Discerning the difference between bitrates...
May 8, 2009 at 7:47 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 23

t1337Dude

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Am I the only one who finds it difficult to tell the difference between bitrates once you reach 256kbps and upward? 128kbps has a rough quality to it, and a light sizzle in the background - but if I'm listening to death metal or something I honestly don't notice, it still sounds great to me. Could someone perhaps give me a sample or something that plays back sounds at certain bitrates so I know what to look for?

I use a Grado SR-225i (30 hours of burn in) with an X-fi Forte 7.1 soundcard.
 
May 8, 2009 at 9:25 AM Post #3 of 23

technetium

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Well it does depend on the music and the setup. But in general I wound say from a move from mp3 320 til flac, that mp3 sounds boring, I think that is as an definitive answer as you can get :)
 
May 8, 2009 at 9:43 AM Post #4 of 23

t1337Dude

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I wish this was perhaps more testable, because I feel there's definitely a placebo effect in here somewhere.
 
May 8, 2009 at 9:47 AM Post #5 of 23

BigTony

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My thoughts on this subject never waver! Why use anything else but lossless?
Ok, if you've got an Ipod etc you might want to save space, and when mobile its hardly the best listening anyways, but I bought a new HDD, 1TB and it holds 1,400 albums as lossless, and it cost £70, so why rip to anything else. If you use portabes, just use winamp5 to transcode your flacs to whatever bitrate you fancy on your Ipod/mp3 player - that way you never have to use ichoons either.
Rip your cds once - rip to flac!
 
May 8, 2009 at 10:02 AM Post #6 of 23

t1337Dude

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Quote:

Originally Posted by BigTony /img/forum/go_quote.gif
My thoughts on this subject never waver! Why use anything else but lossless?
Ok, if you've got an Ipod etc you might want to save space, and when mobile its hardly the best listening anyways, but I bought a new HDD, 1TB and it holds 1,400 albums as lossless, and it cost £70, so why rip to anything else. If you use portabes, just use winamp5 to transcode your flacs to whatever bitrate you fancy on your Ipod/mp3 player - that way you never have to use ichoons either.
Rip your cds once - rip to flac!




Space. I don't have money to purchase all these CDs and a 1TB Harddrive just for a difference in quality that I, personally, can't notice unless I stress myself to hear it. I'd rather spend that money on a new guitar or something to play my music as opposed to listen to it. Perhaps I don't know what to listen for to tell the difference between these rates - but if it's a big deal to some, do I really want to know?
 
May 8, 2009 at 10:16 AM Post #7 of 23

rawrster

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maybe you can try ripping some song you know well in different bitrates and see if you notice anything different?
 
May 8, 2009 at 10:26 AM Post #8 of 23

aCuria

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Quote:

Originally Posted by t1337Dude /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Space. I don't have money to purchase all these CDs and a 1TB Harddrive just for a difference in quality that I, personally, can't notice unless I stress myself to hear it. I'd rather spend that money on a new guitar or something to play my music as opposed to listen to it. Perhaps I don't know what to listen for to tell the difference between these rates - but if it's a big deal to some, do I really want to know?


1TB Drives are getting cheaper by the month.

Its not like lossless is that much bigger anyways. a FLAC file is ~20-30 MB? a 320kbps mp3 is ~10MB?

If you are going to spend so much on good headphones, why settle for less than lossless?
 
May 8, 2009 at 10:57 AM Post #9 of 23

Suntory_Times

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^ that's twice the size. I don't even bother riping, I just use the cd.
smily_headphones1.gif
It means I don't have to directly deal with this subject and I like having the album cover etc... right in front of me.

That bieng said I think there is an easily audible difference between 256kbps and flac, that bieng said, 320kbps has a much smaller gap (but it is still there, and when I do rip my music I want it to sound as good as it can to me). Isn't that the point of high-end headphones/audio equipement?
 
May 8, 2009 at 1:54 PM Post #10 of 23

cswann1

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Suntory_Times /img/forum/go_quote.gif
^ that's twice the size. I don't even bother riping, I just use the cd.
smily_headphones1.gif
It means I don't have to directly deal with this subject and I like having the album cover etc... right in front of me.

That bieng said I think there is an easily audible difference between 256kbps and flac, that bieng said, 320kbps has a much smaller gap (but it is still there, and when I do rip my music I want it to sound as good as it can to me). Isn't that the point of high-end headphones/audio equipement?



Amen brutha!!
 
May 8, 2009 at 2:00 PM Post #11 of 23

fjrabon

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When they tested LAME, it was viewed as fully transparent after 192 kbps. And the people who tested LAME had great equipment. I've never seen anybody who can pick out the difference between lossless and anything over 256kbps VBR more than 60% of the time in blind tests. This guy I work with in the studio can actually hear the difference between alkaline and lion batteries in sound equipment, with 90% accuracy, and he'll freely admit that he can't tell the difference between anything over 320 kbps on even the most difficult prog metal or classical passages.
 
May 8, 2009 at 3:52 PM Post #12 of 23

theBigD

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Before I started playing with DACs it was certainly much harder to tell the difference between mp3 and flac. When I was using the x-fi for source could barely tell the difference between 160kps and cd. The x-fi adds so much sizzle to the midrange cd didnt really sound that much better. Now with a clean clear dac that reveals the dynamics and richness of cd quality music there is no comparison. With lossless music there is a richness and wetness to the drums and bass that isnt there with mp3. Also their is a crispness and airiness that is missing from compressed music. But this is masked when using a poor DAC like a soundcard.
 
Dec 3, 2009 at 8:21 PM Post #13 of 23

idczar

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Quote:

Originally Posted by theBigD /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Before I started playing with DACs it was certainly much harder to tell the difference between mp3 and flac. When I was using the x-fi for source could barely tell the difference between 160kps and cd. The x-fi adds so much sizzle to the midrange cd didnt really sound that much better. Now with a clean clear dac that reveals the dynamics and richness of cd quality music there is no comparison. With lossless music there is a richness and wetness to the drums and bass that isnt there with mp3. Also their is a crispness and airiness that is missing from compressed music. But this is masked when using a poor DAC like a soundcard.


Right on, you need a clean cut DAC from your computer before feeding into an amp, you can easily and definitely tell the difference between compressed & FLAC or ALAC. and this is coming from someone who was big advocate of VBR V0 rip using LAME on all my itunes songs.
L3000.gif
 
Dec 3, 2009 at 8:47 PM Post #14 of 23

nullstring

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Someone else had this thought in a similar thread.
I think it was the guy with a hippie duck as an avatar. >_>

Why worry about whether I can hear the difference?

It's much much easier to store Lossless audio files than finding out later that I -can- hear the difference and then being required to upgrade my -entire- library.
1.5TB for $76 on BF... I'm just not gonna worry about it, and just use lossless.



I'll admit, right now it's hard or impossible to tell the difference after 256k... but my audio equipment is subpar... for now..
 
Dec 3, 2009 at 11:00 PM Post #15 of 23

jcx

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codec testers have known “difficult” test tracks, use rapid comparison and nowadays resort to artificially “amplifying” the codec’s differences

direct codec testing at this (>256Kb) high bps has pretty much been abandoned at HyrogenAudio as too insensitive - too few can reliably tell the difference

Quote:

Originally Posted by jcx /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Artifact Training Page

and lots more on codec and listening tests - with DBT Required! are found at

Hydrogenaudio Knowledgebase:Main Page - Hydrogenaudio Knowledgebase



 

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