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MP3 320kbps - does higher sampling DACs matter? And is high end DAC only for high bit rate files?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

I've done a fair bit of reading on google and either I am poor at searching the right terms or the info is hard to fine.  Thanks in advance for any help on this query. 

 

I realize that I like a lot of variety in my music and Spotify has been fantastic.  I use the paid service for the 320kbps bit rate. 

 

With this type of files, does it matter what bit rate DAC one uses?  

 

For example, lets take a good DAC such as the Yulong DA8 capable of 32bit 384khz - and everything in between all the way down to 16/44.1. 

 

Questions: 

 

1. With 320 kbps MP3, does it matter which bitrate one sets it as everything is theoretically higher than the actual file played? If yes, why?  And what is the ideal setting?  

 

2. And with these 32/384 capable DACs, is there really much music available? And do you guys really hear a difference?  This is so far above CD quality I'm wondering if you guys are really hearing any difference. 

 

I realize the two questions are very different from each other but thanks for any thoughts.

 

UL

post #2 of 3

you should understand the difference between sample rate and bit rate. 16/44.1k is the bit depth/sample rate, where as 320kbps is the bit rate of the lossy mp3 compression. most mp3s (including 320kbps cbr) are still 16/44.1k, just with certain data/samples discarded in the compression/encoding process. bit rate of uncompressed redbook pcm (ie cd audio) is 1411.2kbps (44100 samples per second * 16 bit per sample * 2 channels), so you can see the rough percent of data lost with 320kbps mp3 (of course the data discarded is mostly inaudible, so it's hard to notice)

 

you should set your audio player to send to the dac the exact bit depth/samplerate of whatever file you are playing is encoded at, which means no software processing. whether you can hear the difference or not, im not sure

 

there are dsd content available, just search for dsd download and you'll find some sites where you can download samples/buy more. i've tried some, and it is hard to say whether there is a difference, because i have not been able to find the same recording in both dsd and redbook formats to compare side by side (too lazy to encode a dsd file into pcm myself). i personally dont believe that dsd makes a meaningful difference, and even though my current dac is dsd capable, it was not a factor in my purchase decision (of course others may disagree).


Edited by Jd007 - 11/11/13 at 10:55pm
post #3 of 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by ULUL View Post
 

 

With this type of files, does it matter what bit rate DAC one uses?  

 

No, all DACs should be able 320 MP3

 

Questions: 

 

1. With 320 kbps MP3, does it matter which bitrate one sets it as everything is theoretically higher than the actual file played? If yes, why?  And what is the ideal setting?  

 

If most of your music is 44.1 kHz then set the DAC to 44.1 kHz, setting it to anything else doesn't do anything. I don't have any experience with that particular DAC but it should play your file automatically to 44.1 kHz or whatever your file format is.

 

2. And with these 32/384 capable DACs, is there really much music available?

 

Not much popular music uses that configuration, pretty useless feature IMO if you don't have that type of files or the artists that you listen don't provide that type of format

 

And do you guys really hear a difference?  

 

Between 32/384 and 16/44.1? If the music is mastered differently then there will be a difference.

 

This is so far above CD quality I'm wondering if you guys are really hearing any difference. 

 

There is plenty of discussion about this in the Sound Science section. Research there if you can or take a sample track that is 32/384 (or anything higher than CD quality) and another 16/44.1 of the same track and test to see if you can hear the difference switching between the 2 formats. Your experience should answer your question

 

I realize the two questions are very different from each other but thanks for any thoughts.

 

UL

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