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[POLL] Hi-res music

Hi-res music?

  • I do pay for hi-res music files and I can discern an improvement over lower rate files

    Votes: 45 16.2%
  • I don't pay for hi-res music files and I can discern an improvement over lower rate files

    Votes: 20 7.2%
  • I do pay for hi-res music files but I can't discern an improvement over lower rate files

    Votes: 89 32.1%
  • I don't pay for hi-res music files but I can't discern an improvement over lower rate files

    Votes: 110 39.7%
  • Dont think I have ever heard a hi-res music file.

    Votes: 13 4.7%

  • Total voters
    277

Jimbob54

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For the sake of this poll, let us define a few things:

1. "paying for" - if you subscribe to Tidal, Amazon HD, Qobuz lets assume one way or another you are "paying" for hi res files. Even if, like Tidal, the MQA bit comes as part of the lossless tier.

2. Let us also park the whole MQA debate, its lossiness or not, legitimacy of advertised benefits etc and just go with if you consume MQA that decodes to above 16/44.1 it is "Hi-res" for the purposes of this poll. So Tidal Masters go in the Hi-res category.

This will all go horribly wrong I am sure as we all love criticising polls- but, humour me.


Edit, let's go with the Wikipedia definition for "hi res". So CD is not hi-res for this poll

"High-resolution audio (High-definition audio or HD audio) is a term for audio files with greater than 44.1 kHz sample rate or higher than 16-bit audio bit depth. It commonly refers to 96 or 192 kHz sample rates. However, there also exist 44.1 kHz/24-bit, 48 kHz/24-bit and 88.2 kHz/24-bit recordings that are labeled HD Audio."
 
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RayDunzl

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I buy a CD once in a while.

But that's not one of the poll choices.
 

Propheticus

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Just to confirm: that means the Spotify premium subscription does not count as hi-res? It's a high bitrate, but lossy.

Or let me rephrase: please define hi-res. Is lossless redbook (44.1k/16bit) hi-res?

Edit: thanks for added definition.
Then no, I don't pay for or hear a difference. Downsampled a hi-res file to redbook using Foobar2000 and the SoX resampler. ABX failed. Then converted the same source to ogg vorbis at Spotify settings...still failed to ABX.
 
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Thomas savage

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I do pay for amazon prime, the cd tends to sound ' fuller ' this is something iv observed before when trying up-sampling vs red book on a esoteric CDP .

I went back to playing cds recently as I made more progress with the genesis room software so didn't want my phones eq any more .. lasted about 2 days then got lazy and kept to streaming lol

320 I use in the gym and at work but no way I'm putting that on my hifi .

Its plain unnecessary.
 
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Lambda

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With "normal" music at normal listening level i can’t tell the difference between 16/44,1 and 24/96.
In ab quick AB test at super high volume at a quiet part of the song i can. But that's cheating so i answered "can't discern an improvement"
 
OP
Jimbob54

Jimbob54

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tuga

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I was able to discern an improvement with the PlaClassics format comparison files.

I still buy mostly Redbook, either downloads or CD. High-res only on promo and only digitally recorded classical.
Spotify is fine for rock.
 

SJ777

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I'm happy to take play, but just one question. When you say I can/cannot discern an improvement over lower rate files, are we talking lower rate as 16/44.1 or lower rate even lower than this?
 
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Jimbob54

Jimbob54

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I'm happy to take play, but just one question. When you say I can/cannot discern an improvement over lower rate files, are we talking lower rate as 16/44.1 or lower rate even lower than this?
Ive updated the OP with a definition of "hi-res"- so no, redbook 16/44.1 is not Hi res
 

SJ777

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Ive updated the OP with a definition of "hi-res"- so no, redbook 16/44.1 is not Hi res
Sorry, I was talking about the lower rate definition. Are we comparing hi-res to CD quality, or hi-res to free Spotify?
 

JEntwistle

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Amazon HD is really CD quality, not hi res. Their Ultra is hi res. But you pay for Amazon HD, which includes both Amazon's HD and Ultra. So this is one that falls on both sides.

I'll say that I think I can hear the difference between lossy and the CD quality. But I don't think I can tell a difference from CD quality to Hi Res.

I voted for the top one, but not sure if this fits. Also, I have Amazon music for other reasons (i.e.: family members that want to listen on their Echos and don't care about quality), so the add-on for Amazon HD is not much.
 
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Jimbob54

Jimbob54

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Sorry, I was talking about the lower rate definition. Are we comparing hi-res to CD quality, or hi-res to free Spotify?
Anything less than. So hi res compared to anything 16/44.1 or below.
 

Honken

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I've got a fair bit of (lossless) 24bit 192/96khz songs in my local library. I don't hear any conclusive difference when downsampling these highres tracks to Redbook.

As for streaming, I use Apple Music. I don't hear any difference between Apple Music and my local lossless library - other than the low volume of Apple Music. I think it uses AAC for streaming, but I frankly don't care. Most of the time (these days, thanks to COVID-19) I listen to Apple Music with my iPhone, which in turn streams it to my main stereo via AirPlay (shairport-sync on a RPi works fantastic).

I don't listen much to classical music, thus I find the selection on Apple Music pretty good and I like the way it works with its concept of personal libraries vs. radio stations and public playlists of other streaming services. It's also nicely integrated to my phone, which isn't a must but my phone is the device on which I care the most about streaming on as it is hard to bring my local library with my on the go.

I don't really like it per se, but I appreciate the fact that Apple Music very clearly signals when they lose streaming rights to specific songs/albums in my country. In my friends playlists on Spotify, tracks simply disappear without a notice instead, which I find unacceptable (or maybe I just listen to too many artists). This is also the reason why I keep a local library of ca 30k albums in lossless format, streaming services are ephemeral and the lossless codec de jour changes over time.

For what it is worth, I used to stream my local library over 64kbps Opus (with the encoder complexity set to max etc.). I found that transparent with most music.
 

LearningToSmile

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I don't really find anything missing from CD quality recordings or find anything better about hi-res recordings, so I don't think I can hear much of a difference - but I didn't bother a/b testing, really. The one time I did a/b test I did hear some difference but that was with tracks I had no way to confirm if the master was the same, as I didn't downsample them myself. Maybe I should try it someday, but believing that CD quality is good enough for me makes life a lot simpler. Maybe one day when I own an "endgame" audio setup I'll bother.
 

RayDunzl

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Ive updated the OP with a definition of "hi-res"- so no, redbook 16/44.1 is not Hi res

My audio chain takes whatever is being played, whether it is one of the "high res" combinations or "other res", converts it to 24/48 (is that mid res?), and then when presented to the DAC it becomes 32/211 for at least a while before it is converted to analog, at which time it becomes null/null or /∞, depending on how you want to define a comparison of analog to digital.

The good stuff sounds good, the not so good stuff sounds not so good. That's all I look for.

Later....
 

Jim Matthews

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What Ron said.

ditto
 
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