Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Is it worth getting really high-end headphones if your source is 320kbps audio files?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Is it worth getting really high-end headphones if your source is 320kbps audio files? - Page 2

post #16 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grayson73 View Post
 

How did you get it for 7.99/mo?

It was initially offered at $7.99 as a special promotional rate and I am locked in with this price now.  The price went up for anyone that signed up after June 30th, 2013 to $9.99.  It probably was only available to US residents at this price.

post #17 of 257

Absolutely, 190 %. What matters the most is the hardware, a.k.a. the phones and chain leading to them. As someone before me said, very little, if anything audible, is lost in the transition from lossless to 320 kbps. Trust me, you'll be in sonic heaven with even less than 320 kbps, if the hardware reproducing the sound is appropriate.

post #18 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeVes View Post
 

Absolutely, 190 %. What matters the most is the hardware, a.k.a. the phones and chain leading to them. As someone before me said, very little, if anything audible, is lost in the transition from lossless to 320 kbps. Trust me, you'll be in sonic heaven with even less than 320 kbps, if the hardware reproducing the sound is appropriate.

 

To add, high quality tracks are still crap if they weren't mastered properly...  That's what becomes important when selecting a high quality track...  Lots compress to oblivion where dynamics are almost completely lost.  There really is no fix for that.  So a poorly mastered/recorded 320 kb/s track is still going to sound poor in contrast to a well-mastered/recorded track at 256 or 192... 

post #19 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by bassophile View Post
 

They say the quality can only ever be as good as the source. 99.9% of my music is downloaded at 320kbps - given this - is it even worth investing in high-end headphones such as the HE-6's or LCD-2's or HD800's of this world?

 

Similarly, is it worth buying the amps required to drive these behemoths?

 

IMO, 320K files don't merit headphones in that category.

post #20 of 257

Also to note, a lot of the SQ comes with the quality of the mastering.

post #21 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by zazex View Post
 

 

IMO, 320K files don't merit headphones in that category.

The area of most significant playback loss in an analog signal chain, assuming there are no damaged cables, is the transducer (speaker).  Higher quality transducers will yield better listening results every time.  That being said.  I listen to all manner of music/compressions with my LCD-2 and Koss ESP-950 much to my enjoyment they provide a more solid presentation than the HD650s I keep in a box.

 

Do I get more out of CD quality or higher?  Maybe but to me presentation and overall cohesiveness of tone is preferable no matter what the source audio. 

post #22 of 257

My experience is that even Pandora at 192kbps sounds extremely better with my ED8. Most of my tracks I listen to at 256kbps or FLAC and the difference is minimum. But when a change from my D2000 to ED8 the difference is immense. However, I cannot say the same for IEMs from UE700 to Westone ES5 the difference is some but does not justify the price.

post #23 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyman392 View Post
 

 

What stream are you using?  Are you paying for it?  If you're going free, the best stream you can get is 128 kbps which is crappy quality at best.  If you're paying for it, iTunes Radio and Spotify up you to 256 and 320 respectively. 

I use Tunein web radio.  They have a really good selection of progressive rock stations... although some are highly compressed, which is a downer.  Theres a dreamtheater station thats at least one of the higher bit rates and very listenable, although not for critical listening.


Edited by kramer5150 - 3/15/14 at 5:48pm
post #24 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by zazex View Post
 

 

IMO, 320K files don't merit headphones in that category.

 

If you like the sound they provide, they absolutely do. 320kbps is so close to source that you'd have to be ridiculously discerning to hear a difference, as well as playing it at a pretty serious volume. 

 

Frankly, the difference a good headphone/amp/DAC setup makes on even 160kbps files is worth the upgrade. Maybe not to the highest of the highest end, but easily up into several hundred bucks for a pair. 

post #25 of 257

A well converted 320 kbps file loses nothing to a lossless file at all. What the lossless files provide is headroom for any mastering changes, similar to how shooting RAW gives much larger files that allow for adjustments. If you take your processed RAW file and compare it to the resulting JPEG, you'll be hard-pressed to see a difference. That is the same way that these lossless files work. Engineers record in formats that are less punishing for adjustments while mastering, then can choose to "lock" their adjustments in by converting to lossy formats, or they can distribute the master files.

 

There is no sonic benefit to storing these large files unless you're a hobbyist sound engineer, or you like have 1 gigabyte Taylor Swift albums.

post #26 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by eke2k6 View Post
 

A well converted 320 kbps file loses nothing to a lossless file at all. What the lossless files provide is headroom for any mastering changes, similar to how shooting RAW gives much larger files that allow for adjustments. If you take your processed RAW file and compare it to the resulting JPEG, you'll be hard-pressed to see a difference. That is the same way that these lossless files work. Engineers record in formats that are less punishing for adjustments while mastering, then can choose to "lock" their adjustments in by converting to lossy formats, or they can distribute the master files.

 

There is no sonic benefit to storing these large files unless you're a hobbyist sound engineer, or you like have 1 gigabyte Taylor Swift albums.

 

I'm not sure this is accurate - a 320kbps file is still an MP3 ("lossy") file,

 

 

There are several limitations inherent to the MP3 format that cannot be overcome by any MP3 encoder.

 

Newer audio compression formats such as AAC, WMA Pro and Vorbis are generally free of a number of these limitations.[51] In technical terms,

 

Some limitations include:

 

Time resolution can be too low for highly transient signals and may cause smearing of percussive sounds.[52]
Due to the tree structure of the filter bank, pre-echo problems are made worse, as the combined impulse response of the two filter banks does not, and cannot, provide an optimum solution in time/frequency resolution.[52]
The combining of the two filter banks' outputs creates aliasing problems that must be handled partially by the "aliasing compensation" stage; however, that creates excess energy to be coded in the frequency domain, thereby decreasing coding efficiency.[citation needed]
Frequency resolution is limited by the small long block window size, which decreases coding efficiency.[52]
There is no scale factor band for frequencies above 15.5/15.8 kHz.[original research?]
Joint stereo is done only on a frame-to-frame basis.[52]
Internal handling of the bit reservoir increases encoding delay.[citation needed]
Encoder/decoder overall delay is not defined, which means there is no official provision for gapless playback. However, some encoders such as LAME can attach additional metadata that will allow players that can handle it to deliver seamless playback.
The data stream can contain an optional checksum, but the checksum only protects the header data, not the audio data.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mp3

post #27 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by zazex View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bassophile View Post
 

They say the quality can only ever be as good as the source. 99.9% of my music is downloaded at 320kbps - given this - is it even worth investing in high-end headphones such as the HE-6's or LCD-2's or HD800's of this world?

 

Similarly, is it worth buying the amps required to drive these behemoths?

 

IMO, 320K files don't merit headphones in that category.

 

Is that 'in your opinion' or 'in your experience'? Can you honestly say that 320 MP3 so seriously impacts on sound quality that top grade phones will not reap sufficient benefits to justify their price (if indeed their price can ever be justified). Because even if you claim the latter, you're really only claiming it for yourself. What might bother you about 320 MP3 might pass unnoticed by someone else, leaving the benefit of a better headphone entirely unimpeded.

 

And leaving your comment not entirely helpful.

post #28 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by zazex View Post
 

 

I'm not sure this is accurate - a 320kbps file is still an MP3 ("lossy") file,

 

 

There are several limitations inherent to the MP3 format that cannot be overcome by any MP3 encoder.

 

Newer audio compression formats such as AAC, WMA Pro and Vorbis are generally free of a number of these limitations.[51] In technical terms,

 

Some limitations include:

 

Time resolution can be too low for highly transient signals and may cause smearing of percussive sounds.[52]
Due to the tree structure of the filter bank, pre-echo problems are made worse, as the combined impulse response of the two filter banks does not, and cannot, provide an optimum solution in time/frequency resolution.[52]
The combining of the two filter banks' outputs creates aliasing problems that must be handled partially by the "aliasing compensation" stage; however, that creates excess energy to be coded in the frequency domain, thereby decreasing coding efficiency.[citation needed]
Frequency resolution is limited by the small long block window size, which decreases coding efficiency.[52]
There is no scale factor band for frequencies above 15.5/15.8 kHz.[original research?]
Joint stereo is done only on a frame-to-frame basis.[52]
Internal handling of the bit reservoir increases encoding delay.[citation needed]
Encoder/decoder overall delay is not defined, which means there is no official provision for gapless playback. However, some encoders such as LAME can attach additional metadata that will allow players that can handle it to deliver seamless playback.
The data stream can contain an optional checksum, but the checksum only protects the header data, not the audio data.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mp3

 

MP3 is not just a set format. The latest LAME encoded MP3 files have more or less eliminated these problems, and modern decoders as well. 

 

The only "loss" in a 320kbps MP3 file is that of the cushion bits.

post #29 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by zazex View Post
 

 

IMO, 320K files don't merit headphones in that category.

 

I know some, their gears include th900, fitear, hd800, stax....they still enjoy music mp3 320 kbps.

post #30 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by eke2k6 View Post
 

 

MP3 is not just a set format. The latest LAME encoded MP3 files have more or less eliminated these problems, and modern decoders as well. 

 

The only "loss" in a 320kbps MP3 file is that of the cushion bits.

 

Not only that, but honestly at 192 you'd be hard pressed to hear the difference unless you were specifically listening for it. Yes, there's an audible quality loss, but it's pretty faint. Swap someone's 320 collection to 192 without telling them and it'd be a little while before they caught on.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphones (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Is it worth getting really high-end headphones if your source is 320kbps audio files?