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Take The Bit Rate Hearing/Audibility Test

I put together a little test to see how audible the differences between various bit rates are. It’s not the pinnacle of excellence in scientific methodology but it’ll tell us enough and makes good use of the tools the average person might have. If you’re interested in taking the test, it and everything you need to know about it are here.

The more responses I get, the better so please participate. If you post your response here, please post it on my site as well so I can tally it easily.

Reader Comments (1)

Such a test and its result is definitely interesting, but there are serious flaws in your approach.

You state that: "The higher the bit rate (bits per second), the better the sound quality"

This is plain wrong. Just one example, say I have a stereo 16bit 44.1kHz wav file containing mono content. The bit-rate would be ~1411kBit/sec. Now, I save the same material as mono 16bit wav file and get ~700kBit/sec. So no, the bit-rate has no causal effect on the quality. It all depends on countless factors.

Another example. Take the same stereo 16bit 44.1kHz wav file and create 2 version of it: a 320kBit/s mp3 file and stereo 16bit 22kHz wav file. The former (320kBit/s) will sound much better than the latter (which has a ~700kBit/sec transfer rate).

To make your test less non-sense you'll have to explicitly specify a certain format (mp3/wav), amount of channels (stereo/mono/surround), samplerate and so on. Most of all, you'll have to describe the test material. The result will differ depending on the material, in case its shiddy from the start, everybody will have difficulties to hear any degradations.

Additionally, don't forget that you're most of all measuring the playback systems of your audience and not their ears.

Don't get me wrong, but this looks like a lot homework. ;)

February 27 | Unregistered CommenterFabien

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