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Is it worth getting really high-end headphones if your source is 320kbps audio files? - Page 17

post #241 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by BbOO View Post
 

This thread was not a good idea...

 

Really? What causes you to make that remark?

post #242 of 257

I mostly have mp3's and cannot usually tell them from Flacs at all in foobar DBX. The only flac I have is from Vinyl rips I believe.

post #243 of 257
I, for one, find it refreshing that people are letting their defenses down and admitting that they can't hear a difference. I get so fed up with zealots that replace a piece of wire then need to impress everyone with their command of golden-ear superlatives in describing the "transformation" of their audio systems.
post #244 of 257

Actually I've been kind of surprised too. Not that honesty is in such short supply around here; it's just that people tend to magnify slight differences they may not even hear again tomorrow. That's the nature of the hobby, I guess. So when someone says, nope, all sounds the same to me, it is kind of refreshing.

post #245 of 257

Seriously I have some 192kbps albums and with my Shure SE535's I can totally tell the difference between that and 320kbps, BUT I honestly don't even notice unless I'm absolutely scrutinizing every detail. JUST ENJOY YOUR MUSIC!!! :)

post #246 of 257

IMO If I only had the money it cost to buy premium headphones, I wouldn't if I just listen to downloads and didnt have premium DAC and amp. A midfi DAC and amp with some HE500 would be a better investment than HE6. A midfi turntable, phono amp, headphone amp and Sennheiser hd600 is way better investment than just HD800 or Audeze. You can sell the cheaper stuff later if you want to upgrade.

Also, the best headphones for the money are planar type. But without an amp dac you can get the some grado 125 or sennheiser momentum to get very good sound from a computer sound card.

For those who doubt anyone can hear the difference between mp3 and cd, then I challenge you to find a reason not to be content with a $600 headphone versus a $1600 headphone with the same amp and dac. You will adjust to the 600 headphone and be content just like you're content with downloads of any type. The point is "is it worth it" to buy really high end headphones to play downloads. I still say no. No because I would spend a chunk of that cash on dac/amp or record player set up and records. I would be happy with stock fostex trp50 or whatever if I could listen to vinyl. That's my opinion.

One of my buddies got the AKG k701 and a sound card for his computer that cost around 200. The soundcard looked pretty and got a great review, but couldn't power the headphones without turning it way up. Realizing this he hooked the sound card through his Cambridge tuner and was a little happier, but now the soundcard was a dac. Most tuners aren't up to the job of powering premium headphones at all.  

You gotta have a headphone amp that can perform. If you have planer headphones, which I recommend, you might need a efficient amp. If you plan on going cheap in any part of your system then you shouldn't buy premium headphones. Upgrade as evenly and balanced as you can. That's my opinion.  

The thread here is more than just the sound of mp3s. But if it was I would still not chose mp3s except for their convenience. 

post #247 of 257

Edited. Posted after Mod action.


Edited by eke2k6 - 4/5/14 at 7:01pm
post #248 of 257

The Mod Squad strikes again, eh? Bless their little hearts. :D

post #249 of 257

Just weighing in here...I haven't read the rest of the thread, but- evidence shows people can't hear the difference between 320 mp3 and cd audio. Same goes for CD compared to HD. So from that, you can say there's no audible difference between 320 mp3 and HD (SACD etc).

 

I've personally done ABing between 256 AAC and HD files, and I can't tell any difference, even when I'm actively listening out for differences. Out in a portable setting- forget about it (think Donnie Brasco).


Edited by dcfac73 - 4/6/14 at 12:35am
post #250 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by jnorris View Post

I, for one, find it refreshing that people are letting their defenses down and admitting that they can't hear a difference. I get so fed up with zealots that replace a piece of wire then need to impress everyone with their command of golden-ear superlatives in describing the "transformation" of their audio systems.

Ironically, I feel the same way... but about the opposite reaction. People used to say mp3s were indistinguishable at 128k... then 160k... then 256k... and now 320k. The real answer is usually... it depends or "I can't hear a difference".

For content where "high-res" or "16/44.1" is available, why not go lossless? It's 2014. Storage is cheap. A tiny 64 GB microSD card is < $50 USD. Hard drives are even cheaper. I'd venture to guess most people could fit their entire music collection on less than 5 of those (or at least the parts they actually care about). I still listen to CDs that I bought 20 years ago. The life cycle of audio gear is usually at least a few years. You'll never know what equipment will be coming around the corner in another 5 years. Maybe you just need a better amp/dac/cans/cable/coffee mug/neural implant/whatever in order to extract another 5% from that music.
 

Of course maybe this whole discussion is pointless when we start streaming ALL of our content and can't even buy lossless material. Then we'll probably be AB testing WiFi routers and cell phones for electrical noise... In the dark of course. Don't want electrical hum from those pesky lamp dimmers ruining our fun. :)

post #251 of 257

"For content where "high-res" or "16/44.1" is available, why not go lossless?"

 

Asked and answered on this one. No matter how much spaced may be available, it remains that large files are unwieldy and take forever to transfer to USBs, ipods etc. A better question would be: if you can't hear a difference between lossy and lossless even under test conditions, then you haven't got a hope in a casual listening situation, so why bother with lossless?

post #252 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View Post
 

"For content where "high-res" or "16/44.1" is available, why not go lossless?"

 

Asked and answered on this one. No matter how much spaced may be available, it remains that large files are unwieldy and take forever to transfer to USBs, ipods etc. A better question would be: if you can't hear a difference between lossy and lossless even under test conditions, then you haven't got a hope in a casual listening situation, so why bother with lossless?


Yep, Couldn't have put it better myself. To me even 256 AAC could be a bit much. But I rip everything that way because it's the itunes standard. The only time I can personally notice any difference in sound is when you get down to mp3-128 kb/s or thereabouts. Then audio artifacts become audible to me. Even throwaway pop music ripped at 192-224 AAC seems fine to me.

 

Larger files also drain battery life a lot quicker too.

 

I archive everything in FLAC or ALAC, and I also do home listening on those formats too (only because I can), but I rip to 256AAC for portable.


Edited by dcfac73 - 4/6/14 at 3:24am
post #253 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View Post
 

Asked and answered on this one. No matter how much spaced may be available, it remains that large files are unwieldy and take forever to transfer to USBs, ipods etc.A better question would be: if you can't hear a difference between lossy and lossless even under test conditions, then you haven't got a hope in a casual listening situation, so why bother with lossless?

It takes more time to download/rip then compress them than it does to copy them to decent flash memory with USB3. So I respectfully assert that your assertion around file management isn't a universally valid reason. Not in the year 2014.

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View Post
 

A better question would be: if you can't hear a difference between lossy and lossless even under test conditions, then you haven't got a hope in a casual listening situation, so why bother with lossless?

Covered that as well. My limited testing makes me think I can hear differences on the things I listen to. Others might not hear it or care enough, but they might in another 5 years with better DACs, a better amp/headphone/etc.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dcfac73 View Post
 

Larger files also drain battery life a lot quicker too.


Something like a Sansa Clip+ and flash memory is so cheap it's practically disposable, anyone could buy 3 of them without really blinking. Last I checked, it had no problem handling a 4hr flight playing FLAC files, but I don't know how much battery life you need. I imagine playing them on your phone would suck, but that's more of a "our phones suck" problem.

Then again... all of this is kinda derailing the OP which was primarily asking:

"Given a fixed set of 320K sources, do better headphones make sense?"

and not:

"Given a fixed set of gear, do sources of > 320k bitrate matter?"

or

"What should I use for my format of archival?"

So I'm going to respectfully bow out of this line of discussion.

post #254 of 257

Yr right. The short answer is, yes, it's worth buying expensive headphones for 320kb mp3.

Also I listen to music on my Galaxy S3 phone (not ideal battery power), through USB OTG to a variety of outboard DAC/AMPS. I need to listen to battery life efficient audio files. It's soooo worth it though. It's audio bliss. Have you tried it that way? You may well find you'd prefer it over your Sansa. I'm not being aggro btw. Just a suggestion.

 

PS. If you find that you hear a difference with your testing then, by all means you should keep listening to lossless or HD. It's all in the individual's perception isn't it? However, if you did a proper scientific test, you'd find that there would be no significant difference. Not being argumentative, just stating a fact.


Edited by dcfac73 - 4/6/14 at 4:05am
post #255 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeyerMonster View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View Post
 

Asked and answered on this one. No matter how much spaced may be available, it remains that large files are unwieldy and take forever to transfer to USBs, ipods etc.A better question would be: if you can't hear a difference between lossy and lossless even under test conditions, then you haven't got a hope in a casual listening situation, so why bother with lossless?

It takes more time to download/rip then compress them than it does to copy them to decent flash memory with USB3. So I respectfully assert that your assertion around file management isn't a universally valid reason. Not in the year 2014.

 

Guess it depends what you're doing and how you're doing it. I mostly download MP3 files (usually 320) and store them in folders, then wait half the day while they transfer to a flash drive for use in a media player. I don't have USB3.  

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