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High Bitrate FLAC - Can YOU even hear the difference?

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solderdude

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A question for @audiofilet :

You take the hires recording you use.
You downsample it to say... 44/16.

Now you have 2 files, same master.
Try to listen for differences. The ONLY difference is hires vs CD quality.

When you can hear differences try it using Foobar ABX and see if you can still do it.

No science... just listen with your ears but in the Foobar ABX case you basically remove the eyes and 'knowing' part and ONLY use your ears.

What's objectionable about such a test ?
 

abdo123

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A question for @audiofilet :

You take the hires recording you use.
You downsample it to say... 44/16.

Now you have 2 files, same master.
Try to listen for differences. The ONLY difference is hires vs CD quality.

When you can hear differences try it using Foobar ABX and see if you can still do it.

No science... just listen with your ears but in the Foobar ABX case you basically remove the eyes and 'knowing' part and ONLY use your ears.

What's objectionable about such a test ?

it doesn't explain why he could hear the difference when he knew which file is playing :facepalm:.
 
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audiofilet

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The whole point is that you can rule it out, by doing said ABX test.
I don't know how I can make this any clearer to you.

The ABX test's results would be inconclusive because there is no leading scientific theory explaining or refuting what exactly enables people to perceive the difference in the first place.

We don't don't even understand or have the means to hypothesize what exactly is going on here. Don't you understand that performing such a test at this juncture would be irrelevant?
 

BDWoody

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Whether we are all victims of confirmation bias remains to be determined by science, but of course I can't rule it out.

Not without a properly controlled test...that's the point. I think you are working very hard to miss it.

It's really no rocket science, but apparently the bar is sinking.

Consider this thread sinking fast.

I think @SIY had it right a while back. We'll see, but it may be time to close the thread...
 
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solderdude

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it doesn't explain why he could hear the difference when he knew which file is playing :facepalm:.

There is a well known explanation for that. Most just don't wanna hear it.
The explanation is simple in that case. There is verification that hearing does not involve the auditory stimulus only which is widely known and accepted.
 

voodooless

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The ABX test's results would be inconclusive because there is no leading scientific theory explaining or refuting what exactly enables people to perceive the difference in the first place.
It's the other way around: you claim a difference, you prove the difference. Then we can theorise about what it could be.
We don't don't even understand or have the means to hypothesize what exactly is going on here. Don't you understand that performing such a test at this juncture would be irrelevant?
Again: you claim something that you haven't proven.
 
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audiofilet

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Not without a properly controlled test...that's the point. I think you are working very hard to miss it.



Consider this thread sinking fast.

I think @SIY had it right a while back. We'll see, but it may be time to close the thread...
Thanks for keeping it open, and my apologies for the high tension atmosphere.

I absolutely agree, controlled tests are obviously the solution to his problem, but I hope you agree, that the problem itself must first be established, before we can perform tests to solve it.
 

Jimbob54

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I don't know how I can make this any clearer to you.

The ABX test's results would be inconclusive because there is no leading scientific theory explaining or refuting what exactly enables people to perceive the difference in the first place.

We don't don't even understand or have the means to hypothesize what exactly is going on here. Don't you understand that performing such a test at this juncture would be irrelevant?
Has anyone yet established an audible difference there to be perceived? Your starting point seems to be that because people think they perceive a difference, there must be something different in the stimulus. Many here are suggesting that is not actually the case.

Clear the first hurdle of establishing a difference then worry about why you perceive it as you do.
 

JJB70

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Music reproduction is about this audible experience. If that cannot be discerned in a double blind test then that gives us an answer. Different people may provide different results as a result of hearing difference, whether they are trained listeners etc but if I cannot discern a difference then for me there is no audible difference. If others can discern a difference then it is irrelevant to my own listening.
I can sometimes identify the difference between MP3 and CD or FLAC, but not always (I would say well below 50%) and the effort required and method of listening for differences means that even if I was successful in 100% of cases I would still say the differences are irrelevant.
 
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audiofilet

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Has anyone yet established an audible difference there to be perceived? Your starting point seems to be that because people think they perceive a difference, there must be something different in the stimulus. Many here are suggesting that is not actually the case.

Clear the first hurdle of establishing a difference then worry about why you perceive it as you do.
No, I don't think anyone has established the audible difference, scientifically.

It's simply an observation made by a reasonable amount of people that cannot currently be expressed through scientific means.

I'm not claiming there is anything scientific about it, it's purely a personal, subjective experience that some people have shared.
 

BDWoody

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the problem itself must first be established,

Right...

Is there an audible difference under controlled conditions. If that can't demonstrated, there's no problem to be solved.
 

PierreV

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At a certain point any graph, measuring result or scientifically accurate observation will fail to describe the human experience, especially one that corresponds to and is so fundamentally influenced by something as subjective as emotion.

I totally agree that measurements aren't predictive or even correlated with my emotions when I listen to music. I can verify this every time I listen to music. I am lucky enough to have 4 decent systems in 3 different rooms and I can't even predict very accurately which one will work for me at any given time. Sometimes, I sit on the couch, fire up system 1 and things sound wonderful. Sometimes I listen to system 1 for 5 minutes, tell myself it isn't working as well as I hoped, and switch to system 2. Sometimes I switch rooms. On random days, everything sounds wonderful, or unsatisfying. l may one day miss the deep bass my subs provide or find it too much a bit later. About the only time there is a correlation between measurements and my emotions is when I spend some time measuring stuff and get the result I am aiming for. I feel happy and satisfied if I reach my goal, frustrated if I don't. So, yeah, one can say current audio science is limited on that front. It could be that all science needs to predict the outcome of my listening session is a complete panel of all my neuro-transmitters at a given moment and an fMRI, but that is hardly practical.

Subjectivity does indeed rule the audio experience.

However, the problem with that fact is that it is useless. My subjective experience is not your subjective experience. If I told you my system 1 had such "liquid mids it brought tears to my eyes", what would you make of it in practice? Replicate my system 1? Replicate my room and furniture? My ears? My instantaneous mindset?

That being said, all measuring hope is not lost. One can, for example, test many speakers with many listeners and come up with a result that shows what most people seem to prefer. One can analyze the results and identify the factors that seem to influence the preferences. It doesn't tell us what you or I should prefer or what you and I actually prefer. At best, it gives you a probability of what you might prefer, all other things being equal. That's a tiny piece of information, not a rock-solid predictor, but it is better than what a random subjective reviewer can provide, even an honest subjective reviewer (it is hard to think of one with a significant audience that doesn't do product placement).

As a listener, your subjective experience is 100% of what matters. You don't care about what the science says, unless knowing your measured system performance is, by itself, a source of emotional satisfaction. But the fundamental mistake even honest to God subjective reviewers make is to believe that their subjective experience is valuable to others, worth fighting for. Your subjective experience is yours and yours alone.
 

Fohdeesha

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I love the mental gymnastics audiophiles go through to avoid doing simple blind listening tests. Even when other members offer to give them the files ready to go. I do have to admit though, "I'm not going to do that, because it's irrelevant to find out if I can actually hear the difference, but I can assure you I do" is a new one. ABX is as simple as playing one source, then another. Then you get to prove you can tell the difference by choosing which one. No measurements, no scientific analysis, simple pick A or B. If you can't manage to do that, you're not hearing a difference due to the audio itself, you were perceiving it differently because bigger numbers must mean better

Thousands of audiophiles claiming they can hear magic differences, zero instances of one actually demonstrating they can. I can claim I can see through walls all day, but when someone offers to indulge me and hold an A or B sign behind a wall and have me call it, and I flat out deny to because "the method in which I see through walls hasn't been theorized yet, so the results won't matter", my rediculous claim can be dismissed out of hand
 

PierreV

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If we accept that the reason why so many people are convinced of being able to perceive high res audio differently, cannot be explained with current science, then it would obviously be illogical to perform a test that relies on the scientific method and produces results only significant in a scientific context.
Step 1: confirm they actually can
Step 2a : if confirmed, formulate multiple hypotheses to find the reason and test them.
Step 2b: if invalidated, consider the hypothesis that many people are delusional in that respect to be scientifically confirmed.
 

voodooless

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This is just audiophile homoeopathy.

"Really, it works! There are millions of people that observe it does! It's just that they haven't found out why because some things we can't measure yet"

:facepalm:
 

Jimbob54

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No, I don't think anyone has established the audible difference, scientifically.

It's simply an observation made by a reasonable amount of people that cannot currently be expressed through scientific means.

I'm not claiming there is anything scientific about it, it's purely a personal, subjective experience that some people have shared.
It can be explained. Just look to psychology not to measurements of audio equipment.

Rule out the psychology and we can look again at the outputs from the reproduction chain.
 

Galliardist

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it doesn't explain why he could hear the difference when he knew which file is playing :facepalm:.
But it does serve as an isolation test. It tells us that there is no clearly audible difference in the sound waves for the listener concerned.
The diiference is created by the listener, therefore, in processing the full experience including the knowledge of the file being played.
This happens with all our senses. it’s why we don’t go through life seeing the world upside down with two big black spots in our vision, the data our eyes actually collect.
 

Martin

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Regardless of how many times the trolls in this thread state it the “observation made by a reasonable amount of people” has been scientifically understood and debunked for decades. You simply do not understand expectation bias. Look it up. It is present everywhere in science and experiments must be designed to eliminate it. Hence ABX or double blind testing in audio science. Please stop trolling.
 
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