Your chance to contribute to audio research

Mark Waldrup who has produced hires albums for his own label and lectures in audio production has devised a test to see how easy it is to differentiate between resolutions. There are 24/96 hires tracks and downsampled versions. He is trying to see if we can tell the difference between recordings at 24/96 and 16/44 in a blind test.

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I’ve mentioned this on another thread but I think it deserves a thread of its own. Mark would particularly like some under 40s to participate but the more of any age group that does will contribute to the statistical robustness of the research.


Boston Audio Society already did this in pretty large scale (467 participants). Hearing was checked. The test was if sending SACD/DVD-audio through a 44/16 A-D-A loop was audible. The testing was controlled double blind (ABX).

The report was published in an AES paper that seems available on the net. AES papers are usually paid content so I will not link it here,

The result was 49.82%. Completely random. Sorting the results after experience, audiophiles etc. made no difference.

On the other hand I dont think this is such a big deal. Buy the content in whatever format you fancy, just keep the music flowing.

I disagree, with so many people convinced (for example) that Qobuz is desirable because of its high res content, it would be informative if these people could blindly hear the difference or not.

It’s fascinating research, if I am 100% sure 24/96 sounds better than 16/44 but yet cannot actually tell the difference when in a blind test situation - what does this say about psycho-acoustic prompts? (And I don’t know any results yet, perhaps I have bat ears and can accurately tell the difference between 24/96 and 16/44 - but Paddy Power are not giving great odds on that!)

Hopefully we are mostly open minded enough on here to take this test and allow the results to inform our knowledge.


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Sure, on that I fully agree with you. Everyone should jump on the possibility to listen and make up their own mind.

For me personally this is a 20+ year old discussion (especially if you been on the recording side) and I just dont hear any diff not even with recordings I made myself with very good mikes at 384kHz. As this happens to match the theory/maths I have decided to put this issue aside for me personally.

I still have other digital mysteries I try to understand. Like why CD-rips sound different :slight_smile:


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