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192 kbs and 320 kbs, is there really a difference?

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by clincher09, Sep 3, 2008.
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  1. Clincher09
    I've always ripped my files in 192 kbs audio format, but some people will only accept 320 kbs. Is there really an audible difference? If I ripped all my music in 320 would there be a noticble difference in sound or will I just be using up more space? What about 192 kbs and windows lossless?

    Also, is there a sound difference between mp3 and wma?
     
  2. ezzieyguywuf
    best way for you to get an answer is to rip some songs that you are familiar with in all the diff formats and bit rates that you're concerned about. Then, listen to them from a decent source with some good headphones, and see for yourself :-D
     
  3. jonathanjong
    x2 on trying for yourself.
     
  4. TheMarchingMule Contributor
    ...You're kidding.

    ABX via foobar2000; it's pretty much the only fair and legit way you can find out for yourself.
     
  5. immtbiker Moderator
    Try it for yourself.

    If you don't hear the difference, then besides saving hard drive space, you will save a lot of money on audio equipment.
     
  6. ezzieyguywuf
    i don't know what abx is, but if you're gonna be listening off of a portable player, wouldn't it make more sense to test off of that?
     
  7. MoonShine
    I cannot hear a difference (I thought I could for a long time, but no... it was placebo).
     
  8. LnxPrgr3
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Clincher09 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    I've always ripped my files in 192 kbs audio format, but some people will only accept 320 kbs. Is there really an audible difference?



    I would say:
    • MP3 and WMA are very different, especially at lower bitrates, and
    • 192kbps is not "transparent" to me for MP3
    By LAME -V0 (VBR, averages around 256kbps), I can still hear a difference on some music, but it's subtle enough that I don't mind for portable use. I actually thought it was transparent until I did an ABX test... how's that for backwards?

    You definitely should test for yourself though -- no sense in wasting space on quality you can't hear on your setup!
     
  9. Logistics
    An unfortunate part of this is that Windows XP (if you're using it) handles audio poorly. This is a well known problem. Comparing tracks over XP and then switching to your portable could yield different results. Make sure you are using Kernel Streaming or ASIO when you do an A/B comparison in XP.
     
  10. tongson
    Like what others said compare them yourself. Personally I can hear the difference between 320 and 192 MP3.

    For what its worth I can not tell the difference between FLAC lossless and 320Kbps MP3 lossy ripped CDs.
     
  11. BigTony
    Remember tha MP3 doesn't just chop the music up, it also 'shapes' it - i.e. to make it more listenable and sound nice (i.e. it adds some eq.). Modern music has been mastered to take this into account (ITunes is a major port of call for people wanting new music) so you'll find that modern CD's will should quite 'nice' when compressed. The bigger differences will be found listening to 'older music', i.e. before the Loudness Wars - here the MP3 artifacts are much more apparent.
    But with the price of HDD's 1GB = 25 cents, why do people still consider louesy MP3? I Bought a 1TB HDD for 145, it holds 1,500 CD's as FLAC, and there is still from for a few hundred more.

    BT
     
  12. alexpea
    Bit-rates are the number of "sound-measures" of sinus-waves done by the digital sampler along a certain time-frame. There is no unlimited number, so ALL digital sound has square edges - meaning not EVERYTHING is sampled. Now, as far as audible differences are concerned - it all depends on how good the track is recorded. If a producer used lousy microphones, lousy soundcard and hardware (for example) and in general did a bad recording. Maybe used some already compressed audio-clips in his production. Then different bit-rates would not be audible. But if you listen to a GOOD recording, and try to convert it into different formats, the audible differences can be noticed. All depending on your ears and your gear. The higher the bit-rate, the less musical information is lost.
     
  13. Nocturnal310
    Sadly, i can easily tell/feel the difference & i can also feel the difference between 320 kbps & FLAC.

    but i dont mind 192 kbps.

    and if its 128 kbps..thats when i turn ON X-fi

    Hint: the main difference in 192 & 320 kbps is in the Psycho-acoustic modelling... i read on the MP3 encoding & the guy behind the project explained how the perceivable soundstage also changes.
     
  14. poo
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Nocturnal310 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    Hint: the main difference in 192 & 320 kbps is in the Psycho-acoustic modelling...



    The main difference to me is significant distortion and sound quality that does no justice to the original music... no hint required.
     
  15. QQQ
    There's a difference.
     
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