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AAC Encoding 320kbps vs 512kbps

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by nec3, May 19, 2013.
  1. Nec3
    The Sony Walkman I'm currently using only supports AAC as the best compressed format I've known.
    Before I became a low end audiophile I've been purchasing songs through bandcamp at AAC. All of them produced around 290~335 kbps for download.
    I wasn't aware what FLAC was so I didn't choose that as an option. Now I always buy the discography albums for my music, and Foobar2000 has an encoding option to convert my songs to AAC 500kbps.

    Is there a big notable difference between 320kbps and 500kbps with Nero's AAC format?
    I'm using a home/semi-portable combo rig of an A900X, FiiO E07K and Sony Walkman E474
  2. Kiont
    Not really
    320kbps is fine, if you want to go higher than that may as well go FLAC/ALAC, depending on how much space you have available.
  3. Brooko Contributor
    As you are already using Foobar - why not test yourself - then you'll know what your limits are  (rather than relying on everyone else).  Try this link http://www.head-fi.org/t/655879/setting-up-an-abx-test-simple-guide-to-ripping-tagging-transcoding - it describes how to set up a proper abx.  Try your aac at different bit rates.  I'd recommend abxing each bitrate against lossless - and see if you can tell any difference.
    Personally - I archive (rip CDs or digitally purchase) all my music in FLAC - just so I have a lossless copy.  I then re-encode at aac ~ 200kbps (Nero aac) - and I can't tell a difference between that and lossless anyway.
    I think 'most' people will not be able to tell the difference between well encoded aac256 and lossless.  It's an interesting exercise anyway - and quite eye opening.
    Have fun. 
  4. DefQon
    It will be a tough one but I'm leaning towards a no. But as suggested if space is not a problem and you want something more "hi res" than your typical compressed mp3 format, why not just shoot for FLAC or ALAC. If you need to downgrade the format to something compatible for a handheld device or so, you can then just re-convert the flac, alac or even wav's to any compressed format of your choice. 
    Funny thing is I never knew AAC had support up to 500kbps, there is very subtle differences between 320 and FLAC itself so most likely wouldn't be any differences at all between AAC and MP3.
  5. laon
    From something like E07K/Sony DAP and A900X? Most probably no. But unfortunately I don't have your ears and gears to test myself. :frowning2:

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