Do lossless files sound better on portable players?
Sep 3, 2010 at 3:36 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 18

K-MONEY

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So I have a ZUNE HD and I basically rip all of my CDs in WMA (Lossless) and listen to it in that format and sync it to my Zune. I figured why rip in .FLAC if I can't sync it? The Zune supports WMA (Lossless), so I figured it's best if I rip in that quality to save space. I don't know if I can tell a difference between lossless and MP3 @ 320kbps being played on a portable player.
 
Any word from you guys? Syncing in lossless does take a lot more space...so most of the time I would have to conserve to make sure I get most of the songs I listen to on my Zune. Do song synced in lossless format really shine over MP3 on portables?
 
Sep 3, 2010 at 3:57 PM Post #2 of 18

falis

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I think it depends on the sensitivity of your ears.  Some do hear a difference; some don't.  But regardless, it's worth keeping "archive" versions of everything in a lossless format.  You can then experiment with converting to lossy formats to see whether the difference matters to your ears.
 
- Ed
 
Sep 3, 2010 at 4:05 PM Post #3 of 18

Satellite_6

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There might be a small difference but It certainly isn't worth the huge difference in memory. High bit rate lossy is the way to go on DAPs IMO.
 
Sep 3, 2010 at 4:50 PM Post #4 of 18
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Quote:
There might be a small difference but It certainly isn't worth the huge difference in memory. High bit rate lossy is the way to go on DAPs IMO.


+1
 
Sep 3, 2010 at 6:45 PM Post #5 of 18

Somnambulist

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+2
 
Unless you're one of these people that has some high end DAP rig just so they can sit and listen to music critically anywhere in the house then I don't see the point. If it gets taken out and about, even with good isolation you're still compromised by a lot of background noise (rumble of traffic, incessant chatter, low frequency sounds that pass through you e.t.c) so it's not worth the penalty in memory or battery life. You said you're not sure if you can even hear a difference, so why worry? You've got it all in lossless at home, just go for a decent quality lossy file on the Zune and enjoy the music.
 
Sep 3, 2010 at 7:07 PM Post #6 of 18

REDH0RN

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I recently found that my 192kbps AAC's on iPod pale in comparison to recently ripped CD's in Apple Lossless. Right now I'm listening through a PA2V2 / Porta-Pro combo. I assume the difference between lossless and a rate of 256 or above would be noticeably harder to detect. I am still trying to settle on a format / rate that yields great fidelity and compromises disc space use.
 
Sep 3, 2010 at 7:14 PM Post #7 of 18

Uncle Erik

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Yes, I find lossless to sound better. I had been in a dilemma because my iPod is full of lossy rips, but I'm planning to build a music server for the main rig - I've been mostly using a CDP and a turntable.

Anyhow, I've decided to re-rip everything into lossless as well as the albums I've been procrastinating over. I'll get a bigger player (my old iPod is 30GB) and just have fewer albums on it. Should work OK and then I won't have to maintain a second library of lossy files. Another benefit is that I'll be able to store the CDs and just leave the SACDs on my rack which is now overflowing.
 
Sep 3, 2010 at 7:22 PM Post #8 of 18

Satellite_6

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I bet there wouldn't be any difference whatsoever on an ipod. . . I agree there is a difference on good equipment tho, thank goodness I have all the music I care about in FLAC for my home setup.
 
REDHORN, try v0 mp3s encoded by LAME and use mp3gain, it should sound great.
 
 
Sep 3, 2010 at 7:32 PM Post #9 of 18

zenpunk

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It will depend a lot on the iem used as well. I was surprised to discover that on SOME tracks I could hear differences between 320kps and lossless ( that on PC+ desktop amp +separate dac). On My Cowon S9 +Westone 3 I haven't been able to detect differences on those same tracks so I believe 320kps is a very good compromise for portable. But if you have plenty of storage lossless is probably the way to go.
 
Sep 3, 2010 at 7:56 PM Post #10 of 18

K-MONEY

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I find lossless on portables to sound a light brighter, louder, and more detailed to be honest. I must be very used to the way they sound now because I have been listening to mostly lossless songs and albums on my Zune for quite a while now.
Quote:
Yes, I find lossless to sound better. I had been in a dilemma because my iPod is full of lossy rips, but I'm planning to build a music server for the main rig - I've been mostly using a CDP and a turntable.

Anyhow, I've decided to re-rip everything into lossless as well as the albums I've been procrastinating over. I'll get a bigger player (my old iPod is 30GB) and just have fewer albums on it. Should work OK and then I won't have to maintain a second library of lossy files. Another benefit is that I'll be able to store the CDs and just leave the SACDs on my rack which is now overflowing.



 
Sep 3, 2010 at 9:19 PM Post #11 of 18

Satellite_6

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Brighter and louder? It's probably just the placebo effect. Maybe on an excellent sounding DAP like a Cowon and some great IEMs it might be worth it, I really doubt there is any significant difference at all on a Zune.
 
 
Sep 3, 2010 at 11:17 PM Post #13 of 18

TheGame21x

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MP3 VBR V0 is the best size to SQ compromise you can get on a portable player and I highly doubt the difference in sound quality between it and lossless is going to be worth the size trade off, if you're even able to discern a difference between the two anyway.
 
Sep 3, 2010 at 11:37 PM Post #14 of 18

rawrster

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That really depends on your gear, your ears and your listening environment. For myself I use v0 mostly with some 320kbps. I do have some FLAC since I'm too lazy to encode into mp3. My listening environment is a subway for the most part as well as a good amount sleeping on the subway so there's no way I can tell between v0 and FLAC when I'm sleeping. v0 is great to my ears however when I'm awake. For some that's not enough so YMMV.
 
Sep 4, 2010 at 1:51 AM Post #15 of 18

ROCKOQATSI

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Quote: rawrster
That really depends on your gear, your ears and your listening environment.

 
+1. As I also tend to use my DAP on public transportation, I've little need for portable lossless, and after doing my own listening tests in a quiet environment (bedroom), I've taken all the ALACs off my Macbook Pro and left them and my FLACs on the HTPC strictly for home use. 256 and 320kbps VBR AAC gives me peace of mind on the road, and on the subway with IE8's out an iPhone 4, I'm sure I could go as low as 192 and not care.
 
Home listening with full-size headphones is a different story: I'm in the middle of a move, and was rooting through long-lost and forgotten possessions when I happened upon my very first Discman, a D-E301 from 1997. It's not even the greatest Discman, but plugging my Senn HD600's into its line-out was a revelation. It turns out that DAP hopping had given me amnesia, because that 13 year old decrepit CD player's line-out made me melt right where I sat. I listened to the whole Wired album featuring Jeff Beck and Narada Walden, and didn't even think of lifting the player off my desk lest it start skipping in intractable fits (remember when 10 second skip protection was SOTA?) Compared even to my 5.5G iPod video, the Discman put Beck and Walden in the room with me. As the memories were flooding back, I realised that whether it was an on or off day for its meager skip protection, that player made every CD I loaded into it sound magical and new--even Weird Al Yankovic, with $50 Aiwa cans I wore 'round my neck in middle school.
 
I may sound crazy, but that was without a doubt, the best I'd heard the HD600's sound out of a portable anything, and the player cost just south of $120 back in the day. Every DAP, and CD player I purchased afterwards, sounded increasingly (and unfailingly) more tiny, dull and lifeless. What's so impossible about making an HDD or flash DAP that sounds as good or better than that?!
 
Sorry to get off topic, but that had to come out. Now goodnight. -_-
 

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