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Is it worth getting really high-end headphones if your source is 320kbps audio files? - Page 14

post #196 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by SomeGuyDude View Post
 

 

Of course. When you don't like the outcome of studies and tests, just blame "the internet". 

 

Also, to sekka, ignoring all of the evidence and explanations I've put forth on this subject because you disagree with something I said on another topic is... well that basically means you know you're incorrect but feel more comfortable discarding what I've said for whatever reason. That's fine.

 

I'm actually kinda tired of debating this. You guys can yammer and yap on and on. It's starting to give me headaches; I can only pull up the studies and articles so many times before I come to the conclusion that some people just refuse to believe what's staring them in the face. So... with that, I bow out. Feel free to have the last word, I'm done here. 


It doesn't matter that I disagree with you.  Factual information disagrees with you.  All studies done on the subject disagree with you.  The point is, you conjured facts from thin air to further your argument, and that undermines the entire argument.

 

A quick Google search on the subject would have revealed ~

 

 

Do your sensory organs not recognize this?  As for the "60 fps human eye cap"

 

Quote:
The USAF, in testing their pilots for visual response time, used a simple test to see if the pilots could distinguish small changes in light. In their experiment a picture of an aircraft was flashed on a screen in a dark room at 1/220th of a second. Pilots were consistently able to "see" the afterimage as well as identify the aircraft. This simple and specific situation not only proves the ability to percieve 1 image within 1/220 of a second, but the ability to interpret higher FPS.

 

I don't remember stating my position on lossless vs. 320 kbps, regardless.  So, I don't see how I can be considered incorrect.  I can't tell the difference between the two, but I listen to mainly metal and electronic genres.  I also don't feel that those listening on anything less than summit-fi gear are qualified to declare that there is no difference between lossy/lossless.  Even then, I would expect them to fail the test if using any samples they are not exceedingly familiar with.  Most people that bash 320 kbps are probably bashing old codecs.


Edited by Sekka - 3/24/14 at 9:48pm
post #197 of 257

And so this threat peters out, with a low groan, and we all go back to our lossy/lossless, as before.

 

Fun while it lasted though. :smile:

post #198 of 257
Many people with nice gear say its worth it. They are worth their opinion. My point that you're most likely to hear poor quality and compressed sound with high end headphones is because they reveal much more than cheap gear. That's why most people with high end gear listen to high quality music. High end gear will magnify imperfections like a 80 inch tv will make a 10 megapixel photo look worse than a 14 megapixel. People can make a argument that good gear improves the sound of music to the point that Kbps does not matter, especially since technology has nearly perfected mp3 conversion. I still think you're hearing a sound that is changed. Whether it's a small change that is only noticeable at high volumes or whatever. I chose the original track that was approved by the artist as often as possible, not some mp3 version. Most of the artists I like are not fans of downloads or spotify. Maybe the essence is still there, that could be true. Don't believe me if you choose. I spend 2+ hours a week searching for music. I go to record stores in San Francisco, Stockton, Sacramento and San Luis Obispo almost every month and buy at least 10 CDs a week. These are towns I frequent and they have stores with good selections and prices. Today I was in Sacramento and got 17 albums. I also go to thrift stores and swap meets for music and gear. As far as I'm concerned I'm doing pretty good.
Edited by JamesHuntington - 3/24/14 at 11:36pm
post #199 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesHuntington View Post

Many people with nice gear say its worth it. They are worth their opinion. My point that you're most likely to hear poor quality and compressed sound with high end headphones is because they reveal much more than cheap gear. That's why most people with high end gear listen to high quality music. High end gear will magnify imperfections like a 80 inch tv will make a 10 megapixel photo look worse than a 14 megapixel.

UI. Not the best analogy. The tv can either display 2 mp or if it is a 4k one 8mp. So both pictures are downscaled to the native pixel count of the TV as this is the limiting factor. So both camera pictures won't be shown in all their glory.
post #200 of 257

Is there any advantage of 320 over VBR 0? I couldn't hear the difference A/Bing the two, yet everyone uses 320 as the gold standard.

 

I can hear a significant difference between VBR and FLAC. FLAC sounds so much more real: thicker, richer, fuller.

post #201 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koolpep View Post


UI. Not the best analogy. The tv can either display 2 mp or if it is a 4k one 8mp. So both pictures are downscaled to the native pixel count of the TV as this is the limiting factor. So both camera pictures won't be shown in all their glory.

+1

post #202 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesHuntington View Post

Many people with nice gear say its worth it. They are worth their opinion. My point that you're most likely to hear poor quality and compressed sound with high end headphones is because they reveal much more than cheap gear. That's why most people with high end gear listen to high quality music. High end gear will magnify imperfections like a 80 inch tv will make a 10 megapixel photo look worse than a 14 megapixel. People can make a argument that good gear improves the sound of music to the point that Kbps does not matter, especially since technology has nearly perfected mp3 conversion. I still think you're hearing a sound that is changed. Whether it's a small change that is only noticeable at high volumes or whatever. I chose the original track that was approved by the artist as often as possible, not some mp3 version. Most of the artists I like are not fans of downloads or spotify. Maybe the essence is still there, that could be true. Don't believe me if you choose. I spend 2+ hours a week searching for music. I go to record stores in San Francisco, Stockton, Sacramento and San Luis Obispo almost every month and buy at least 10 CDs a week. These are towns I frequent and they have stores with good selections and prices. Today I was in Sacramento and got 17 albums. I also go to thrift stores and swap meets for music and gear. As far as I'm concerned I'm doing pretty good.

If you dont know exactly what are you talking about, then is better to be quiet.

post #203 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesHuntington View Post

I did my own test with aac. Why would i compare mp3 with aac or lossless when im happy with lossless. Maybe that would make you happy, but not as happy as shutting up some guy dude would make me. I'm not here to argue. I gave my experience and was
done until some guy dude said my experience was "nonsense." I've read a lot on this subject and found what works best for me and my equipment and price range, with ease of use in mind.

 

Thanks.  You actually answered my question (reading between the lines).  If you ever want to set up an independent test so you can actually prove your point then I'll gladly assist.

 

For the record, a group of us did the tests some time ago - and one of the group was using a Stax system (SR007).  He was able to tell the difference with virtually all MP3 192, some MP3 320 (failed more than he passed), but was not able to tell the difference between a single aac256 and lossless (taken from same master and volume matched and blind abx'd).  His hearing is far better than mine - he knows what cues to listen for.

 

I'll leave the thread to carry on with it's endless debate - but ........ I would really suggest that if you seek true enlightenment (JH) let me arrange a public independent test.

 

*************************

For the record - I'm not against lossless - I rip all my CDs to flac for archiving and use on my home system.  But for my portable - I use aac256 (to me it's completely transparent).  And on the occasions where I can't find the CD or mastering I'm after, I do buy from iTunes - confident in the fact that audibly I'm not missing anything.  As long as the mastering is good - I'm happy.

 

To the OP - your question will get debated ad infinitum.  What I'd suggest is that yes it can be worth getting higher end headphones for well recorded music - even at MP3 320 kbps.  I'd also suggest that you take your time and test yourself.  This link will get you started (http://www.head-fi.org/t/655879/setting-up-an-abx-test-simple-guide-to-ripping-tagging-transcoding).  Rather than having the rest of us debate this - find out what you can discern.  I can promise that the results when done properly are both enlightening and liberating.

post #204 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koolpep View Post

UI. Not the best analogy. The tv can either display 2 mp or if it is a 4k one 8mp. So both pictures are downscaled to the native pixel count of the TV as this is the limiting factor. So both camera pictures won't be shown in all their glory.
Forgive my lack of knowledge of tv etc. I could have said can you tell the difference between 320 degrees and 256 degrees when you touch it? Can you tell the difference between 256 and 320mph without a speedometer? Many people can. I don't know much about tv's but was trying to gauge the difference in terms of being blown up where pixels are noticed. It doesn't mean I don't know what I'm talking about in general. It doesn't mean I cannot tell the difference. If I cared to know about photography or tv ability I'd do it. But I don't. The first time I saw blue ray It was on a 32" 1080p screen and it blew me away. The movie was Grand Torino and I wondered why anyone would waste money making that movie high def. I wouldn't buy it in any format because it's not my thing. To me It would be like putting Justin Bieber sacd.
post #205 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post

Thanks.  You actually answered my question (reading between the lines).  If you ever want to set up an independent test so you can actually prove your point then I'll gladly assist.

For the record, a group of us did the tests some time ago - and one of the group was using a Stax system (SR007).  He was able to tell the difference with virtually all MP3 192, some MP3 320 (failed more than he passed), but was not able to tell the difference between a single aac256 and lossless (taken from same master and volume matched and blind abx'd).  His hearing is far better than mine - he knows what cues to listen for.

I'll leave the thread to carry on with it's endless debate - but ........ I would really suggest that if you seek true enlightenment (JH) let me arrange a public independent test.

*************************
For the record - I'm not against lossless - I rip all my CDs to flac for archiving and use on my home system.  But for my portable - I use aac256 (to me it's completely transparent).  And on the occasions where I can't find the CD or mastering I'm after, I do buy from iTunes - confident in the fact that audibly I'm not missing anything.  As long as the mastering is good - I'm happy.

To the OP - your question will get debated ad infinitum.  What I'd suggest is that yes it can be worth getting higher end headphones for well recorded music - even at MP3 320 kbps.  I'd also suggest that you take your time and test yourself.  This link will get you started (http://www.head-fi.org/t/655879/setting-up-an-abx-test-simple-guide-to-ripping-tagging-transcoding).  Rather than having the rest of us debate this - find out what you can discern.  I can promise that the results when done properly are both enlightening and liberating.
I listened to the example on how to do a foobar abx and I still think it takes time to get a sense of slight differences. It took me a couple of days before I realized it was a mistake to go from 320-256. I just kept adjusting settings and was not satisfied. I normally go without any eq or loudness settings. So, one more time for you: it took me days before I went back. Forget about persuading me or public abx. You never know, you might have to eat your words.
post #206 of 257

One thing that hasn't been mentioned yet is that there's far more difference between recordings, particularly from over a long time period, than between good MP3 and FLAC. So if you're going to say it's not worth going to top quality phones if using MP3, then you should really say it's not worth it if you're going to listen to lousy recordings. IOW, don't upgrade unless you're going to audition each recording and vet its sound quality, rejecting anything not up to scratch. Fact is, a lot of stuff you play is always going to be of variable quality whether it's lossy or lossless, but a good quality transducer will make everything sound clearer and smoother. And if it doesn't, it's probably just a detail machine and not a really first class phone.

post #207 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesHuntington View Post

Forget about persuading me or public abx. You never know, you might have to eat your words.

For the record, I would have been more than happy to make a public retraction if you'd done the test and passed consistently as claimed.

But you and I both know it's not going to happen (you agreeing to a public independent test) - so why don't we agree to disagree and leave it there.
post #208 of 257
I tried to get the golden ears test. If anyone wants to insert a test I'll try it. Like the foobar demo with the dude talking, I chose right on the first listen to his first pick when he picks wrong. The second choice he makes I was less clear about a difference. I only heard a slightly lower volume on one part with the sample on that first listen too. My main point was the importance of quality source, which may have not been clear, is that to me the music and then the player, then the speaker. Of course any junk along the way will influence the sound negatively. Some mediocre products are also up to the job of good results.
My favorite cheap CD player to listen to CDs before I got a DAC was a 1994 jvc with a headphone out. It powered my yh100 better and cleaner than anything I had previously used. I say cleaner because I couldn't fowl up the process with my crappy cables and the dirty circuits of my old Sansui amp tha pops and hisses occasionally. I also get great sound, minus a lack of bass, from sony mdrv300 that I use when I sleep. Those sony are IMO great for monitoring music.
And even my computer setup has an occasional hiccup every now and again that drives me up a wall. The huge files of lossless I use will bog down my laptop when i multitask even the smallest job and it has a millisecond pause every few seconds.
Some here claim the hd650 is a great hp for people not willing to take music past a 320 download, and I can imagine that as I love Sennheiser products. But a DAC and amp is going to do wonders to the sound of those 650's.
In the end you can find a cheaper hp that you can plug into your computer/player that will sound good enough without a amp/DAC and will play mp3s clean. Like I said before, upgrade your stuff together and at an equal rate. I have been guilty of "putting the cart before the horse" so to say on many occasions due to money or lack of experience and I paid the price, which is being discontent like some people that give good products bad reviews on this site.
post #209 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View PostOne thing that hasn't been mentioned yet is that there's far more difference between recordings, particularly from over a long time period, than between good MP3 and FLAC. So if you're going to say it's not worth going to top quality phones if using MP3, then you should really say it's not worth it if you're going to listen to lousy recordings. IOW, don't upgrade unless you're going to audition each recording and vet its sound quality, rejecting anything not up to scratch. Fact is, a lot of stuff you play is always going to be of variable quality whether it's lossy or lossless, but a good quality transducer will make everything sound clearer and smoother. And if it doesn't, it's probably just a detail machine and not a really first class phone.

A corollary to this -- there are quite a number of individuals that test equipment on recordings that are significantly short-of-perfect. Live recordings for example face some limitations that emphasize differences (e.g. resolution of minute recording artifacts, ability to recreate ambience/venue) that might be difficult to ascertain on top-notch recordings. Some allege these recordings are more revealing of compression artifacts, though I haven't corroborated this claim personally.

 

The very best recordings are cherished for in-store demos, as they tend to sound great on just about anything (not to say that they don't sound better on better things, just that they rarely sound bad).


Edited by 3X0 - 3/25/14 at 12:20pm
post #210 of 257

It's a minor miracle that this thread hasn't been locked or moved to sound science yet.  :)  Good read though!

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