Audio quality with new high end system - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 5 Old 06-21-2013, 08:42 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Shiltsy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 14
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I knew this day would come eventually. I have a fairly large digital music library in itunes and synced with an old school iPod (actually still works great). I am purchasing a BMW with a high end Bang and Olufsen system and will definitely be able to hear the compression in much of my music library. I can already hear it on a Kenwood deck with powered Polk speakers.

So, the question is this... do I need to find a large storage device and start putting a lossless library together or is there any compression that will still sound good on a high end system? I love the convenience of grabbing music on iTunes, but can't get quality above 256k. I'm searching through my library now and there is a ton of content under 192k, so maybe I just need to start wiping that stuff out first and see what I miss!

Any thoughts would be appreciated!
Shiltsy is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 5 Old 06-22-2013, 05:45 AM
Moderator
 
PooperScooper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Leominster MA
Posts: 19,960
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 70 Post(s)
Liked: 328
Just make sure the file format you pick is supported by the car player. Not all car players decode all formats.

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. -- Thomas Alva Edison
PooperScooper is offline  
post #3 of 5 Old 06-22-2013, 03:17 PM
Member
 
duffer_mcmulliga's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 88
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
The environment within an auto is very noisy, even with a well insulated and sound-deadened car. Depending on what compression level you are currently using, you may or may not notice a difference.

I have a 2007 Infiniti G35 with a Bose (yeah, I know!) sound system. Their are multiple audio sources I have used in this vehicle.

XM Radio. I think the transmission is around 128 kbps, maybe less. Sound isn't great, but it gives me radio in the mountains.

Hard drive storage system in car. Stores at 128 kbps. (there is a lesser alternative, but I pick the higher quality one as default). In comparison to CD input, bass is thin, midrange muddy, highs meh. Fidelity not much better than XM. May actually be worse in some cases as XM should be equalized for satellite transmission.

iPoad input to line in via audio out/headphone jack on iPod. Most of my iPod files are 320 kbps AAC, so reasonable quality. Using the headphone out from iPhone/iPod means SQ can be very dependent on volume level of iPod. Too low and not enough signal to get good audio. Too loud and get distortion from amp in iPod clipping. At best, it can sound better and fuller than internal Music Box hard drive system. But switching songs while driving and volume can move which makes it unreliable.

iPod input to line in from a line in power source hooked into dock connector of iPod/iPhone. True line-in signal. With 320 kbps AAC files sourced from iPod/iPhone, sound can be very full and powerful. Distortion low enough that I am comfortable blasting at very high volume with no worries of clipping or damaging speakers. Next to CD input, best sound available.

CD from 6 disk changer in trunk/single disk in dash. Best sound of bunch, but only marginally better than line in from iPod with 320 kbps files. Bass is somewhat fuller and more powerful, but otherwise, hard to tell the difference head to head. Given engine and road noise, once ears are acclimatized, I enjoy either source equally.

The other thing to keep in ming with iPod/iPhone is to watch the EQ setting on the device. Using R&B or Rock can boost the bass and be a risk to speakers at high levels. I believe the dock connector bypasses EQ, but not entirely sure.

In my experience though, 320 kbps gets you 95% to optimal auto SQ and saves a lot of room on the hard drive. JMHO, YMMV!
duffer_mcmulliga is offline  
post #4 of 5 Old 06-29-2013, 05:07 AM
Advanced Member
 
acebreathe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: No Plfd NJ
Posts: 946
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 52 Post(s)
Liked: 47
Why get a storage device if you already have an ipod? I would hook that up first and play some of the low end stuff to get a sense of how it sounds before you start wiping your library out. If you do go for a separate device do what Pooper Scooper suggested and find out what format the audio system will handle, like wma mp3 wav. Knowing that will save you a lot of time if you have to re-rip music.
acebreathe is offline  
post #5 of 5 Old 06-30-2013, 05:55 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
arnyk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Grosse Pointe Woods, MI
Posts: 14,387
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 763 Post(s)
Liked: 1178
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiltsy View Post

I knew this day would come eventually. I have a fairly large digital music library in itunes and synced with an old school iPod (actually still works great). I am purchasing a BMW with a high end Bang and Olufsen system and will definitely be able to hear the compression in much of my music library. I can already hear it on a Kenwood deck with powered Polk speakers.

So, the question is this... do I need to find a large storage device and start putting a lossless library together or is there any compression that will still sound good on a high end system? I love the convenience of grabbing music on iTunes, but can't get quality above 256k. I'm searching through my library now and there is a ton of content under 192k, so maybe I just need to start wiping that stuff out first and see what I miss!

Any thoughts would be appreciated!

Probably the worst thing you are doing to your music is playing it on that B&O car system. European car audio is often backward compared to even just a standard baseline audio system on a US-designed car.

If 256k-320k encoding significantly degrades sound quality you must be using old decoder software. Time to update!

Perhaps you aren't doing level matched, time synched, double blind listening tests and your perceptions are being influenced by all of the hysteria over lossy encoding. If your evaluations are sighted and casual, then you need to upgrade your listening tests.

Virtually every kind of streaming and broadcast audio and video media is lossy encoded these days including TV and DVDs, so if things were as bad as you seem to perceive, you shouldn't be able to stand to listen to much of anything other than CDs. And of course so many of the CD are clipped and/or hypercompressed so many of them sound pretty trashy as well.
arnyk is offline  
Reply CD Players & Dedicated Music Transports

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off