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Can we trust our ears?

Wombat

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#2
The samples come with a message that lossless audio is not supported in my browser - IE11.

HELP.
 

Blumlein 88

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#3
Oh no. Don't tell me you missed those. Maybe you need a little more experience with blind testing. Just get foobar and practice some. One trick is not listening to the whole sample all the way thru. Listen to about 5 seconds and switch. Yes your echoic memory is that bad.

I forget now, but I think I got all save one of them correct. The one I missed I transposed the 320 and uncompressed putting the 128 properly last.

Tom's Diner should be easy, I think it was one of the test tracks used for the original MP3 standard testing anyway.

I just repeated it over speakers, and once again picked 5 of 6 missing the JayZ. Which I think was the one I missed 3 years ago.
 

Sal1950

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#5
Well... I now no longer trust my ears...... :facepalm:
Human perception is the weakest of all diagnostic tools we have at our disposal.
In short NO, you absolutely can not trust your ears.
 

mi-fu

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#7
Oh no. Don't tell me you missed those. Maybe you need a little more experience with blind testing. Just get foobar and practice some. One trick is not listening to the whole sample all the way thru. Listen to about 5 seconds and switch. Yes your echoic memory is that bad.

I forget now, but I think I got all save one of them correct. The one I missed I transposed the 320 and uncompressed putting the 128 properly last.

Tom's Diner should be easy, I think it was one of the test tracks used for the original MP3 standard testing anyway.

I just repeated it over speakers, and once again picked 5 of 6 missing the JayZ. Which I think was the one I missed 3 years ago.
Yes! I got Tom’s Diner and the Mozart one correct every time. But I got the JayZ one wrong EVERYTIME!!!
I only used a headphone to test. Maybe I should use speakers to try again tmr.

And thanks for the 5 sec trick!
 

Wombat

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#9
OK on Firefox.

Amir. MS has gone-to-the-dogs since you left.
hydrant-dog-peeing2.jpg
 

maxxevv

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#10
Its not so easy to discern between them. But a louder volume does help pick up the subtleties better for me at least even then, I could only pick out the lowest 128kbps MP3 consistently. The uncompressed and 320kbps MP3, I could never get a consistent answer in that list of tracks.
 

Wombat

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#12
Narrow focusing on perceived differences between samples can still be overwhelmed by subjective biases. Individual testing via computer samples is pretty naff. Not controlled DBT by any measure.
e407.png
 

solderdude

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#13
A: You cannot trust your ears as reliable, repeatable and accurate analyzers.
B: You can enjoy music with them.
C You can discern quality differences up to specific points where you trained your brain for.... go and do: B
Those specific points are different for most folks, when you think they are reliable, repeatable and accurate enough.... Go To: A.
 
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#14
Oh no. Don't tell me you missed those. Maybe you need a little more experience with blind testing. Just get foobar and practice some. One trick is not listening to the whole sample all the way thru. Listen to about 5 seconds and switch. Yes your echoic memory is that bad.

I forget now, but I think I got all save one of them correct. The one I missed I transposed the 320 and uncompressed putting the 128 properly last.

Tom's Diner should be easy, I think it was one of the test tracks used for the original MP3 standard testing anyway.

I just repeated it over speakers, and once again picked 5 of 6 missing the JayZ. Which I think was the one I missed 3 years ago.
What should we be even looking for? I did this test some time ago and could usually differentiate 128k from the others, but 320k to uncompressed, not so much...
 

andreasmaaan

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#15
Your equipment and room (if you're listening on speakers) also needs to be capable of resolving a difference between the formats. Your ears might not be the only party to blame.

Also, it might help to try to focus on one specific element in the music. A voice, a cymbal, whatever. And to train by listening to the two different versions knowing what you're listening to and trying to listen to different elements each time to see on which elements there seems to be a difference.

However, you'd be correct that 128Kb MP3 is far far higher quality than most people give it credit for.
 

Blumlein 88

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#16
What should we be even looking for? I did this test some time ago and could usually differentiate 128k from the others, but 320k to uncompressed, not so much...
It is a more holistic thing. Somethings like a coarser treble. A lack of fine detail as judged subjectively. What I've found is there are times when I listen to streaming radio off the internet or even streaming music for a few days with no uncompressed music heard by me. It seems fine, no real problem. But over a fairly good system playing a good CD there is a sudden perception of "ooooh, that is the real music. That is all of it, it isn't partly missing". As if some low level grunge has been removed letting a more direct complete sound through.

So I can't give you a very specific list of cues because that isn't how I hear the difference. It also isn't just a which is better choice. Some poorly done recordings I hear that I'm getting all the poorness instead of adulterated low sound quality (which of course makes no sense when I write it that way).
 
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#17
On reading the title "Can we trust our ears?" my initial reaction was ...? well yes, (all things being working) human ears are very good at doing (hearing) what they needed to be good at!. And a "blind test of Uncompressed wav vs 320kbps vs 128kbps" wasn't one of those things. Besides, there will definitely be some limit of audio quality where human hearing can not perceive past. Just like humans can't see in the infrared (without additional instruments/tools).

So, maybe then we can focus our attention a little more on the quality of the music being produced. As I'd argue (against a majority and aggressive industries) that noisy environments are proof that many people are not quite paying attention to environmental sound quality (and environmental quality in general).
 

sergeauckland

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#18
I trust my ears (or rather, my brain) to tell me what I like. I don't ever trust them to tell me what is right, what is better, what is technically correct. Our senses are all badly flawed, and ears are possibly the worse in this.

If I want to know what's right, I use test instruments.

S.
 

Thomas savage

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#20
I'm always impressed with how much better my listening skills are when I'm not sober.

(totally serious)

So, no, I can't trust my ears, because so much of my perception is obviously influenced by how my brain is processing sound.
Beer is the best hifi upgrade , and unlike darts or driving there’s no diminishing returns re the amount you consume vs performance...
 
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