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Sidney Crosley

NPR Article - Can You Hear Difference Between WAV and mp3?

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I'm not sure if any of you have seen this, but NPR had a side-by-side test of several songs to see if you can discern which of the samples is an uncompressed wav, a 320 kbps mp3 and a 128 kbps mp3. 

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/therecord/2015/06/02/411473508/how-well-can-you-hear-audio-quality


As someone who is neither a full on audiophile, but not a complete amateur either, I set up my DacMagic to my Macbook via USB, and listened through my NAD amp on Grado SR125s and Superlux HD668. I got 2 out of 6 correct, while picking 320 kbps twice and 128kbps twice. And honestly, I was never overly confident in my choices. 

Has anyone else tried this? Thoughts on the process? I'm guessing that the nature of streaming audio like this is flawed in the actual test.

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This was a good little test.  I picked the WAV correct 4 out of 6 times and the 320 kbps the other 2 times.  To me it sounded obvious which was the low quality mp3.  I was listening through low quality mini bookshelf speakers.  I imagine the difference would be huge on my home system.  That said, if I'm out running or using it as background music, the quality doesn't matter that much to me.

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