To me, even between 160kbps and 128kbps the difference is easily discernible, with the former sounding better. Deeper soundstage, more space between instruments, punchier bass and the highs aren't as garbled. Then again, it's hardware and OS dependent. Not to mention the sound coming out of my phone ain't nothing to write home about, and that's putting it lightly.
I did some more tests with the desktop players, as that's what I'm mostly interested in.
I measured the amount of data downloaded per song for at least 20 different songs on both, Deezer and Spotify. It turns out that with the high quality streaming enabled Spotify always streams 320kbps files. Deezer, on the other hand, seems to stream a lot of files at only 128kbps even though I always kept HQ enabled. What's interesting is that despite the differences in bitrate, I couldn't easily tell which service sounded better. So it makes me wonder, does the music I used for the tests sound equally bad in 128kbps and 320kbps or do both companies get 128kbps encoded material from the labels but only Spotify reencodes it at 320kbps (which would be kinda stupid)?
Does anybody use these services? If so, it'd be nice if you guys could chime in on this. I'm going to try and compare some music that I own physically with the streamed stuff some time later this week.
Essence ST > DT990PROs
Samsung Omnia M > MH1Cs, KSC75s
Edited by fufula - 11/12/13 at 5:22pm