Can You Hear a Difference?

Submitted by: SaintPatty 9 years ago in Science
http://mp3ornot.com/

Listen two the following 2 audio clips. Is there a difference in audio quality? Is one clip better than the other?
There are 68 comments:
Male 1
Most people are talking about hearing a difference with different quality MP3s, as a DJ/producer I know, with big monitors and a subwoofer you can feel a difference too as the lower quality MP3s get rid of the sounds we can`t hear for example really low bass sounds that we can feel when our chests thump, MP3s don`t usually have this effect but when you listen to WAV, CDs or vinyls you can feel the music pulse through. A MP3 deletes the ranges of sounds above and below our frequecy of hearing. Which is bad for DJs etc. Just thought i`ll say for those interested. Obviously I got it right lol
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Male 376
actually i think the difference is more apparent in the high end. cymbals are usually a dead giveaway. i have to believe that this clip was picked specifically because it avoids the things that make it obvious that there really is a noticeable difference.
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Female 176
A sounded a LOT better.
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Male 891
that was easy. the quality of the speakers is a huge determining factor. with laptop speakers you probably cant tell, but with high quality home theater speakers its relatively easy. thus, i have $3000 worth of stereo equipment hooked up to my computer, and it was plain as day. :D
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Male 277
i accidentally clicked A before it loaded and got it right. hah.
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Male 2,862
ttsec right with you there, FLAC FTW

Oh yeah, there was an easy way to tell without even listening but I listened and could tell the difference fairly easily. Thank you Sennheiser.

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Female 268
skine: Interesting article

Explains some of my CDs, some had a difference in loudness that bugged me because i couldn`t hear them as well.

I have to hear my music pretty loud to get all the details of it, but the article is right, it can go too far.

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Female 268
I chose the right option, though the difference is tiny.

I hate opera though.

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Female 3,562
I plugged in my good headphones and could tell right away 1 second into the first one.
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Male 550
I`m not an audiophile, so I was pretty sure I got it wrong. Indeed, I did.
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Female 2,249
heh heh i thought this was a gonna be a screamer...
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Male 666
0verclock3d, FLAC is the way to go.
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Male 870
Got it wrong--chose B.
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Male 2,344
I clicked on the page and clicked on the big A so that I could hear it and it said I was right...lucky accidental guess heh heh.
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Male 230
I am really interested in looking into new formats other than MP3s... What kind of formats should I look for my music in?
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Male 1,036
I must be getting old, couldn`t hear any difference and got the answer wrong!
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Female 462
That was easy.
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Male 2,720
i beg your pardon?
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Female 1,407
oh my,such sound quality!
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Female 662
I couldn`t tell the difference and chose B. Got it wrong.
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Female 1,172
I got it right. You notice it with the quiet backround instruments.
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Male 379
haha i knew there was a difference but i didnt know witch was better quality x]
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Male 103
It`s easy to identify. On clip A, the backround instruments are far more significant and are better heard in their quiet state, while in B you can hardly hear it, and if you do, it is merely a hum.
The difference is that the instruments in A are more easily identified as Strings instruments.
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Female 496
I`m not an audiophile, so I was able to listen to this on earbud headphones and no audio card. Needless to say, I didn`t hear a difference at all.
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Male 778
I picked up on the very light sound of static listening, clicked the bad one.. B. Whoops, was supposed to click the better quality one. Oh well, but I`m still proud I got it right.
It took me a few plays though.
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Male 12,365
If you must, really must, encode in lossy mp3, try the LAME codec on the highest quality setting. It makes some difference. I consider 320Kbps highest quality LAME acceptable. 224Kbps for mobile - the earphones aren`t good enough for anything better.
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Male 12,365
A few seconds of a mediocre quality recording of a live performance is not a good test. My headphones are poor - I foolishly bought Medusa 5.1 headphones, as if they could break physics and produce genuine surround sound.

Even then, the difference was noticeable.

Try it for yourself, with encoding from a CD recorded in a studio. If you can`t tell, you have crap hardware or bad hearing (or both).

Most people I know are so devoid of taste that they think a low-bitrate mp3 played on a mobile phone is acceptable quality.

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Female 40
woo i chose A go me. its not that diffcult if you can easily distinguish two different tones.
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Female 2,196
i didnt bother to listen all i did was click A
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Male 58
for those that cant tell the difference its not your ears, its your headphones/speakers that are the problem. Go buy better audio equipment. If you have good audio hardware you can easily hear the difference and you can listen to music like you never have before. Lossless audio on Bose headphones is wonderful if all you ever listen to is crappy mp3`s on poor headphones/speakers.
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Male 943
got it right
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Female 71
i got it
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Male 5
I give up, I can`t hear the difference at all! What a horrible ear I have.
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Male 3,296
i got it the backround noise sounded more clearly
on A
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Male 7,933
now that I listen to it again there is a very small difference. Very very small
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Male 7,933
got it wrong, could be the speakers (apple doesnt do a great job with speakers) but it isnt that important anyway.

I dont understand why MP3 is so popular. As you can see there isnt that big of a difference between the two. There are other forms other than MP3 which are more efficient and sound better.

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Male 1,003
Hey, I got it right. Had to listen twice, though. My speakers are really cheap anyway.
So what was the point of this?
Nobody cares about the quality. Most people don`t pay attention to that anyway.
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Male 510
its not a "fair" question, since it is an old and possibly live performance, which are lossy to begin with. even if they aren`t, then they are poorly encoded.
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Female 387
I got it right based on listening and um... loading time.
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Female 75
well i had absolutely no clue which one sounded better. sounded the same to me.
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Male 10,440
I got it. yeah!
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Male 108
exactly the same for me -.-
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Male 59
Yay I`m a WEINNNER!
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Male 98
i thought it was a after like 10 secs of listening to both but i thought it was goin to b a trick or something so i said a...
:-(
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Male 1,425
Somehow, I thought it was B and decided to choose A, I guess it`s musical instinct. :P
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Male 58
Ive got Bose headphones and its really noticeable, ive also got a 24bit sound card.

I also listen to most my music in lossless format, with my audio equipment listening to mp3`s is a pain once you hear orgasmic quality sound with Bose and lossless audio

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Male 1,361
woo got it right, i got it on the long part in the middle
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Male 719
uuaschbaer, the reason why you (probably) like B better is because of the Loudness War.
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Female 488
i didnt hear anything
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Male 559
lo-fi is better anyway
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Male 197
... I still like B better anyway.
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Male 1,014
Hey I got it right, I`m awesome. But there really wasn`t much of a difference on my speakers.
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Male 2,113
first it did not work then it gave my computer a viris..........WTF?!
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Female 2,220
Why do we care...
(I got it right.)
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Female 50
got it :D
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Female 775
ha! got it right clip A
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Male 168
Yay i got it right!
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Male 103
I could not tell a difference, which was disappointing to me...I guess I`m missing out on nuance
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Male 292
That fat guy should take the twinkie outta his mouth before singing...
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Male 2,172
I got it right. The big clue is to listen to the ending of the song, you can clearly hear a slight difference if you got an ear.
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Male 666
If you have crappy speakers, it`ll be harder for you to tell.
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Female 920
i dont know w damn thing about quality or anything..but i got it right :) I`m smart
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Male 666
The difference between 320 and 128 is very significant. You can easily tell if you try to encode your own music, that the 128 will sound like crap. I personally cannot stand lossy encoding at all due to their extremely noticeably decreased quality, therefore I back up all my music using lossless.
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Female 101
I couldn`t actually hear any difference between the two, but you don`t even need to listen to know which one is the better quality - just pay attention. ;o)
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Male 719
The biggest difference was the dynamics, but really, the difference between 320 and 128 isn`t that great, given a normal CD is closer to 1100.
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Male 23
Man, SO close to being first. Not that I care, but if you have the opportunity, I`d like to seize it
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Male 666
Too easy. I only listened to 1 second of it and that was enough for me to get it right.
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Male 970
Link: Can You Hear a Difference? [Rate Link] - Listen two the following 2 audio clips. Is there a difference in audio quality? Is one clip better than the other?
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