Even though AppleTV 4K is [supposedly] using Spotify Connect, it sounds like a 128k file compared to the native Spotify app on my DENON x7200. The soundstage is narrow and stops at my speakers. The DENON app using true Spotify Connect has a very wide soundstage, about as wide to my mid surrounds. The song used was Chocolate Chip Trip. ##- Please type your. reply above this line -##
That's true, as long as the source the FLAC is derived from, is the same.
But the initial problem is more about compressed vs lossless and to my ears, there isn't much of, if any, difference audible.
Afaik the majority of people struggle to spot differences between mp3s lower than 256 kbps vs FLAC. A few people with highly trained ears are able to spot minor differences between 256 kbps and FLAC, after listening intensively for hours and comparing back and forth.
(that's not how I want to enjoy music, but to each their own)
The majority is not able to discern one from another.
320 kbps and above should be in the realm of inaudibility - Maybe if you are young, in possession of some revealing audio equipment, have highly trained ears and perfect hearing, then maybe you could tell on certain songs, but still I remain highly sceptical of those claims.
(The Hi-fi world is full of people who claim just about anything)
I can't hear s***, even though my equipment is not the issue, and on top I'm turning 40 and I'm pretty sure that my hearing over 16 kHz is **bleep**, as is to be expected when getting older.
"The thing is, whether you can personally always hear it or not, lossy codecs such as MP3/OGG are by definition a reduction of the source material that was painstakingly produced by the artist to provide an optimal listening experience. There is no good reason anymore in (almost) 2020 to *not* provide the material exactly how it was intended, people have different ears and equipment anyway and listening circumstances vary. As long as there is a cheaper plan available for people that find a reduced quality version okay, then everyone is happy."
The subjective responses in this thread about whether someone can or cannot personally hear it are just not helpful. It's quite possible that some of the people that can't would say otherwise if they had the ears or equipment of the people that do. For any useful discussion on any topic it's necessary to move out of the realm of subjectivity first.
The same also goes for streaming video, most older people don't have the eyes, equipment or viewing distance to fully appreciate 4K or even 8K video. That doesn't mean that Netflix should keep streaming only 1080P just because this group is satisfied. It would be silly to stop progressing because a part of their audience subjectively feels that their current viewing experience should be 'good enough' for everyone.
The Hz you can hear is not the point You are a human being, not a machine. You are able to hear things that a machine cannot measure. I’m sure you can hear the difference between a clean cymbal hit and one that sounds like it’s splattered? Can you hear where specific instruments are in a soundstage and point them out? Can you sit & listen and point to where you hear the outer edges of the soundstage? A machine measuring 20,000Hz to 20Hz does not do that. I am so sick and tired of people bringing up the Hz level that humans can and can’t hear. It’s irrelevant in the big picture.
If that's the way you listen to music, than fine, but don't try to tell me, that you can easily spot this on the fly on any song when relaxing on the couch.
If you can, than take one of the good tests out there and report back.
If you take the time and look at my first post, you can read that I fully endorse the idea of a lossless audio quality on Spotify and would happily pay for it, knowing that for the vast majority of my listening it won't make much of a difference. (as it won't for the vast majority of people, as nearly every single blind study out there is showing)
About machines: I would argue that a machine is far better at hearing than any human can ever be and if you can't measure it, it's unproven. That's how science works and that's the major contributing reason, why loudspeakers and the rest of the electronics nowadays are as good as they are.
The human ears and the connected brains usually aren't very trustworthy.
I myself have speakers and amps worth around $10000 dollars so I am serious in my listening.
Anywho, I have read and participated in several blindtests not just streaming services but also for cables and amplifiers aswell as speakers.
Cables needless to say noone is ever able to hear the difference whether its speakercables or digital cables (although the golden ears before the test were quite certain that they could, and even after they failed the test aswell after a few excuses)
Regarding the difference between a 320kpbs and a lossless, its so miniscule that 99% (closer to 100% probably) would not be able to discern the difference in a serious blindtest, which has been proven and documented over and over again (maybe this is why spotify hasnt offered lossless yet).
There are a few good online and offline tests you can do yourself to test.
It would be awesome if the difference was similar as between a "regular" CD and a AIX Records CD (they sound amazeballs:-).
This difference is not because of the medium though its because they know how to record and master (they sound great in mp3 aswell if ripped correctly).
Anyway I also think there isnt any harm for Spotify to jump on the lossless train just to satisfy some of their customers and give them peace of mind, regardless if no one can actually hear the difference.
The thing with Spotify isn't so much the quality they stream at, but rather they their source material is of bad quality.
I posted a video way back in this thread where a producer, who had access to the master files for his songs, did a comparison between a few of the streaming providers.
The test was done by recording the output of the various apps and the subtract that waveform from the original. Whatever was left is the difference between the original and what was streamed. For all providers tested the difference was quite low, a tiny amount for lossy, almost nothing for lossy.
Except for Spotify where the difference was massive. The only conclusion possible is that the quality loss is somewhere before actually being streamed.
I am listening to Chocolate Chip Trip on Deezer HD. Man, that's a great test track. Deezer has great separation and dynamic range. You can follow the path of each sound as it travels left to right and front and back. I just now switched to Tidal. Tidal has deeper bass but less dynamic range. The highs sound clipped and the soundstage is less spacy. The stage seems far back.
@Anti1 I recently started trialing Tidal Lossless service. The tag on the Now Playing screen says "HIFI", but my ears say otherwise. Though I can hear and feel the deeper bass, the audio sounds lossy to me. Which makes me wonder if it is really Lossless. I don't trust Tidal. Like you, I listen to all genres: classical, jazz, jazz electro, metal, rock, country, world, afrobeats, etc. As long it is done right. We audiophiles know good sound when we listen to it. We are also very sensitive to bad sound to the point of torture. :)