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How Well Can You Hear Audio Quality?
How Well Can You Hear Audio Quality?
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Old 10th November 2017, 01:14 AM   #11
TheGimp is offline TheGimp  United States
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I gave up after missing the first one on a set of Logitech USB headphones.
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Old 10th November 2017, 01:43 AM   #12
stellarelephant is offline stellarelephant  United States
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Sent to this to a buddy. He said:

"The test is rigged. If i listen to a Katy Perry song first, my ears will be irreparably damaged."

I must confess I chose three 320K mp3s and only two WAVs.
The 128K files sound pretty bad and were easy to eliminate in most cases, but I did pick one--the a Suzanne Vega clip. Sheesh.

In my experience, the most complex or "full" arrangements are the easiest to hear a difference, as the sheer quantity of information exceeds the 320K bandwidth. The Coldplay tune was the easiest one for me in this case.
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Old 10th November 2017, 12:32 PM   #13
radiosmuck is offline radiosmuck  Canada
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So, those that score low would not be able to enjoy music as much as those that score high and quality audio equipment would be wasted on them?
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Old 10th November 2017, 01:01 PM   #14
VenusFly is offline VenusFly  Australia
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No the test is flawed.
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Old 10th November 2017, 02:48 PM   #15
HarryY is offline HarryY  United States
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How Well Can You Hear Audio Quality?
Quote:
Originally Posted by radiosmuck View Post
So, those that score low would not be able to enjoy music as much as those that score high and quality audio equipment would be wasted on them?

I don't think I would say that.
I view it as a demo to show the differences of encoding schemes.


The DAC or sound card you are running it through may affect your results.
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Old 10th November 2017, 02:54 PM   #16
Earl Grey is offline Earl Grey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stellarelephant View Post
The 128K files sound pretty bad and were easy to eliminate in most cases, but I did pick one--the a Suzanne Vega clip. Sheesh.
Well, if the MP3 algorithm was literally designed around that exact track, perhaps you shouldn't feel too bad...
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Old 10th November 2017, 03:03 PM   #17
VenusFly is offline VenusFly  Australia
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in my own testing 128kbps actually sounds really good. Sonic-wise I would prefer it over 160 and higher bitrates if I didn't care about losing the definition because bitrates between 128 and 320 sound more like a half-assed attempt at reproducing the sound. Whereas 128kbps cuts off that level of detail at exact the right spot to make it not matter so much where the loss of detail begins.

However in my testing I couldn't tell the difference between wav and 320kbps mp3, it was at least exceedingly difficult. 128kbps mp3 is a 'sweet spot' which sounds quite good, to the point that I would prefer 128 over 160. But I would prefer 320 over 128 mainly because it adds more detail. The other bitrates between 128 and 320 are just about useless.

Which is just bizarre.

Now if you want to really blow your mind then have a listen to VBR OGG or 64kbps OGG, it beats 128kbps MP3 and gets real close to 320kbps MP3.
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Last edited by VenusFly; 10th November 2017 at 03:17 PM.
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Old 10th November 2017, 03:40 PM   #18
Soundhappy is offline Soundhappy  France
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How Well Can You Hear Audio Quality?
5 good of 6
Suzanne Vega voice only was hard to detect sample quality differences.
Thanks HarryY for all fun
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Old 11th November 2017, 11:39 PM   #19
Johnny2Bad is offline Johnny2Bad  Canada
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Fraunhofer spent many years developing the mp3 codec and that included live panels of listeners; each time they were able to tell the difference, they went back to the drawing board and refined the algorithm. Then another year in a contract with the National Hockey League (NHL) who used mp3's for stadium sounds (organ music, timeout music) ... yes, through stadium PA systems ... before they released it.

So, the mp3 codec was specifically designed to fool the ear. Despite that, some untrained people can hear the difference, and the 80% of the population that can appreciate music (10% have physical limitations; another 10% simply don't have the receptors in the brain that normally respond to music) can be trained to hear the difference.

That's without considering test anxiety where someone who truly knows the material still get failing marks (as proven conclusively via studies of college students).

Use your own system, create files of your choosing, and create a playlist with the random order enabled ("shuffle" in Apple speak). Be in a relaxed state of mind. You can go back and see the recents to determine which are which after you take your test.

Quote:
Originally Posted by radiosmuck View Post
So, those that score low would not be able to enjoy music as much as those that score high and quality audio equipment would be wasted on them?
Not true. Appreciation of sound reproduction isn't about brief snippets of highly compressed highly processed pop music ("highly compressed" as in near-zero dynamic range in the lossless version as well as the lossy version). Some tracks do sound OK on a high bitrate lossy compression scheme but the "shivers down your spine" tracks need realism and that "you are there" illusion to work. Fear not.

For the record I was 2/6 via the speakers in my Macbook Pro and 5/6 via my Ultimate Ears In-Ear-Monitors (IEMs). I took the first test at least six months ago but decided to revisit it, mostly due to this thread, for the second time yesterday, so I definitely couldn't remember which were the "right" choices.

I also have a bit of an issue with the "test" for "audio quality" as it's presented. There is only one track that has any pretence to audio quality.
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Last edited by Johnny2Bad; 11th November 2017 at 11:55 PM.
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