Noticeable sonic differences between WAV, AIFF, and ALAC -- why?
Nov 10, 2007 at 9:49 PM Post #166 of 168

Originally Posted by IPodPJ /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I want to know why this is. Lossless formats are supposed to be lossless, so what artifacts are being introduced or what is being left out, if anything? Why would the 32-bit WAV file sound sonically superior than the rest when USB is only transferring 16-bit data to the DAC? Is something happening when the computer is reading the audio and interpreting it?

whilst i dont have the answers, i too experience this and know of others who roughly agree.

see this thread and subsequent posts for some similar recent chit chat.


p.s. you are not alone!
Apr 16, 2016 at 4:14 PM Post #167 of 168
After a discussion with Brooko, he suggested that I do a blind test between AIFF and other formats using the same master without additional DSP to prove that there's no differences within lossless codecs.

In fact the blind test confirmed my first argument, there're noticeable differences between these formats. Not significant in a way to say night and day, but the tracks doesn't sound the same from a codec to another. I don't have golden ears but they perceive every single variance with the SE846 plugged into my X3II.

Using the same track " In the Flesh" by Pink Floyd (The Wall, track no1) ripped in 4 different formats through dbpoweramp from original CD of 2011 Discovery remasters

a. AIFF - sounds more open/airy, nothing is congested as every single instrument can be heard clearer, my rating would be 10/10
b. WAV - very similar to AIFF but seems warmer and less analitycal, my rating 9.5/10
c. FLAC - sounds quieter, I had to push the volume from 60/120 to 63/120 to get the same level from the first 2 formats, same clarity but with less air between instruments, my rating 8.5/10
d. ALAC - same SQ as Flac but a little on the warmer side, less airy than Flac, my rating 8/10

They are all very closed, but there are definitely some differences. My ears can hear them (maybe a placebo effect, I'm not sure), but doesn't seems to be the case for everyone so take it with a pinch of salt.

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