Audio Format Comparison

Faun

Wahahaha~!
Staff member
Reference file is "Dangerous by MJ"
FLAC 24 bit 5011kbp 250MB

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24 bit 5011kbp FLAC 250 MB

Peaks go well until 96KHz. Not shown in the image.

Compressed MP3s
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320 kbps MP3 CBR 16 MB
Peaks cut off at 20KHz

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225 kbps MP3 VBR 11.8 MB

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190 kbps MP3 VBR 10.2 MB

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128 kbps MP3 VBR 7.24 MB

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64 kbps MP3 VBR 3.7 MB
10KHz is the cut off limit for peaks.
 

ravimadrad

Right off the assembly line
Always use .WAV but the average person is not going to hear the difference between 320kps and 16bit .WAV
 

The Incinerator

Human Spambot
But if you have the source, amp and speakers you will hear even the minutest of details and the vast expansive soundstage without the compression. Its not for no reason people buy DSD or SACD players. The best "digital" music format on earth. Im strictly talking about the 2 channel layer here.
 
OP
Faun

Faun

Wahahaha~!
Staff member
But if you have the source, amp and speakers you will hear even the minutest of details and the vast expansive soundstage without the compression. Its not for no reason people buy DSD or SACD players. The best "digital" music format on earth. Im strictly talking about the 2 channel layer here.

I go for FLAC at the minimum because it's lossless. Else 320 kbps in rare cases but nothing lesser than that. Never found any discernible difference. I use a fairly expensive setup.

It's debatable that we can hear beyond 22KHz. There is little use of storing the information beyond that for music except if it's a master copy. Sample rate of 44100 Hz is good enough. Bit depth at 16 is enough for dynamic range.

If you can hear the difference then it's great but I never actually found the need to go over normal FLAC files. It's just a waste of space.

I do have some 192KHz/24bit files.
 

Zangetsu

I am the master of my Fate.
No doubt about the quality of FLAC but it takes a lot of space and in cellphones one cannot have all the songs in FLAC format.

so, to utilize space I sometimes use .M4A format and .MP3 format.
320Kbps bit rate is excellent but sometimes 192Kbps does well also.
 
OP
Faun

Faun

Wahahaha~!
Staff member
[MENTION=20614]Faun[/MENTION]
What is your audio setup ?

UM Miracle/Merlin < LEAR FSM02 V2 (with MUSES01 OPAMP) < Sony NWZ ZX1

UM Miracle/Merlin [< LEAR FSM02 V2 (with MUSES01 OPAMP ] < Asus Xonar STX ( I/V Opamps - AD8620ARZ, Buffer - MUSES02 ) < Foobar 2000 ( ASIO output )

[] indicates I use it optionally.
 

The Incinerator

Human Spambot
I go for FLAC at the minimum because it's lossless. Else 320 kbps in rare cases but nothing lesser than that. Never found any discernible difference. I use a fairly expensive setup.

It's debatable that we can hear beyond 22KHz. There is little use of storing the information beyond that for music except if it's a master copy. Sample rate of 44100 Hz is good enough. Bit depth at 16 is enough for dynamic range.

If you can hear the difference then it's great but I never actually found the need to go over normal FLAC files. It's just a waste of space.

I do have some 192KHz/24bit files.

Its not only about hearing beyond 22Khz. Its how that 22Khz is reached and presented. Its not about Dynamic sounding at 16 bits or 24 bits or 32 bits but how to keep composure at those dynamic ranges and present that soundstage. So you have to have a very good audio chain altogether which need not be expensive but have the correct synergy between them. Get out of iem/headphone based audio system and get a proper stereo (full range if possible) setup to hear what SACD or DSD can do and what sound stage magic in real space is. Its mesmerizing.

Its just an advise get an entry level SACD set up with a Marantz PM6005 or Yamaha AS 500 and a SACD player from either of the brand great Interconnects from Kimber,VDH or Chord connect them to a Q accoustics 2050 or the upcoming Andrew Jones designed ELAC F6/B5. Later on move on to Ribbon Tweeters for the real thing.
 

tkin

Back to school!!
I had tried my best to distinguish between 320kbps MP3 and Flac. I used my LG G2 and Laptop connected to FiiO E10. For the audio side I had used Audio Technica M50x, Koss Porta Pro, Soundmagic E10. I couldn't hear any difference. Either I lack the sensitive ears of the Audiophiles or the devices I had used are not good enough.
 
OP
Faun

Faun

Wahahaha~!
Staff member
Its not only about hearing beyond 22Khz. Its how that 22Khz is reached and presented. Its not about Dynamic sounding at 16 bits or 24 bits or 32 bits but how to keep composure at those dynamic ranges and present that soundstage. So you have to have a very good audio chain altogether which need not be expensive but have the correct synergy between them. Get out of iem/headphone based audio system and get a proper stereo (full range if possible) setup to hear what SACD or DSD can do and what sound stage magic in real space is. Its mesmerizing.

Its just an advise get an entry level SACD set up with a Marantz PM6005 or Yamaha AS 500 and a SACD player from either of the brand great Interconnects from Kimber,VDH or Chord connect them to a Q accoustics 2050 or the upcoming Andrew Jones designed ELAC F6/B5. Later on move on to Ribbon Tweeters for the real thing.

I'd love to try the room setup but for that I would have to get a properly sound isolated and acoustically engineered room which is not possible at the moment.

The reason I use custom iem (check if you are not aware of them) is because they provide the best possible sound isolation. That leaves out the scope of ambient noise creeping in. And top of the line custom iems provide better soundstange, imaging, and instrument separation. They are crafted with finesse, taking the structure of ear canal into consideration. Designed after thoroughly tested prototypes.

I get the presentation part. Audiophiles are pretty much divided over it. Some prefer top of the line expensive earphones, headphones; while others prefer expensive room stereo setup. While we are at it, the more purists prefer vinyl over turntable presentation. They like the warmth in presentation and popping sound. Though, that's besides the point here. A good earphone will deliver better performance on par with any other setup if you get the audio chain right. But the point is - do we really get the details beyond 22KHz considering you have a baseline excellent setup ? Not really, I don't hear the difference at all and I have invested a decent amount over my setup after some good research.

FYI, Sony NWZ ZX1 supports DSD. I never went beyond 192KHz/24Bits because I don't see the point at all. It's a waste of space for me just like the ppi war in mobile screen segment. At some point you are paying for something which doesn't even make a whole lot of difference to your eyes.
 

The Incinerator

Human Spambot
I'd love to try the room setup but for that I would have to get a properly sound isolated and acoustically engineered room which is not possible at the moment.

The reason I use custom iem (check if you are not aware of them) is because they provide the best possible sound isolation. That leaves out the scope of ambient noise creeping in. And top of the line custom iems provide better soundstange, imaging, and instrument separation. They are crafted with finesse, taking the structure of ear canal into consideration. Designed after thoroughly tested prototypes.

I get the presentation part. Audiophiles are pretty much divided over it. Some prefer top of the line expensive earphones, headphones; while others prefer expensive room stereo setup. While we are at it, the more purists prefer vinyl over turntable presentation. They like the warmth in presentation and popping sound. Though, that's besides the point here. A good earphone will deliver better performance on par with any other setup if you get the audio chain right. But the point is - do we really get the details beyond 22KHz considering you have a baseline excellent setup ? Not really, I don't hear the difference at all and I have invested a decent amount over my setup after some good research.

FYI, Sony NWZ ZX1 supports DSD. I never went beyond 192KHz/24Bits because I don't see the point at all. It's a waste of space for me just like the ppi war in mobile screen segment. At some point you are paying for something which doesn't even make a whole lot of difference to your eyes.

In headphones your left ear gets to hear the left channel sound and the right gets the right channel sound and its your brain that draws the soundstage unlike a stereo system where the hardware creates the soundstage. If the speakers are good they will dissapear from the soundstage altogether and create a holographic imaging which just can't be created with a headphone and its exactly what I'm talking about.

I have some great headphones from Klipsch, Sleek Audio, Etymotics, Audio Technica, Onkyo , JVC, Phillips with Cayin and FiiO amplfication but still will say they just can't do what my Stereo set up can.... how it takes you in to the scene in Dark Side of the Moon (SACD) and you are just left wondering how and from where the sound is eminating..... It's like a surround sound without the surround speakers!
 
OP
Faun

Faun

Wahahaha~!
Staff member
In headphones your left ear gets to hear the left channel sound and the right gets the right channel sound and its your brain that draws the soundstage unlike a stereo system where the hardware creates the soundstage.
A good sound engineer utilizes the overlap in left and right channel and at times cut off the overlap. While cutting off the overlap will still not keep the stereo system from mixing the two channels when it ultimately hits the ear drums. On the other hand that's an advantage in case of earphones.

I have been listening to earphones ranging from 500 rupees to 60k rupees. A good earphone creates a seamless soundstage. Even great sounding speakers can sound like crap in a normal room not engineered for the purpose. That's where the limitations are overcome by earphones. You leave out the two important variables, spatial position and acoustics.


If the speakers are good they will dissapear from the soundstage altogether and create a holographic imaging which just can't be created with a headphone and its exactly what I'm talking about.
A lot many people will agree that your assumption is simply not true. Speaker setup may provide a concert like experience but earphones place you right in the middle of the band, more intimate in presentation. It's the personal preference. Some like the concert like presentation, while others like to see the detail up close where they can hear the breath of the singer.

I have some great headphones from Klipsch, Sleek Audio, Etymotics, Audio Technica, Onkyo , JVC, Phillips with Cayin and FiiO amplfication but still will say they just can't do what my Stereo set up can.... how it takes you in to the scene in Dark Side of the Moon (SACD) and you are just left wondering how and from where the sound is eminating..... It's like a surround sound without the surround speakers!
Frankly, fiio products are pretty mid fi level. I have Fiio E17 and X1. Both don't even come close to my current setup.

One of the best amp Meier Audio Stepdance, as recommended again and again in head fi, sounds muddy compared to my setup (class A circuit provision). No wonder it is collecting dust in my drawer.

For SACD, this link might help. There is no real advantage of going for it. I have enough space to get SACD albums but I don't see the point in going beyond FLAC.

24/192 Music Downloads are Very Silly Indeed
 
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