• Hello and Welcome to HiFiVision.com - an online community for the home entertainment and tech enthusiasts!

    If you would like to ask a question, participate in a discussion and view attachments please Register yourself.

SONG QUALITY or SOUND QUALITY?

Joined
May 4, 2015
Messages
86
Likes
36
Points
18
Location
Hyderabad
#1
Which would you say, sound quality or song quality, impacts a listener more?

And, why are we still listening to over-compressed music through low-quality gear when advances in bandwidth, storage capacity and speakers (not to mention headphones) means we could be listening to high-quality uncompressed audio all the time?

Can anybody analyze?
 
SPONSORED ADS

SPONSORED ADS

Ravindra Desai

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2018
Messages
318
Likes
526
Points
93
Location
Kolhapur, Maharashtra. India.
#2
Kindly note: Compressed sound format (such as MP3 etc.) reduces sound quality. Where as a compressor (as in signal processor) brings out the details hidden in the recorded content.
Do not confuse one with the other.

The author of the thread here, actually means the compressed format.

I have actually started re-building my collection based on non-compressed formats. So I agree that sound quality does depend on song quality.

Regards,

Ravindra.
 
Last edited:

firearm12

Active Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2014
Messages
208
Likes
105
Points
43
Location
noida
#3
Its like asking do u like to listen to music or do u like to listen to equipment. Who likes to listen to a crappy song on a multi-million dollar hifi system. Certainly not me. Song quality is more important, if the song is good and u like it, u will enjoy it on any system (maybe more on a hiend system that's ok), rest is business and obsession. People have been enjoying music since dark ages and they will continue to do so. Can we say we enjoy music more today than people did 50yrs ago? No... even though technology has advanced and recording and playback quality has increased tremendously
 
Last edited:

rpanand25

Active Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2012
Messages
324
Likes
55
Points
28
Location
new delhi
#5
Its like asking do u like to listen to music or do u like to listen to equipment. Who likes to listen to a crappy song on a multi-million dollar hifi system. Certainly not me. Song quality is more important, if the song is good and u like it, u will enjoy it on any system (maybe more on a hiend system that's ok), rest is business and obsession. People have been enjoying music since dark ages and they will continue to do so. Can we say we enjoy music more today than people did 50yrs ago? No... even though technology has advanced and recording and playback quality has increased tremendously
I would like to share an old incident on this with my friend's brother. I was in 12 th class and he was earning and music was his obsession. He had several tape recorders including reel ones and record players. Many records bought through monthly instalments from Rhythm Corner South Extension New Delhi. The sales man used to visit home with a stack of records and he could select and purchase and pay in easy instalments. I use to listen on the old record players on well worn records. When i heard a lot of pop and crackles and missing grooves I asked why he does nor change the equipment or buy new records of the same album. He said that when the song plays the other distractions like distortions, noises disappear and he is one with the song. It was as if his mind was auto correcting noises and restoring jumped bits on tracks and he was hearing only music. He was also a musician in that he could play banjo/bul bul tara instrument and well versed with tuning the instrument and hearing the right tone. Still music came first, high fidelity or not.
 

tuff

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2014
Messages
1,330
Likes
574
Points
113
Location
Thane
#6
I think this question is really about apples and oranges. One primary reason i participate in this forum is for sound quality, Not SONG quality. Good sound is not as difficult to define, but a good song is way beyond any theoretical scope. I see a lot of A.R. Rahman fans on this forum, I never could understand what it is about his music that makes it special. Nor do i listen to heavy metal, or acid rock or so many other genre's, but my opinion would be worthless if you were to ask others who only listen to those genres.
Now coming to Sound quality, we all seem to agree that a well mastered source (regardless of genre), with clean detail amplification and speakers closer to realistic representation of real instruments/ vocals, will make the experience better. My sole purpose on this forum is to navigate through the hurdles of marketing and snake oil, to get the best Sound from my system within any given budget. My choice of good songs need not be similar to others, but a good sounding system should not be that hard to discern.
 

Ravindra Desai

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2018
Messages
318
Likes
526
Points
93
Location
Kolhapur, Maharashtra. India.
#7
I think this question is really about apples and oranges. One primary reason i participate in this forum is for sound quality, Not SONG quality. Good sound is not as difficult to define, but a good song is way beyond any theoretical scope. I see a lot of A.R. Rahman fans on this forum, I never could understand what it is about his music that makes it special. Nor do i listen to heavy metal, or acid rock or so many other genre's, but my opinion would be worthless if you were to ask others who only listen to those genres.
Now coming to Sound quality, we all seem to agree that a well mastered source (regardless of genre), with clean detail amplification and speakers closer to realistic representation of real instruments/ vocals, will make the experience better. My sole purpose on this forum is to navigate through the hurdles of marketing and snake oil, to get the best Sound from my system within any given budget. My choice of good songs need not be similar to others, but a good sounding system should not be that hard to discern.
I was nervous, I thought I had got it all wrong.

Regards,

Ravindra.
 

amit11

Active Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2014
Messages
341
Likes
85
Points
28
Location
Pune (Sus Gaon)
#8
Which would you say, sound quality or song quality, impacts a listener more?

And, why are we still listening to over-compressed music through low-quality gear when advances in bandwidth, storage capacity and speakers (not to mention headphones) means we could be listening to high-quality uncompressed audio all the time?

Can anybody analyze?
I would say "sound quality" impacts more than song quality.
For e.g.
If the quality of the song is LP, or CD, or MP3 320KPS, or MP3 128 kbs --> If sound system is descend with good quality then one can enjoy. Yes ofcourse people will tend to dislike mp3s etc.
If song is not mastered well, then obviously we may not like, but we can assume that in general songs are recorded well. They may not be perfect but they are done by experts so yes they are in general good. Moreover recording is still easier in terms of accuracy, compared to playing back the same thing with that accuracy.

However if we have a good LP or CD but the "sound" coming from the system is not good e.g. tonal balance is not good, high frequency is too much, bass is booming etc, then obviously we will not like the song though it is LP/CD.
 

Mi_10

New Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2018
Messages
19
Likes
11
Points
3
Location
Chennai
#9
Which would you say, sound quality or song quality, impacts a listener more?

And, why are we still listening to over-compressed music through low-quality gear when advances in bandwidth, storage capacity and speakers (not to mention headphones) means we could be listening to high-quality uncompressed audio all the time?

Can anybody analyze?
To me the Song quality is of utmost importance. Because if i were to play a 128 kbps mp3 in a multi-million dollar system, it will sound worse than a cheap 250 dollar system !!

Anyone even remotely serious in Audio, would be first ditching their lossy and compressed files for quality uncompressed / hi res files. I ll be surprised if people here are still listening mp3 !! I find hearing songs through Bluetooth Blasphemous !!
 

Kannan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2008
Messages
1,091
Likes
552
Points
113
Location
Chennai
#11
mp3 is sadly blasted all over.
If properly compressed from a good wav source with good tools like dbpoweramp etc., an mp3 can sound very very good with minimum audible loss of details.
it would need reasonably resolving equipment and good ears to listen to the difference.
This is ofcourse my opinion.

However with cost of hard disk space becoming very affordable, it is better to stick to minimum CD quality rips.

From a technical stand point the OPs point is absolutely valid about the quality of the source (song). There is no point in investing in high fidelity equipment without high fidelity music.

Music also depends on mood. At times, the same setup may sound edgy.
I don't have a dedicated room, but listen to an average of 2 hours per day. The best time is usually late into the night when the ambient noise is at the lowest.
Even then, it does take some time to warm up to your equipment, but after a while the mind just blends in and the music starts to envelope and the speakers disappear.

Then again, from a pure music enjoyment stand point, it is purely individualistic. A tea stall owner or his staff (just a metaphor) listens to much more music per day from the small FM radio or his mobile phone that you and me who spend 3/4th of the day behind files and computer screens earning our bread.
I am sure the tea stall guys enjoy music as much or probably more than we do. For them music (irrespective of source or equipment quality) is the soothing balm for the toil they have to put up in harsh working environments.
 

itsvel06

New Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2013
Messages
4
Likes
0
Points
1
Location
Chennai
#12
@Kannan @Mi_10 U people are active in hfv as well I have some respect towards the audio quality of files offered through Apple music compared to some of the so called "lossless" in torrents. What's your take on offerings through Apple music despite their lossy nature?
 

Hari Iyer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2010
Messages
2,400
Likes
1,329
Points
113
Location
Mumbai
#13
If i am listening songs through my Rs.500/- transistor radio of the 80s then i want song quality and not sound quality.

If i am listening through a high-end Rs.5L/- + music setup then both song quality and sound quality will be desired.

I can still live with bad quality sound but not with bad quality song/ music.
 

Mi_10

New Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2018
Messages
19
Likes
11
Points
3
Location
Chennai
#14
mp3 is sadly blasted all over.
If properly compressed from a good wav source with good tools like dbpoweramp etc., an mp3 can sound very very good with minimum audible loss of details.
it would need reasonably resolving equipment and good ears to listen to the difference.
This is ofcourse my opinion.

However with cost of hard disk space becoming very affordable, it is better to stick to minimum CD quality rips.
It largely depends on what ones' ears are accustomed to! Because once heard, cannot be unheard :)

The moment you are exposed to 'quality time' with hi resolution music and able systems, it just sits on your head! While a properly compressed 320 kbps mp3 might actually be good, it will always be compromise for an exposed listener . He basically know what is missing.

An interesting scenario is the comparison with the Hard core Headphone community. The exposure to details is something that is absorbed by the brain. Once an WOW sets in for that, it is very difficult to find anything else acceptable. Even if the same file is played in a hi end setup, quite a few HP guys never leave their Headphones !

Its Human psychology and applies to every Audio-Visual-Physical elements associated with mankind
 

Mi_10

New Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2018
Messages
19
Likes
11
Points
3
Location
Chennai
#15
@Kannan @Mi_10 U people are active in hfv as well I have some respect towards the audio quality of files offered through Apple music compared to some of the so called "lossless" in torrents. What's your take on offerings through Apple music despite their lossy nature?
I dont have that much experience with Apple music. But i guess ALAC is pretty much the same as FLAC. Another form of lossless Compression . Personally I can't make out the difference between a FLAC and a WAV ripped out of the same CD. So FLAC is as good as WAV, if not better. And that logic by and large applies for ALAC / Apple also
 

arj

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 25, 2008
Messages
2,894
Likes
1,223
Points
113
Location
Bangalore
#16
Which would you say, sound quality or song quality, impacts a listener more?

And, why are we still listening to over-compressed music through low-quality gear when advances in bandwidth, storage capacity and speakers (not to mention headphones) means we could be listening to high-quality uncompressed audio all the time?

Can anybody analyze?
The Question is not about either OR but both inclusive..ie in your words"Song quality impacts but if the sound quality is better it impacts even more"
We listen to a system for music not for sound..but when the quality of sound in the music is better the experience is simply better and that all most of us try to achieve.
 

itsvel06

New Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2013
Messages
4
Likes
0
Points
1
Location
Chennai
#17
I dont have that much experience with Apple music. But i guess ALAC is pretty much the same as FLAC. Another form of lossless Compression . Personally I can't make out the difference between a FLAC and a WAV ripped out of the same CD. So FLAC is as good as WAV, if not better. And that logic by and large applies for ALAC / Apple also


I think Apple music rarely supplies ALAC, even if you pay for their songs individually through iTunes . Mostly I think it's just AAC. But is still feel that it sounds better than many "lossless" torrents floating around.
 

Mi_10

New Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2018
Messages
19
Likes
11
Points
3
Location
Chennai
#18
I think Apple music rarely supplies ALAC, even if you pay for their songs individually through iTunes . Mostly I think it's just AAC. But is still feel that it sounds better than many "lossless" torrents floating around.
Everything has a master source. I have seen FLAC torrents that are converted from 256k mp3 !! The only known thing about Apple's files are they must be off a Genuine Master (read high Quality) source!
 

bornfi

Active Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2015
Messages
143
Likes
47
Points
28
Location
USA
#20
To me, this is such a question to which, one cannot imagine different flavors of answers one would get. I think author needs to specify his intent too as to what sort exploration he is after :).

I have a decent system and my 80% of listening is from Apple Music, Pandora, Youtube etc..I tried Tidal and Deezer lossless too but never felt like dying for them. I find Apple Music, Pandora, Gaana, Saavn etc. to be good but it is not necessary that my 'good' will be 'good' others too :).

So, this question will be easier to answer if a proper context/intent is provide such as if one is trying to decide if to invest 1000 or 10000 grands on a system
 
SPONSORED ADS

Top