subjected to well designed blind testing and see how reliable those golden ears are.

Statistically speaking you would have to be in the 9 out of ten times to be meaningful.The participants would have to correctly identify the each track, not just claiming there is difference or they could hear the difference. Of course it's 10 samples x10 sessions so it would be 100 samples. It's a tedious and tiring process if done correctly, I can't blame people that they don't want to participate much, especially since the odds are stacked up against them. Now imagine this would be done with DACS, we all read all kinds of poetry s about how they sound and so forth including comparisons to different ones they owned or, just listened to, all sighted of course. It would be brutal for them, eye opener for some others, and predictable for the rest of us.

Anyway enjoy your experiment,there are ton of info out there of how to set up and conduct a DBT, and what a certain score could mean.

post #1288 of 2040

"Random guessing" would be 50% correct identifications, when comparing 2 alternatives.  If a person got 75% correct, that would be strong evidence of correctly identifying a difference most of the time.

Depending on how the test is designed, number of trials, number of listeners, and other factors, you can run statistical tests that can tell you that there is (or isn't) a 95% or 99% probability of correct (non-random) identifications.  Again, depending on the test design, a statistical significance of, say, 95% can be correctly derived from numbers much lower/different than a simple 95 out of 100 identifications.

post #1289 of 2040
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hi-Fi Guy View Post
 

I use the hp50 with my iPhone through the line out with an E11 playing Spotify (320kbps) and on my Mac through the headphone jack also playing Spotify.

Would the headphones benefit from using FLAC/ lossless files instead of 320kbps, and would i be able to tell a difference?

As a practical matter, I don't think we really get full 320kbps from Spotify.  I love Spotify and am a subscriber to their Premium service, to get the higher quality streaming and other benefits.  BUT it just doesn't sound as good as my CD rips I have in iTunes (played via Amarra).  And i think Sp. does not sound as good as 256k or 320k downloads that I have in iTunes.  I think it's more of their marketing claim; it's what they are theoretically capable of, but not what we get in the real world.

 

So, I would answer your question with a YES, in today's real world, you would get better sound from lossless than from Spotify. 

 

 

(Another factor for you, if you are plugging headphones directly into your computer headphone jack -- an external DAC and amp can make a real nice improvement in sound quality)

post #1290 of 2040
Quote:
Originally Posted by Billheiser View Post
 

As a practical matter, I don't think we really get full 320kbps from Spotify.  I love Spotify and am a subscriber to their Premium service, to get the higher quality streaming and other benefits.  BUT it just doesn't sound as good as my CD rips I have in iTunes (played via Amarra).  And i think Sp. does not sound as good as 256k or 320k downloads that I have in iTunes.  I think it's more of their marketing claim; it's what they are theoretically capable of, but not what we get in the real world.

 

So, I would answer your question with a YES, in today's real world, you would get better sound from lossless than from Spotify. 

 

 

(Another factor for you, if you are plugging headphones directly into your computer headphone jack -- an external DAC and amp can make a real nice improvement in sound quality)

Thanks for your input. I'm going to buy the schiit modi/magni stack for my macbook and start ripping CDs and getting FLAC audio files.

 

I'm probably going to buy an ipod to store music on instead of my phone. what DACs/ amps would you reccomend for portable use?

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