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Need help educating my brother on audio

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

After my brother's MEElectronics M9P died while he was studying abroad in Singapore, I helped my bro find some new headphones by directing him to the Jaben store (supposedly one of the best audio stores in Singapore). I didn't recommend him anything in particular (just a list of trustworthy brands and some general advice on headphone selection), so I was very pleasantly surprised when my non-audiophile brother reported to me that he walked out of Jaben with the Shure SE215 Limited Edition. 

 

But now that my brother has obtained some really good IEMs for the first time, I think the time has come to properly educate him on audio in full. He rips CDs on iTunes' default import settings (256 kbps AAC) and YouTube rips some of his other music, so I'm worried he's not getting the most out of his new IEMs. Are there any online articles that can easily explain the basics of audio like:

 

  • How to take care of IEMs
  • Audio file formats, bit rate, lossy vs. lossless, etc.
  • DACs/Amps
  • Computer audio software beyond iTunes (especially important since he doesn't have any Apple devices anyway)

 

If I do this right, we might have another convert on our hands. :D 


Edited by TheJazzyH - 10/1/13 at 12:08am
post #2 of 14

Well how to take off IEMs is pretty straightforward. 

There is MP3 (lossy), FLAC, WAV, ALAC and so on. Honestly, the difference between 320 and 16 bit FLAC isn;t huge and with a SE-215 I doubt that he'd be able to tell the difference unless he is analysing the music a lot. 

DACs convert the digital to analog as you probably know and better DACs have better detail, separation etc. Amps not only increase volume, but will improve dynamics, soundstage etc. However, a Sansa Clip+ or something similar is good enough for a SE215. 

I use Foobar2000 on my computer. 

post #3 of 14

It's quite easy to find tons of material on the topics that you mentioned.. but nothing beats "trial and error" imo

 

+1 sansa clip.. awesome device

post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lin0003 View Post
 

Well how to take off IEMs is pretty straightforward. 

There is MP3 (lossy), FLAC, WAV, ALAC and so on. Honestly, the difference between 320 and 16 bit FLAC isn;t huge and with a SE-215 I doubt that he'd be able to tell the difference unless he is analysing the music a lot. 

DACs convert the digital to analog as you probably know and better DACs have better detail, separation etc. Amps not only increase volume, but will improve dynamics, soundstage etc. However, a Sansa Clip+ or something similar is good enough for a SE215. 

I use Foobar2000 on my computer. 

 

Sorry, I meant to say, "how to take care of IEMs". Somehow I forgot the word care, but that has been edited now.

post #5 of 14
Store them in a nice hard case, not the one that the Shure comes with and coil he cable around 4 fingers.
That's what I do...
Though if he's in Singapore he should get those humidifiers.
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lin0003 View Post

Store them in a nice hard case, not the one that the Shure comes with and coil he cable around 4 fingers.
That's what I do...
Though if he's in Singapore he should get those humidifiers.

 

 

Sorry for the late reply, but thanks! I use that method to wrap my own IEMs, but it never crossed my mind to tell my brother about it. I'll be sure to relay your tips to him. 

post #7 of 14
Hello!

You SHOULD NOT worry about the file quality of your brother using. If he's happy with the sound quality he is getting, just let it grow! You may let him know that there's better audio file format that make the SQ even better but you should keep in my mind the size it takes up for a 3min long of ALAC/FLAC song! Even my brother converts my ALAC to MP3 then to his phone sometimes when possible as he do not wish to waste too much space on music.

The other thing to note is that, file format may or may not make any differences to SQ with darker sounding headphone to my experience. Brighter headphone will benefit more on better file format. Some of you may not agree with me but this is just my experience with some headphones smily_headphones1.gif

Just my 2 cents
Billson smily_headphones1.gif
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BillsonChang007 View Post

Hello!

You SHOULD NOT worry about the file quality of your brother using. If he's happy with the sound quality he is getting, just let it grow! You may let him know that there's better audio file format that make the SQ even better but you should keep in my mind the size it takes up for a 3min long of ALAC/FLAC song! Even my brother converts my ALAC to MP3 then to his phone sometimes when possible as he do not wish to waste too much space on music.

The other thing to note is that, file format may or may not make any differences to SQ with darker sounding headphone to my experience. Brighter headphone will benefit more on better file format. Some of you may not agree with me but this is just my experience with some headphones smily_headphones1.gif

Just my 2 cents
Billson smily_headphones1.gif

 

 

You raise a good point. 256 kbps AAC files usually sound just fine to me personally. But while but I'm not expecting him to re-rip his whole CD collection to FLAC, I do hope he would at least do something about his hyper-compressed YouTube rips (especially since some of his favorite songs were downloaded that way). No set-up could make those kinds of files sound passable.

post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheJazzyH View Post


You raise a good point. 256 kbps AAC files usually sound just fine to me personally. But while but I'm not expecting him to re-rip his whole CD collection to FLAC, I do hope he would at least do something about his hyper-compressed YouTube rips (especially since some of his favorite songs were downloaded that way). No set-up could make those kinds of files sound passable.

Maybe he can purchase some songs from the iTunes! $0.99/song although you are paying for AAC quality like whut... Otherwise, HDTracks! If he wish to do it for free... Well... Spotify I guess? I honestly have not tried the Spotify hehe
post #10 of 14
ITunes costs $1.29 a song. Id recommend legalsounds.com (320kbps) ($.10 a song, catch is if you wanna buy, you must add like $30 to ur account, but it lasts long), or Amazon ($.99 or $1.29, 256kbps)
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 

As I already mentioned, my brother already uses iTunes, and he uses it for everything: music management, playback, CD ripping, downloading, and more. I've moved on to MediaMonkey myself, but I still hold on to iTunes for buying music I can't find anywhere else (underground music, foreign music, digital-only releases, etc.). My brother and I also get iTunes gift cards once in a while from various sources.

 

I would consider using HDTracks if any of the artists I listened to actually sold their music in this store. As of now there's too few of them. I'll refer my brother to it anyway, although I doubt he'll find anybody either.  

 

I've tried Amazon MP3 when I got some credit from buying headphones and albums there, but for some reason, Amazon MP3 files sound noticeably washed out and muddy even compared to my iTunes purchases. Furthermore, the bitrate varies from 200 to 300 kbps, making it a bit unreliable. Still, I've got credit to spend, so why not?

 

legalsounds may be legal, but that doesn't mean it's ethical. It appears that artists make no money off legalsound sales, so that's a no-go. Supporting your favorite artists is half the reason to get all of your music legally (the other would be getting reliable audio quality of course).

 

But in the end, you may have a point, Billson. While I just want my brother to get his money's worth out of his new Shures, (which are IEMs I would love to have myself), it's ultimately his decision whether to use any knowledge I send his way or not.      

post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheJazzyH View Post

As I already mentioned, my brother already uses iTunes, and he uses it for everything: music management, playback, CD ripping, downloading, and more. I've moved on to MediaMonkey myself, but I still hold on to iTunes for buying music I can't find anywhere else (underground music, foreign music, digital-only releases, etc.). My brother and I also get iTunes gift cards once in a while from various sources.

I would consider using HDTracks if any of the artists I listened to actually sold their music in this store. As of now there's too few of them. I'll refer my brother to it anyway, although I doubt he'll find anybody either.  

I've tried Amazon MP3 when I got some credit from buying headphones and albums there, but for some reason, Amazon MP3 files sound noticeably washed out and muddy even compared to my iTunes purchases. Furthermore, the bitrate varies from 200 to 300 kbps, making it a bit unreliable. Still, I've got credit to spend, so why not?

legalsounds may be legal, but that doesn't mean it's ethical. It appears that artists make no money off legalsound sales, so that's a no-go. Supporting your favorite artists is half the reason to get all of your music legally (the other would be getting reliable audio quality of course).

But in the end, you may have a point, Billson. While I just want my brother to get his money's worth out of his new Shures, (which are IEMs I would love to have myself), it's ultimately his decision whether to use any knowledge I send his way or not.      

Just get a turntable xD and some vinyl. 100% supporting the artist and excellent SQ xD
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheJazzyH View Post

As I already mentioned, my brother already uses iTunes, and he uses it for everything: music management, playback, CD ripping, downloading, and more. I've moved on to MediaMonkey myself, but I still hold on to iTunes for buying music I can't find anywhere else (underground music, foreign music, digital-only releases, etc.). My brother and I also get iTunes gift cards once in a while from various sources.

I would consider using HDTracks if any of the artists I listened to actually sold their music in this store. As of now there's too few of them. I'll refer my brother to it anyway, although I doubt he'll find anybody either.  

I've tried Amazon MP3 when I got some credit from buying headphones and albums there, but for some reason, Amazon MP3 files sound noticeably washed out and muddy even compared to my iTunes purchases. Furthermore, the bitrate varies from 200 to 300 kbps, making it a bit unreliable. Still, I've got credit to spend, so why not?

legalsounds may be legal, but that doesn't mean it's ethical. It appears that artists make no money off legalsound sales, so that's a no-go. Supporting your favorite artists is half the reason to get all of your music legally (the other would be getting reliable audio quality of course).

But in the end, you may have a point, Billson. While I just want my brother to get his money's worth out of his new Shures, (which are IEMs I would love to have myself), it's ultimately his decision whether to use any knowledge I send his way or not.      
Like I said, legal sounds makes you pay $30 or more. ITunes takes most of the $1.29 you pay, so most of what ur paying is going to iTunes.
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trunks159 View Post

Like I said, legal sounds makes you pay $30 or more. ITunes takes most of the $1.29 you pay, so most of what ur paying is going to iTunes.

That is why I always say fruit company has excellent marketing strategy! I doubt they are spending any thing more than $100 on the iPhone 5C! Just slap on some unused Apple iPhone5's chip that is sitting around their factory then add the Apply logo (which worth a lotttt)
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