Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
  • Anyone using HD audio service, Amazon or otherwise
  • Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Just started a free trial. Sat here listening on my Samsung S9 and Sony wh-1000xm3 and I’m trying to figure out if there’s a difference. I can normally tell small differences in hifi but with headphones I find it a lot more difficult as it’s somehow ‘noisier’ and more overwhelming to my ears.

    I was about to dismiss the idea then I realised I can actually hear far more of the lyrics on some well-worn tracks.

    Premier Icon kneebiscuit
    Subscriber

    Have you tried plugging the headphones in rather than bluetooth? Noticeable improvement in quality for me (I have the same headphones)

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    I have tried both, but this ends up being another variable to deal with. And you apparently can’t keep both HD and SD versions of a track on the device at the same time so you can’t do back to back testing.

    Wired makes a big difference but so it did on SD. And the bass is louder which for me means I have to turn the volume down which affects the test!

    Premier Icon Jamze
    Subscriber

    Check you are using either aptX HD or LDAC for Bluetooth. Should be in the settings on the phone. You might find this is actually better quality than wired (depends on the quality of the DAC and headphone amp in the S9).

    320kps compared to 24/192 should be noticeable IMO.

    Update…just googled the S9. Wired should be decent.

    ‘Samsung continues to support high-resolution audio up to 24bit/192kHz, as well as DSD files, and has gone against the grain by keeping the 3.5mm headphone jack.

    That means you can plug in your favourite pair of headphones without the need for an adapter. There’s also a pair of AKG-branded in-ears in the box, but they sit a little on the rich side for our tastes, with slightly boosted bass.

    Opt for something more neutral and you’ll get to hear what the S9 is really capable of – a clean, clear and detailed sound, with plenty of drive and a decent amount of nuance and expression.’

    Premier Icon riddoch
    Subscriber

    I tried to compare the same track sourced from Spotify and amazonHD and the volumes were at different levels so  couldn’t really tell any difference. Also was listening over Bluetooth headphones so that was probably limiting.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Yes I know about codecs and whatnot. Not asking for advice, just people’s opinions on actual HD music on phones. People say it ‘should’ be noticeable and there’s lots of theory, but real life opinions are thin on the ground it seems.

    Also, just filled up my phone’s storage with a dozen albums. Arse.

    fossy
    Member

    Keep getting offered it on Amazon, but my ears would never know the difference (tinnitus)

    Premier Icon Jamze
    Subscriber

    Difficult if you can’t switch easily between 320kps and hi-res.

    I definitely can hear the difference when comparing standard streamed stuff with hi-res with an external DAC/headphone amp driving my AKG headphones. That’s not on my phone though.

    Premier Icon rone
    Subscriber

    Yes I have.

    Quality of masters varies a lot so you may only hear differences occasionally.

    If you have the top quality 24bit/192 stream on a great system you will hear a difference. Beyond that it’s diminishing returns. Very few of the Amazon streams are at that level.

    It’s good to have access to quality but as you age it becomes less relevant on the hearing!

    retro83
    Member

    If you can reliably tell the difference between 320KB/s lossy and lossless on a modern codec you are doing very well.
    I could just about ABX LAME MP3 vs FLAC at 320 on a few tracks (pre-echo is easy to hear once you notice it). No chance on Vorbis or AAC though (which is what streaming services use).

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Turns out the echo dot supports HD audio, and mine is connected to a decent hifi, BUT the DAC is unlikely to be great in a £35 device…

    The storage issue alone is likely to lead to me not continuing after the trial, but also the fact I’d need a wired connection to use it.

    Premier Icon RicB
    Subscriber

    Call me a cynic but….when HD TVs came out the manufacturers were doing everything they could to provide comparator clips to showcase the difference in quality. Likewise when 4K and 4K HDR came out vs 1080p. Content providers did the same, notably Sky with 1080p and BBC/Netflix with 4K HDR

    The fact it seems so difficult to compare hi-res audio to ‘standard’ makes me think the content owners and streaming services know there’s hardly any difference unless the listener has a very good audio system.

    I’m sticking with bog standard Spotify for now

    No. Not planning on doing so.

    Past experience of ripping to wav, flac, aac, and mp3 showed me that high enough bit rates on aac and mp3 were indistinguishable from originals and wav and flac. I’m not cursed with audiophile golden ears.

    YMMV.
    https://thenextweb.com/plugged/2018/09/07/prove-your-audiophile-skills-with-this-blind-test-on-lossless-music/

    https://ftalphaville.ft.com/2019/05/13/1557720021000/High-resolution-music-is-a-solution-looking-for-a-problem/

    http://ethanwiner.com/hd-audio.htm

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Having listened to an album on the plane today in the same conditions as last week in SD I realised I could make out far more of the lyrics in HD. I’ve gone from being sceptical at first to maybe being positive.

    Past experience of ripping to wav, flac, aac, and mp3 showed me that high enough bit rates on aac and mp3 were indistinguishable from originals and wav and flac.

    Yeah but with Amazon music you don’t get to choose you bit rate with compressed audio. You just get SD, HD or Ultra HD.

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