Audio Quality

20/03/09 Permalink

With some of the top hardware manufacturers vying for market dominance on the portable music business I thought it would be worth a wee review of what I've heard.

OK, I haven't got an ipod but I've heard the songs produced by the itunes application and it produces AAC audio at 128kb. This is a decent level of quality of sound for a music track. Of course quality depends also on the decoder and the headphones of the device in question. A lot of audio purists will say that 192kb is minimum for a track and I'm inclined to agree with them but a 128kb AAC is a good trade-off between quality and file size - a 192kb mp3 track is often approaching 10MB which is too big to carry in my opinion.

In short, 128kb vs 192kb is very difficult to distinguish on most platforms - unless you have super duper headphones. As a test - and I'm being serious here - if you can hear the western stuff at the start of Radiohead's The Bends track - you're ok to go. I remember when I didn't know that was there because of a crappy hifi I had.

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