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Lossless vs 128kbps mp3 vs 320kbps mp3 blind test

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by chewy4, Jan 15, 2013.
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  1. castleofargh Contributor
    there is nothing wrong with trying to succeed with the proper files, the proper headphone, and taking all the time needed to train and get used to whatever it is that can be heard. maybe that will end up working great, maybe not. as an experiment I see no problem with this.
    now as a representation of reality, of course it's total nonsense. what matters to me as an individual is to know if while I'm on a train or walking on the street with my IEMs that rolls off after 12khz, I would ever notice that the music is "wrong" because it's 320kbps mp3? and I believe I've answered that question for myself years ago.[​IMG]
     
    when at home on the computer, with a relatively silent room and speakers giving me more trebles than I can hear, I fail my ABX tests. so while walking on the street it would be real misplaced pride to pretend like 320mp3 ruined my sound.
    now at home again(just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in), I tend to listen to flac, because storage is not an issue so why not? but TBH I often don't pay attention and end up playing mp3 too. never killed me.
     
    IMO increasing sound quality comes from kicking the butt of whoever ordered the sound engineers to mess up records for the sake of being loud. or from finding the signature that is neutral to us, or getting rid of channel imbalance and audible hiss. not so much from worrying about what happens 60 or 70db below the loudest sound of a song. or that one instrument I don't have in 99.9% of my music that's apparently messed up in mp3 at a frequency I can't hear anymore.
     
    mp3 and AAC are practical codecs, and for all intended (space saving) uses, they do a fine job IMO.
     
    krismusic likes this.
  2. cjl

    This is why an ABX test is better than a "which is better" style blind test. If you are given two reference samples, A and B, and then you have to match your unknown sample to one of them, you don't have to know whether A or B is the better one, and therefore you don't need to have any particular familiarity with the piece. Just listen to A and B until you're confident you know what to listen for to tell the two apart, then listen to X vs both of them and see which it matches.
     
  3. sonitus mirus
    When I ABX now, I make a 96kbps mp3 to compare with a lossless version first.  I find where a specific artifact can be identified, and then I try and listen for that same artifact at the resolution that I typically use.  I just waste my time scouring a track for any differences, otherwise.
     
     I'm assuming that any problems would be amplified at a lower bit rate, but my understanding of the encoding process is vague at best.  I say this as I was able to increase the bit rate in steps and the anomaly I was hearing at 96kbps could still be identified in an ABX test up to 160kbps, at 192kbps it was not statistically valid, but the results suggested I probably was not guessing, and at 320kbps I could not hear any differences in that particular section of the song.
     
    When trying to ABX 2 very good files, I just want to focus on a few seconds of a track that I know have problems at a lower bit rate.  
     
    Sleeper Smith likes this.
  4. Satsugai
    My take on group 1:
     
    1_A: 320 kpbs. Sounded very good, but not quite as good as 1_B. Sounded slightly more "flat" when compared with 1_B, to my ears.
    1_B: Lossless. The instrument seperation seemed much cleared to me on this file. Strum quality was quite clear and natural sounding.
    1_C: 128 kbps. Sounded more flat, with degradation of the highs when there were multiple instruments playing at the same time (most noticeable at 0:16-0:20)
     
  5. watchnerd
    Which MP3 codec was used and which options were selected when making the two files?
     
  6. sonitus mirus
     
    Here are the details:
     
    Quote:
     
    dBPoweramp was the application, but I didn't see which version was used.
     
  7. watchnerd
     
    Did you use any of the LAME presets (e.g. V0, V2, etc) or did you just set it all by hand?
     
  8. starcraft2

    I can't tell the difference in ABX tests between 320mp3 and lossless files. Should I feel bad?
     
  9. hotteen
    This is difficult!
     
  10. ExtremeGamerBR
     
    Nop. This is almost impossible in many many cases.
     
  11. musical-kage
    Depends on the ripped source though.

    For example I've used Spotify on max (320kbps ogg) for years.

    On a trial right now of Tidal lossless, and there appears to be a massive difference
     
  12. starcraft2

    How do you tell the diffence? Soundstage?
     
  13. sonitus mirus
     
    It's simple.   One is $9.99 and the other is $19.99.  
     
  14. Brooko Contributor
     
    Probably different masters being used.
     
  15. NaiveSound
    How does one get free or heavily discounted tidal
     
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