Смотреть Can we hear the differences between MP3 and FLAC?

Просмотров: 140 201 • 17.07.2020
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MP3 files are lossy. This means they have lost information in an effort to reduce file size. Can we hear this loss? If we compare lossy files with lossless files, is there a difference? Have a question you want to ask Paul? http://www.psaudio.com/ask-paul/

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Stay with that MP3 and and your cell phone AWESOME!


CDs are the best way to get music, because they contain .wav files for each song in the album with proper info. Then you can just convert them to whatever format you want for free.


Good Headphones can reveal the difference.

Alexander Geodakyan

To those who still believe there isn't a difference between mp3 and flac,listen to "Lucy In the sky with diamonds" you will be amazed at how much difference there is between these 2 codecs

Atomic Smash

all the while I was thinking you would play some music

Pracheer Deka


Robert Petersen

I buy cds on the cheap and rip tracks into flats with Audacity. Play on flac player or Sony and LG phones. Amazing quality.

Jean Fernandes

Hi paul i'm Brazilian and i don't understand why North americans like these Brazilian music. It's one tipe of highend music to you?


I always hear the cutoff on cymbals and chimes in mp3. Even the highest quality. Flac just doesn't butcher higher details. There is less nuance in the body of the music on the mp3. almost as if there are tiny holes in the sound. Is it noticeable to everyone? Nope. But when you have a revealing speaker, like Klipsch for example, my gosh do you hear everything wrong with mp3. Flac is like a rootbear float in a full sized mug while mp3 is the same float shrunk into a Dixie cup. Can it bring happiness? Yeah, but it's nothing more than just a little bit of a fuller drink.


I prefer OGG, because it takes up slightly less space than MP3 and also sounds slightly better than MP3 while doing so.
But it also takes up so much less disk space than FLAC, which is worth it for the almost unhearable information loss.
And I say this as someone who uses a 2TB hard drive.
I mix audio, but not professionally, so I don't need to use a professional file format like FLAC, so OGG is sufficient.


What about ogg vorbis? Why is it seldom mentioned when it's supposed to sound better than mp3 yet have lower file sizes? I don't imagine lots of audiophiles would be using it. I just wonder why it hasn't taken over with other people.


Awesome video,I'm going to go make a song Now Thanks ????????


I have question about flac and higher audio files, I get a headache listening to flac and I have to switch back to 320 kbps, what can be causing the headache and buzzing in my ears is only when I hear flac or other high resolution music, is it the 44.1khz and higher that I’m sensitive to or the 16 bit rate? I don’t get the headache or buzzing in ear when listening to 320 kbps music? Can the high bit rate and khz causing this feeling? I really wanna enjoy high resolution audio but everytime I listen to music in high resolution audio I have to turn it off.


Problem I have with people when explaining flac vs mp3.
And no, it's not what you can hear vs what you cant hear.
Because the difference is what you don't hear.
The echo, the soundstage, the imaging, the resonance.

MP3 is for those who wanted to listen.
FLAC is for those who wanted to feel.

Even the highest compression compresses things you cant listen to.
That, is what you lost.
If you're comparing what's in it, you'll probably never hear it.

Eggy Noggy

Ive been pushing flac since 2001 ( RockBox) - I wanna thank ROCKBOX for showing me that I am an audiophile. Back in those days, people swore there was no difference between mp3 and flac - 20 some odd years later, people are finally coming around.

Marianne Oelund

The easiest way to hear what MP3 codecs do to music, is to create a second- or third-generation copy. The artifacts become readily audible.
The question reminds me of a spare-time project I've always wanted to do: Comparing the original and MP3 reproduction sample-by-sample to see what the differences are. Now that I'm retiring from engineering, maybe I'll get a chance to look at that.

Don Stapp

Same as using .bmp/.tif vs .jpg to do your digital painting, using jpg will remove allot of details.

Sumit Terkhedkar

I don't know why but you sound like my old 80 year old grandpa a tape recorder pro. just hates electronic anything


Fiio m11pro campfire cascade using flac 24bit 96khz electro music like marshmellow and i cant heard a difference i feel like i Lost 1500€ ???? my xm3 bluetooh sound really close thats shameles

Momtazul Arefin

The problem is audio quality depends on many factors, say a well recorded CD from original master tape will sound way better even in MP3 than its poorly recorded masters.

When building my personal audio library, I often come up with a simple problem - I have only MP3s of the first pressings or good masters of some tracks while I have original CD of a poor master of the same track. After careful analysis and sessions of listening tests I often end up selecting the old MP3 than the poorly mastered CDs that I have.

However, for a good enough playback system, MP3s sound discernably poorer than FLACs of the same source. Even differences between 128kpbs and 320kbps MP3 are quite distinguishable as well.

One thing many do not know that MP3s are decoder dependent. Therefore, I first convert the MP3 file to a IEEE float 32-bit wav file with a reference software decoder. Afterwards always play the decoded file in my system. There is no way to restore what is lost in a lossy encoding, but at least we can retrieve the best out of it!

Joachim Janke

"Back in the days" engineers cared the same about audio quality as today.
Its just the way of the market. When a product type is fairly new, people tend to be super judgy. So engineers do their best notto disappoint the customers.
Audio systems are not bleeding edge for many people, so people go cheap, engineers serve.

thot creations

Its sad this has to be said... Well the 2nd .5 of the vid... But im glad its being said.

My question is.
"Do they really cut diamond records"
(But really could a gold album sound as good as vinyl?) Thats the sonic question that came up from this vid.

Ramon Panzavolta

if you don't feel the difference between an mp3 and a flac file, most likely you have earwax, or your 1 dollar chinese earphone broke

Mr. Mx Tech

You can tell you care about recording quality just by listening how well your voice sounds in this video. Great video!

Mike P

I found it near impossible to tell the difference with headphones between FLAC and the same track converted to LAME MP3 -V0 and Apple AAC 256kbps. When I hooked up to a decent set of speakers, this is where the difference really jumped out at me. I felt like lossless hit harder and there was more of an openness to the sound. The lossy tracks felt "flat" sounding by comparison. It was enough of a difference that I only ever buy a CD now.

Alejandro Flores

mp3 @320kps its the minimum good quality source, in cheap sound sistems you cant hear any diference, but if you got a very sensitive speakers, amp etc... you need the best source possible to get the maximum performance, but it also depends on the mastering, even you got the best format available, if the mastering has extra sounds and bad recordings, the sound is going to suck


Here's how you tell the difference.

It is easier to distinguish a difference in quality once you're used to something high quality FIRST and then switch to low quality.

You CANNOT go switching between mp3 and FLAC back and forth and notice any discernible difference. It's a poor test. You need to get used to one for a while Then the other. You need time. Also, go HIGH TO LOW not low to high quality.

Listen to FLAC for a month. Try different genres of music too. I find soundscapes are good, like Pink Floyd because you Really Listen to the sound, unlike say, Nirvana where you're not so intent on quality sound.

Now switch to MP3 and notice the difference.


I like the magnetrons, Paul are they available in metallic too?

Mohamed Boukdir

Try to listen to radio on your mobile phone, then sound quality is very good
Talking about radio that works using the headphones, but you can hear the difference even using your phone speaker

Jaime B.

I really want to experiecne those differences, to see if it is worth buying better gear, but how? I generally jsut use my laptop and a pair of 100e edifier speakers or earbuds.


Sometimes the compression IS part of the art. Not just grunge, but also punk, indie rock, and modern lo-fi hiphop and lo-fi jazz. You can have your FLAC and other lossless formats. I especially love FLAC for chopin, but compression definitely has its place.

Juergen P.

It is very difficult for me to tell the difference between mp3 and any other lossless format if listening to only one song also depends on the music itself, but if i listen to mp3 for a longer period of time (20-30min) I just get tired of listening to it, not so if it is lossless, then I can listen to it all day long.

Cornelius Thompson

Yes. Different types of MP3 have different sound quality based on my experience. HD MP3 is very close to FLAC. I always get FLAC if the option is there.

emanroV emanhcaN

i have the original cd of phil collins' "but seriously..." and i can tell you a 320kbps mp3 is nowhere as complete sounding. the mp3 sounds much more flat with less dynamics. you also lose background effects and the huge soundstage that was in the recording. people who can't tell the difference don't have trained ears or are just ignorant to the difference.

Lara Santini

Flac it s for good storage


The bitrate of mp3 can vary. Most people should be able to hear the difference between a 192 kbps and a 320 kbps mp3. But to hear the difference between mp3 320 kbps and a lossless file can be pretty hard. As someone else mentioned here in the comments you will have problems with mp3 when you want to use filters on it or if you convert / save lossy to lossy... So using flac / lossless can stop you from thinking that you may have a loss in quality... And today storage/drives are not expensive.... One can test the difference between the formats by downloading foobar2000 + abx comparision plugin and then comparing a loseless file to a mp3 version of it (right - click -> convert)...

Samo Jakub

I can hear difference between flac and mp3 320 kbps without problem on my JBL T110 or Sony SRS-XB31. In metal you will hear differences very fast. I trashed my mp3 collection for flac.


Sure you can hear the difference between mp3 and flac if you are less than 12 years old or less. Otherwise don't waste your money.Stop bogging yourself down with technicalities and enjoy your music. Life is short. If there is a real difference you will only notice it if you compare the two side by side with VERY young ears. Vinyl does sound different if you go down that path ..you. can hear the ' space' rather than the compression of modern recordings.

Hermann Pernell

If you have the need to convert between FLAC and MP3, you may try Avdshare Audio Converter which can easily convert between various audio formats like FLAC, DTS, WAV, MP4, M4A, AAC, OGG etc.
It has both Windows and Mac version.

Alan Zero

Paul is hot. ????

Eric Daniel

I've tried, and I couldn't tell which file was 320kbps and which was 96/24 except through the differences in mastering and engineering, which are sometimes quite noticeable, for better or worse.

Alexander Steinberg

Still need answers. Yes .mp3 format is "lossy" (somehow dislike the name). But is 320 mp3 scratching the potential of .flac? I know, that .flac is geniunly superior, as you can mod it god knows how, and it will still sound good. But is .mp3 320, unmodified, on the same level as flac when comparing the "audible quality"?


you're str8 hallucinating if you claim to hear any difference


there is a big difference in sound in between mp3 and flac, is like asking if is any difference in between youtube 360p and 1080p quality

John Glennton Singco

its about bitrate the higher tye bitrate the better

The BB2000ist

Life's too short, just enjoy the music


What I would like to point out, and what most people don't realise that if you switch between a lossy and lossless source constantly every few seconds, they will sound very close to each other. Most A/B tests and blind tests pretty much work exactly like this, and there's a TON of youtubers telling people to go an "test" things out themselves by doing these kind of blind tests to see that "there is no difference", but the reason they can't hear any difference is that they're doing the test wrong.. you should never switch between two sources that fast, from my testing I've noticed that if you do that, your brain will fill in a lot of the lost information from the lossless version and make both sources sound the same.

You might start out listening to an MP3 and thinking to yourself that it sounds fine, then you switch to the lossless version and you notice that it seems to sound better, then you switch back to the MP3, which now suddenly sounds just as good as the lossless file, which means that you can't actually tell which one sounds better..

The correct way of doing a test like this, is to first listen to either source from start to finish, without switching at all. After you're done listening to your first source, have a small break of 10-15 minutes, then come back and listen to the second source, you'll notice the difference immediately.
You can also do this test in a long-term way of course, by strictly listening to MP3 versions of whatever album you like for about a week, and after that week, switch to the lossless version, and you'll notice a HUGE difference in sound quality as soon as the song starts playing.

And before anyone even thinks about mentioning it. Yes, even badly mastered and extremely compressed songs sound better in a lossless format, in fact I would argue that there's a much bigger difference with very highly compressed music, since there's so much audio packed in that the lossy format can't keep up with the song.


Dumb qustion to someone who sells highly expensive dacs, ofc hes not gonna tell u any other things. That would be bad for his wallet.

Hikari Sakai

This question is very complicated since it depends on the music genre, most electronic music you won't hear the difference in a lot of cases, as for music that uses real instruments that's very different therefor you'd want FLAC or WAV. There's also the problem where FLAC is also 3 times larger than a 320kbps MP3 file which say you have thousands of songs can use up a ton of space honestly.
Personally I use 320kbps MP3's due to the type of music I listen to which consists of Drum & Bass and Progressive/Trance music which especially Drum & Bass you will not hear the difference in a lot of cases. I also prefer this format due to what I said before which is the storage space, especially adding them to other devices such as my phone which means I can store more music on my phone with MP3's rather than FLAC. Of course most average people would just use Spotify at this point but I personally prefer having the files myself since I'm in full control as to what I have.

But yea very hard question to answer all in all, both have their benefits.


There's always the one thing no one wants to talk about" hearing acuity.

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