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HE AAC v2 is amazing

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by djsubtronic, Jan 30, 2013.
  1. djsubtronic
    I enjoy good quality uncompressed music just as much as anyone would, though I don't consider myself an audiophile as such. When listening carefully, with good headphones in a quiet environment, I can easily notice differences between a >192k mp3 and FLAC for example.

    However, what amazes me is the HE AAC v2 format, specifically songs generated using the Nero encoder. When on the go, I listen to music on my phone, which according to what I have read around the internet has a decent enough audio hub (Qualcomm WCD9310). It hasn't got a huge amount of storage, so I compress songs to approximately 40k. If need be I use a little EQ tweaking where necessary.

    Now whenever I mention "40k" to people understand what that means in the digital audio world, I get looks of disgust. And before I experimented, I probably would have been disgusted at the thought of a 40k compressed song too. But seriously, apart from specific parts of audio, eg a complex piece with a lot of high frequency sounds along with mid and low, I actually find it quite difficult to differentiate between these songs and their uncompressed variants.

    Am I crazy or missing something? Before commenting, if you haven't already tried it, please do. I usually try to compress from FLAC/WAV wherever possible, and I use dbPoweramp with the following settings when converting:

    • Codec: m4a Nero AAC
    • Target: Quality (VBR)
    • Quality: .25 (estimated bitrate: 64Kbps) -- even though it says 64 the files usually end up averaging around 37k
    • Force HE v2

    If any of you guys can convert some of your uncompressed music to the above format and listen in headphones, please tell me I am not crazy and that they do actually sound amazing by any standards. I mean even the stereo separation is incredible in spite of it really being only one channel encoded, with the other just being constructed from side information and channel differences!

    I need someone to agree with me on this and tell me I'm not crazy for thinking 40k HE-AACv2 songs sound awesome!

  2. ukon16
    from wikipedia:
  3. proton007
    Where was this when we had 512mb music players? Nowadays storage is so cheap...
  4. ukon16
    Indeed! This would been awesome back in 1998!
    I remember when I bought a 30 gig creative zen mp3 player back in 2003......I'm still amazed at how much space that sucker had for the time.
  5. djsubtronic
    I've the read the stuff on Wikipedia, but wanted some opinions of people on here since everyone seems very critical of sound quality.
  6. Neo®
    Yes, I agree with you. HE-AACv2 is the best codec. Been using AAC/M4A since 2005. It was via Nero then, but it is via Winamp now. However, these days I'm using foobar2000 for encoding my audio collection to 40Kbps m4a, which uses Fraunhofer's HE-AACv2 through Winamp.

    And Poweramp is the best player/decoder on my Android for these files.

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