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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. euphoracle
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AtomikPi /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    I have ABX'ed in Foobar all the way from 128 CBR to 320 CBR vs. flac. Honestly, although I could successfully ABX them all (3/3 each - cymbal crashes in "For Whom the Bell Tolls" made this relatively simple) I honestly think even 128 CBR, except for a few minor digital artifacts sounds 95% as good as FLAC. The successively higher bit rates (128, V2, V0) each sounded slightly closer to flac but each sounded extremely similar to each other. I'm still planning on ripping to V0 to be safe, but I wouldn't say you're missing too much with even 128.



    It also kind of depends on how the encoder is encoding it. I've heard 128 mp3s that sound terrible and others that, as you mentioned, are indistinguishable save some digital artefacts unique to the mp3 compression scheme. I've also heard 128 files that sound better than 192 files. Likewise, I've heard some tapes that sound better than their CD counterparts. There isn't a bold print line determining which format has the highest quality or which medium, for that matter. Truth be told, humans imagine sound. I've done it. We all do it. It isn't fair to compare bitrates when you will obviously be biased by larger numbers.
     
  2. PhilS Contributor
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by euphoracle /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    I've also heard 128 files that sound better than 192 files. Likewise, I've heard some tapes that sound better than their CD counterparts. There isn't a bold print line determining which format has the highest quality or which medium, for that matter. Truth be told, humans imagine sound. I've done it. We all do it. It isn't fair to compare bitrates when you will obviously be biased by larger numbers.



    [​IMG] I can't follow this at all. There are exceptions to every rule, of course. I suppose one can find a Honda Civic that drives better than a particular Ferrari, but aren't we talking generally about differences in SQ, everything else being equal? [​IMG]
     
  3. euphoracle
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by PhilS /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    [​IMG] I can't follow this at all. There are exceptions to every rule, of course. I suppose one can find a Honda Civic that drives better than a particular Ferrari, but aren't we talking generally about differences in SQ, everything else being equal? [​IMG]



    No one said that... Are we dealing in a purely theoretical respect? If so, the guy with the hashes is correct, lol.
     
  4. PhilS Contributor
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by euphoracle /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    No one said that... Are we dealing in a purely theoretical respect? If so, the guy with the hashes is correct, lol.



    Thanks, that cleared everything up. [​IMG]
     
  5. Gothamm
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by euphoracle /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    It also kind of depends on how the encoder is encoding it. I've heard 128 mp3s that sound terrible and others that, as you mentioned, are indistinguishable save some digital artefacts unique to the mp3 compression scheme. I've also heard 128 files that sound better than 192 files. Likewise, I've heard some tapes that sound better than their CD counterparts. There isn't a bold print line determining which format has the highest quality or which medium, for that matter. Truth be told, humans imagine sound. I've done it. We all do it. It isn't fair to compare bitrates when you will obviously be biased by larger numbers.



    you really need to qualify this claim...
     
  6. vapman
    i just read an article, i need to find the link again. if i find it i will post it, but the premise was 320kbps MP3 can sound more pleasant than CD audio! the reasons it gave were quite good. look at a spectrum analysis of 44.1khz and 96khz audio now, humans can't hear up that high, but when the frequencies are cut out at 44.1khz you end up with very high broken frequencies. with 96khz lossless (or hi-fi analogue formats) every reproducible frequency is intact. the reason why 320kbps MP3 can sound "better" is because it gets rid of the CD Audio's broken frequencies altogether. of course 96khz lossless sounds better, but SACD never really caught on, which upsets me.

    so i will keep playing 320kbps mp3 which i download happily through my AKGs [​IMG]
     
  7. mbd2884
    It's your ears, you decide.
     
  8. dharma
  9. Quaddy Contributor
    why don't we just ask the oracle, and get the definitive answer once and for all?

    i might ask him what came immediately before the big bang while i am at it!
     
  10. b0dhi
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Quaddy /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    why don't we just ask the oracle, and get the definitive answer once and for all?

    i might ask him what came immediately before the big bang while i am at it!




    Shhhhh... [​IMG] he's in the walls...
     
  11. h.rav
    Ever since I use Lossless, I never play lossy again, there is a difference and it can be heard.
     
  12. haloxt
    I think the noticeable difference between 192 and 320 depends mainly on the kind of headphones you use, many of the people who say there's a huge difference are probably using very transparent headphones and setup.

    Since computers have so much space nowadays, it's not too big a problem to always use lossless and maybe 320kbps. Then when transferring to mp3 players it might be best to just use 128 and cbr (easier than vbr on battery), for increased capacity and battery life. And chances are the headphones and mp3 player won't be resolving enough to really cause compression flaws to detract too much from the sound quality.

    As for kids liking compressed audio better than uncompressed that is not very surprising, high fidelity does not equate listening pleasure (for heathens like kids anyhow). As psychoacoustics improves there will be better DSP effects to make music more palatable on crap gear, and gear that makes crap music more palatable.
     
  13. mbd2884
    I believe many people are forcing themselves to believe they are hearing a difference. What I've learned from Head-Fi is the mind has more control in what Head-Fiers believe they hear, than their actual ears. Kinda sad I think.

    I have Clapton's 461 Boulevard CD and I can't hear a difference between this and V0 Lame 245 VBR. None at all, I accept the limitations of my ears and instead of acting elitist, just enjoy the music
     
  14. haloxt
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mbd2884 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    I have Clapton's 461 Boulevard CD and I can't hear a difference between this and V0 Lame 245 VBR. None at all, I accept the limitations of my ears and instead of acting elitist, just enjoy the music



    How proud you must be for being humble. Actually I don't think we're being elitist, if someone wants to know if we think there's a difference between 192 and 320 we're automatically called elitist for giving the opinion that there is a difference? If you got nothing better to contribute than insult head-fi members then don't say anything at all, and "Just enjoy the music" has no bearing on this topic FYI. Kinda sad I think.
     
  15. milkweg
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mbd2884 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    I have Clapton's 461 Boulevard CD and I can't hear a difference between this and V0 Lame 245 VBR. None at all, I accept the limitations of my ears and instead of acting elitist, just enjoy the music



    Hear, hear! Some people need to start listening to the music instead of the equipment.
     
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