should I be able to tell the difference between different bitrates with PX100s?
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jeri534

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I have a pair of PX100s but for some reason I cannot distinguish the difference between 128kbps AAC and something like 192kbps AAC, and I can only hear slight differences with the actual CD, if I got better phones like Shure E2c would I be able to tell the difference?
 
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Thrasher

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I've never tried the AAC format nor any of those phones, but considering 128 kbps is not that much, I would say maybe yes. But from what I know AAC is a high quality format, so I wouldn't be disappointed if you don't hear any difference.
 
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Iron_Dreamer

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If your source is decent you should be able to tell the difference, I know I can on my Archos with my friend's PX100. If your souce is bad, then maybe not.
 
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jeri534

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Quote:

Originally posted by Iron_Dreamer
If your source is decent you should be able to tell the difference, I know I can on my Archos with my friend's PX100. If your souce is bad, then maybe not.


ipod mini
 
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I think you should be able to hear it. Focus on the cymbals or violins.
 
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lindrone

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1. You need music with enough production quality and details...

2. You need good enough playback equipment (I don't know if PX100 really quality, I didn't like the PX200 all that much, didn't try the PX100). The iPod Mini should certain be enough given the right headphone to match up with it.

3. Your ears... doesn't have to be hyper sensitive or "golden ear" as they say, I never considered myself a "golden ear", but now I'm more aware of the differences.

4. Your brain.. even though you might be able to "hear" it, you might not understand how to interprete detail yet. I think this is true with most people who at first say, "There's no difference" then later detects a huge difference. Your hearing, like your eyesight, doesn't improve over time, they'll only age and get worse. Your brain learns how to interprete what you're hearing though.. You start to recognize, "Hey, that's an artificat" and "Hey, that's a badly represented tone for a guitar!".
 
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terrymx

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the one i would agree with most is number 4. you should just spend more time listening and pay attention to the details. it came to me naturally over time as i buy higher quality headphones and listen more. then when you're really far down th road, you step back and listen to some of your older equipments you'll have a very different impression on them.
 
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The Audio Punk

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I have just recently gotten into this headphone and iPod thing after being an audiophile for many years. I have been in the Audio/Video business for over 15 years now and have owned some great equipment and speakers and also sold some of the best out there. I have always enjoyed headphones and portables ever since my Dad brought home his first Walkman and I currently have an Audio Alchemy HPA-1 and a pair of Senny HD590's. That being said I recently picked up a mini iPod and a pair of E2C's. I have done this AAC comparisson MANY times now and I can't hear the difference. I want to hear it, I MUST BE ABLE TO HEAR IT!! And I can't.......My hearing is still pretty damn good, I'm only 35 years old. I know what to listen for, the cymbals, the "air" around instruments and vocals, the bass, and I just can't tell. I did some research on Apple's site on this AAC format and they are claiming that there is like "no difference" between the CD and an AAC @ 128kbps, I know that is just a bit of marketing crap, but....... I have to admit I can't hear it.

By the way, that was my first post!
 
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jeri534

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should I re-rip my CDs to 160/192kbps aav now? I dont want to have to re-rip my CDs in the future so I can listen to higher bitrates, just wondering if I should do it now and save the hassle of doing it in the future
 
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I personally hear a fair difference in 128 vs 192 aac. My opinion of AAC has been that it is basically one notch off from Lame encoded mp3 bitrates. Basically:

128 aac ~ 192 Lame encoded mp3
192 aac ~ 256 Lame encoded mp3

Most of my collection is 256 mp3's, above which I hear little difference with most music. That's my space/quality sweetspot.

One difference I've noticed with aac though is that it does an amazing job the more "clean" the source material is. It tends to amplify distortion a lot at 128kbit if there was any in the studio, but if there wasn't the quality is much much more acceptible compared to like a 192kbit mp3

Different compression, different results.

And of course, different ears....
 
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jeri534

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what AAC bitrate do you think is comparable to LAME -aps?
 
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Lisa

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After some comments I read about bitrates yesterday I ripped some tracks into 128 mp3 and APS mp3 and re-encoded them back to wav. I compared them to the original on my main rig, NAD CDP+amp -> ms1s (see sig), and for the first time I heard the difference in sound. I didn't listen long enough to hear artifact. It just sounded thinner, like there was a bit of 'info' stripped from each individual note, and the bass was less somehow. I found that APS just a bit better (I expected more from APS after all the raving about that setting I read everywhere). I must admit you need to seriously focus to hear it esp. with APS. The difference between redbookCD and HDCD is quite a bit bigger on my gear.

I never could say for certain I could hear a difference trough PX100 on an iRiver player. I think the dark sound of these phones has something to do with this too. You don't miss the loss of bass on a PX100 soon. And the treble is rolled off. What you didn't hear before you can't miss later I guess.

What I heard on my main rig with 128k mp3 sounded a lot like lower wma files on a iRiver + PX100.

I don't think I will deleberately go and train my ears for it. The longer I can enjoy low quality the better. Let those re-encoding hassles wait for later.
 
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The Audio Punk

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Yeah, I haven't tried to really go at it and compare on my home rig. I'm just talking about listening on the iPod with the E2C's . I think I can hear the difference on the MP3's, but not the AAC's. Also, wouldn't compressing a song and then turning it back to a wave mess it up even more?
 
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devwild

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Quote:

Originally posted by The Audio Punk
Also, wouldn't compressing a song and then turning it back to a wave mess it up even more?


Nope, dumping the wav is the same digital data as what comes out your soundcard when playing back the file.
 
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dSquared

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Quote:

Originally posted by Lisa
After some comments I read about bitrates yesterday I ripped some tracks into 128 mp3 and APS mp3 and re-encoded them back to wav. I compared them to the original on my main rig, NAD CDP+amp -> ms1s (see sig), and for the first time I heard the difference in sound. I didn't listen long enough to hear artifact. It just sounded thinner, like there was a bit of 'info' stripped from each individual note, and the bass was less somehow.


I tried something similar myself with 128 AAC; I can't really hear any significant difference between 128, 192 & 320 out of a 3g iPod headphone jack & PX200s.

However, if I do the re-encode to wav and listen through Toshiba 3950-Ultra II-580s, I can hear a clear differences between 128, 192, 320 & uncompressed. I feel like there's a blanket wrapped around my head when I'm listening to 128 AAC, similar, I'd guess, to what you heard with the mp3s.
 
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