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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Well, this ought to stir the pot some. Watched this fairly short YT video the other day and whether you agree or not, many of his arguments seem to be based in science fact (aging, compromised hearing, etc.). Makes you wonder if going to the trouble of hi-res is worth it?
Some fairly reasonable discussions among the comments for that vid as well. Surprising.

https://youtu.be/YgEjI5PZa78

Listening test is here...

How Well Can You Hear Audio Quality? : The Record : NPR
 

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I got 2 wrong on my phone outside in the rain listening to only the first 5 seconds of each. So I would say there is difference.
 

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got 2 right, listening through my altec lansing computer speakers, in a quiet room. I'm 49. was harder then i thought.
 

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I basically guessed at them, and got 4 right. I'm 52 years old, and Currently have a head cold. on top of that, I used a set of earbuds I found in my junk drawer in the garage that probably came in a happy meal, or a box of cereal....
Its hard to argue with science, but there are many "golden ears" that will tell you they can distinguish between the 320 file and the wav. (as well as different RCA cabling, Amplifiers, ect) I would suggest that any who get 6/6 on this have gotten quite lucky with their guesses as well.
I have listened to many, many 320 files, and wav files, And I, for one, simply cannot hear the difference, even though I know its there.
I agree with his statement about the listeners "experience" with music, though. To many people, its just "background noise" to fill the silence, and they could care less, as opposed to those who listen intently on a regular basis. Perhaps that coincides with the reasoning that Meca, and Iasca judges are not chosen for their "ability" to "listen" well, but are "trained" to listen well
 

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3 right with $10 Panasonic headphones on a PC. Out of the 3 I did not pick wav, I chose 320kb. Very difficult to tell the difference and I had listed twice to each sample. In a running/moving car... fogetaboutit!
 

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I got 3/6, and the wrong ones I picked 320kbps....except for the Coldplay song where I picked 128. Is it just me or is there some major clipping in that song? I picked the one that sounded least clipped, which would make sense because the lower bitrate probably filtered some of that out.

Tom's Diner was really tough and so was the Jay-Z one. Honestly though unless I was closing my eyes and really concentrating on the sibilant sounds and snare/hi-hat I couldn't tell a difference. If someone just played those tracks and asked me if I heard a difference I would probably say no. It would be a more interesting test if they asked you to sort them, or randomized them so that some were all the same file and you had to identify if there was a difference or not.
 

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I remember this test from a few years back...

This time, I only got 2 right.
Listening on my desktop PC with Bose Companion 5 speakers.
49 years old. Still consider my hearing to be pretty good.

Oddly enough... I picked 128k most of the time!

I've done a similar test in my own vehicle, where I listened to a song on CD, and then an exact same song at 320kBPS MP3, and the MP3 always seemed to sound better.

Maybe a righ resolution file would sound better in an engineered sound room, with high-end audio equipment...
But in a car, with road noise and glass and plastic everywhere, I don't think there's an advantage.
I run with 320k MP3 in my vehicle.
 

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Like mentioned, this has been done before. 5/6, I got the X&Y number wrong and I'm 54. Just my opinion, but in these type of tests, it's easier to tell the difference if the original recording is more dynamic. Its tougher when the original is recorded loud.
 

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WOW, I did this again, and then I looked at my results from doing it last time. Inconstant, yet still only got 3 right. LOL

This time however, I only picked correct and 320kbp tracks though, so I feel I improved, yet for some reason, I didn't get a single one of the ones I got correct last time correct this time. So, I really must say that as far as "my" hearing goes, and the quality(or lack thereof) of my computer speakers, I just can't seem to truly "hear" the difference between 320kbps and WAV. Though this time I will say that I am proud of myself for not picking a single 128kbp file like I did last time, so perhaps I have learned a little something from being a member on this forum.
 

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These tests do not really give any really valid comparison because differences in file formats are only relative to the recording quality of the master.

If the master was not recorded using a high resolution format, then this test is really invalid.

These particular tracks were not of highest quality to begin with so changing the file format is not going to reveal much of a difference.

A couple years ago, I took a CD of Tin Pan Alley - Stevie Ray Vaughn and played it back to back with a download of the same track from HD tracks.

I still found that the CD sounded better. It had more information, notes carried longer, there was an audible difference.

That difference could have been attributed to the input circuitry on the head unit, or cables, or electronics in the computer, So even that test was not a fair comparison.

With that being said, I still run CD's.

Iv'e never liked the quality of MP3s. To my ears, there is just too much missing information.
 

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I think the whole test is biased/flawed to begin with, unless you regularly listen to those audio tracks/artists. I only got 3 but I had to guess so technically I got 0, here's why. There is a psychoacoustic aspect to all of this "testing". Our ears work together with our brain to form the sound image. If one is not intimately familiar with a particular sound as in how it is really supposed to sound (in this case perhaps compared to the CD track), then the mind can definitely play tricks on the "ears". When I listened to those tracks, it was the first time I had ever heard 5 out of those 6. The only one I had heard, I had only heard it a couple of times on MTV I think it was (Tom's Diner).

Take for example the sound of a very close family member that you may have grown up with for 18+ years or whatever, such as one's own mother or father or brother or sister. If you were to record them talking and test your self samples of their voices in an uncompressed or lossless or other High quality type of file vs a 128kbps mp3 , I would bet that you would be able to pick out the better quality recordings nearly 100% of the time even after just 1 listening take. The same goes with songs that we have heard over and over and over and over. If I were to listen to the CD track of any of those artists because I wanted to for some very weird reason (LOL) for a few years, I bet I could do much better. Distinguish between 320kbps and wav? Nah not necessarily and highly unlikely. But between either of those and 128kbps mp3? Pssh hell yea. there's a lot more to it than just "can you hear the differences between these random artists' mp3 and wav files?"

Try this: test yourself with uncompressed wav files or flac's of your favorite artists and the same songs in 128kbps mp3s by having someone else randomly play them to you. If you can hear the difference in your favorite songs from your favorite artists, I think that is what matters most, because let's face: what are YOU going to be listening to on YOUR sound systems, whether home, mobile, or elsewhere?

Then there is also the question of the gear playing the end sound, whether it be headphones or speakers. Many times the loss in sound quality appears it the very high registers of the music spectrum and if the transducer, what ever kind it may be, doesn't have the resolving ability to begin with, or something in the chain is compromised, then it changes the playing field as well.
 

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So irritating. I posted my experience and results but I was already logged out unknowingly by the automated thing. Prompted to log in. Logged in but it's too late. My comment was lost. Sometimes this site really pisses me off
 

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Discussion Starter #18
What I found interesting is the part of the video where Beato discusses engineers, who they've recorded and then...their ages. We know that age affects hearing and that no one is exempt from age. Therefore, it's safe to assume that learning how to listen becomes even more important as you get older. That is, if you want to continue to enjoy well recorded music into your 70's and 80's.
On top of all this is the assertion (that I agree with) that sound quality is ultimately very subjective because no two sets of human ears are made/wired identical.
I seriously doubt we will ever see any complete resolution to the question of what constitutes "audiophile" as there are just so many contributing factors and influences. That might be for the best too.
 

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So irritating. I posted my experience and results but I was already logged out unknowingly by the automated thing. Prompted to log in. Logged in but it's too late. My comment was lost. Sometimes this site really pisses me off
That has happened to me a couple of times after taking a painstaking amount of time carefully wording a comment and checking all the spelling etc.

Now, with long replies, I always take the time to copy the body of what I wrote just in case that happens.
 

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The question you have to ask yourself is "Are Hi-Res files worth it to YOU?" I'll probably never jump on the wagon but this is a hobby so how far you go with it is on you. The only person you should strive to impress with your efforts is you. It's all gravy after that.
 
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