Can YOU Hear the Difference between 128kbps MP3 and Uncompressed Audio?

by Dave Hamilton in


Curious how many of you can reliably hear any difference here?

It's interesting taking listening tests using tracks with which I'm not intimately familiar, even testing with an Audioengine D1 DAC and either great speakers or great headphones. Using this same setup I certainly occasionally notice a difference between 128kbps MP3 and lossless audio when listening at my desk, but quite a bit less so when I don't know the track, it seems. 

Two things come to mind:

  1. Production values matter. Crap in = Crap out.
  2. Why in the hell didn't they use the Gold Standard when it comes to A/B audio testing?

Interestingly, after listening to these tests I put on some (lossless) Steely Dan in iTunes and things sounded much wider. While that may still speak to production values, I'm also now suspect of the path audio takes from that particular website through my web browser (Safari) to my speakers.

(hat tip to Dave Mark at The Loop for the link).