High resolution sound


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I get your arguments. But could you remind me where Sonos claims to be a hi-fi company?
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John B wrote:

But could you remind me where Sonos claims to be a hi-fi company?



Maybe confusing HiFi with WiFi :D
If "whether or not it's audible is completely irrelevant", then why doesn't one simply convert to 16/44.1 and be done with it?

I'll tell you: Because it really isn't irrelevant, and so we are back to square one. And at square one, Sonos stated they do not believe the format gives any advantage, therefore they do not support it. Time to find a manufacturer who does.

And by the way, Hi-Res music is most certainly not "an increasingly more common format." It is a niche of a niche of a niche format. It has never broken over the 1.0% market share in the 20 years it has existed, despite every one of those years the Hi-Res fans tell us it is "an increasingly more common format."
jgatie wrote:

If "whether or not it's audible is completely irrelevant", then why doesn't one simply convert to 16/44.1 and be done with it?



Yes, that's the workaround. But there's extra work in workarounds. Would be ideal if Sonos supported this sort of thing natively. For me, I don't bother doing this because my other audio players in the house play 24/96 fine, so I just listen to those albums when I'm in the other rooms.

And at square one, Sonos stated they do not believe the format gives any advantage, therefore they do not support it.



And this is much more worrying. They should be trying to serve the customer instead of pulling an Apple and trying to shove their preferences down customers' throats.

And by the way, Hi-Res music is most certainly not "an increasingly more common format." It is a niche of a niche of a niche format. It has never broken over the 1.0% market share in the 20 years it has existed, despite every one of those years the Hi-Res fans tell us it is "an increasingly more common format."



It's niche, but its usage IS increasing. That's a factual statement.
croppedbee wrote:


And by the way, Hi-Res music is most certainly not "an increasingly more common format." It is a niche of a niche of a niche format. It has never broken over the 1.0% market share in the 20 years it has existed, despite every one of those years the Hi-Res fans tell us it is "an increasingly more common format."



It's niche, but its usage IS increasing. That's a factual statement.



SONOS is serving the 95% of its customers who are streaming, usually at 256kbps AAC or 320kbps MP3. Serving them quite well, while the tiny customer base who want "hi rez" can simply move to other systems by companies that eagerly cater to their delusions.
croppedbee wrote:


Yes, that's the workaround. But there's extra work in workarounds. Would be ideal if Sonos supported this sort of thing natively. For me, I don't bother doing this because my other audio players in the house play 24/96 fine, so I just listen to those albums when I'm in the other rooms.



Admit it, you think there is a difference.

croppedbee wrote:


And this is much more worrying. They should be trying to serve the customer instead of pulling an Apple and trying to shove their preferences down customers' throats.



Not worrying at all. Sonos determines the market they want to perform in, not you. They have decided the customers who wish to play Hi-Res music are not their intended market. Time to find another manufacturer.

croppedbee wrote:


It's niche, but its usage IS increasing. That's a factual statement.



So what? It's not growing at a rate that justifies supporting it, and hasn't in 20 years. Plus it has a horrible history of failure and scandals for those companies who did support it. As stated on page 1:

SACD - Failed
DVD-Audio - Failed
Pono - Failed, proven to be cooking the Hi-res versions
Apple Hi-res downloads - Rumored, but never arrived
Sony - Sued for misprepresenting the "jaggies" graph for Hi-res audio
All other Hi-Res formats are rife with controversy, including some that were proven to be simply upscaled from CD, and others that were proven to be cooking the mix to make it sound better
chicks wrote:

SONOS is serving the 95% of its customers who are streaming, usually at 256kbps AAC or 320kbps MP3. Serving them quite well, while the tiny customer base who want "hi rez" can simply move to other systems by companies that eagerly cater to their delusions.



As I pointed out previously, you don't have to be "delusional" to actually have 24/96 files in your catalog. I fully acknowledge that there's no audible difference between the SAME master at 24/96 vs. 16/44.1 (I'd further acknowledge that there's no audible difference between LAME-320 and FLAC, but my catalog is still in FLAC for achival purposes). Sonos doesn't have to "cater to delusions", they just have to support a variety of audio formats. It shouldn't be that hard, and plenty of other manufacturers without Sonos' resources have been able to do it successfully. You're making excuses for no apparent reason.

jgatie wrote:

Not worrying at all. Sonos determines the market they want to perform in, not you. They have decided the customers who wish to play Hi-Res music are not their intended market. Time to find another manufacturer.



You're pointing out the obvious. Of course they determine their market. It's not like I'm suggesting government intervene and force them to support what I want. I'm pointing out the same thing as you -- they apparently have no interest in serving a subset of the market. We're saying the same thing, but you're oddly defending their decision and, like the other poster, for no apparent reason.

So what? It's not growing at a rate that justifies supporting it



Several manufacturers disagree with you.
croppedbee wrote:



You're pointing out the obvious. Of course they determine their market. It's not like I'm suggesting government intervene and force them to support what I want. I'm pointing out the same thing as you -- they apparently have no interest in serving a subset of the market. We're saying the same thing, but you're oddly defending their decision and, like the other poster, for no apparent reason..



No, I'm defending it for a very apparent reason; the market isn't big enough to be worth the investment in man-hours and support, especially for a format that gives no benefit except in the imagination of a few very fickle, hard to please audiophiles.


Several manufacturers disagree with you.



Several of them or their products also failed miserably (as you conveniently snipped from your quote of my post).
croppedbee wrote:

Sonos doesn't have to "cater to delusions", they just have to support a variety of audio formats. It shouldn't be that hard, and plenty of other manufacturers without Sonos' resources have been able to do it successfully. You're making excuses for no apparent reason.



So tell me, how many manufacturers are slinging "hi rez" audio around the house, to 32 nodes? How many of them do it on your WiFi (since none of them has anything equivalent to SonosNet)? No rush, I'll wait...
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croppedbee wrote:

[
Several manufacturers disagree with you.



Life's too short, just buy one of those other streamers and plug it in to a Sonos line in. Or better yet roll your own Squeezebox via picore or Volumio call it a day.
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Folks, can anyone recommend a few scientific sources that address ABX testing? Trying to research this further and to clarify if the ABX is indeed established as the golden test. I am finding some debate on it but not an established agreement that it is flawless. While the Boston Audio Society and Acoustic Engineering Society are both interesting sources, I am mostly looking for peer-reviewed articles. If anyone has some links / suggestions can you please share? Thanks

.. on a personal note, I have also not been able to differentiate between Lossless and High res (using a good dac and headphones). Not a scientific test though.
As the last part in the first post on the linked thread says, blind AB tests are commonly used in medical trials used to test efficacy of new drugs to rule out placebo effects. The rest of the thread deals with the subject, as it relates to home audio, in its entirety.

https://hydrogenaud.io/index.php/topic,16295.0.html

There is no argument in general about AB testing being a recognised part of the scientific method. But as someone here has also remarked, life is too short to split hairs on the subject in as trivial a field as home audio, and given that I hear no differences either, I too haven't the inclination to do much more on the subject than understand how what holds true for medical testing/science/human behaviour patterns in general is based on principles that apply equally well to home audio.

The thing is that those that make extraordinary claims have the burden of proving these as well, and no one has posted scientific proofs for claims in the domain of home audio that differences are heard even after all but one variable have been rigorously eliminated. But these days, I am happy to let such claimants live happily in their own world of beliefs as long as I am allowed to live happily in mine.
You will not find any scientific literature completely discounting double blind A/B testing, either with audio or in general. On the other hand, you will find scientific studies, from respected publications, that accept double blind A/B testing as a standard for measuring heard differences between two audio sources. In reality, that is all you need. And until someone proves the ineffectiveness of double blind A/B testing of audio sources and submits it to a scientific publication for critique, I'm afraid all the protesting you hear on audiophile sites is about as relevant as them screaming in the wind.

PS - The Boston Audio Society paper was peer-reviewed.
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jgatie wrote:

You will not find any scientific literature completely discounting double blind A/B testing, either with audio or in general. On the other hand, you will find scientific studies, from respected publications, that accept double blind A/B testing as a standard for measuring heard differences between two audio sources. In reality, that is all you need. And until someone proves the ineffectiveness of double blind A/B testing of audio sources and submits it to a scientific publication for critique, I'm afraid all the protesting you hear on audiophile sites is about as relevant as them screaming in the wind.



Totally agree with you,
Audiophile sites is exactly what I would like to avoid as I try to educating myself on this area :-). Subjective / perceived listening sometimes makes for fun reading but the ABX method is a great attempt at controlling for subjectivity (to an extent). I have attempted to research the area but I have so far found debate (quite strong actually) but limited actual peer reviewed validation. My goal is to learn more about it (certainly avoid the audiophile subjective articles) and apologies for derailing the thread.
If you have any links / recommendations for scientific literature that employs the methodology I would be grateful for the input :-)

Cheers
Have you seen this:

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/aes-paper-digest-sensitivity-and-reliability-of-abx-blind-testing.186/

It is a summary and discussion of a 1991 paper in which the audiophile preferred "long term listening" test was compared with quick switching A/B/X testing. The self-described "golden eared" audiophiles failed to identify deliberate distortion put into the source chain in a long term test, whereas engineers using A/B/X found it immediately.
jgatie wrote:

Have you seen this:

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/aes-paper-digest-sensitivity-and-reliability-of-abx-blind-testing.186/

It is a summary and discussion of a 1991 paper in which the audiophile preferred "long term listening" test was compared with quick switching A/B/X testing. The self-described "golden eared" audiophiles failed to identify deliberate distortion put into the source chain in a long term test, whereas engineers using A/B/X found it immediately.


That had me laughing. Not only did the 'golden ears' of the Audiophile/Take Home Group fail to detect in a long-term test whether they'd been handed a black box with a 2.5% distortion circuit, it would appear that their in-built aversion to A/B stopped them from even switching the tape loop in and out as a comparator.
ratty wrote:


That had me laughing. Not only did the 'golden ears' of the Audiophile/Take Home Group fail to detect in a long-term test whether they'd been handed a black box with a 2.5% distortion circuit, it would appear that their in-built aversion to A/B stopped them from even switching the tape loop in and out as a comparator.



Yeah, you couldn't write this as a script; no one would believe it. That paper really says more about audiophilia than it does about A/B testing.
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Great input and thanks for the links folks :-) I have been doing some reading and it appears there is still some debate on the double blind test methodology:
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/limitations-of-blind-testing-procedures.1254/
Very few (if any) peer reviewed studies conducted unfortunately (AES study was not peer reviewed apparently). The implication to my mind is that ABX testing methodology is certainly the way to go but not yet at the gold standard level (in terms of methodological validity and results generalisability). Seems like it needs additional validation and refinement.
I will keep reading on this for sure. Super interesting
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Yiannis74 wrote:

it appears there is still some debate on the double blind test methodology


There's still debate on a lot of things where there really shouldn't be, because the science is clear. However, people are free to believe whatever unproven nonsense they like ... as long as they make sure they go to that 'Homeopathic A&E' when they have a serious medical emergency.

I've seen no serious, scientifically reasoned objection to DB ABX testing. All it's saying is that in order to prefer one thing over another, a minimum condition is that you can actually tell the two things apart under properly controlled conditions. If you can't tell them apart, how can you possibly have a preference?

What new 'gold standard' would you prefer? If you want to theorise objections to the logic and methodology of DB ABX (an interesting exercise), you'll also need to theorise experiments that will validate those objections.

Or, are you actually doubting the methodology, or the results of its application?
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In my view the abx is the way forward but the lack of peer reviewed, repeatable studies indicated to me that it is not yet at the gold standard level. The lack of peer reviewed studies is not the only problem. Sample sizes are small, confounding variables not controlled etc. With a bit ore work I think that abx may become scientifically established.
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Yiannis74 wrote:

In my view the abx is the way forward but the lack of peer reviewed, repeatable studies indicated to me that it is not yet at the gold standard level. The lack of peer reviewed studies is not the only problem. Sample sizes are small, confounding variables not controlled etc. With a bit ore work I think that abx may become scientifically established.


So, to be clear, it’s not the methodology that you are questioning, but the studies performed using it? Because there is absolutely no question that DB ABX is scientifically established as a gold standard methodology. (If you feel it falls below this standard, feel free to propose an alternative.)

Absolutely, let’s have more audio studies conducted. However, note that since one can’t logically prove a negative hypothesis (“Hi-Res Audio cannot be distinguished from CD quality audio”), one can do studies forever without convincing the skeptics.
Yiannis74 wrote:

In my view the abx is the way forward but the lack of peer reviewed, repeatable studies indicated to me that it is not yet at the gold standard level. The lack of peer reviewed studies is not the only problem. Sample sizes are small, confounding variables not controlled etc. With a bit ore work I think that abx may become scientifically established.



What do you mean by "gold standard"? And what makes you think DB A/B/X is not "scientifically established"? It is accepted by the scientific community as a standard, otherwise the scientific community would reject it in their publications. To date, there are no studies that prove it is unacceptable. Like any other accepted premise in science, until there are studies disproving the premise, it is accepted. How much more do you need to make it "gold" or "established"?

As to why there are no studies "proving" DB A/B/X is a standard, I suggest to you that eliminating all outside variables in order to prove one variable is different from another is merely common sense, and "proving" it is truly a lesson in the mundane. It is only the audiophiles who try to "disprove" something so basic, and they haven't done it yet.
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Sampling frame and sample size requirements are an integral part of research design and research methodology that employs hypothesis testing. They are important for various reasons including the degree by which results can be generalised to a population as well as reducing the false positives etc. Controlling for confounding variables affects the explanatory power of the test. What I propose is that based on established scientific methodology (e.g. psychology and social science hypothesis testing research methods etc.), abx testing needs work both in terms of methodology validation as well as the hypothesis testing results themselves. In that respect the test results are indicative but not definitive. Sorry for borrowing the 'gold standard' phrase, it is not exactly scientific. All this though is not my opinion at all, just standard social and psychological research method design principles. Having said that I fully respect your opinions and I am not trying to disprove them. Thank you for the very useful links on the abx, it helped a lot :-)
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Yiannis74 wrote:

... What I propose is that based on established scientific methodology (e.g. psychology and social science hypothesis testing research methods etc.), abx testing needs work both in terms of methodology validation as well as the hypothesis testing results themselves. ...


You still haven't stated whether you are unconvinced by the DB ABX approach itself, or by the manner in which it has been employed (i.e., the specific studies). I can't untangle it in what you've posted so far.

Which is it?
pwt wrote:


You still haven't stated whether you are unconvinced by the DB ABX approach itself, or by the manner in which it has been employed (i.e., the specific studies). I can't untangle it in what you've posted so far.

Which is it?



I too am confused by this, and await clarification before I comment any more.

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