Can you hear the difference?


Try this and see if you can tell the difference between lossless files and compressed. I got two out of the three correct yet I missed one even with my "young" ears. I'm using Sennheiser HD 650 phones on a modified MF headphone amp. The purpose of this fun little game is that Spotify is doing some testing with loss-less music. It's just something you can have fun with, would be interested in what this forum scored!

https://www.theverge.com/2017/4/5/15168340/lossless-audio-music-compression-test-spotify-hi-fi-tidal
grm
For me the real difference was the type of the file and the quality of the file rather than just lossless....
An excellent recording of a CD ripped in WAV sounds better than when ripped in FLAC.... however,  when the recording is excellent and hi res and ripped in both,  the differences are less pronounced for me.
As far as MP3,  I could always hear the difference... I don't have any apple gear to use those formats...
I hope this helps,
Tim
The reason that you can hear the difference in the quality of the MP3 files is not due to the nature of the compression scheme but because there are 2 basic types of software based algorithms.  The worst is the floating point algorithm while the MADD integer based algorithm used by WinAmp sounds completely different and so much better.  The reason is that using floating point for an integer based scheme results in significant errors in calculations.
I highly recommend WinAmp for MP3 files. Any of your other favorite software for other lossy files like ACC+ or others.
I‘ve found in my opinion some software likes some file types more than others. Possibly it’s the codec bein used for what ever file type, or as said, the ‘algorythym’.

The one soft player I’ve found that does not seem to discriminate as much is Fubar 2000, latest ver. Now it plays DSD formats.

IMHO JRiver likes FLAC over WAV and AIFF.

IMHO Itunes doesn’t like much of anything beyond its proprietary files and their replay appear dull, WAV, Mp3, wma files get converted but won’t play.

Freakin’ Apple is never gonna learn how to play well with others and live in their hole forever. It is why many are leaving them for more mainstream solutions in HT and Home Audio. Not me of course, I’m gonna get a new Mac pretty soon.

It’s a real shame.

Hopefully SPODOFY will be paying attention to exactly how they conduct the examination.

I can’t always tell which files are lossless and which are not when I’ve made a playlist with all sorts in it and its running as back ground music. Certainly I can detect at anytime if a file was ripped from a great recording or not, regardless the file format. Memory then tells me which files are lossless most often as I ripped or bought them all..

The files I’ve ripped to FLAC with DB Power amp wherein I can manage the size of the resultant file, come out exceptionally well done.

Here’s an issue no one mentions…. If the playback outfit isn’t transparent enough or sufficiently revealing AND one is not too familiar with the recording itself, it could just wind up a toss up as to the outcome.

Apart from a good number of folks here, most streaming services are getting playback on people’s phone and pads. What with file sizes and connectivity its concerning the survey is not going to get the appropriate leveled playing field it deserves.

I can still hear pretty good. But on my iphone? Not so good. Same for the ipad and desktop speakers.

Wouldn’t it be interesting to know how many taking that test do it from their phone or from their main system… and just what is in that system might be still more interesting?

Spodofy appears to be trying at least. Partially. Lets hope too they are not purposefully skewing the results to avoid .making the investment to keep on pace with or surpass Tidal.

Competition makes everything better for everyone.


I tried ripping a cd using foobar2000 to FLAC and to Vorbis (medium compression). I could hear the difference easily in the HF detail. In fact, Vorbis medium and Vorbis low compression (high quality) were differentiable also. Vorbis high quality was hard to tell from FLAC, but the file size was getting pretty big too.

Not to say it's critical. My favorite stream comes through on MP3 192, and it sounds very good, though the fact that it's always a modern quality recording (within a year or so I think) probably helps too.
The lower the bitrate the easier it is to tell the difference, that is no surprise. The question is if there is any point on the spectrum where lossy files cannot be distinguished from losslessly compressed files like FLAC. The BBC have done some research, and their conclusion is that at 320kbs few people if any can tell the difference. Of course, to test this, the method has to be double blind, and involve a sufficient number of repeats and participants to be statistically significant. However, all the serious reserach (rather than anecdotal) seems to confirm this. On the other hand, this will become increasingly irrelevant when bandwidth is getting cheaper and cheaper. The BBC itself is currently streaming experimental broadcasts of losslessly compressed 16/44 FLAC files.
@timlub 

What makes WAV sound better than FLAC? Is it the fact that decoding FLAC impedes the flow of audio electrons from the computer?