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I've been using Spotify after Beats Music disbanded Mog.  I've been satisfied... until I upgraded to a balanced CypherLabs Algorythm Solo -db / Duet combination with the Shure SE846.  I like the setup, but I definitely hear minor distortion on low frequencies in my left ear with Spotify High Quality sound.

 

I don't consider myself to have flawless hearing.  While I've been on this site, I've often wondered if the people talking about special cables, $10,000 amps, and lossless are cursed with better hearing than me (trust me - it is a curse).  However, I don't need a double blind to see the subtle improvements between $700 headphones and summit-fi.  With my favorite music, I can easily distinguish between 192 and 256 AAC.  I can't hear the difference between 256 and FLAC or anything beyond 16bit 44100.

 

I assumed that High Quality Spotify (which I think is 320 Ogg Vorbis) would be perfect for me.  Regardless of whether I stream from my Mac, PC, iPhone, or any other device, my mind starts to drift towards distortion on the low frequencies in my left ear.   This distortion doesn't occur with my FLAC files or iTunes AAC content with the same songs.  Without the balanced setup, the music doesn't sound sharp enough to clearly notice the distortion.

 

Anyone else seeing the same sort of strangeness with high-res streaming and summit-fi setups?  


Edited by utdeep - 3/23/14 at 1:11pm