The sound quality debate.

Discussion in 'Drum & Bass' started by smoothassilk, Sep 10, 2013.

  1. smoothassilk

    smoothassilk Active Member

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    Ok, I know that this has been raised a lot before, but what actually makes a difference to sound quality?

    Personally, I either listen to music through cheap earbuds, on a fairly nice pair of speakers plugged into my mp3 player playing relatively low quality mp3s, or on a nice-ish pair of sennheiser over-ear headphones on the PC, through a cheap on-board soundcard.

    I don't own monitor speakers because I'm young and don't have any money to spend on my hobby. I make music through headphones, and it sounds fine to me.
    I don't listen to pure wavs, cause I can't tell the difference.

    I'm pretty much satisfied no matter which way I listen. I like the sennheiser headphones because the noise cancelation is better, and I like playing through speakers, but I've never noticed a difference between two different speakers. I reckon I probably couldn't tell even if I tried, unless it was a tiny ipod portable speaker.

    The things I do think make a difference are as follows:

    -Big speakers let you play music really loud, if you're having a rave, but at low volumes don't make enough difference to matter.

    - Earbuds are fine to listen to, but those which fit better and have larger speakers can be louder, which is nice.

    -Over ear headphones are better than earbuds, cause they are more comfortable, have better noise cancellation and can be a bit louder.

    -The room that a speaker is placed in makes a difference, but apart from that, only speaker size matters.
    It's probably possible to tell the difference between some things in an ABX test, but in real life, it doesn't make enough difference to justify buying anything except bigger speakers.

    What does everyone else think, are there any audiophiles around?
     
  2. sam the dnb man

    sam the dnb man Variation

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    I can't be asked to write a thesis but you should always listen to Wav's when possible.

    With MP3 you lose 90% of the data when compared to wavs.
    This means that your brain is working to make up for the lost data or some shit.
     
  3. bongobongo

    bongobongo Member

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    Everything you've said basically matters. I think 320mp3s are fine personally for home listening and off an iPod etc. You won't be able to tell the difference generally between wav and a 320, the first thing you should notice drop off compressed music is the subbass.
    Anything lower than 320 and I can tell the difference with my earbuds immediately.
    If you compare a 15 quid set of earbuds with an 80 quid pair you will to start to notice sounds and differences that you didn't know were there before its almost like listening to a track for the first time again.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2013
  4. groelle

    groelle Well-Known Member

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    first of, ez guys, havent been here in a while. hope youre all good!

    and second, sam youre talking shit again :D

    really NOBODY can hear the difference between a 320 and a wav. you would have to be able to hear frequencies >18k hz and to most of us, this simply is technically impossible. you could go to a doctor and let him check your hearing, hell tell you the same.


    and for OP: youre talking BS aswell. you dont hear the difference in sound quality between your earbuds and sennheisers?! wtf? try to put them both on the same level and youll see what i mean. generally the over ear will have a way more defined sound, less mud in the mids, more highs and more lows.

    regarding speakers. you WILL hear a difference if one of the speakers is worse than the other. even if theyre the same size.

    i grew up on pretty small brauns from the 80s. nothing ive had since then compares to them, even if theyre ten times bigger or ten times more expensive. good speakers will give you a CLEAR sound, GOOD seperation between right and left and a balanced, hearing friendly frequency output. cheap speakers will just blurr out some shit, fooling you into thinking that this was what the producer intended it to sound like.


    TL.DR. your ears are just fucked or not properly trained yet.

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    so the conclusion what really defines sound quality: your ears.

    if you dont have some, or at least bad ones. you dont care.
     
  5. bongobongo

    bongobongo Member

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    just cos there sennheiser a don't mean there good sennheisers ...
     
  6. sam the dnb man

    sam the dnb man Variation

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    It's a subconscious thing... I'm pretty sure it is covered in a video by a the guy who runs funktion 1.

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    I think this is it

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    The psycho acoustics thing I mentioned isn't discussed in the video. I remember reading what I said in a book about the physics of sound and psychoacoustics I'll try and find the source material.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 12, 2015
  7. evermind

    evermind Broken Symmetry

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    yes epic hair sound guy!
     
  8. Afek_One

    Afek_One Well-Known Member

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    No shit. That's a guy trying to sell million dollar sound systems. Of course he's going to bullshit you about sound quality. You won't hear the difference between the wav and 320 format unless you have super ears.

    Here's a good one. I'd much rather DJ at home off of house speakers or a hi fi system than studio monitors. I like that the speakers color the sound. I don't want flat when I'm listening to loud music in my apartment.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 12, 2015
  9. wingz

    wingz everyones fav austrian

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    don't let missrepresent find this thread
     
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  10. sam the dnb man

    sam the dnb man Variation

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    Are you actually certain what he's saying is bullshit though?
     
  11. cele

    cele Well-Known Member

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    320 and wavs only make a difference on a really good soundsystem in a club or whatever and even there the difference is minimal, and i kinda doubt that a lot of us play in giant clubs with big rigs

    still get wavs for certain tunes tho, even though i can't personally hear the difference

    still hear a difference between 256 and 320 though, may be a placebo but I stil hear it
     
  12. sam the dnb man

    sam the dnb man Variation

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    Regardless of what you hear there is a difference. Why opt for the lesser of the two. Although cost and storage space is a fair point. Although MP3's may sound fine, the sound quality is a fraction of a wav. Apparently if you listen to MP3's for an extended period of time it become fatiguing compared to wave.
     
  13. Dark Lizardro

    Dark Lizardro The Lizard that has a hammer Staff Member

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    I remember when I bought my Beyerdynamics DT 880 and listened to some musics that I have on my Ipod (ranging from hip hop, to heavy metal, to electronic music) and the difference I could notice, in comparison to some shitty phillips earbuds I have. And, to be completely honest, I only could hear the difference because of the quality of the headphones, not the mp3 itself.
     
  14. Binary_UK

    Binary_UK Binary.

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    Gonna agree with this, digital-tunes.net is the way forward, choice of wav or mp3 for the same price, why opt for the latter?
     
  15. evermind

    evermind Broken Symmetry

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    yeah but the bad quality file makes the difference if you have a good pair of cans.

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    digital-tunes always make me pay an extra pound for exchange rates... i can probably change that somewhere though :teeth: only bought stuff there twice
     
  16. DeeGun

    DeeGun Church of Krust

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    :lol:
     
  17. Afek_One

    Afek_One Well-Known Member

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    Unless he can present better evidence, absolutely. Were he idependent, I'd find it more believable.

    I buy mp3 over wav and flac because of price and storage. Storage is cheap these days, but not cheap enough to have 100mb files when nobody can tell the difference. If you say you can hear the difference, you're bullshitting too. That, or you're fucking Superman.
     
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  18. sam the dnb man

    sam the dnb man Variation

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    Given the right environment and equipment I'm sure a trained ear can tell the difference. Even if its minute. Regardless of being able to tell the difference aurally, there is a difference. This difference may not be conscious but it may have an effect on us mentally and physically.
     
  19. groelle

    groelle Well-Known Member

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    if there isnt a difference audible, there is none. your brain doesnt pick up frequencies and processes them subconsciously without your ears picking them up.

    its just bullshit. physics mate, PHYSICS!

    and no, youre NOT able to hear above 18k hz, even not on a big rig.


    subconciously your brain tells you "the file is bigger, quality must be better" - which is pure bullshit. wave to mp3 isnt a milk carton which you stamp on and straigthen afterwards. its a codec that brings analogue information (which sound is in a wav) into digital, without any HEARABLE loss. that was the fucking purpose of doing it in the first place.

    but nevermind, vinyl sounds better than all digital formats! :)D)

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    and with "trained ear", you mean little boys and girls' ears. cause when youre young, possibilities exist that you can hear farther than just 18k hz
     
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  20. sam the dnb man

    sam the dnb man Variation

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    Are you an actual physicist? Conscious perception and reality are two different things. It's like the way our ears work and the decibel scale. The actual doubling of amplitude is +6 dB but we need it to be around 10 dB in order it hear a doubling of amplitude.

    I'm pretty sure a decent mastering engineer can tell the difference. It may be small but there IS a difference.

    It'd be good if there was an actual professional on this forum who could set us all straight as none of us seem to have any fucking idea to be honest.