Poll: Audible Difference between FLAC and 320kbps MP3?
Oct 2, 2009 at 12:57 PM Post #76 of 242

Bojamijams

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I voted, but the problem with a question like this, is that its source dependant.. if you have a mid-fi source system you cannot hear a difference.. even if you have a hi-fi source.. or amp.. or headphone.. or ICs... you might not be able to hear a difference unless ALL those components are hi-fi.. if you have even one weak link in the chain, it ruins everything downstream and you might not tell a difference

But.. there is one.. trust me on that.. I've heard it.. but with only the essence stx as my source right now (and its IC amp) I cannot tell a difference.. with a REF-1 DAC and Phoenix amp with balanced HD650's.. there is a difference.
 
Oct 5, 2009 at 3:06 AM Post #77 of 242

El_Doug

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Detrex /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Would a HiFiMAN feeding via line out a Lisa III which in return is feeding a pair of JH13 Pro's or Shure SE530's lead me to hear the differences easily?


it would indeed be a very very very revealing system
smily_headphones1.gif
it will not guarantee that you can hear a difference, but it will provide you with the best chance of hearing a difference
 
Oct 5, 2009 at 8:10 AM Post #78 of 242

Shike

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For me it very much depends on what I'm listening to. There's some 128cbr samples that sound fine. Other times 320cbr isn't enough. Generally speaking if 320cbr is going to cut it, 192vbr seems to work just as well (I'm quite insulted by the fourth option's bias).
 
Oct 5, 2009 at 8:38 AM Post #79 of 242

smurfz

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So far, I'm having trouble telling which is better. Sometimes, I hear a difference, but I can't say which is better in AB tests. As someone said earlier, more I repeat the test, more tired my ears get, and harder it gets!

I've been searching through my CD collections (usually Classical,Jazz,Vocal,Rock), and buying more CDs in search for ones that I can tell the difference.

Do people actually have some examples of the songs that they preferred FLAC over 320kbps mp3 in an AB test?
 
Oct 5, 2009 at 12:29 PM Post #80 of 242

haloxt

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I think songs with long decay and lots of different sounds, but songs you can listen to for hours on repeat so you don't get fatigued. If you really want to hear a difference, I'm sure some people could recommend some headphones they think will make 320 sound like a thorn in your side.
 
Oct 8, 2009 at 8:02 PM Post #82 of 242

TheOtus

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Tested once, and failed to tell which is which... The difference really is very slight. Much is up to the system also though, was using portaPro from the hp-out of my PC´s crappy sound card. This really doesn´t stop me from buying CD´s though. xD And if we go to lower bitrates, the difference quickly starts to show. Most of the time 192 - 256 kbps is enough, but has clearly space for improvement.
 
Oct 9, 2009 at 1:32 AM Post #83 of 242
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I have tried to listen to both 320 and flac/alac, i honestly just think its a psychological thing where your mind just tells you flac is better. So pretty much, even if you cant hear the difference, i just use flac just for the "piece of mind."
 
Oct 9, 2009 at 2:44 PM Post #85 of 242

krmathis

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Sorry About Your Wallet /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I have tried to listen to both 320 and flac/alac, i honestly just think its a psychological thing where your mind just tells you flac is better.


That is where an ABX test can come handy, eliminating the part where you know what you are listening to and have corresponding expectations.
 
Oct 9, 2009 at 5:34 PM Post #86 of 242

TheOtus

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Well it´s easy to test on PC really... Two identically named files, exact same length. Then random the playlist.
 
Oct 15, 2009 at 3:08 AM Post #87 of 242

smurfz

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I've been buying more CDs, doing more tests and research, but without much luck. However, I was able to find some thoughts on this topic in various places. Of course, I can't verify whether they are true or not, since I haven't found a sample that I've persistently selected lossless over 320kbps MP3, but here they are:

- I may have more chance of hearing the difference with excellent classical recordings. That may be because orchestra music generally covers a large dynamic range. Not that I've been able to find a paper on what is the dynamic range of 320kbps MP3 what will the compression do with signals that have a information at every level.

- Re-sampling, and the quality of resampling sw/hw. So I'm making sure that my MAC outputs in the same sampling rate as the source. But of course, everything I have are 44.1 khz.

- SACD (96khz 24bit)version (direct DSD mixdown) may sound better than CD (resampled to 44.1/16). But of course, I don't have a SACD. But thanks to some of the thing's that I've read, I now have some uncertainty about this as well.

Sciences/technicalities aside, I'm still looking for someone to tell me: Here is a CD/Track/Time that you should test. Or maybe even post a 30second flac sample. Who knows may ears may not even be able to hear the difference while others can.
 
Oct 15, 2009 at 1:25 PM Post #88 of 242

astroid

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I would bet my house that no one here could differentiate between 320 mp3 and flac on a random selection of tracks.
Its easy to say "i can hear a difference" , its only when you attempt to prove it that suddenly it sounds the same.
 
Oct 15, 2009 at 2:08 PM Post #89 of 242

TheOtus

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Most likely so... Making difference takes a lot of listening and is harder on some tracks of course.
 
Oct 15, 2009 at 10:53 PM Post #90 of 242

mgrewe

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Quote:

Originally Posted by TheOtus /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Well it´s easy to test on PC really... Two identically named files, exact same length. Then random the playlist.


You can even do 3 files. One FLAC, one 320, and one 128. When I ran this test, I used AIFF, 256 VBR, and 128 on a mid-fi set up and on a well recorded track I instantly could tell 128. 256 VBR was a little bit tougher, but could distinguish between the two 96% of the time. Knowing what to look for makes a big difference.
 

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