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LAwLz

AAC vs Vorbis vs FLAC blind test (can you hear the difference)

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It's not about having an audio system that can take advantage of higher bit rates, it's about the human ear reaching it's limits.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

With regard to who has a proper audiophile setup, well I hate shit sound, so I have a custom built listening room and theatre. My missus has pig shit ears, she can barely tell the difference between laptop speakers and a tuned listening room.  My take from this is that sound quality is objective and thus why there are as many different opinions on good headphones or speakers etc as there are listeners. This is also why we are subject to BS terms like "soundstage" and "transparency".

I am pretty sure you mean "subjective" and not "objective".

Subjective = personal opinions tastes and feelings play a role in what you think. For example "like the number 3 more than the number 4 because it is rounder and looks softer".

Objective = Only hard data and no personal opinions taken into consideration. For example "3 is a smaller number than 4".

The term soundstage is not BS by the way. It does exist and if you take headphones with very bad soundstage, and ones with very good soundstage, than I guarantee you that over 90% of people will say that the good soundstages ones feels more "open" in the sound, and separate instruments better. It's hard to measure, but easy to observe.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

OK time to reveal the answers:

 

Password fj&n3nvds/9s3¤emg31!

 

1 - Vorbis at ~224Kbps

2- AAC at ~320Kbps

3 - FLAC (around 1000Kbps)

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I am pretty sure you mean "subjective" and not "objective".

Subjective = personal opinions tastes and feelings play a role in what you think. For example "like the number 3 more than the number 4 because it is rounder and looks softer".

Objective = Only hard data and no personal opinions taken into consideration. For example "3 is a smaller number than 4".

The term soundstage is not BS by the way. It does exist and if you take headphones with very bad soundstage, and ones with very good soundstage, than I guarantee you that over 90% of people will say that the good soundstages ones feels more "open" in the sound, and separate instruments better. It's hard to measure, but easy to observe.

 

by objective I meant individual to everyone and changing depending on experience. I have read that many reviews on headphones, amps, speakers, etc. The word soundstage gets used to describe everything from frequency response to general feel of the device.  I call it BS because I have yet to see one definitive explanation as to what it actually is, yet I see lots people throw it about to explain things like the difference between power cables or capacitors.  I would prefer people actually said what they heard rather than repeat generic words.  For example a bright or dull sounding pair of headphones, or the amp is overly bassy or the frequency response is uneven. That is much better than saying this amp has a great soundstage. these headphones present a poor soundstage.


QuicK and DirtY. Read the CoC it's like a guide on how not to be moron.  Also I don't have an issue with the VS series.

Sometimes I miss contractions like n't on the end of words like wouldn't, couldn't and shouldn't.    Please don't be a dick,  make allowances when reading my posts.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
by objective I meant individual to everyone and changing depending on experience.

Yes, that's subjective. Objective things do not change from person to person, like in my example.

 

 

The word soundstage gets used to describe everything from frequency response to general feel of the device.  I call it BS because I have yet to see one definitive explanation as to what it actually is, yet I see lots people throw it about to explain things like the difference between power cables or capacitors.  I would prefer people actually said what they heard rather than repeat generic words.  For example a bright or dull sounding pair of headphones, or the amp is overly bassy or the frequency response is uneven. That is much better than saying this amp has a great soundstage. these headphones present a poor soundstage.

Then you have heard a lot of people use the word in the wrong way. Here is Wikipedia's definition of sound stage (taken from the book "The Art of Recording - The creative Resources of Music Production and Audio" from 1992):

The term soundstage refers to the depth and richness of an audio recording and usually relates to the playback process. According to audiophiles, the quality of the playback is very much dependent upon how one is able to pick out different instruments, voices, vocal parts, and such exactly where they are located on an imaginary 2-dimensional or 3-dimensional field. The quality of this soundstage can enhance not only the listener's involvement in the recording, but also their overall perception of the stage.[1]

Here is another good definition of soundstage:

Definition: Soundstage is the ability to visualize the placement of musical instruments and vocalists in a music recording. A good soundstage also allows the listener to perceive the size and space of the performance venue in which the recording was made.

 

You have probably just misinterpreted what the reviewer means when he or she have said soundstage. Either that or if you've read reviews where they think soundstage is frequency response then please ignore that review, because the person writing it doesn't know what he/she is talking about.

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Yes, that's subjective. Objective things do not change from person to person, like in my example.

 

 

Then you have heard a lot of people use the word in the wrong way. Here is Wikipedia's definition of sound stage (taken from the book "The Art of Recording - The creative Resources of Music Production and Audio" from 1992):

Here is another good definition of soundstage:

 

You have probably just misinterpreted what the reviewer means when he or she have said soundstage. Either that or if you've read reviews where they think soundstage is frequency response then please ignore that review, because the person writing it doesn't know what he/she is talking about.

Be that as it may, the term has been bastardised by the "audiophile" community so badly that I consider the term to be BS. I can't vet every reviewer or opinion on the net so I call it as I see it. Sorry if that offends you. I had to stop reading the DIYAudio forums for very similar reasons.  


QuicK and DirtY. Read the CoC it's like a guide on how not to be moron.  Also I don't have an issue with the VS series.

Sometimes I miss contractions like n't on the end of words like wouldn't, couldn't and shouldn't.    Please don't be a dick,  make allowances when reading my posts.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Be that as it may, the term has been bastardised by the "audiophile" community so badly that I consider the term to be BS. I can't vet every reviewer or opinion on the net so I call it as I see it. Sorry if that offends you. I had to stop reading the DIYAudio forums for very similar reasons.  

Oh no don't get me wrong. I am not offended. It's just that the term soundstage has a meaning, and it is easily observable. Some people probably use the term the wrong way, but the same can be said for a lot of technical terms. If someone refers to frequency response as soundstage, then you should take that person's advice on audio equipment with a truckload of salt, because chances are that person is just using audio terms he/she doesn't understand and wants to sound smart.

From what I've seen reading reviews, the term is mostly used correctly though. I guess it depends on where you read your reviews and how critical you are to the sources. For example I ignore some sites completely when looking for reviews because I know their reporters are not well read enough to give a good review on a product.

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OK time to relieve the answers:

 

Password fj&n3nvds/9s3¤emg31!

 

1 - Vorbis at ~224Kbps

2- AAC at ~320Kbps

3 - FLAC (around 1000Kbps)

 

Whoo Proph rocked this without having to get out the real audio gear. I hear by proclaim the Corsair SP2500 the best PC stereo speaker set.

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Oh no don't get me wrong. I am not offended. It's just that the term soundstage has a meaning, and it is easily observable. Some people probably use the term the wrong way, but the same can be said for a lot of technical terms. If someone refers to frequency response as soundstage, then you should take that person's advice on audio equipment with a truckload of salt, because chances are that person is just using audio terms he/she doesn't understand and wants to sound smart.

From what I've seen reading reviews, the term is mostly used correctly though. I guess it depends on where you read your reviews and how critical you are to the sources. For example I ignore some sites completely when looking for reviews because I know their reporters are not well read enough to give a good review on a product.

 

You may want to use pinch of salt because a truckload is worth a lot of money and I think any city in wisconsin would thank you greatly if you just handed them a truckload of salt near then end of winter.

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Oh no don't get me wrong. I am not offended. It's just that the term soundstage has a meaning, and it is easily observable. Some people probably use the term the wrong way, but the same can be said for a lot of technical terms. If someone refers to frequency response as soundstage, then you should take that person's advice on audio equipment with a truckload of salt, because chances are that person is just using audio terms he/she doesn't understand and wants to sound smart.

From what I've seen reading reviews, the term is mostly used correctly though. I guess it depends on where you read your reviews and how critical you are to the sources. For example I ignore some sites completely when looking for reviews because I know their reporters are not well read enough to give a good review on a product.

 

If it's meaning is the representation of the stage and separation of the instruments, then why? when we consider that most, if not all, recordings are multitracked, there is actually no soundstage as such, it is all mastered to sound a particular way. Because this sound depends on the producer and his/her techniques then the label "soundstage" is a little erroneous, don't you think?  It means that whatever people think is observable (soundstage) is not reality but an interpretation of what they think it should be.

 

For the record I do not consider my self an Audiophile, I enjoy sound and music and always want the best, but the term Audiophile for me is now synonymous with snake oil and exaggeration.


QuicK and DirtY. Read the CoC it's like a guide on how not to be moron.  Also I don't have an issue with the VS series.

Sometimes I miss contractions like n't on the end of words like wouldn't, couldn't and shouldn't.    Please don't be a dick,  make allowances when reading my posts.

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That person is just using audio terms he/she doesn't understand and wants to sound smart.

 

That's a good idea for a funny joke site "audiophile review sentence generator".

 

Resulting in sentences such as "The velvety soundstange had a musical flavor and yet was harsh and silibant." and "Highs were crisp and muddy, but lows were smooth and cold, a real achievement for an amplifier at this price point"


"Pardon my French but this is just about the most ignorant blanket statement I've ever read. And though this is the internet, I'm not even exaggerating."

 

 

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That's a good idea for a funny joke site "audiophile review sentence generator".

 

Resulting in sentences such as "The velvety soundstange had a musical flavor and yet was harsh and silibant." and "Highs were crisp and muddy, but lows were smooth and cold, a real achievement for an amplifier at this price point"

It would be like one of those curse generators. 

 

"may your hifi be Bose and your earphones be cheap"


QuicK and DirtY. Read the CoC it's like a guide on how not to be moron.  Also I don't have an issue with the VS series.

Sometimes I miss contractions like n't on the end of words like wouldn't, couldn't and shouldn't.    Please don't be a dick,  make allowances when reading my posts.

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It would be like one of those curse generators. 

 

"may your hifi be Bose and your earphones be cheap"

 

ok, that's pretty scary man


"Pardon my French but this is just about the most ignorant blanket statement I've ever read. And though this is the internet, I'm not even exaggerating."

 

 

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Tried all the songs on casual listening all day but didn't hear didly difference :rolleyes: ...  I lost track half way anyway from enjoying the variety haha.  I didn't expect to be able to hear anyway since my hearing is nowhere near golden, and I'm using the HD650's.  I did try with my ATH-M50's but some of the songs sounded like the treble was turn all the way up that it "sounded better" with less definition haha.

 

Didn't use any ABX tools... didn't see the point since I can't hear the whole song, and the short cuts + fading in/out made it even harder.  Being unfamiliar with most of these song also doesn't help unless one is assuming certain things that encoding always does.

 

For me the best solutions is better equipment to handle lower quality sources... hence my choices of headphones.

 

Thanks for the test setup  :) .  Btw, did you get the moon song from the evangelion soundtrack?


My Rigs (past and present)

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OK time to relieve the answers:

 

Password fj&n3nvds/9s3¤emg31!

 

1 - Vorbis at ~224Kbps

2- AAC at ~320Kbps

3 - FLAC (around 1000Kbps)

I was correct, well, at least when I could hear any difference. (I don't mind about switching AAC and Vorbis).


Please quote me if you want me to see your post about my post, otherwise I may lose track of the thread and never see it.


I'd love to help, but I'm probably gonna' have to ask for more info before we can get anything done.


Have a wonderful day.

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I was correct, well, at least when I could hear any difference. (I don't mind about switching AAC and Vorbis).

Yeah, I got 1/6, but that's what I was expecting.   Actually I was expecting 50/50 but you can't win them all.


QuicK and DirtY. Read the CoC it's like a guide on how not to be moron.  Also I don't have an issue with the VS series.

Sometimes I miss contractions like n't on the end of words like wouldn't, couldn't and shouldn't.    Please don't be a dick,  make allowances when reading my posts.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

If it's meaning is the representation of the stage and separation of the instruments, then why? when we consider that most, if not all, recordings are multitracked, there is actually no soundstage as such, it is all mastered to sound a particular way. Because this sound depends on the producer and his/her techniques then the label "soundstage" is a little erroneous, don't you think?  It means that whatever people think is observable (soundstage) is not reality but an interpretation of what they think it should be.

No I don't think it's erroneous. Yes you are correct that most things are recorded as multitracks and then mixed together, but that does not mean you can't have a soundstage. A wider and more accurate soundstage simply makes it sound more like the person mixing it intended it to sound like, and for example separate the instruments more. Like I said before, it's hard to measure but easy to observe.

Think of it this way. You are playing a game and the enemy is at 5 o'clock. With very good soundstage, you would hear him from 5 o'clock, and background noise would be fairly separated from his foot steps. With a bad soundstage, it would sound as if he was at maybe 6 o'clock and his footsteps might not be heard over the background noise (because the sounds are not as separated).

 

 

Yeah, I got 1/6, but that's what I was expecting.   Actually I was expecting 50/50 but you can't win them all.

I am not sure, but I think you would have gotten 1/6 correct by simply guessing.

 

 

That's a good idea for a funny joke site "audiophile review sentence generator".

 

Resulting in sentences such as "The velvety soundstange had a musical flavor and yet was harsh and silibant." and "Highs were crisp and muddy, but lows were smooth and cold, a real achievement for an amplifier at this price point"

Brilliant idea!

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No I don't think it's erroneous. Yes you are correct that most things are recorded as multitracks and then mixed together, but that does not mean you can't have a soundstage. A wider and more accurate soundstage simply makes it sound more like the person mixing it intended it to sound like, and for example separate the instruments more. Like I said before, it's hard to measure but easy to observe.

Think of it this way. You are playing a game and the enemy is at 5 o'clock. With very good soundstage, you would hear him from 5 o'clock, and background noise would be fairly separated from his foot steps. With a bad soundstage, it would sound as if he was at maybe 6 o'clock and his footsteps might not be heard over the background noise (because the sounds are not as separated).

 

 

I am not sure, but I think you would have gotten 1/6 correct by simply guessing.

 

 

 

Yes I would have got 1/6 by guessing, I also should have got 3/6 by guessing. Essentially what I meant was I should have got 50/50 but I only guessed 1/6 so I didn't win that one.  

 

On the other topic you are talking about positional audio, Which can be recreated even on cheap and nasty headphones, hell I've even had $7 (that's Australian $) headphones present great aural positioning.  But no one one would argue that the cheap headphones had a great soundstage. 

 

I am pretty sure I understand what you are saying, and I think as you have already said it's hard to measure, that it is also hard to articulate adequately.  What people say and what they mean can be very different especially with things like audio as it is very unique to the listener.  Some one earlier suggested that it should be placed into the FAQ that all headphones have a unique freq. response and thus sound little different, I would argue that our ears are just as unique, and from one persons understanding of what soundstage means to them and their choice of words to articulate that across the gap that is "theory of mind" this then leaves another person with a different image of what soundstage is and how it sounds.

 

What you describe to me as soundstage is what I would call a precise or a good resolution. 


QuicK and DirtY. Read the CoC it's like a guide on how not to be moron.  Also I don't have an issue with the VS series.

Sometimes I miss contractions like n't on the end of words like wouldn't, couldn't and shouldn't.    Please don't be a dick,  make allowances when reading my posts.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Thanks for the test setup  :) .  Btw, did you get the moon song from the evangelion soundtrack?

Yes I did.

Here is a full list of the songs for anyone who is interested:

Africa -

Boombox -

Champion - Champion (from the Panty and Stocking OST)

Dango -

On a side note, I can't believe I am getting teary eyed from a song about dumplings...

DeskCar -

D_Rock_City -

Genesis - Komm, Süsser Tod (from Neon Genesis Evangelion OST)

God -

Gonna_Be - I'm Gonna Be (500 miles) (by The Proclaimers)

Haruhi -

Hello - Hello Goodbye (by The Beatles)

Intro -

Island -

Kanon - Kanon in D-Dur (there is like a billion different versions of it. I *think* I used this one from the Evangelion OST, but even the Evangelion music collection contains like 10 different versions of it)

Mami - Credens Justitiam (from Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica OST)

Moon - Fly Me to the Moon (from Neon Genesis Evangelion OST)

Platinum -

I couldn't find the whole song on YouTube but whatever... Hope the cute girl dancing makes up for the lack of the full song.

Sooner - Sooner or Later (by Mat Kearney)

Squid -

Tsukihi - I *think* it's the song Kenka from the Nisimonogatari OST. Can't find it on YouTube sadly. It's from Tsukihi's character disc.

Wolf -

Working -

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Thanks for adding a list of all the music, this really is a well done thread.


Please quote me if you want me to see your post about my post, otherwise I may lose track of the thread and never see it.


I'd love to help, but I'm probably gonna' have to ask for more info before we can get anything done.


Have a wonderful day.

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On a side note, I can't believe I am getting teary eyed from a song about dumplings...

 

That's probably cause it's really about endless suffering...


"Pardon my French but this is just about the most ignorant blanket statement I've ever read. And though this is the internet, I'm not even exaggerating."

 

 

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Yes I did.

Here is a full list of the songs for anyone who is interested:

Quoting you here because I want to know what anime your display picture is from.

 

On topic: I couldn't really notice any difference while quickly going through the files, but upon listening to the files at precise moments, quickly comparing them, I could definitely notice a difference between 1 and 2, and 3. 1 and 2 sounded the same while in the third file I could definitely notice better clarity and heights, for instance in Africa, at 0:25 the percussion in the background was way clearer than in 1 and 2 when listening closely. 

 

While casually listening to it I'd never have noticed though, and I'm not sure how much my gear might have affected this. 

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Quoting you here because I want to know what anime your display picture is from.

Lucky Star. It's a "slice of life"/comedy show with a ton of references to other shows, so it's not for everyone. The first episode sucks by the way, but it gets much better after that.

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Lucky Star. It's a "slice of life"/comedy show with a ton of references to other shows, so it's not for everyone. The first episode sucks by the way, but it gets much better after that.

Ah I see...I had started it once but wasn't very convinced.

Watching that clip I think I'm going to stay away from it, tho I did get the Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu reference. It's just not my overall art style and I guess the story development is kind of à la second season of K-ON where there's no climax all of the episodes are working to and it's just a few characters doing stuff during an episode, even if that can be entertaining too sometimes (well it is a SoL after all).

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I know we don't like necroing threads here, but 2 reasons for this, one I felt it important that people know we have been trying to debunk audio myths here for quite sometime now and we haven't just jumped on the bandwagon after the last two videos came out.  And secondly I am requesting if @LAwLz has the time can you re jig this test and run it again for all the latest people who swear they can hear a difference?


QuicK and DirtY. Read the CoC it's like a guide on how not to be moron.  Also I don't have an issue with the VS series.

Sometimes I miss contractions like n't on the end of words like wouldn't, couldn't and shouldn't.    Please don't be a dick,  make allowances when reading my posts.

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