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HE AAC v2 is amazing

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I enjoy good quality uncompressed music just as much as anyone would, though I don't consider myself an audiophile as such. When listening carefully, with good headphones in a quiet environment, I can easily notice differences between a >192k mp3 and FLAC for example.

However, what amazes me is the HE AAC v2 format, specifically songs generated using the Nero encoder. When on the go, I listen to music on my phone, which according to what I have read around the internet has a decent enough audio hub (Qualcomm WCD9310). It hasn't got a huge amount of storage, so I compress songs to approximately 40k. If need be I use a little EQ tweaking where necessary.

Now whenever I mention "40k" to people understand what that means in the digital audio world, I get looks of disgust. And before I experimented, I probably would have been disgusted at the thought of a 40k compressed song too. But seriously, apart from specific parts of audio, eg a complex piece with a lot of high frequency sounds along with mid and low, I actually find it quite difficult to differentiate between these songs and their uncompressed variants.

Am I crazy or missing something? Before commenting, if you haven't already tried it, please do. I usually try to compress from FLAC/WAV wherever possible, and I use dbPoweramp with the following settings when converting:
  • Codec: m4a Nero AAC
  • Target: Quality (VBR)
  • Quality: .25 (estimated bitrate: 64Kbps) -- even though it says 64 the files usually end up averaging around 37k
  • Force HE v2

If any of you guys can convert some of your uncompressed music to the above format and listen in headphones, please tell me I am not crazy and that they do actually sound amazing by any standards. I mean even the stereo separation is incredible in spite of it really being only one channel encoded, with the other just being constructed from side information and channel differences!

I need someone to agree with me on this and tell me I'm not crazy for thinking 40k HE-AACv2 songs sound awesome!

post #2 of 5

from wikipedia:




Further controlled testing by 3GPP during their revision 6 specification process indicates that HE-AAC and its derivative MPEG-4 HE-AAC v2 provide "Good" audio quality for music at low bit rates (e.g., 24 kbit/s).

A 2011 Public Listening Test[13] comparing the two best-rated HE AAC encoders at that time to Ogg Vorbis and Opus, indicated statistically significant superiority at 64 kbps for Opus over all other contenders, with Apple HE AAC ranked second and statistically superior to both Nero HE AAC and Ogg Vorbis which were tied for third place.

MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 AAC LC decoders without SBR support will decode the AAC LC part of the audio, resulting in audio output with only half the sampling frequency, thereby reducing the audio bandwidth. This usually results in the high-end, or treble, portion of the audio signal missing from the audio product.

post #3 of 5

Where was this when we had 512mb music players? Nowadays storage is so cheap...

post #4 of 5
Originally Posted by proton007 View Post

Where was this when we had 512mb music players? Nowadays storage is so cheap...



Indeed! This would been awesome back in 1998!


I remember when I bought a 30 gig creative zen mp3 player back in 2003......I'm still amazed at how much space that sucker had for the time.

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
I've the read the stuff on Wikipedia, but wanted some opinions of people on here since everyone seems very critical of sound quality.
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