A while ago, I decided to switch to MP3 music instead of CD’s, so I painstakingly ripped all my CD’s (500+) onto my computer. It’s much easier finding albums on a computer than it is sifting through piles of CD’s only to find out that I put the wrong CD in the case that I was looking for.
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Plus, I really love “super random” play. Anyways, I did all my encoding at 128kbps. After I finished (a week later!), I was talking to a friend of mine who had just finished doing the same thing with all of his CD’s, except he did then at 320kbps. He and everyone I spoke with told me that at 128kbps the audio is pretty much garbage and that I needed to do it all over again. I thought to myself: Why didn’t I rip them at 320kbps? Now I have to deal with inferior quality music or go through the entire ripping process again!”. Can you hear the difference?
In any case, I have a fun test for everyone: Listen to these 2 clips. One is encoded at 128kbps and the other is encoded at 320kbps (over twice the bit rate). Can you tell the difference? Is this some kind of joke? I agree with Matt. I just listened to the difference on my site between 128 kbps and the original, uncompressed wav files I uploaded to the site with my Beyerdynamics DT 880 Pro cans and a head phone amp. Though the A/B samples above showed a very slight difference in dynamics, almost unnoticeable to my ears, the program material on my site revealed huge differences in dynamics and all other details on both ends of the frequency spectrum.
The average person listening on any system, regardless of weather you’re using hi-end systems, amped cans, or whatever, would have a hard time convincing me they knew the difference between 128 kbps and 320 kbps. YAY “brothers on the slide”, great pick 🙂 Thank you for the test: it keeps people talking since 2011 so this question must have struck an important note! To those who wrote that this song was cr*p, I don’t know what to say not sure if that made me want to laugh or cry To the person who asked what track was used for the test: you are the reason why I still have faith in the human race. If you find Patchworks live near you, go to his gig and you will be a happy man.
And thank you to our audiophile friends for arguing about car sound systems, laptops with “studio mode” engaged and earbuds as monitoring benchmarks: you made my day just when I needed a break from serious things, that was just perfect timing! I can hear the difference. I have a cheap mp3 Gogear Mix and with the stock headphones couldn´t hear much difference, i switched to better headphones and i can´t tolerate the 128 kb tracks, 320 kb tracks sound really good, near cd quality.
I tested the same tracks in a mini hi fy system and it did a much better job than the Gogear Mix with the 128 kb files but still the sound wasn´t rich and alive like in the 320 kb tracks. Plus the 128 kb tracks have funny distortions in the background.
The difference is enormous between 128 kb and 320 kb in favor of the last one. If i compare 320 kb mp3 files with flac files i can only tell the difference in very few songs and is minimal. The difference is night and day AND you don’t need high end audiophile gear to tell the difference. The reason why most people can’t tell the difference is because they are not trained to hear what they are listening for.
Most people are probably listening and seeing which song is louder. It’s not how loud it gets. It’s the sound underneath the notes that gets ruined (the pauses) when you compress a song or a video the remove information or this case the acoustics.
However 128k is the human range. Most people can’t tell what is removed but you can definitely tell what is overlapped. So listen again, and turn up the volume.
There is a soft static hum/buzz in the background that is constant for the 128k and even less for the 320 and there is no distortion at all with flac. Once you do hear it you can never go back. Maybe its best not to notice and still appreciate it? Because once you do it’s an itch that needs to be scratched.
You will not be able to tell if the bitrate was originally recorded at stereo less than stereo quality! Example; song originally recorded in tape quality (96-128kbps) upscaled to MP3 320kbps will just give you a larger file size and more detailed “White NOISE”; song recorded in Dolby 5.1 Digital 620kbps; downscaled to 320 MP3 Stereo and you are losing Crazy Effects and sub sounds. Songs originally recorded FOR a CD should do well at 256 – 320 kbps. Your convert software codecs also play a role in what gets processed. Even Pandora Free only broadcasts at 128kbps until you upgradecan you hear a difference?
Not until you try to process it with an equalizer!!! Then you hear where and what tones you are missing.
No pun intended but when you open pandora’s box you never go back. I know the writer will laugh and think nobody call tell since more than half the votes went for the wrong one. Nobody can prove that wrong from this test, but that conclusion would in fact be wrong. The right conclusion apparently is that most people cannot tell (cannot given their equipment and or disposition to take notice). One might think that for those who can tell they have just trained themselves to look for some miniscule signs instead of to enjoy the sound. This would be wrong. Or one might think that nobody can tell.
This would also be wrong, but I won’t go into that. Apparently fewer people can tell than the statistical significance of the test though. This is a lousy piece to test the subtleties that high resolution sound gives, especially the ambiance and imaging. The imaging in this piece is pretty flat and it has very little ambiance. So, because of this I was initially almost a little surprised how little the overall sound stage changed. I was expecting a more obvious difference, as is usually the case. Still the drums were unmistakably more clear on the 320, and the compression artifacts at 5s and 14s are just well if you really pay attention to those and go back and forth and still cannot hear it, you are officially deaf.
Being that these artifacts actually added a bit of a sense of slightly off beat pulse, and that this is a funk piece, I’d guess maybe somebody actually found that to be an improvement, especially on some cheap speakers, but the difference, even at low volume is just unmistakably obvious. Setup: cheap as dirt laptop and a pair of beyer DT 660 cans, no amp. I watched a rip of a movie at my neighbors house on his really lousy computer speaker sound system with him and the movie seemed fine and we enjoyed it. I then tried to watch the same rip at my home and couldn’t stand the loud and obvious compression noise. Any 5 year old would have noticed it easily. Really bad equipment can mask a BUNCH.
This is a horrible idea. Most of the people who take this challenge are listening to the clip on average (at best) computer speakers.
You’re right. On equipment like that, it isn’t going to matter. If that’s how you listen to music, you may as well go down to 96 kbps for that matter, and save your hard drive space. The original song recording is lousy as well. It lacks crispness and highs, which are the first things that will jump right out at you with a higher bitrate. That’s the reason that the responses are running about 50/50 (with the poorer recording actually a little ahead). Given the sound source and the equipment being used to evaluate the clips, there is no difference.
But that doesn’t mean there is no significant difference between 128kbps and 320kbps. There sure is. If you really want to see how the digital age of music has robbed you of good audio, go find a friend who still has their analog LP equipment from the 1970s, with really good amplification and speakers. Play a CD against a vinyl record of the same album, and you’ll see how we’ve all traded our artistic souls to the Devil in exchange for music that you can carry in your pocket. I disagree about the cd vs.
A few years back, a friend and I did our own test. He has a super high end analog system, amazing speakers, and everything sounded great. We borrowed four high end cd players from a local audio store. He thought analog would win, I thought digital. We had cd’s and lp’s of the same albums, about 10 of them.
In the end, analog won half the time and digital won half the time. The difference? The mixing and mastering. Some lp’s are mixed and mastered really well, some sound dull.
Correspondingly, some cd’s sounded brittle, others sounded absolutely beautiful. These differences were far more than the difference between analog and digital, at least in our test.
As for why half of the people picked wrong, I think that proves there really is not that much difference. Although it is probable that many people are listening on computer speakers or cheap headphones, we don’t know how many, and accounting for the surprising results by guessing about the listening systems seems like post hoc reasoning. I listened to the samples through high end headphones, and found they both sounded very pleasant, and about the same. It’s possible that if I listened through high end speakers, the result would have been different.
But since I mainly listen to music through these headphones, and the 128 sounded really nice, there’s no reason for me to discard the many 128 mp3s I have on the computer. I probably don’t have the best hearing in the world, as I’m not so young anymore. I certainly agree that for those who hear huge differences in the files, they should go with the higher bitrate wherever possible. If you’re young, you might hear that hihats on the left channel have higher frequencies on the 320kbps version. They are cut at 15kHz on the 128kbps version. I don’t hear that.
I am 35 years old. There are at least two extremely easy to spot moments. Try from 5,5 seconds and from 13,5 seconds. The maracas on the right are completely destroyed on the 128kbps version. If you listen to those, it’s not about hearing the subtle differencies; it’s more like there is a big mistake in editing (bad cuts).
It doesn’t matter what bit rate you rip to. CD audio is only as good as 192 kbps, period. You could rip to 320, but the source audio was not encoded to 320 upon creation. Therefore, the quality will never be better than the 192 kbps CD audio. IT would be like recording at a sample rate of 48,000 Hz then re-recording, in an editor, the SAME stream of audio it to 96,000 Hz. The new file may say “96”, but its true sample rate would only be “48”. The same goes for bit rate.
You cannot create resolution out of mid air. Maybe it’s because I don’t have golden ears or anything, with my JDS O2 Amp. With the fiio X3 as dac and the ER4S I could tell the difference BUT to be seriously honest it was kinda hard to figure out which was higher in terms of quality but I focused on the last 3 seconds If you noticed the pitch change there I think it’s obvious what 320 vs 128 is really all about.
After being in this audiophile thingy for a while. I feel that sometimes it’s just our minds playing tricks on us. By turning up the volume I managed to hear more noise in the background of the 128 but I don’t think a normal person will crank up the volume to that amount I did with 6.5 gain on my O2 amp nearly killed my ears there. Depends what you listen on – I tried this with two sets of headphones; Beyer DT100 and Sennheiser HD433. On the latter it was much more apparent – they are brighter sounding generally.
With 192, for example, the complex sounds of the shaker were slightly ‘out of focus’ compared to the higher rate. You can only hear the difference with a direct comparison like this though – something you would never do otherwise, so why bother about it? I’d suggest that if you’re worried by minute differences like this, you’re listening to the wrong thing i.e. The system, and not the music. I always heard that above 128kbps was just data padding on the file. Mp3’s are always compressed.
No matter what if you’re going around bumpin MP3’s you’re bumping subpar quality. Throw in the same bassy track with a FLAC or the Actual CD (or 1:1 COPY OF SAID CD) it will sound WAY better than the MP3 track. Unless you are burning MP3 CD’s for space saving (which would kind of defeat the purpose of burnin 320K files) then there is no point to it. You might as well get your hands on a FLAC or the Actual CD/Copy and bump that.
You’ll notice an even bigger difference than this comparison which will make the 320K file sounds like crap too. They sounded inconsistent in the second sample. Besides, this is not the type of music that suffers most from lower bitrates.
With orchestral music it’s often easy to detect that you’re listening to a less than 256kbps version even when there’s nothing to compare it to. $ per GB has dropped a lot since this article was written.
I don’t really see why anyone would rip to MP3 at all now, since lossless takes only about 3 times more space than 320kbps. A normal 2TB hard drive can easily contain around 200 days worth of lossless audio (or around 85000 3.5min tracks). I got it right. For what it’s worth, I am no musician (you would me tone deaf if I ever tried to sing), but I still listen and enjoy all sorts of music (classic, pop, rap etc.). I am using gear of decent gear (good sound card+ decent headphone amp+AKG K701 headphones), though nothing crazy. I’ve actually done a similar test a couple years back between Lossless/320kps MP3 (I recommend Foobar’s ABX pluggin if you want to try it yourself) and could also tell the difference. It wasn’t easy though, it took multiple listening and a lot of concentration (I was knackered afterwards).
In practice, it is more effort than one would use to actually *enjoy* music. But given the amount of effort/time that goes into ripping/tagging CDs, I opted to go lossless for all my rips. Storage is inexpensive nowadays and I never need to worry again. If I want 320kps MP3 to listen on a portable device, I can make them from my lossless files. If the portable device can’t store 320kps, I can choose to encode (the lossless files) at a lower bitrate.
This is preferable to transcoding from 320kps to a lower bitrate. On that note, for MP3, I also tend to favour variable bitrates if you care about storage. It’s pretty efficient. Still, I would not say that properly encoded 128kps MP3 is “pretty much garbage”. I can tell the difference side by side, but, again, assuming it is encoded properly by a modern codec from the source I can still enjoy the resulting output. But if you really are going to rip 500 CDs again, do consider going lossless.
I agree with all that dodgeman. I would’ve sworn blind before coming to this page that I could tell the difference between a 128 and 320kbps mp3, but try as I could, I couldn’t tell the difference. And I was listening on what I consider (perhaps wrongly as it turns out?!) a reasonably decent pair of headphones (not the inner ear kind). Try as I might, I couldn’t tell the difference. They sounded the same.
I am, well, too old to be disappointed. I’m certainly not irate or upset. Assuming that they are IN FACT, different bit-rate files, then it is what it is. I am more intrigued than anything. This test reminds me of something a friend told me about a while ago regarding another test that was executed, that time with red and white wine. They found that the vast majority of people, including wine “experts”, given wine in a concealed vessel, couldn’t tell whether it was red or white. Think about that: not even being able to tell whether a wine is red or white, because you can’t see its colour through a clear glass.
I’ll bookmark this page, and come back to it perhaps when I’ve set up a decent non-headphone system to listen on. Or maybe, I’ll do my own test, and ask a friend to randomise the files. It would be interesting to hear, as I think some have suggested, different types of content. I ended up on this site because I was interested to know the effect of mp3 compression on the low end and high end, as regards dance (electronic) music. Just read through the comments. Perhaps my previous post sounded snobbish or eletist or whatever I read in the posts. It is interesting to me that everybody seems to think they have the same hearing as the next guy.
I am sure everybody has a friend that can see better than them at close range. Or another can spot an ant at 200 yards. Another one that can smell something minutes before you can. Why does everyone assume that hearing is different? I know my dog can hear far better than I can, just like my vision is vastly superior to his. It is not snobbish. It is simply that we are all different.
If you cannot hear the difference it is not a big deal. Your ears are simply different. It is not even something you should argue about or get upset about anothers comments about the quality being poor. I know my wife cannot hear any difference in the expensive home audio equipment I have bought. Or the money I spend on car audio. To me it is pleasurable to hear the difference and even a tiny improvement is worth it to me because I enjoy the difference and small things that I hear in music that I never even knew where there before the upgrade.
I try to explain and show her but she just does not get it. Cannot even tell the difference even when the sound is completely different, like an entirely new instrument can be heard when it was not even audible before. People are different. If you can’t hear a difference it is to your advantage. You can carry more music in a smaller space.
You just are missing parts that others enjoy. If you are happy what is the difference? Just getting over a head cold with partially plugged ears. Listened to this on my MacBook 1.1 (I think from back in 2005?) Sorry.
I could hear the difference. Clicked on the higher bitrate. Did it blind since I was also curious if it was a hearable difference. Something just seemed missing in the voice.
Those that cannot hear the difference then that is your opinion. Sorry but I guess it must mean your ears suck. Just like I need glasses or I cannot legally drive, you are hearing impaired. Not a big deal. At least you can put far more songs onto your device without any issues.
The sound quality bothers me though, even when using poor quality speakers. That is why I also need to spend more on audio equipment for home and auto. Well, I guessed right 🙂 but I can’t hear any clear difference. And I doubt there is any audible difference (what is actually confirmed by the 50/50 stats). That doesn’t mean 128kbps is good enough as 320.
First of all 128=128 is not always true, there are different codecs and configurations, you can encode in 128 better than in 320. For example, this particular 128kbps example have MS stereo mode extension what sometimes gives you better sound quality with lower bitrate and 320 doesn’t.
Just a little trick from the author, that for some reason want to defend low bitrate audio. Then, there is a sound richness, you will not hear the difference between 1kbps beep and 1000GBps beep. But yeah, you will hear the difference between well CD riped 128 and 320 kbps in most music tracks independently of what your audio system is, as long as it cost more than 10 bucks. I personally encode my CDs only in VBR with highest settings what gives me good sound quality and small file size. This way there is almost no audible difference between CD and mp3 with cheap/mid range systems like 100 – 200 bucks. Clip #1 is encoded at 320kbps: (43,696 votes) Clip #2 is encoded at 128kbps: (47,992 votes) apparently over half the people thought clip two sounded better. It was entertaining reading the not so logical answers in this thread.
I am a musician, I record on a weekly basis and have been playing the guitar since I was 7, 28 now, and I couldn’t really tell the difference as far as “what sounds better.” There is obvious more hiss in clip 2, but I prefer clip two; clip one sound like it has been compressed and eq’d. The bass seemed tighter in clip one and in clip two, the one note bass solo seems to not “roll off” or sounds a little more dynamic as if it were not compressed. But I do not claim to have the best ears bc of years of playing deafening guitar, but I did use some high end reference headphones. It was a poor recording to start with if you have noticeable tape hiss, (someone should of slapped a gate on it) yet it’s still a good melody and would listen to it on lower bitrate anyday.
This track used was a poor test. You will only notice the difference when the reproduction of the song requires a higher bitrate. For plain speech, a much lower bitrate can be used with no loss of quality. However, during very instrument-heavy tracks (classical, orchestral) you will notice a HUGE difference. You will find strings and treble to become “tinny” or a “tinkly” sort of edge to them at lower bitrates, and bass will be not as smooth. Whereas with higher bitrates it will sound much more real, bass notes deeper and fuller and you may hear things you didnt even realise were in the track!
Such as sustain on a note. Its like the difference between a 10 buck set of “stock” headphones that come with your music player and a $100+ pair of good quality ones. The main reason high bitrate is required is to reproduce correctly the harmonics of notes.
As it is digital and therefore to make a smooth waveform of the sound it must be made from many, many tiny steps. The higher the bitrate, the smaller and more frequent the steps are and so the reproduction is clearer. Saying that though in nearly every case anything over 192kbs is pointless.
ESPECIALLY when youre using budget stereo and headphone equipment. Using good encoding software and buying a nicer pair of headphones will make VASTLY larger differences, you may as well save your time and hdd space. Unless you plan on buying gold plated everything and OFC copper leads and so on and so on. (cough pointless) *pointless unless you just like having those things, you know, and the placebo effect. And if you dont understand the significance of those things, well, definitely dont bother because its not worth it.
I picked the right answer, but I merely guess. When I played it again numerous times I believe I hear the first track being more full and whereas the second one appeared slightly flat. However, it was very subtle to my ears. I’m surprised that less than half of the people got it right in the total votes, and yet from the comments here almost everyone got it right. Let me say that I have a very high end DAC, former flagship Sennheiser headphones, and a good amp. These cost over two grand in total. I also believe I have good hearing, and can recognize good quality recordings.
And yet, I had a hard time differentiating any differences! Some people say they instantly hear the difference and it is obvious. If so, what are they hearing that is obvious? I understand audio terminology like depth, soundstage, air, decay, separation, roundness, etc. Can they describe these difference to me in a way that makes me understand what they are picking up?
Some people make it sound like one track is totally cr_p and unlistenable. I think to make this test more “scientific” it would require randomizing the clips and having the listener guess over 20 times.
This ensures that listeners are not merely guessing. The statistics that would be tabulated at the end would include the number of people who picked with 100% accuracy, 90 to 99% accuracy, 80 to 89% etc. I would be interested to know what this result would show, and whether people really are claiming to hear an obvious difference. I would give those who hear over 80% as being statistically credible and the rest as guessing. Very illuminating. I listened to the sample several times on both good quality headphones and on speakers over a decent amp (no need to mention the brands!) and to be honest I did not hear jack s*** difference. So either a) My speakers/amp/headphones are all rubbish, b) My ears are blocked or damaged c) I am an audio caveman who hears but does not perceive or appreciate the subtle tweaks and flutters of a high-rate sample.
OR d) There is barely any audible difference. Well, i know which one I think it is. The most interesting thing about the test though is this thread, and the degree to which some people like to wax lyrical about points A) they have “superior” equipment and C) because they have superior refinement. My job requires me to listen to music – mostly lo rez mp3s – all day long. I’m a big advocate of the “who cares about bitrate” philosophy, as long as we stay above 128. However with this track, I spotted the difference almost immediately.
So much for my theory well, almost: so much music coming out now is not all that well recorded, mixed or mastered, so in the end, the bitrate is a very very minor improvement. No matter all the comments above complaining about the song here not being a good sample, it’s a great sample. I’m totally biased by the way, being an enormous fan of Cymande, but the point here is the music was well recorded.
I’m not saying it’s audiophile purist proof, but it’s top of the line 1970s pop music quality. Even more: as suggested in previous comments, a lot of music is now MADE to sound good on a basic system: earphones, computer speakers, small home systems. So I find that a lot of current 128s sound completely fine, for almost any situation. A tiny minority, not in any way representative for how music is listened to.
They are right about how it sounds on their systems. For the vast majority of people and most systems? Hardly a difference. Good day to u all audio masters. I’ve been listening to mp3s for as long as i can remember.
And i’m very particular with quality. I love music but I don’t have the luxury of hitech sound equipment.
So i just trust my plain old ears and with some decent headphones. Back in those days ppl said 128kb is near cd quality. And i believe it is. Many 128kb actually sounded very good, even nowadays.
When i learned about 160, 320, etc, there was even a ‘VBR’?? Anyways when i learned about these, 128 sounded more and more cr_ppy. Not the ones i had b4 but these recent songs. It seemed now that the higher the bitrate, the better the sound. But then i noticed that my old 128s still sounds better than the newer 192s.
Then i learned that people’s been ripping music from YOUTUBE and set them as 320kbp mp3s! I tried ripping a very garbage sounding tune from the site, and I learned i can encode it to whatever bitrate i desire. A 320kb mp3 music that sounds SH_T!!! In fairness the best sounds i’ve heard are at 320kb. But some, if not a lot, sounded very youtube, along with those extra dialogue you hear from an mtv. Laughable and at the same time ultra annoying!
Where have all the pure quality mp3s have gone??? I mean, all my trusted sites are now posting these garbage mp3s!!
Im aware the it also depends on the ENCODER. Before i heard that LAME was the best. But that was a long time ago.
None of it matters coz if the source file is sh!t, however sophisticated, hitech, complicated one encodes it, the resulting mp3 is even more SH_T. I mean, YOUTUBE?! Bunch of d_mb_ss wannabe’s. Anyone can recommend a site that don’t have the mp3’s i discussed? I found the test song you used for this article, is not good enough to show the difference between 128kbps and 320kbps.since it has few instruments in it.
I’m using poor audio system and yet can hear the difference for certain songs.especially those that have fuller frequency spectrum as what Vishnu NJ said theoretically, lower sample rate will reduce/remove/attenuate the amplitude of some frequency components of the soundsbecause of digital encoding processi.e. The triangle minus sine wave thingy that is why we need to use higher rate possible to retain that.thus 320kbps PS: sorry for the bad english 🙁. This test is of little use since computer sound cards, cell phone & portable player systems were specifically designed for making low quality recordings sound crisp and clear. That crisp and clear sound shouldn’t be mistaken for best quality Hi-Fidelity. A good deal of the program is missing, (clipped off) when the MP3 file was compressed and no adjustments to a sound system can bring back what no longer exists in the source material.
People who grew up listening to music on vinyl that has been format changed to CD and then to MP3 are a lot more sensitive to the differences because we have a stored reference in our heads as to what a certain song sound like. Strange sounding but true: An old Sony Walkman (even with the tape hiss factor) played music truer to the way it was originally meant to sound than the most expensive IPods etc., these days. Good quality Hi-Fidelity sound begins at the source material, not the system it’s played on, which will only enhance the low quality the better the sound system is.
96kbps vs 128kbps. A very big improvement. 128kbps 320kbps will usually affect those higher frequency sound and yet quite an improvement too. I can differentiate between 96/128/320 in most of the speakers/headphone ITs quiteobvious.
Back in the days when we have only CD I am like newage /techno addicted with music playing nearly whole day and when I have chances to play around with mp3 i did convert some of my (mike oldfield song of the distant earth) to 128kbps it sounds quite lack of certain energy i am used to before playing around with setting u will find that 320 is the best among mp3 and yet I personally do feel that OGG is kinda better than mp3 especially in mid and lower frequency but nowadays since digital storage is quite cheap then why wont FLAC? Which is loseless? I could tell straight away, listen to the maracas on the left, I could tell straight away, the second time the instrument was used it went unclear for just a little while and it sounds muffled throughout the track. I am running an Asus Essence ST card and AKG Q701 headphones which while not overly expensive can draw detail out of music very well. In practical terms 320kbps are better, since hard disc space isn’t hard to come. I’d only go lower if you have limited space on your MP3 player/iPod.
Of course everyone heard it! Everyone posting here has perfect hearing, owns hi-fi sound systems and has impeccable tastes in music allowing them to discern the subtle sound differences.
Give me a break. There are only 2 music samples. Make it 5 or 6. Make them the same song, or different songs. Make it 12 song samples. Would you be able to tell the difference? I used to bartend at a very upscale restaurant that had an impressive wine list.
I would do wine “tests” for the clientele who were avid wine fans. I would usually set up a 4-5 glass test. They would have to tell me what the grape was on each glass. Not the brand, or the year, just the different grape (merlot, cabernet, pinot noir etc). Me being the fun loving guy that I am would often pour the EXACT SAME WINE IN EACH OF THE 5 GLASSES. I really enjoyed watching all of the wine experts including our distributor pontificate over the subtle differences in each grape. For a long time, i thought vinyl sounds WORLDS BETTER than cds.
Then, I figured out how to hook my cd player into the same speakers. The difference doesn’t seem nearly as large as I used to think Still though, I think that jazz music sounds better on vinyl than CD.
Classical music, however, I gravitate toward CD because a lot of classical on vinyl is older and often contains unwanted noticeable pops/clicks. It could be just me but as far as MP3 compression, I find that highly compressed files fatigue my ears after a while.
I have tested myself before regarding 320 bit rate compared to flac and could not notice a difference during an approx 10 second test. It is all about long time listening experience. Doenst matter if you have good or bad speakers. Lossless audio (cd, vinyl) gives you a pleasent experience. Lossy audio (mp3) makes you nervous, beacause your brain keeps dealing with chunky audio.
Nobody can tell what is what, but mp3 is bad for your healh. And this is no joke, go read psicoacoustic papers, search google the right words, you gonna find. Mp3 is soposed only for STREAMING trought internet. For enjoying music always go for CD, VinYl, or FLAC, you should rip your cds to FLAC. I admire apple a lot, but they really f***** with the itunes store, fooling the world that mp3 is something you should pay for. Look at bandcamp, they give you the mp3 streams for free.
If you wanna real music, go LOSSLESS. Yep the 320 is far better, if u listen carefully to a song downloaded from iTunes at 128, you can hear the high pitch glitchyness in the distant (all the digital beeps etc)not cool! Especially if you play it loud!
I dont download from iTunes anymore, Fair enough iv a pretty decent sound set-up out of my computer but even so, on a small system its there in the background and its going in your ears. I download everything at 320kbps, just seems a waste not to yeh it takes up more space but hard drives are bigger these days and if your going to listen to your favourite music ya may aswell listen to it in quality that my opinion 🙂 have fun ppl. Dude, bitrates dont matter when you rip from lower bitrate to higher. You cant rip 128 bit cd quality to 320,jst the size increases thats it.bitrate shows for how many times the song is sampled by the microphone while it is been recirded,more kbps means clearer the sound.once done we cannot upgrade the sound clarity.””THERE IS A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE BETWEEN 128BIT AND 320BIT””no 1 is fool to bring more bitrates in market if there is no difference.the more costlier headphone ex.
Dr dre, senhxxx,bose jst make there own variations in the sound ie. The bass,tre,etc which is more nicer to ears even they cant increase the bitrate from orignal.
There is no harm in saying that you don’t hear or notice a difference, however having a meaningless debate arguing and talking down to those that either can or can’t is pointless. Is there a difference? There wouldn’t be an option to rip it in such a format if there wasn’t. Saying you own this type of setup and all, pointless as well. Yes I took the test and noticed the difference, I just find this back and forth ignorant. All in all, the difference is there and if you can’t tell, stick to 92kbps and 128kbps files.
Nothing wrong with it at all. I got this wrong, but I’m not in the least surprised. Firstly the content of this test just doesn’t have enough complex sounds in it. Secondly it doesn’t help that I am listening on cheap PC sound. But thirdly – when you smooth out the sound with lower bit rates it will often sound cleaner. And if there wasn’t that much detail in the first place you can have a more pleasant sound. I discovered this years ago when I used to put my records onto tape for convenience and also so the records stayed in good condition.
Nowadays sometimes I listen to the same thing from CD and from MP3 through the same hi-fi amp & speakers, and although the sound is more accurate and detailed from the CD, in some ways I enjoy listening to the MP3 more. VBR v5 = 130 kbps variable is pretty good! Which makes 128 kbps CBR (constans) pretty redundant. I’ve conducted a lot of blind ABXC tests, and not one person has been able to tell VBR v2/v3 (190 and 160 kbps variable) apart from original wave file from the CD.
Anyone who does listen a difference between high bitrate mp3 and original CD, DOES need to consider the fact that YOUR cd plyer may be having a screwed up mp3 decoder. There is a reason why mp3 dicards the less significant bits based on psychoacoutics – the acoustics perceived by ear and brain. There is math and test results out there, and you can’t deny it.
Of course if you don’t believe in double blind ABX testing, you may as well believe that pigs can fly and I can’t do anything about your belief! In this test, I didn’t notice it much either but then, this isn’t my kind of music anyway. When I’m over at my area of music (progressive house, trance, electro, hands up), I do notice the difference. It’s really a matter of personal opinion. Some people will notice and care, others won’t.
Someone in my class will be playing music on the speakers in my class, and I can tell by the quality that it was ripped off of YouTube. I notice it, and it aggravates me when I can’t get stuff in high quality. What especially aggravates me is when someone encodes a lower quality file as a higher quality file.
I picked the 320kbps clip, although it was pretty difficult. It was the drums that gave it away for me. The song was pretty basic though it didn’t have alot going on at any one time, so that probably made it harder. I imagine a rock song with constant guitars, bass, vocals and drums would be a better example.
I’m going to continue to archive with FLAC though, just because a new encoder for codecs releases pretty much every year that is more transparent and more effecient. By archiving in FLAC, I can keep converting if a more efficient lossless codec releases and not lose any quality. No, I can’t tell the difference most of the time. However, that’s not really the point.
Is the OP and his friend ripping these mp3s just for listening purposes or for archival purposes? I convert all my songs to -v2 or -v0 for listening purposes. The quality is rarely a problem and I can fit my entire library on to an ipod classic that way. As for archiving my music, it is always lossless. In my case, FLAC. That way you can convert it to any flavor of the month or any end quality you want.
As long as you have the original lossless quality files, do whatever you want for conversions. If some better lossless format comes around in the future, as I’m sure there will be, I can no doubt easily convert all my FLACs to the new format and be assured that my music will be as flawless as when I ripped it from the original CD decades back. That’s what matters. Preserving the quality lineage. When you convert a 320/192/128 or any lossy format to ANYTHING else, you’re losing quality. I’m an audio enthusiast and I did some tests on various soundcards and headphones.
I found that to be able to tell the difference between 128 and 320 you need most importantly a good sound card (iPod touch/classic works great), and after that good headphones or speakers. The on-boad sound card on my Dell Inspiron couldn’t discern 128 and 320 whilst listening via a SoundBlaster soundcard on my desktop it was a dead giveaway. For headphones (specifically IEMs), I could tell with Etymotic HF5 and UE TF10, so you really need a top tier IEM to be able to tell. With UM Miracles (my only custom and the star of my collection) the difference was shocking. Soundstage, clarity, detail and vocals+bass+treble are all penalised by 128kbps. Basically it sounds terrible.
It’s much harder to tell with lower end headphones though – if you’re using Apple earbuds you might be able to tell if you listen specifically to cymbals – they sound a *tiny* bit toned down. Personally I have trouble telling the difference between 192 and 320, but anything below 192 I can tell immediately. It really depends on your equipment. Most of this discussion was comparing 128 with 320kbps, although my question is comparing 256 vs 320. I’ve ripped all my music using 256 and sometimes even down coverted 320’s to 256 to save space.
Now years later it seems a bit silly given how fast the prices of large disks have gone down, but still my own tests indicate that I can’t tell the difference. I’ve also tested a few friends and they also couldn’t tell the difference. I’m guessing that few people can, and then only if they are playing the music on high quality speakers/headphones. Has anyone tested this?
I don’t really believe tests where the listener is told which files are which before the listening test. I think many people could be fooled into believing they can tell unless proven otherwise. Thanks in advance for any insights you have on the topic. You (yes YOU!) can easily hear the difference if you know what to listen for. In this track there is a rhythmic shaker to the left in the stereo spectrum.
It’s just there in your left ear if you are wearing headphones. Listen to this shaker right after “which way you’re going” at 5 seconds. It shakes twice.
(1 & 2 & 3 shake shake & etc.) At this exact point, the low quality track cuts the first “shake” short, maybe distorts it too, because it is too short/sharp of a sound to be reproduced accurately. In the high quality track however, it is just as smooth as all of the other “shakes.” Whether other elements of the track are affected is debatable, but I’m sure that you can find more examples if you listen close enough. My point is, if a difference that small bothers you, than go for higher quality. If it doesn’t bother you, than do what you want. Sometimes convenience of space and portability is a higher priority than sound quality. Personally I use.mp3s for convenience in space on my laptop and in my room at college, but when I come home it’s time to whip out the records and CDs.
And FYI, when I’m listening to Coltrane play “Giant Steps,” or Vaughan Williams “Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis,” I’m not listening to the bit rate; I’m listening to the music. -A jazz studies major. Although I did pick the first one I had to play each one a couple of times to notice the difference. If I had headphones on and not listened to music all morning it would have been instant. The song you picked is a horrible song for this test. I have done this test a bunch of times with 192kbs vs 320kbs () and there is a very noticeable particular with modern music.
I’m not sure how modern this song is but I newer songs do sound better and its probably because they were recorded with better equipment than a decade ago. LOOK, I’ve done this test already at home on my $10,000 stereo system. The answer is that any digital file that is lossy, be it 128 or 320 it is going to sound like cr*p compared to the original CD or loss-less file like FLAC played on a decent system. If you cannot hear the difference between a loss-less file and ANY MP3 file then either your listen system is not good enough to reveal the difference or your hearing cannot detect the difference. I’d made the mistake of ripping my CDs to 320 MP3 only to discover by A/B comparisons that MP3 sounded like it had the guts sucked out of it compared to FLAC or the original CD.
Re ripped all of them again to FLAC and ditched MP3 and for serious listening I still prefer to play the CD because the DAC in my CD player is much better than the DAC in my digital file playing system. I also have an iAudio 9 which can play MP3 and FLAC and with my cheap $200 headphones I can hear the difference. I picked the second recording but only because the second recording sounded clearer because I didn’t hear background noise or extra artifacts which I assumed was the result of low bit rate.
The first one sounds like it has more info to it, but I thought the extra info was associated with a bad recording. Turns out, I was suppose to hear those things in the recording. Your choosing a horrible song for this test. This song virtually has no information.
It’s simple so of course it can sound decent with any bitrate. If you choose a song with lots of instruments and bass you will be able to tell the difference. It’s easy for a simple song with no bass to sound good.
This test is confusing people and your stopping people from realizing that 128 is complete garbage. Seriously could you have chosen a worse song. Better yet anyone listing to this song on a computer is not using quality components which would exploit the difference in recordings much better than a computer soundcard.
No computer sound card is equipped enough to play a good recording anyway. People still hear the difference, but the problem is, that your choosing a song most people don’t even know how it’s suppose to sound,they don’t know if it’s suppose to have background noise and artifacts because it may be live or if it’s suppose to be a clear studio recording. I can clearly tell the difference when I play songs from 128 to 320 on my sound system without a doubt. Fix your test and play a song with lots of information and music and one with bass.
Don’t use simple recording that will sound good no matter what the bitrate. I’m sorry but Dre Beats are all just part of the media hype engine. Those are horribly over priced headphones with the bass boosted with a mini amp inside powered by the double AA batteries it uses. It completely muddies up every other audio frequency above the lower Bass ranges.
Do your ears some service and research on forums before buying c*** like that. Like hi-fi for example.
Although using the ATHM50’s it’s easy to tell that #1 is the higher bitrate although these tracks were encoded poorly in the first place. This depends on the type of music. Some music will sound a lot lousier at lower bit rates Even at 320kbps – which is the highest bit rate for mp3’s – I can sometimes hear loss of sound, and my ears do not hear well in the high frequency range at all. So sometimes a 128k track will sound like a 320k track and other times you can easily tell. It also sometimes depends on what software you use to rip the mp3 from the cd.
If it’s ripped using high quality encoders and proper settings it is going to sound better than if it’s ripped on Windows Media Player, for example. Again, though, it depends on the track.
In this case I could not hear the difference but sometimes I can hear that even a 320kbps bit rate is an mp3 vs. I am 47 and have listened to a fair bit of loud music at various gigs in my past and I found the difference on my little speakers here minimal. I *thought* I could hear a tiny difference and guessed right. Thing is that I remember a test where a sound was designed to only be heard by young children and teenagers because the frequencies were likely to be outside the range of most adults.
Surely this must apply to high bitrate music too? I only notice low bitrate or perhaps poor encoding on the sixties stuff I sometimes listen to.
In the car with the players high output I find once the volume goes up the quality of sound drops dramatically whereas some modern tracks with thumping bass seem to be as clear as a bell. Most of my mp3’s seem to be 192 or 320 but I suspect some of the older music is much lower unless it was remastered. I’ve always been thinking about bit rates, but here’s my opinion after years of listening.
I encode all my music as 96kbps MP3s (yes, burn me at the stake, I did it). I CAN tell the difference between a 96, 128, and 320, but the difference isn’t noticeable enough except when compared side by side. I’ve been listening to and playing music for years (on good quality speakers, mind you) and have only ever noticed a few small problems with lower bitrates, most dominant being cymbals losing their “ring” and voice losing it’s “air” (if you know what I mean), but for home listening these are of no concern to me, as they are only apparent at higher volumes. I think that maybe in the future I will move to OGG Vorbis files (they’re INCREDIBLE!), or maybe AC3, but 128kbps MP3 is definitely good enough for the average listener. This is going.g t blow your mind. The reason a 320 kbps mp3 is better than one of a lower bitrate is because even though you can’t “hear” the frequencies being left out. When they aren’t there it just doesn’t sound The same.
The reason is because of Tue way the sound waves interact with each other in making the air vibrate. This can be applied to The way we see. If you watch someone mve their hand hack and forth real fast you see trails but on a video this doesn’t happen even though it was recorded at a faster frame rate than we can see. So even though a lower nitrate audio sample removes frequencies we can’t necessarily hear, we can hear a difference because these frequencies aren’t there to interact with the ones we can. I can tell the difference in sharpness of an audio clip in 256 from 320 it just sounds different but it isn’t something that makes me say I don’t think it doesn’t sound “good” just not as good as 320 kbps. Hey Brian, it’s interesting to read what you’ve wrote. I’m an Audiophile, I listen to Dubstep, Electronic, Pop/Rock, Heavy Metal, Alternative and R&B.
All my CD Collectins were ripped as.flac (5 default quality and 0 using EAC and dBpowerAMP) and I’m very satisfied with the sound quality and fidelity with my PSB Speakers. Well I do have downloaded music in 320k it just sound better too but with lossless flac the bitrate far difference and perfomance may different. I’ve tested 256 and 128 and flac. All I can say is the best MP3 is 320k, because it decodes more audio info than the 256 and 128. As u said earlier, 320 has amazingly interact audio itself, how can you prove that to me if it is does that at 320 MP3. And guys, I want to ask you guys, what is the best option for flac to maintain its quality and fidelity of audio, is it 0 or 8 (best compressed lossless) I know that all methods are lossless even if it is 0 or 8 but what is the difference if we encode 0 quality flac and 8? I didn’t read ALL the comments, but a major factor is that MOST people taking this test will not be able to hear a difference unless they know what to listen for.
The majority of the music will not show a major difference at the higher bit rate plus the fact that they are probably listening to both samples on a computer sound system, which might not be hi-fi. One of the primary differences in audio, especially music, is TRANSIENT RESPONSE. A transient is a tiny piece of sound that can be entirely missed at lower sampling rates, yet contains the information that makes music ‘come alive’ to our ears. Early CDs were criticized for sounding ‘flat’ or dull compared to vinyl (I still think they do, but they are MUCH better and since I’m 63 it doesn’t matter as much anymore).
Transient response and dynamic range are two very important factors in our enjoyment of music. The higher the bit rate, the greater your chance of hearing all the transients that are present in your music. All that said, if I’m listening to earbuds or 4-inch computer speakers, I don’t care much if it’s an MP3 or WAV or AAC file. If I’m listening to a state-of-the-art system, I’m gonna play vinyl with a great turntable through a very high quality preamp and 200 watt-per-channel amp into a subwoofer and super speakers.
THERE’S where all the factors of great audio come into play. What if the author of the website randomized the order of appearance of the two samples for different listeners, so feedback in the comments wouldn’t help you pick the right answer? That would make many of the comments here pretty funny. As many pointed out, whether or not you can hear the difference depends on the quality of speakers you are using and the listening environment. Most people have sufficiently cheap hardware or listen in a noisy environment (car, or even a home with an air vent generating white noise) that the mp3 quality difference is not the weak link.
Not only should the order be randomized, but each of the two choices should be random: that is, sometimes you will be listening to the same clip. Then, in addition to choosing one or the other as being better, there should be a choice of “I cannot hear a difference” (and maybe also a choice of “I hear a difference, but neither is ‘better'”).
If you identify one as being different, it would suggest that you sometimes hear or think you hear differences when there are none, so your results for different clips should be discarded. ///SPOILER The only difference I hear is at 00:06 and 00:14(just before 00:15) on second track there is a twitch which I may call as a lag. There is a bass and a high pitch sound at the same time. Mathematically speaking, for example there is a sin(100*2*pi*t)+sin(2500*2*pi*t). Though sound is not as deterministic as this thus there are lots of harmonics for 2.5kHz and when 128kbps fails to capture those harmonics, instead they are captured as low frequencies (aliasing) and I think that might be the reason for the “lag”, a slightly disturbing peak in the sound.
Also I should say that, I could only hear that after reading the comments seeing first one was the better one, before two were almost identical. While there can be a difference between 128 and 320 this track will not show it, it is a very low quiality original. I have some pro monitoring headphones and a very high quality hifi and I have very accurate hearing and the difference was extremely minimal if it existed at all. All the people who state they could clearly hear the difference were either lucky and think they guessed through skill, or they are lying.
Tests have been done on thousands of people and it has showed even 96 sounds so simmilar to 256, even audio professionals couldn’t tell the difference with most music. That was research done by sky when they released their streaming service which never actually got going. There is a definite difference to the trained ear. Very clearly heard. No guessing involved and no reason to lie. Not everyone can hear these differences, but it does not mean that they don’t exist. It’s an actual proven fact.
Some people without a trained ear will also hear it clearly, but just won’t understand why, or may not even consciously acknowledge it. Some people with trained ears such as the audio professionals you mentioned can’t tell the difference, but there are those that certainly and immediately can, every time. A guess would only be accurate some of the time.
Most people simply don’t care enough, but I would argue that it is accumulative and is one of the contributing factors of why listening to music does not hold the same reverence to people these days as it once used to, among many other factors of course. However, as with anything, especially when the difference is minimal, there is a bit of subjectivity to it all too. I am a professional in this area and have studied these types of things for a long time.
I have spoken to many successful people in the field on the subject over many years. I’m currently writing a book on the undoing of the music industry which touches heavily on subjects such as these as a major contributing factor. My obsession with these subjects and drive for the book has come from my own frustrations, breakthroughs, distinctions and opinions made through a 32 year professional career in the music business and recording processes. Thanks for your insightful comment! I recently visited two audio stores to ask about this.
Originally I was considering wireless speakers and at both they advised me against it. I then got into a discussion of compression. I was advised to rip my CDs to my computer at highest quality or just play the CDs off of the CD player. My dad was a serious audiophile, built our first stereo amplifier and speakers, periodically played audio test lps and had me listen to them, had a huge classical music collection, late in his life worked at Tweeter etc., and installed home systems. I have listened mostly to jazz, jazz fusion and latin music since I was in high school, and hated using Dolby noise reduction, as it cut out so much of the high frequency sounds (though I am sure it has evolved since then).
My father has long since passed away. Recently, I have been thinking of him whenever I listen to music in the car, with ear buds, or through speakers on my desk, which makes up 95% of my listening.
He would have been aghast! I hooked up my decent but neglected Klipsch speakers to the stereo in a new configuration and listened to Stevie Wonder, Songs in the Key of Life, downloaded off of iTunes and then on CD. It was not a blind test of course, but there was a feeling of him being in the room on the CD version I didn’t get from the downloaded. I plan to set up some blind tests for myself. I had forgotten how great it is to just sit and listen to music on a good system!
Thanks again for your comment. My dad would have been happy to read it! I couldn’t tell the difference but it seemed like the age of the recording ruled me out. I don’t know who it is but I was listening for what is usually a give-away to lower quality encoding – percussion. The hats & cymbals sound like they’re from the 70’s.
Low-fi, pretty ordinary sound, relatively. But I didn’t think those aspects of the recording were good enough in this piece to start with. I mean, the hats (& snare) sound basically crap in both because that’s how they were recorded.
I would like to try it again with something recorded this century. Why no comment on ripping @ Joint Stereo VBR-0- best of all worlds, to my understanding, as the software only uses the space it needs to reproduce the music accurately? Am I wrong here? Is there any music that truly needs ALL of the 320 kbps to be reproduced accurately? I have my EAC set to this setting and it always sounds wonderful. Feedback encouraged. FYI- NCH Software Switch Sound Converter a nice piece of software for conversion between formats if you so desire.
Fs Commander Serial Number more. Has alot of options, including FLAC to Joint Stereo VBR-0. Depends on how the song was recorded. The samples here are extremely compressed, its a very flat tune dynamically so naturally it is very difficult to tell the difference.
To me the 128k clip sounds better because the high frequency sounds better – I’m guessing the encoder has some high frequency compensation scheme and since the original audio was heavily compressed its actually making it sound better. With the levels of compression most recordings have I usually can’t detect a difference between 192k and FLAC. Listening to live drums (I’m a lead guitarist) it always amazes me how much better they sound than in recordings – actually being able to hear the characteristics of each cymbal and how a good drummer uses them to accent different parts of the music is really cool. I hope one day the loudness war subsides. I know I’m way late to this, but I just want to point out how wrong this is in relation to the clips in the sample. I downloaded them (after doing the test myself, of course)and looked at them in a wave editor, and they have a really good dynamic range. That DR meter application gives a dynamic range rating of 13 dB.
This compared to music that’s too loud often getting a rating of 5-7. It should be pretty easy to tell it’s not that loud compared to most other music you’ll probably listen to on your computer, so this comment is quite a surprise to me. ReplayGain gives the 320 a change of -1.62 dB and the 128 a -1.55 dB.
Seriously, it’s not that loud. And that’s part of what makes the 128 sound so good; it’s tougher to encode highly dynamic range compressed music than stuff that actually behaves naturally. The encoder was evidently ACID Pro 6.0’s, so nothing special there. I don’t think there exists such a high frequency compensator for MP3. It depends on the song, and what instruments/frequencies are in the music. That’s why people sometimes use variable bit rates too, because at moments during a song where there’s more going on, you need a higher quality. Even though I voted correctly, there’s less going on in your example track.
That’s what makes it a lil more difficult to tell. If it were ripped with a variable bit rate (depending on the settings) that part of the song could just as well have been 128, but at the climax, could have been closer to 320. Also, 128 is more compressed, so people can be duped into thinking its “better” quality because things that are supposed to be more quiet in dynamic are louder inherently, but that is not how the artist intended the song to sound. CD’s are and always have been encoded at 128kbps because anything over 128kbps is undetectable by the human ear. I came across this website cuz I just downloaded a 3 CD album that was encoded at 320 kbps and I was searching “why do people encode music at a higher bitrate than 128kbps”. I think its all in your head if you think it sounds better. Besides any mp3 file ripped from a cd is maxed out at 128 so unless you encode at a higher bitrate directly from the studio (which they don’t even do at studios, I’ve been there) its basically like ripping a dvd on to your computer and burning it onto a blu-ray and then going on to say that your blu-ray is better quality than your dvd.
Man, where did you get this revolutionary information from? Every word you’ve written is completely wrong and proves you have absolutely no idea about the topic! CDs have tracks encoded in PCM (lossless) which means they run with full bitrate for an uncompressed 16-bit, 44.1kHz stereo audio. So multiply these numbers (16 bits x 44100 times per second x 2 channels) and you’ll get the correct birate (1411200bps = 1411.2kbps). Can you see the difference? I bet you can, even if you don’t understand it.
Now: “anything over 128kbps is undetectable by the human ear”. Please, enlight me with some proof of that statement. First you’re totally mistaking coding of uncompressed audio with compressed one, then you say people can’t tell 128kbps from anything above this. Well, some of them certainly can’t, but many will. Only 320kbps MP3s are recognized as practically undistinguishable from the digital uncompressed source even by audiophiles in PBX tests.
And finally: CDs can be ripped in any bitrate — up to 320kbps for MP3s and original 1411.2kbps for wave files. It all depends on your ripping software and codec settings. Go and grab a good ripping app (Exact Audio Copy or fre:ac will do the job perfectly), then share your golden thoughts. BTW, I don’t know what studio you’ve been to, but either it was run by as lame pros as you are, or you haven’t noticed they can record in much higher audio resolutions that conventional Audio CD can’t even handle, like 24bit, 192kHz sampling used for Blu-ray uncompressed soundtracks.
Please read some facts before posting misleading cr@p. Everything depend on the sound source, 128k reprensent the amount of byte used to encode the sound for a given time line.
Most of time 128kb is enough to record every frequency at the time without some lost. Sometime when soud become more rich ( heavy metal ) more bitrate ( 320kb ) it more suitable to record everuy frequency without loss.
It easyer to notise the bitrate diference with a black metal song that with a smooth music song. More the frequency at at time is presend more the bitrate is need to record the song without loss. I can always tell when when song is encoded in 128kpbs. Those songs have a lot of treble and distortion, low bass, which gets worse the higher one turns up the volume. 320kpbs files sound better and better the more the volume is turned up. As far as space is concerned, yes 320 encoded songs can take up to three times more space, but If you are a music fan, space is not a factor, being that space is so cheap nowadays. I mean, you can buy a 200 gigabyte hard drive for not a lot of money.
Space is not an excuse as far as I’m concerned to settle for poor sounding music. Actually, I consider 128, and anything under 192, to be almost not worth listening to. The truth is 128, and similarly like low bit rates, sound terrible!
Go with 320, for sure. Maybe theoretically there’s no difference in the low frequencies, but if you listen to music with a lot of bass, it will sound “off” at a lower bitrate. Especially when you’re young and your hearing ability is better. It’s the reason I once switched to 320kbps ripping. (At that age nobody around me even cared about music, so my reasons were genuine). Either way, I do think this test is a really good initiative, as it shows that 320kbps isn’t really necessary for all types of music and that it differs less and less the older you get. Interesting Ranko.
I’d like to know of this program since compressing a file down to a 128 Bit rate REMOVES all the bells and whistles in order to save in a puny little portable package. Unless it can be “zipped” open (I dunno) and restored back to wav codec, the tune is pretty much FUBAR’d. My 52y/o ears using $16 earphones clearly heard the difference in the 128 -vs- 320 bitrate compression.
The 128kbs was dull and lack luster. Wasn;t even a tune that I like; but could have learned to like it at the quality 320kbs bit rate. If anyone knows of a program that will convert downloaded peer to peer Mp3’s at 128kbs bit rates back to high quality Mp3 or WAV or FLAK codec I would really appreciate it. Thanks, Rebecca [email removed].
Don’t mean to sound mp3 snobbish and from what i have read your friend may actually be one but just try a little experiment. If you listen to dream theater or any band of that ilk then first encode it in 92 kbps (don’t listen to it yet), then encode the same song in 192 kbps and then in 320 kbps. Even if you can’t hear properly the difference will be obvious. The cymbals, hi-hats and instruments in that frequency will lose their clarity in the 92 kbps and 192 kbps ones but will sound much better in the 320 one. Most important of all will be the loss of sound definition and focus. Kinda like when we hear a song in a stadium and in an open space it sounds different.
Though not literally so much out here. Try it and see or in this case hear for yourself. Oh and if you are not into loud music then try it on Kesha’s song ‘Tik tok’. You will certainly find that the chorus isn’t as punchy as when listening to it on a higher bitrate as the drums and the cymbals lose their clarity and you don’t need a hifi stereo to notice it. No offence to anyone but some songs aren’t made to be heard on lower bitrates or maybe even mp3s. Hi, It depends on the use of the audio (obviously); for example: If at a low amplitude the errors tend to cause resonance in the speak at a frequency beyond our hearing range.
However, if played on powerful speakers, line-arrays for example, the greater amplictude causes lower frequency resonance in the speaker which is noticeable. Try it yourself: if you have a pair of high power rated speakers listen to both 128 and 320 at both high and low amplitudes; at low amplitude they should sound the same (ish), but at higher amplitudes distortion will be heard first on the lower bit rate 128 track. Even a lower frequency sound at 100hz may have a resonant overtone or sympathetic frequency at even harmonics from the base frequency. For example when you pluck an A string you are also inducing subtle vibrations into the instrument that resonate at the 440 hz and at others such as 880, 1320 and 1760 hz. This is also known as sympathetic vibration.
When the A string is oscillating these frequencies are “excited” and those within the 20hz to 20khz range of human hearing are very much noticable to many people, especially trained musicians. This is the “depth” in which true audiophiles refer to and much of this is lost in digital. It’s not as apparent in a beat box situation nor in a-lot of POP music but listen to music with melody, harmony and rythem put together such as an orchestra or a good multi instrument band with non-digital instruments and you too will notice an appreciable difference, AND the quality of the sound systems your listening to also plays a big part. Here is what it (((sounded))) like to me “young” “rap-lovers” can’t appreciate lossless quality sound like a “trained musician” comparing Rap listeners ability to hear to that of a “trained musician.” Nothing to do with dj’s exposure to noise but if it was the case, as covered before on this thread at higher amplitude speakers/volume one is able to more easily differentiate the quality of music files. He may have a case if he says as a “trained musician” he has access to better speakers but at that point he’s just being a [removed]. But lets not get ahead of ourselves and put words in the mans post Sherrif •. Buddy, I’ve got news for you, I’ve been listening to high end audio for close to forty years at times at decibels that would make your ears bleed and I can tell you there is definitely a difference.
Audiophiles nowadays have given up so much for convenience IE space saving, pocket toting etc. You don’t experience the full sound spectrum put before you. The boom box buffoons driving around listening to the bass altering distortion pounding out of the trunk lid of their quasi-street ride haven’t the slightest idea of what true sound is.
Turn the bass down and the treble up a little, balance it out with a decent eight or twelve band EQ and listen. REALLY LISTEN. There is definitely a difference. So according to you, anyone with a car stereo above and beyond the factory one is a “baffoon”? I have a $20,000 plus home system (Lynn, ADS, and two 31 band EQ’s from HK).
My car system is worth just over $10,000 (MB Quart, Image Dynamics and Nakamichi OS PPI as well). While one obviously can’t get the acoustics inside of a car than one can in a well built sound room in a home that doesn’t mean that my car system would probably blow away most people’s home stereos. $3000 was spent on damping alone, and many other mods were made for the sole purpose of sound quality. Although a much more intense challenge, a car can sound almost as good as any home system, given a dedication for months of preparation and modification. You sir, sound like an elitess snobster IMO, and your comment on turning the bass down and the treble up I won’t even go near that one, HA HA.
A system should be as neutral as possible, so if you like listening to music with “treble” blaring in your ears and a practicly non-existant low end then be my guest, but I’ll be happy happy joy joy with my Lynns and a 15 in a 5cuft monster that can only be described as bliss in a soundwave. You may be an audiophile, but you know nothing about digital technologies. The factory copies a central DVD to make more.
What’s the difference between you doing it and them? Well ripping it to an MP3, and burning it back may make a difference, but if you are cloning the disk, OR are ripping it to an ISO file, and burning it back, it will be exactly 1:1. If you share an MP3, and than that person shares that MP3, does it lose quality over time?
You are copying the MP3, but it is DIGITAL! It is hashed! While tape, vinyl, and anything else analogue, this may be true, but for digital recordings like MP3’s, FLAC, AAC, or something like CD’s, they are all digital, and if done right, can be copied. Hell, you could make a copy of a copy of a copy, and repeat 100 times, and still sound the same, because each 16th bit is a hash of the ones before it for Error-Correction.
This is why really scratched disks won’t play, but hairline scratches, or tons of little ones, it won’t make a difference in sound quality. There are redundancy, and error correction bits within the audio stream, so scratched disks won’t lose sound quality. You guys dont notice because you are tone deaf.
For exaple when you play a singing game and you cant tell the diference between the low pitch and high pitch and fail at it, its because you physically cant tell the difference. Its more of the person than the equipment.
There are other variables that jump right out that make it sound like junk such the symbols and other parts of the track that get lost as the quality deteriorates. One song i had had a violin in the background and i didnt notice until my friend played his which was a 320 kbps (cd quality) opposed to my 96 kbps. There is a huge difference even if you aren’t tone deaf there are things that you lose, another case was a backup guitar because the quality was that bad. I listened to each file twice. The first time through the speakers in the tv (I use a tv through hdmi as my monitor) the second time I flipped the audio output to my home sound system.
The difference was immediately noticeable! This brings to light something this test fails to consider: garbage speakers limit the quality of even the best sampling rates. Quality speakers allow the sound to reach is full potential. Given your results, I would say most people have the run of the mill $50-$100 computer speakers (or they listened to each sample through their smart phones).