Hi-Resolution Audio and Sonos

  • 14 December 2018
  • 118 replies
  • 15418 views


Show first post

118 replies

Badge
Wow. Ok. In the meantime, here is how you can determine if high-res will make a difference to you. If you can make our differences between any of these, chances are high-res will make a difference for you:

1) 128 vs 320 vs CD Quality
2) Bluetooth headphones vs. same headphones connected via cable to the music player
3) Playing the CD on your kenwood head unit vs. playing music through HDMI adapter connected to your iPhone

i can hear differences in sound quality in all the above scenarios.

if high-res made no difference, then hearing music live and through a CD would be the same. Because you are comparing the original analog source with a recording of the same.

if high-res made no difference, how come all the samples from voice to instruments of sound libraries like east west audio came in 24 bit vs. 16 bit which supposedly is all we need?

the comparison I made of playing back CD quality vs. high-res of my mix was not on Sonos. It was on a regular wired system. I can sure make out the difference. So do all the sound engineers at the studio as well. We hear what we hear. Theory and books are not going to change our experience.

i do believe that good speakers make a difference. It is possible that you hear CD vs high-res on $ 20,000 reference speakers, and it makes not much of a difference. I don’t know - have not tried that. Sure the focals in my car sound better than Sonos play 5 at home for the exact same sound. So, there are various factors at play here.

i do believe that listening to music the way most people do, with regular speakers and regular sound systems, there is a difference between 24 vs. 16 bit I can hear myself.

Nyquist-Shannon has its place - but you have to consider that there are a lot more factors in play when music is played back which contribute to the overall experience - all of which can increase or decrease your musical experience. So, we can’t just quote theorems and generalize it for everyone in every context using a wide variety of equipment.

sonos at home is good enough for me as I don’t have to drill holes in walls, try to hide huge speakers, go through trying to get unplayable high-res music to play in some of the more exotic formats.

try it out yourself and make the choice. Don’t listen to what anybody says about it until you have heard it yourself.


i can hear differences in sound quality in all the above scenarios.

I don't doubt that you can hear these differences. But the question to be answered is how many of these will survive in a controlled single variable level matched blind test.

Until then, all I can say is that what your subjective experience is, is just that and therefore of not much use to me.

Particularly since I have been there, done that and I have come to realise what matters to my perceptions of sound quality. And what does not.

if high-res made no difference, then hearing music live and through a CD would be the same. Because you are comparing the original analog source with a recording of the same.


And on this: I am sure that no technology exists today that can match the experience of a live music gig and bring that to the home. Perhaps someday in the future when the star trek kind of holo decks are a reality, but I would not bet on even that.
Badge
As a note, I never said “staircase”. I just talked about samples. And he says the exact same thing in the video as well - the spaces in between - is what I am talking about. You can get a perfect sine wave output from a low res recording as well, because it fills up the spaces exactly as he says in the video. The more sample you take, the less filling up you have to do, and so the higher fidelity you get.

The spaces in between is what is “filled in” or approximated. Nothing to do with staircase, sure it looks like a perfect sine wave, but nevertheless not the original recording - in audio terms. Just an approximation - albeit very good one. And audio recordings are not perfect sine waves which can be perfectly reproduced by approximations everytime.

So far, I see nothing in that video which proves anything wrong. All I said is that some people can make out a higher sampling rate - and the difference it makes.

thanks for the link. I trust my textbooks over some dude in a YouTube video - granted using the same equipment I used in first year of college.
Good grief😭
try it out yourself and make the choice. Don’t listen to what anybody says about it until you have heard it yourself.

Already done. Except unlike you, I did it using files produced from the same masters, in an ABX test using Foobar, so I had no idea which file I was listening to. I was unable to find a difference.

So I tell you what, why don't you "try it out yourself" by taking a Hi-Res file, downsample it to 16/44.1, then take the two versions and listen to them through Foobar using the ABX feature. If you can tell the difference between the two with any statistically significant result, you can sell your ears to the Hi-Res music industry for millions of dollars, for you will have been the very first human being in history to achieve that result.
What happened to the legendary 24/192 thread by the way?
Whilst I appreciate this may well be a "science vs faith" irresolvable argument, a few comments:

1) 128 vs 320 vs CD Quality
2) Bluetooth headphones vs. same headphones connected via cable to the music player
3) Playing the CD on your kenwood head unit vs. playing music through HDMI adapter connected to your iPhone

i can hear differences in sound quality in all the above scenarios.

Of course you can. 128 & 320 are lossy. Bluetooth is lossy (very, depending on the codec).

if high-res made no difference, then hearing music live and through a CD would be the same. Because you are comparing the original analog source with a recording of the same.

Not apples for apples at all. As Kumar remarked, the live experience is totally different from a stereo recording, if for no other reason than the spatial context.

if high-res made no difference, how come all the samples from voice to instruments of sound libraries like east west audio came in 24 bit vs. 16 bit which supposedly is all we need?

Simple. Digital audio software works in 24bit (or higher) to provide space above and below the music information to allow for errors during all the necessary computations. At the end of the process, correct engineering aligns the music samples into the 16-bit space which, remember, has a dynamic range exceeding that of human hearing.

the comparison I made of playing back CD quality vs. high-res of my mix was not on Sonos. It was on a regular wired system. I can sure make out the difference. So do all the sound engineers at the studio as well. We hear what we hear. Theory and books are not going to change our experience.

Bad conversion to 16-bit would manifest on whatever platform.

Nyquist-Shannon has its place - but you have to consider that there are a lot more factors in play when music is played back which contribute to the overall experience - all of which can increase or decrease your musical experience. So, we can’t just quote theorems and generalize it for everyone in every context using a wide variety of equipment.

Those that maintain that there are all kinds of other magical factors in play tend to be labelled as "subjectivists", which rather takes me back to my opening sentence....
Ah here it is:

https://en.community.sonos.com/components-228996/zp-24-96-7951/index40.html

Sonos got fed up of seeing it and shut it down.
As a note, I never said “staircase”. I just talked about samples. And he says the exact same thing in the video as well - the spaces in between - is what I am talking about. You can get a perfect sine wave output from a low res recording as well, because it fills up the spaces exactly as he says in the video. The more sample you take, the less filling up you have to do, and so the higher fidelity you get.

The spaces in between is what is “filled in” or approximated. Nothing to do with staircase, sure it looks like a perfect sine wave, but nevertheless not the original recording - in audio terms. Just an approximation - albeit very good one. And audio recordings are not perfect sine waves which can be perfectly reproduced by approximations everytime.

So far, I see nothing in that video which proves anything wrong. All I said is that some people can make out a higher sampling rate - and the difference it makes.

thanks for the link. I trust my textbooks over some dude in a YouTube video - granted using the same equipment I used in first year of college.



If that is what you gleaned from the video, I suggest you watch it again. There are no "spaces in between", there is no "approximation". You are wrong, audio waves are most certainly sine waves, and they can most certainly be perfectly reproduced by Nyquist-Shannon.

And that "dude" is the original creator of the Ogg Free Software container format and the Vorbis audio codec and others, and the founder of The Xiph.Org Foundation, the producers of the FLAC codec. As to college, he holds a B.S. in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a M.Eng. degree in computer engineering from the Tokyo Institute of Technology.

Do you have a BS from MIT and a Masters from Tokyo Tech?
Oh dear. It sounds like a brief education in Fourier analysis is also required.
Oh dear. It sounds like a brief education in Fourier analysis is also required.

Well, to the defense of the OP, Fourier analysis is usually not covered in a first year college course. 😉
I am listening on my desktop to an Echo Dot wired to the line in of my Connect Amp, playing Tab Benoit: These Blues Are All Mine. As good as it can get at the desktop via small bookshelf speakers. I don't care what are the numbers for the source, they don't matter. If I like the music, they are irrelevant red herrings. And if I don't, nothing via adding more numbers will make me like it.
Badge


i can hear differences in sound quality in all the above scenarios.
I don't doubt that you can hear these differences. But the question to be answered is how many of these will survive in a controlled single variable level matched blind test.

Until then, all I can say is that what your subjective experience is, is just that and therefore of not much use to me.

Particularly since I have been there, done that and I have come to realise what matters to my perceptions of sound quality. And what does not.


This I agree - that neither you nor me can generalize based on either of our experiences
Badge
Good grief😭

The critical mistake in the video is that he says that the software might not complete the empty spaces between the samples and he draws some childish drawings.

Wrong way to look at it. Real world audio is not straight lines or curves between two samples. Again this is basic electronics you learn in first year of engineering. Real world audio or signal is never a perfect sine wave.

Hence the reproduction will not be perfectly accurate as long as the empty areas are “filled in”. Everything is an approximation and CD quality is also nothing but a good approximation beyond which most people cannot make out any difference.
Badge

Yup. Monty linked that off his original article.Pretty effective demo when the signal is put through an O-scope. If it is identical even when blown up on the O-scope, it's probably pretty good for the far more imprecise human ear.


Except that real world audio signals are not perfect sine waves with perfect curves which can be approximated perfectly after digitization.
Badge

if high-res made no difference, then hearing music live and through a CD would be the same. Because you are comparing the original analog source with a recording of the same.

And on this: I am sure that no technology exists today that can match the experience of a live music gig and bring that to the home. Perhaps someday in the future when the star trek kind of holo decks are a reality, but I would not bet on even that.


Wrong. You can spend $$$$ to get high end equipment which can reproduce like live performance if you can pay the $$$$
Badge
Sadly folks think all kinds of things but when presented with a double-blind A B test can't correctly guess either way.

There are a few exceptions when over-sampled files cause audio artifacts that make the music sound worse.


I agree “most” people can’t make out the difference. But some people can, and they should have the opportunity to pay more to hear the music they love better.
Badge

The way digital music is stored, it does not capture all the information. There is definitely loss based on sampling rate. This I learnt at college.
Can you point to a link that contains the science that says that a sampling rate of 44.1 kHz is not adequate to capture all the information up to 20 kHz?


First year electronics engineering textbook, where they talk about sampling and what it is.
Badge

try it out yourself and make the choice. Don’t listen to what anybody says about it until you have heard it yourself.Already done. Except unlike you, I did it using files produced from the same masters, in an ABX test using Foobar, so I had no idea which file I was listening to. I was unable to find a difference.

So I tell you what, why don't you "try it out yourself" by taking a Hi-Res file, downsample it to 16/44.1, then take the two versions and listen to them through Foobar using the ABX feature. If you can tell the difference between the two with any statistically significant result, you can sell your ears to the Hi-Res music industry for millions of dollars, for you will have been the very first human being in history to achieve that result.


Now you are being very subjective and generalizing - so just because you can’t make out the difference - you are saying that none of the other people in the world - some more qualified than you or me, who can make out the difference are wrong.

when I recorded in the studio, the sound engineer could hear stuff I could not hear playing back at the same time. Just he has more experience, more musical knowledge, plays more instruments - so sure he can hear more, make our differences, and that is how they earn the $$$ making good mixes for top artists.

just because some companies said something which maybe marketing does not mean the whole thing is wrong.

i am not sure how many time since I got to mention here that - forget your setup man. This is the studio - here we can accurately create the audio file exactly at the correct scientific low res and high res. Same files uploaded to iTunes and Google Music and everywhere. so my “test” is way more accurate than yours because the files I used for high-res and low-res are the same ones sent by the music publishers and uploaded to online stores.

If if there is a problem with the fidelity of my tests, well the music publisher won’t accept it for publishing.

I can say 100% for sure that the high res made a massive difference which people should atleast try and then decide whether they can hear or not.
Badge
If that is what you gleaned from the video, I suggest you watch it again. There are no "spaces in between", there is no "approximation". You are wrong, audio waves are most certainly sine waves, and they can most certainly be perfectly reproduced by Nyquist-Shannon.


Everyone who has read this thread should stop right here. No need to go forward from this sentence. This is where they are completely wrong.

By their very nature analog signals are not predictable and need to be sampled so that they can be stored and reproduced later. Every digitization technique uses sampling for this very reason - other we would have “vector audio” like “vector graphics” - just equations and the Mona Lisa could be reproduced perfectly by equations.

Here are are some links from respected people in the industry who actually know what they are taking about:

https://www.cnet.com/google-amp/news/whats-so-great-about-high-resolution-audio/

https://www.cnet.com/news/best-sound-quality-does-the-format-really-matter/

Steve Guttenberg, world renowned. The real deal. Don’t read anything else. What he says is exactly what I am saying as well. He writes better.

CASE CLOSED!
And God created the world six thousand years ago with all the marks of antiquity and decay as seen in the geographical and fossil record.

There isn't any arguing with such wisdom.
Steve Guttenberg, world renowned. The real deal.
The man that wrote "To my ears, a good LP played on a decent turntable sounds better than most high-resolution files".
Case closed.
And given that he ranks hi res above or equal to CD quality, it isn't the audio artifacts that hi res files can sometimes contain that is behind this faith in LPs.
Steve Guttenberg, world renowned. The real deal. Don’t read anything else. What he says is exactly what I am saying as well. He writes better.

CASE CLOSED!


Lol. Steve Guttenberg is one of the worst audiophools out there. Go look at a couple of his YooToob videos; he bungles his way through, has zero technical knowledge, and contradicts himself constantly. Try to pin him down an ANYTHING; he simply waffles.
Dear Lord. 🙄

Reply