Смотреть Audiophile or Audio-Fooled? How Good Are Your Ears?

Просмотров: 1 436 317 • 17.07.2020
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In this video, we explore the differences between MP3s, WAV, FLAC (lossless), AAC and whether you can tell the difference? or if it even matters? Discussion on mixing, listening, monitors and audion file formats.

Listening test:


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20 seconds into the video: I'm confused.


It would appear that her hair is sitting between her ears and the headphones, so already the testing methodology is invalid


Michele is a trained audiophile, WOW!


The age of these 'modern' mixing engineers shouldn't matter because they aren't the last in line, the mastering engineers are, and I'm sure they are generally younger.

Juan Carlos' Covers

To say ONLY four out of six sounds not right. Only woild be, for me, 1 out of 6. Maybe is better not to use the word only and simply state that she got it right 4 times out of 6. I believe that means that quality can be distinguished no matter if it is not ALL the time.


Awesome video. Learnt so much in 10 mins ????☀️ thanks

Joe Bond

I've done this test multiple times and can always tell 320kbs from Wav

Peter Berenyi [home]

1. It seems there is no wire, could it be the bt version of the headphone? If yes, it does not matter as bt is a lossy format. 2. What Dac/soundcard is used for testing? If a standard motherboard soundcard, then LOL again. Overall this video is misleading.

Danny Nee Music & Acting

Great video!

TV's Ben

128kbit MP3 have some serious artifacts, like sparkles in the high end when cymbals hit. Don't have to be an audiophile to hear that nonsense. Satellite radio today still has that issue. Once I get up to 192 or 256 it's gone. AAC encoded at 128kbit is much better, too. So I feel like my quality threshhold is pretty normal...anything above 128kbit.

Alan Blewett

went and did the test and got the all right, but i couldnt tell the difference at all, i just went to school in the usa and know how to answer multiple choice questions well


For the digital anything above or higher than 16 bit and 44.1 KHz is USELESS for the human hearing , people with the placebo effect can hear any difference

All that matters is the mastering and by my opinion ,
CDs with audiophile mastering are better than vinyl records which i also like them but my final choice is CD


DJ kuh-LED

Newfoundland Labradexit

My brain tells me the other ear is missing.


Interesting note - (I like your channel, btw...like? Love!!) I have been teaching audio classes at a college since 2001. One of the assignments I give is "Challenge Information/Fact Check". I once allowed a student to do do a listening test, comparing 64, 128, 160, 192, 256, 320 and wav, of several mixes from different decades from 1970's to 2000'. NOBODY could tell the difference between 256 and higher compared to wav. And just about everybody could tell the difference between 64 and 128. Then there was some uncertainty between 128 and 192 (like she was showing at some points). Great video! was going to make one, but I will point people to this!! The group was about 30 students, average age of about 24.

Super Hans

Audiophiles are cringe


I don't really understand what relevance perfect pitch has to do with being able to distinguish sound quality?

TJ Murray

Nailed it Rick.


Audiophiles don't listen to music, they listen to quality of music

Brian Pace

She’s cute

Daniel Johnston

I'd say you're about 66% correct ;)

Jeely Piece Productions

As far as a scientific experiment goes this is very poor. One subject with good hearing and an admittedly significant result of 66% recognition. Of course you go on to concentrate on the less significant figure of 33% thus denying the result of your own poor experiment. It's laughable.

Jorge E. Marroquin Fernandez

Audiophiles are like flat earthers......or worst!!

Paul Gillard

Truth. Like it.

Mark Spencer

Wrong conclusion. She got 4 out of 6 and many people in the comments as well or even better which means that we can hear the difference most of the time. If you would listen to MP3 or WAW music for 2 hours then you would know even better.

Bug Man

Its interessting and annoying that prejudice about ages ruins a lot of conerversation.

Midwest Monstaz

I got 3/6 using $1 ($7 original price) onn Bluetooth headphones. I love that the test is random choice and the choices shuffle.
I kept finding there is a certain depth that gets lost when it’s compressed (especially for shitty headphones)

Bilal Alam

Nice explanation.

Easy Duzit

Hi Rick, I agree in short bursts and using only what you think you can hear it can be difficult to tell. The thing is that we seem to experience audio information as nuance in the sound that has some sort of emotional impact. I have done this test with longer listening sessions. I can tell by how I feel. The more antsy I am especially when listening to classical or jazz the more compressed something is. Mp3 at any bit level tends to make me want to get up and start doing something else. I tend to want to stay and listen more with FLAC and well cared for vinyl. I do not have "golden ears." I am a regular guy. I have done this test blind. I have also done this with my children blind. We all at some level were more relaxed and receptive when there was less compression.

Jobim G.

im wondering if what's the best album that's been mixed?

Stan Young

Try taking a wav file and mixing it with a high quality mp3, reverse phase so they cancel out, and see what your are left with. This should be only the differences of the 2 files. Will it be only a flat line? Will there be information there ?

Peter Steinbach

4/6, but I'm 53 and commuted on a motorcycle for 6 years. My strategy was listening for the quieter elements, like the reverb in Suzanne Vega, the snare in Coldplay, the BG moan vocal in Katy Perry or the glockenspiel in Neil Young. I know I can't really hear the high freqs anymore, but I can still hear the improvement that comes with increased bit depth. Sorta!

Jozef s

great review.

Benjamin Giguère

How about beats from interference between frequency above 16khz that fall within audible range ? My understanding was that with higher bandwidth audio, using adequately higher bandwidth equipment, especially for live recordings, you could hear these beats. I am talking more specifically about live recordings because they often feature beats from interference between the main audio sources and échos that may be shifted.

I am certainly not a music expert, but I studied telecom engineering in college in mid-2000s, at a time where mp3 algorithms were starting to be classroom material.

Adam Kee

I can only distinguish between WAV and MP3 if there are a lot of details in the melody. I got only 3/6.

Evan Hirsch

This test isn't set up correctly. You don't know which one sounds "best" (which should be most like a live performance) unless you are very familiar with the sound of acoustic instruments. You need a reference. The Jay Z song is the most obvious example. None (or almost none) of the sounds are natural sounds so who can say which one sounds best - that is most lifelike? No one. I could always quickly choose the lowest fidelity ones on the examples that were largely acoustic (I listened for amount and clarity of detail). But, the Coldplay song may be a great song, but what does it actually "sound" like (and therefore which is the most accurate) - who knows? What does an electric guitar sound like? Who knows? Which electric guitar with which electronics, strings, amps, etc. Let alone volume. So if you go into your local stereo store and put on Jimi Hendrix solos, you can certainly find the speakers you like the most, but you can't say that they are the most accurate. The human voice, a saxophone, a well recorded piano - here we have natural sounds that some people may be very, very familiar with, and they may also have very good hearing. Then they will have an accurate base from which to compare and say - this one sounds (not best - that is personal taste) but most accurate. IMHO.


You are so wrong and spreading false information. I can clearly hear the difference, my friends can too. I'm a broadcast engineer.
I ripped a box set to MP3 320 several years ago when HD's were small. I listened to that for about three years. Then I got a big hard drive and I ripped them again as wav files. I was stunned. And these were old mono files. I hear the artifacts in MP3. It puts an edge on music...a raspy edge. Read the book about the development of the format. They admit it's bad. That's why they developed aac. If they had just improved MP3, they would not have received a new patent. Apple created their own format to avoid paying licensing fees for encoding. Decoders were free. The book is by Stephen Witt. "How Music Got Free." It's a sordid story. MP3's were developed by hackers so they could share stolen music. That became the commercial product that we all know and hate.


Tiny correction here: 1:30 --> not 1/10, rather ~1/5 because you have to compare it to losslessly compressed, not to uncompressed.


I don't know man, on flac files, specially songs that i have both on foobar and spotify, and spotify being mp3, i have both, i can directly compare, and there are tons of details that get smoothed out, specially in the highs, but no frequency gets their life spared by mp3, in my opinion, then again you need headphones that can handle those flac files since shitty headphones are not good for that, they barely handle mp3


I hated 128 and 192kbps mp3s. 224 was acceptable and 320 was imperceivable.

Alexis Mayer

Got it right on piano concert, suzanne vega and coldplay. Picked the 320 on neil young and jay z and actually picked the 128 version on katy perry. The differences are pretty damn small and subtle. I am not surprised that I can't tell much of a difference on the jay z and katy perry tracks. They were probably produced with streaming in mind. I was surprised that I got it right on the coldpay track. ALL of their albums sound like complete garbage. Very distorted and compressed on top of that. To be completly honest, none of the tracks in that test are perfectly suited to tell real differences in compression. High dynamic drums and cymbals are much more revealing and none of those tracks include them.

Mario Alberto Carpegna

"Taste" is the word.....

Riju Chatterjee

She COULD tell the difference. Jesus.

Chris Porro

so true. listening to music is about real time processing. that takes a while to develop. the crucial information is in the middle. i could hear to 19.5k 12 years ago but my mixes sucked. a lot of good that did me. much better mixes today at 49. can i hear to 19.5k ? don't know. don't care. i do care that my mixes sound better. : )

Joe Meosky

Honestly, Speed of Sound is a great song, but not well mastered. I know the song very well, and it took me a long time to pick out which was uncompressed. The cymbals ended up being the giveaway, but overall none of them sounded great. lol, 5/6, for me, but I'm probably lucky!

C Sen

As hard as it is to hear the difference between the different formats, it would be even harder to hear if a piece of music is WAV on its own. This should be the true test because in practical everyday situations you never have the A, B, C versions side by side to choose from. Modified test: have only one sample of each piece of music and let people click WAV or Not WAV.

Jan Sabarth

MP3 and MP4 was developed by Fraunhofer Institut für integrierte Schaltungen.

Simon Irvine

And what about Al Schmitt, he's 90 years old.

Ford Driver

But mine goes to 11.


I took the test, got 5 out of 6, and the one I chose wrong was the 320kbps mp3. Still, doesn't matter because most of the samples were really bad to begin with. That's the problem, with YouTube, streaming services, etc, we're get used to listen to crappy sources.

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