Can you hear a difference between Lossy and Lossless? Try and report your results!

Todd Anderson

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Take the test and report your results.

I was 3/6 using AudioEngine A2+ speakers. I will say this: I believe the chosen music tracks can have an impact on discerning a difference. There are tons of native "CD quality" tracks that natively sound terrible!

 

Sonnie

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On my laptop I could not hear a difference in any of them.

I'll try later with my headphones.
 

Todd Anderson

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On my laptop I could not hear a difference in any of them.

I'll try later with my headphones.
Try a good pair of headphones... it’s actually quite startling, I think. I’m really curious to see what kind of results we get
 

tripplej

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This is an interesting test. I was able to distinguish 3 out of the 6 correctly.. I must have selective hearing... :)
 

GFOviedo

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I couldn't hear any difference with my cheap sterling 3" powered Win 7 PC. However, I can tell you that I can hear a difference in sound using Qobuz + iPhone XR + BlueSound PowerNode N150 + Chane A5rx-c + Power Sound PSA XV15 sub when I use files that are 24/96 or 24/192. I cannot hear a difference with CD 16/44.1 file with Spotify, Amazon HD and Qobuz. Now, is the difference so great to justify paying more for 24/96 and 24/192 sound files? NO. There is a lot of content that is still on 16/44.1 format so the cost does not justify switching to Tidal or Qobuz. Now, if all of my content was available and the price was around $15 a month (Qobuz is $14.99), and I think the switch would be justifiable.
This is my personal opinion since I am only paying $4.99 for Spotify and Hulu, but this deal is coming to an end next year. So, I am going to have to pay full price by next year.
 

Coy Ramsey

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Using my PC and Bose headphones I got 1 right and 4 that I selected were the least SQ of the choices. So I guess that a costly speaker upgrade is not necessary in my case.:rofl2:
 

Coy Ramsey

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On my laptop I could not hear a difference in any of them.

I'll try later with my headphones.
An honest man has been found in the world of hi-fi audio !!! :hail:
 

Todd Anderson

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SVS Prime Elevation x4 (Top Middle, Top Rear)
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dual SVS SB16s + dual PSA XS30s
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LG Electronics 65-inch B6 OLED, Sony 65-inch X900F
Using my PC and Bose headphones I got 1 right and 4 that I selected were the least SQ of the choices. So I guess that a costly speaker upgrade is not necessary in my case.:rofl2:
I’m surprised at how difficult it is to hear a difference!
 

GFOviedo

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I’m surprised at how difficult it is to hear a difference!
I know my hearing isn't the best. I worked for 9 years in a room that it was so loud, that ear plugs had to be worn and ear muffs were also recommended to be use with the ear plugs. So, I am pretty sure my hearing is not as good as someone who's been working in a cubicle most of their working life.
 

bvocal

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Take the test and report your results.

I was 3/6 using AudioEngine A2+ speakers. I will say this: I believe the chosen music tracks can have an impact on discerning a difference. There are tons of native "CD quality" tracks that natively sound terrible!

I couldn't listen to the stuff they chose... I never thought Neil's work was audiophile reference material, and I did choose wrong on that, that classical bit was inconclusive and the including coldplay just invalidated the whole adventure for me and it was mostly downhill from there... from Coldplay on I couldn't stomach it.... That said, my computer's system is good, but not for that kind of evaluation. On my main system it's possible to hear the difference, it is also possible to like the lesser quality one sometimes, life is funny that way.
 

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I just finished listening to a track off the Linkin Park 'Meteora' album (track: Numb) through Tidal MQA and I was astonished at how much music was resolved when compared to my rebook cd from 2003 when it was first released (CD player: Opera Audio Consonance CD120 balanced) . I'll listen to more of their MQA albums but so far I have never heard Linkin Park in such clarity/resolution : )

Now for the fun stuff! Some people have said MQA is actually a lossy format...is this due to the nature of compression/folding of the digital file? I thought MQA preserved the whole master and just folded it into a nice a neat package until the unfolding process down the pipeline.
 

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Got 2 of 6 right on a cheap pair of cans connected to the computer via usb. I guess I suck.
I will go ahead and try with the 4 different headphone amps I have to see if I get better. Might even use some better headphones.
 
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I was 3 for 6 with the volume at -60. I was 6 for 6 with the volume at -25. I'm using a StormAudio ISP Elite > MOTU 624 > Digital Amp Company Cherry Jr stereo amp > JTR Speakers Noesis 215RM's.
 

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Neil Adams

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Listening on Sennheiser cans plugged into my Intel PC, could not detect difference in any of them. Maybe 'cos I'm now in my 70s!
When, back in the 1980s/90s, we were introducing digitally stored audio to the broadcast industry, we used MP2 (MP3 not yet invented) at 256kb/s as the minimum data rate that was mostly indistinguishable when heard over an FM radio.
 

Greg Dunn

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I haven't had time to run this test (I will try when I get a few spare hours!), but I have done extensive comparisons with lossless vs. lossy encoded music over the last couple of years. I have found that if it's well encoded at 192k bps or above, I can't detect a difference - with good speakers or any of several headphones, and using about 20 completely different sample sets. With some music I can hear 128k bps fairly reliably.

One thing I urge to people running any kind of comparison test - if you're doing it yourself, always make sure the test is double blind (ABX test). It is so easy to believe you can hear a difference when you know which file is playing, and it completely removes objectivity from the results. Also, if you can, run at least 10 to 15 trials per sample; to exclude the possibility of guessing with a 95% confidence, at least 10 trials are needed. That typically means 10 out of 10 or 14 out of 15 correct to ensure you're really hearing a difference. And allocate a fair amount of time so that you can give each trial a relaxed and fair comparison. There's no need to rush through a test if it is designed properly.

The tests are very demanding, but if you really want to know what you can and cannot hear, well worth running. The ear is very good at extracting emotion from music, and absolutely awful at measuring small differences. :)
 
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