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Spotify vs Audio CD

Vivek Batra

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Mar 13, 2019
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309
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Chandigarh
Hi FMs

My main audio source for my stereo system is Spotify premium account. As they say its very high quality audio files. To test that, I played the same track on the Spotify (using Spotify connect on my Denon AVR so no connection between laptop and AVR) vs audio CD on the laptop (via hdmi). I could not make out any difference between the audio source and the quality of the sound. I am asking this because Spotify is more convenient for me to use than converting my audio collection to CDs (it will be a costly and time consuming process).

Could you please share your experience using Spotify and Audio CDs in CD player may be if not laptop? Your suggestions and experience can help me to decide upon a good audio source.

EDIT: I am running Denon AVR 4500H with Klipsch RP-8000F and R-115SW.

Thanks.
 
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ONEMANARMY

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Feb 1, 2019
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It depends mainly on what your system is comprised of. Mainly your speakers.
If using mid to low level speakers, you may not be able to make out the difference but if you have revealing and transparent speakers then I am quite certain that you can distinguish the changes in sources.
Please list your system so that knowledgeable people here can post their thoughts.
In my opinion if you are happy with Spotify then stay with it rather than going through the rigmarole of ripping and uploading CDs.
 

superczar

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Too many variables at play making a definitive answer difficult - probably the most important variable being how much of a golden-ear are you

I am more brass-eared and find spotify quite good although I find the SQ on Apple music better.
I have run comparisons between 24bit/88.2 khz FLAC (which is supposed to better than the 16/44.1 on audio , technically at least ) and Apple Music and found both to be excellent.

The only way to validate is by using any particular track from your CD collection and stream them from Apple Music and Spotify as well.
Play small clips from each back to back to see if you can spot a difference.

Two important considerations to make sure the A/B/C test is accurate

1) Use a SPL measurement app to ensure that the db levels from each source are equal.
Even a +-3db difference can make the louder source seem better

2) On spotify, do make sure you enable the highest quality setting (320kbps)
 

Vivek Batra

Active Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2019
Messages
309
Points
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Location
Chandigarh
Too many variables at play making a definitive answer difficult - probably the most important variable being how much of a golden-ear are you

I am more brass-eared and find spotify quite good although I find the SQ on Apple music better.
I have run comparisons between 24bit/88.2 khz FLAC (which is supposed to better than the 16/44.1 on audio , technically at least ) and Apple Music and found both to be excellent.

The only way to validate is by using any particular track from your CD collection and stream them from Apple Music and Spotify as well.
Play small clips from each back to back to see if you can spot a difference.

Two important considerations to make sure the A/B/C test is accurate

1) Use a SPL measurement app to ensure that the db levels from each source are equal.
Even a +-3db difference can make the louder source seem better

2) On spotify, do make sure you enable the highest quality setting (320kbps)
Thanks for your suggestions. Yup the quality in the Spotify is set to "Very High". I guess I am not very forgiving towards sound quality ;-)

Did you use an original CD, or an audio CD of ripped mp3s converted to .cda files?
That was a Original Audio CD I believe, any way to find that out? as I borrowed that from some one without the case :(
 

coaltrain

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If it’s an original, it’ll usually have a printed label on one side.
And it won’t mention 52x anywhere :)
 

sandeepss

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Even on expensive systems it’s difficult to hear an audible difference between 320kbps mp3 and audio CD. This has been proven through ABX tests. But where CDs score better is with reducing the listening fatigue since our ears will be constantly creating missing info in mp3 on the fly.
 
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sandeepss

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Ok. Then you can build your library of CDs at the earliest as they too are becoming extinct like cassettes :(
 

newlash09

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Your ears are the best judge. No point faffing with rips, album art and Nas if you can't hear a difference. But that's not to say, that there is no absolute difference between a good quality CD and a high bit rate Spotify digital stream of the same track.
 

preth30

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Jan 30, 2010
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Kochi
I have not tried Spotify streaming. But I have compared other sources with Audio cds. I have made up my mind to stick on to cds as long as they are available. If they stop production, then I may think of trying others. But right now, my opinion is that audio cds sound better and more pleasing, only bettered by good quality vinyl.
 

raghupb

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Chase the "content" not the "sound of music".
Having said this, yes you need something that appeals to your ears and room.
Cheers,
Raghu
 
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