Originally Posted by Summa
I think we pretty much all agree that there are differences, but I was mainly wondering if some of you who are very critical of your music ever find an MP3 to be surprisingly listenable in terms of sound quality.
Is MP3 music "listenable"? Yes. So, to repeat myself: from my perspective MP3 is great for the car while I prefer a CD great for listening on a stereo system.
The reams of replies to the original question shows 2 schools of thought:
- those that claim they hear no/little difference between MP3/CD. In their opinion they can provide objective, scientific indisputable, non-negotiable facts to support their views.
- those, like me, who believes that there is a difference.
It essentially boils down to: do you CARE that there is a difference? The individual's listening ability, quality of equipment and budget are all factors that come in to play. An MP3 file on a boombox probably sounds as good as a CD. But do the test on higher end system and I am sure you will notice the difference. Note, I said "sure" and not "will" because some people simply can't pick up the difference. This is not an indictment on their ability, but rather an objective comment on their listening prowess.
As a reference point for my perspective, I took my modded Roksan CD player in to my local stereo store and did an A/B comparison with an $8000 Chord CD player. I could not tell the difference between the 2 when played over Classe pre-/power amp and B&W 800 speakers (that's pretty much rarified air in terms of high end stereo equipment). I walked out VERY happy with my CD player.
However, could a more astute individual with a keener ear tell the difference between the 2? Perhaps. But I could not, so I was quite happy.
I think the same can be said for this discussion of MP3 vs CD.