Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Can you hear the difference between MP3 bitrates...

...because I CAN!

MP3 or not - Don't you hear it?

If you were to play the same clip of audio at 320Kbps (the highest quality MP3 you can rip) and 128Kbps (about average, maybe a little below) would you be able to tell the difference? The 320Kbps file is 2.5 times bigger than the 128. Do you really get two and a half times the "quality"?

Ok, so all audio snobbery aside, I actually could tell the difference between the two samples on this site. It wasn't a huge difference, but there was a subtle feel to how the voice interacted with the instruments, and I was certain I had the right clip.

I have to say that comparing the two clips was pretty interesting. When I rip music now I only rip to 320Kbps or to FLAC. Mostly I'm just paranoid about not losing too much information (archiving CD's or if I ever need to re-rip), but it is kinda satisfying knowing that 128Kbps MP3's aren't quite as bad as us audio snobs make them out to be.

MP3 or not - Don't you hear it?
someaudioguy some audio guy mp3 music recording technology demo vocals voice


  1. That's very, very interesting. I'm an mp3 snob and I hate to admit I got it wrong. But I am listening on cheap speakers at the moment. :)

    I notice the differences between 128 and 320k most on the spoken word.

  2. Very true!
    To be fair, I was listening on my FW410 through my Senny HD25's, and I had the volume kinda juiced.