Do you hear the difference between a 128 and 320 kbps mp3? (test yourself inside!)

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by profit42, Mar 24, 2008.

  1. profit42 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2007
    #1
    Hi,

    I just noticed this website with stumbleupon: http://mp3ornot.com/

    It lets you test if you hear the difference between a 128 and a 320 kbps mp3 file. While I hear the difference, I have to say that the difference is very small, even on my B&W 685 speakers (using my iMac's built-in soundcard..., I think that that's the problem). What do you guys think about it?
     
  2. Iscariot macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

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    Aug 16, 2007
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    Toronteazy
    #2
    I was wrong, and I guessed completely. I could not tell a difference. My ability to distinguish sound quality and complexity is very low.
     
  3. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    Oct 2, 2006
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    #3
    Good site. It does somewhat depend on whether you are used to hearing a particular piece of music or not as to whether you can pick out its subtleties though.
     
  4. killmoms macrumors 68040

    killmoms

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #4
    It would be a more useful test if one could go A/B directly at any point in the clip (i.e. both are "playing" synced and you can simply switch between the two at any point) and be able to scrub, but I did guess correctly (I went mostly off the tambourine right towards the end).

    In this case, until you have a particularly good system and have it turned up to a sufficient degree, classical music tends to compress pretty well, so the differences will not be as pronounced between a 128kbps file and a 320 one. However, throw on some extremely multi-layered pop or rock music with a lot of high treble stuff going on (lots of cymbals + distorted guitars) and the weaknesses of 128kbps will QUICKLY become apparent.
     
  5. Drumjim85 macrumors 68030

    Drumjim85

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    #5
    not really the best source to be testing on .... distant classical music.. or in your face pop, rock, or something more modern
     
  6. Much Ado macrumors 68000

    Much Ado

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    UK
    #6
    Got it easily, and that was through iPod headphones :eek:

    /Smugness
     
  7. bartelby macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    #7
    That was easy. You can hear the graininess of the lower bitrate version clearly in the percussion towards the end.
     
  8. killmoms macrumors 68040

    killmoms

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    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
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    #8
    I'm sure if I was at home where I could play it on my much better speakers and much louder (as opposed to here at work), it wouldn't have been as tough. :)
     
  9. cycocelica macrumors 68000

    cycocelica

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    Location:
    Redmond, WA
    #9
    Thats where I picked up on it.
     
  10. Prof. macrumors 601

    Prof.

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago
    #10
    I got it right! One sounded clearer than the other.

    EDIT: I forgot to mention that I didn't use any headphones. I just used the MacBook speakers. Oh yeah, I'm that good.:cool:
     
  11. fridgeymonster3 macrumors 6502

    fridgeymonster3

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    #11
    I got it right using my sennheiser headphones. I threw a pair of crappy iPod in-ear phones on and I couldn't tell any difference.
     
  12. ghall macrumors 68040

    ghall

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    Jun 27, 2006
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    Rhode Island
    #12
    I got it right, it sounded somehow....better. I can't even place my finger on what made it better, it just seemed...better.
     
  13. d_and_n5000 macrumors 6502a

    d_and_n5000

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    #13
    Same here. Something about it...

    But I'm not entirely convinced that its not just my imagination, seeing as I've got a three year old low-end-for-its-time Dell and seven year old bottom-of-the-barrel speakers.
     
  14. Nabooly macrumors 6502a

    Nabooly

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    Aug 28, 2007
    #14
    I got it right using logitech speakers. Was about to grab some headphones but i was a little lazy, lol. But i could hear the difference clearly with the speakers :D
     
  15. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    Jun 3, 2006
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    #15
    Does anyone actually have any trouble spotting a difference? I'd be amazed.
     
  16. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #16
    That and if you're using external speakers, one clip (attempting not to ruin it for others) thumped louder. I was right the first time around. ;)
     
  17. ErikCLDR macrumors 68000

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    Jan 14, 2007
  18. notjustjay macrumors 603

    notjustjay

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    Sep 19, 2003
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    Canada, eh?
    #18
    The 320 one seemed like it had crisper highs to me.. or rather, when I heard the 128 kbps one, it seemed deader and duller than the other.

    Of course, it was very subtle, I might have even made it up and guessed correctly by chance, and it will obviously depend on what audio equipment you have connected. I used my built-in iMac speakers, by the way, but I'm sure the result would have been far more dramatic if I had played it on my dad's home theatre system.
     
  19. KJmoon117 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Location:
    NC
    #19
    Yeah the difference is subtle but it seems like a big difference and I'm using the iMac's built-in speakers.

    Now we just need a test that includes 128, 192, 320, and Apple's Lossless/AAC. Because I still haven't figured out the perfect formula to get quality and disk space >.<
     
  20. killmoms macrumors 68040

    killmoms

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    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #20
    For me personally, AAC @ 256kbps (VBR) strikes a good balance between file size and quality. Once I have a real stereo in my living room I might need to buy more CDs and start building a serious Apple Lossless library, but until then I think I'm pretty good with what I've got.
     
  21. alFR macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    #21
    There are more listening tests than you can shake a stick at over at hydrogenaudio.
     
  22. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #22
    Got it right with my MacBook speakers. :p

    I didn't even max out the volume.
     
  23. nikopolidis macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2007
    #23
    Nice one! I also got it right! :)
    I've never had any doubts about my hearing! :cool:
     
  24. pinktank macrumors 6502

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    Apr 5, 2005
  25. d_and_n5000 macrumors 6502a

    d_and_n5000

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    Oct 6, 2005
    #25
    I just took it a second time, and I didn't remember which one was which.

    I got it wrong.

    Apparently my hearing isn't as good as I thought it was.
     

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