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Which Sounds Better? - ALAC, FLAC, AIFF or WAV

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 
I am looking for input from those who hear a difference, no wish to discuss this with empiricists who will tell me there is none.

Which encoding/file format do you all find sounds best when the source is the same in bitrate and sample?

DSD is off the list as my ODAC is not DSD at this time.

Thanks!
post #2 of 36

I can fully understand you'd like some direction through others opinions but as opposed to gear it's relatively easy and my recommendation to try out yourself. Get a few of each and a converter like dBpoweramp or Exact Audio Copy and soon you will know what sounds best to your ears.

post #3 of 36

IMHO lossless always sound better  if you are listening on decent kit 

post #4 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by moriez View Post

I can fully understand you'd like some direction through others opinions but as opposed to gear it's relatively easy and my recommendation to try out yourself. Get a few of each and a converter like dBpoweramp or Exact Audio Copy and soon you will know what sounds best to your ears.

I asked for a reason.

I live, more or less, in Mongolia and have no access to hi-res CD's to burn and compare the various format rips. So rather than buy 4 copies of something from HD Tracks, I thought MAYBE those of you here could be of some help.

It seems it's impossible to post a thread here without an argumentarian posting contrary to the thread's posted, explicit, limitations.
Edited by marone - 9/29/13 at 6:40am
post #5 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by complin View Post

IMHO lossless always sound better  if you are listening on decent kit.

The question is WHICH lossless sounds better on the 'decent kit'.
post #6 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by marone View Post

I asked for a reason.

I live, more or less, in Mongolia and have no access to hi-res CD's to burn and compare the various format rips. So rather than buy 4 copies of something from HD Tracks, I thought MAYBE those of you here could be of some help.

It seems it's impossible to post a thread here without an argumentarian posting contrary to the thread's posted, explicit, limitations.

 

Yaya, you did not state any limitations in the OP bud. A simple CD which is mastered ok would do but just hang on. Maybe someone can tell you that what you like to hear.

post #7 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by marone View Post


The question is WHICH lossless sounds better on the 'decent kit'.

 

Personally I cant tell much difference between FLAC and WAV. Some claim with some players (i.e Jplay) its better to convert everything to WAV due to the effort in decoding via the codec. I use FLAC and Foobar and find it equal if not better than CD especially the few hirez recording I have.   

post #8 of 36
I carry my music in flac. I was tempted to switch to alac to use iTunes about a year ago. Personally I don't hear differences between lossless formats so you should try yourself. Pick a CD and use exact audio copy. I'll post the correct parameters for the compression.
http://filesharingtalk.com/threads/435208-Installing-configuring-and-ripping-with-Exact-Audio-Copy-%28EAC%29
Edited by squallkiercosa - 9/29/13 at 8:27am
post #9 of 36

All of them should and often do sound identical.

 

I have heard claims that playing back lossless, without first de-compressing, induces jitter and won't sound the same as WAV or AIFF.  I rip all my discs to FLAC Level 5 with EAC and I've never heard any difference between it and uncompressed WAV when played back on my computer through foobar2000 or on my Rockbox Sansa.

 

I think someone also mentioned "high rez."  HDTracks has some great-sounding high-rez, but many portable players do not support anything past 16/44 or 16/48; iPods I believe are capable of up to 24/48 through the dock connector.  My feelings on these recordings is that they have slightly more detail but whether or not it's worth the extra cost is up to you.  I don't notice enough of a difference in it to buy it unless it's a really well done mastering.


Edited by hogger129 - 9/29/13 at 10:20am
post #10 of 36

I don't here much of an audible difference between the formats; lossless will always sound better to me than MP3. However,I suppose I can tell that FLAC tends to have an "O2/ODAC-like" sound, and WAV seems to have ever-so-slightly more headroom. But that is with the foreknowledge of which format I'm listening to. I'm not sure I could tell the differences in a blind test (although I did an unintentional blind test between mp3 and lossless, and I could discern those differences).

post #11 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by wes008 View Post
 

I don't here much of an audible difference between the formats; lossless will always sound better to me than MP3. However,I suppose I can tell that FLAC tends to have an "O2/ODAC-like" sound, and WAV seems to have ever-so-slightly more headroom. But that is with the foreknowledge of which format I'm listening to. I'm not sure I could tell the differences in a blind test (although I did an unintentional blind test between mp3 and lossless, and I could discern those differences).

 

You should hear no difference between uncompressed and lossless unless something is wrong with your equipment.  Jitter is way blown out of proportion.

post #12 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by moriez View Post

A simple CD which is mastered ok would do but just hang on. Maybe someone can tell you that what you like to hear.

Either be helpful, or don't post. I don't pollute your threads with useless argumentation.
post #13 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hogger129 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by wes008 View Post

 
I don't here much of an audible difference between the formats; lossless will always sound better to me than MP3. However,I suppose I can tell that FLAC tends to have an "O2/ODAC-like" sound, and WAV seems to have ever-so-slightly more headroom. But that is with the foreknowledge of which format I'm listening to. I'm not sure I could tell the differences in a blind test (although I did an unintentional blind test between mp3 and lossless, and I could discern those differences).

You should hear no difference between uncompressed and lossless unless something is wrong with your equipment.  Jitter is way blown out of proportion.

Thank you wes for the tip! That is the sort of info I am looking for!

Thank you hogger129 for violating the thread rules about no empiricist argumentation...
post #14 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by marone View Post


Thank you wes for the tip! That is the sort of info I am looking for!

Thank you hogger129 for violating the thread rules about no empiricist argumentation...

 

Search Google, there's tons of threads on the subject...

 

https://www.google.com/#q=FLAC+%3D+WAV

post #15 of 36
Thread Starter 
Thanks. For my tastes then WAV files it is.
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