Any advantage to using HE-AAC at higher bitrates?

Discussion in 'iPod' started by devburke, Sep 9, 2009.

  1. devburke Guest

    Oct 16, 2008
    So iTunes 9 introduced the ability to encode in HE-AAC (as well as AAC with bitrates up to 320 kbps), but everything I see on the internet about it basically says it allows better quality at lower bitrates. Does it help for higher bitrates too?
  2. J the Ninja macrumors 68000

    Jul 14, 2008
    "Better quality for the same bit rate" is a better way of putting it.
  3. devburke thread starter Guest

    Oct 16, 2008
    So really, there’s reason not to use it?
  4. InnocenceMyth macrumors newbie

    Jun 8, 2005
    A) you *can't* use it in iTunes for bitrates higher than 80

    B) its "efficiency" comes from replicating the higher frequencies. The higher the bitrate, the less need to replicate them because they are already there
  5. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    I'm a bit bored so I did some tests, AAC at the default bitrate (256 kb/s) vs HE-AAC at the default (64). It's not really a fair comparison and AAC at 256 definitely sounded better. I'm not an audiophile and even I could tell the difference :)

    When compared with AAC at 128, things may be a bit closer (I didn't test this). HE didn't sound bad (just not as good as AAC at 256), and certainly looks like a good competitor when you have limited space.
  6. broken-chaos macrumors regular


    Sep 2, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    Sounds like it could be a pretty good codec to choose for combining with some (particularly streaming) movie or video encodes. You often don't need extremely high sound quality (particularly if it gets used for something like YouTube!), and bandwidth is still a very valuable resource to conserve.

    I'll not be swapping any music over to it, but stuffing more quality in low bitrates is definitely a worthwhile endeavour.

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