short impressions, Atrac3plus vs Mp3 lame.
Mar 31, 2006 at 3:29 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 4


Headphoneus Supremus
May 1, 2005
hello all,

i have recently gone from using a ipod 60gb photo (lineout to cmoy) to a nw-hd5, and took the oppertunity to compare the mp3's i have been using to sonys atrac format.

the comparisons where done on the hd5 with shure e4c's and no amp.

i ripped a few cd's in atrac3plus 96kbps, atrac3plus 132kbps, Mp3 192kbps and 224kbps.

i will keep my impressions short.

Atrac3plus 96 kbps, sibilant, compression artifacts very noticable, treble extention cut right off. sounds like a bright mp3 at 128kbps

Mp3 192, sibilance gone, treble extention back, sounds a bit muddy and squashed, not horrible though, i can easily ignore the compression artifacts.

Mp3 224, cant easily tell the difference between this and the cd, any differences seem to be in seperation of detail.

Atrac3plus 132 kbps, now here is the surise for me, while i expected this to be similar to 128kbps Mp3, it actually sounds dead in between Mp3 192 and 224! for portable use this is definately the ticket. im well impressed!

anyone else have similar findings with atrac?
Mar 31, 2006 at 9:21 PM Post #3 of 4


Headphoneus Supremus
Oct 3, 2002
I don't believe the HD5 plays back ATRAC3+ 132K (nor 128K). It will play back 192K. Check what your default codec/bitrate for player conversion is, it is likely that you are hearing the ATRAC3+ file in the library transcoded to that setting.

I would also suggest hearing the MP3 and ATRAC files on both PC and portable. You may notice an interesting discrepancy.

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