Originally Posted by scowl
Of course most people have better hearing.
I can too. I can also hear much worse things in the best FM reception like hiss, low dynamic range and a smeared stereo image. I can get perfect digital reception even with stations that sound fuzzy and crunchy in FM analog.
Most of the artifacts I hear in HD radio are on the very high end (cymbals and wind chimes) which causes a slight swirling sound. Since you can't hear anything above 15 Khz, you might not notice them at all.
You'll have to listen to HD Radio and judge for yourself. I have for the past couple of weeks and the choice is crystal clear, especially with the stations I listen to and the music they play. I don't want to listen to mono recordings swimming in hiss. I don't want to hear the fuzzy FM reception I get before the digital fades in. I want to enjoy the upper 5 Khz of my hearing while I still have it. :D
All of the above sound better than FM radio.
I hate the term "HD Radio" and I cringe every time I type those stupid words next to each other, but it doesn't change what I'm hearing right now which is a song by Count Basie recorded live in stereo in the late 50's. Before the digital blended in, it sounded like a blurry mess of instruments playing in a room full of air conditioners, but now I can hear every instrument including the rattle of the bass and Basie muttering to himself as he tended to do.
Have you even heard (cringe) HD Radio yet? I say hold your judgment until you hear how bad analog FM really sounds.
I wish I knew how to use that quote function like you just did, separating each comment....OH, well....
1) Actually, I am not saying EVERYONEs hearing is as bad as mine, or that mine is substantially bad, but you would be surprised just how "bad" most peoples hearing really is. I recall something my father told me years ago, and think its pretty funny actually, especially conerning some of the discussions that go on on HiFi audio forums, which was this: "By the time you are old enough to afford HiFi, you are too old to appreciate it". So true...A typical males hearing is substantially attenuated at the high end by age 20.
2) Don't know if I can or not. I have not heard HD yet, but I sure can pick out a MP3 blindly, sometimes even at 320Kbps CBR bitrates. Generally, 320 is pretty good quality to me, and 256 even sounds good as well. I do NOT like 128kbps MP3s, but the point is NONE of these can rightfully be called "HD".
Also, your touting HD recpetion as if it is so superior to the traditional FM signal. When they come out with a mobile HD radio, unless they make some SUBSTANTIAL improvements, boy are you in for a shock. If you get 8-10miles out from the transmitter, your receiver will swtich back to analog mode, which carries a usable signal out to 35+ miles. Also as mentioned earlier, part of the problem they are having is keeping the digital and analog in sync, so that when your receiver does go from one to another you end up missing 5 seconds of audio, or repeating the same 5 seconds over again.
3) Your right, I haven't heard it so I can't really state specifics about what I think of the actual audio quality. However, I can talk about it from a technical standpoint.
Keep in mind, I am not saying it sounds bad or is crap (I don't know, I haven't heard it yet), BUT my problem is from a technical standpoint, it is touted as something it clearly isn't (High Definition/High Resolution Audio)
4) I disagree. I do NOT think 128kbps MP3s sound better than a good analog FM signal. Again, we really can't argue this point as I said earlier, this is based on personal preference, and I think age has alot to do with it (not hearing loss, but what you are used too, more on this in a second).
5) I am at a disadvantage here, no doubt. I haven't heard it, BUT from a technical standpoint believe I am qualified to discuss its limitations. Again, do not misunderstand me; I am not saying its "junk" or whatever, I am just saying it is being advertised something that it clearly is NOT.
This discussion back and forth between you and me sure is borderline the typical "you can't agrue against high quality speaker wire if you have never heard equipment of sufficient calibre that will take advantage of the benefits of such wire". I argue that I don't need to own a $50,000 pre-pro and amp to discuss the scientific properties of a conductor.
I like our discussion, but do hate the disagreements.
Back to point #5, where I think age has alot to do with it; If your young, and grew up with MP3 audio as the "norm", (the iPOD generation as Bob Smith mentioned), then you will be less offended by digital artifacting. However, I believe if you grew up prior to the "digital craze" (as I did), that good sounding analog audio, or lossless digital audio will be less offensive to the ear than high digital compression audio. When me anyway, that is DEFINATELY the case.
In the end, I wouldn't have had a problem if they would have simply called it "Digital Radio". I am sure its not bad. Maybe it does in fact sound quite good as you describe, but technically........it is FFFAAAARRR from true "High Definition" audio.