Thursday, July 9, 2015

Blind testing the sound quality did not reveal differences between 256 kbit / s in Apple Music and 1400 kbit / s in Tidal

Publication of The Verge has invited specialists Vox Media for "blind" test sound quality three streaming services Apple Music, Spotify and Tidal. Last promises surcharge sound with a bit rate of 1.4 Mbit / s, which corresponds to CD-quality while as Spotify support 320 kbit / s, and the Apple Music - 256 kbit / s. Servis Apple, however, due to an improved decoding scheme (AAC vs. Ogg Vorbis at Spotify) provides better sound quality.

For high-quality transmission of sound were chosen headphones Sony MDR-7506 - popular, with a neutral sound, relatively inexpensive. They are connected to the iPhone 6 Plus. Invited experts listened to the same part of the song, not knowing what application it is played, and the use to the maximum bit rate supported streaming service.

The experts evaluated the quality of the sound on the three compositions: «Complexion (A Zulu Love)» Kendrick Lamar, «Digital Witness« group St. Vincent and «Fanfare for the Common Man» Aaron Copland. After listening, they compared the quality and is said to provide any one of the services noticeably better sound, or they were all about the same.

The results of the blind test showed that confidence to name the leader of any of the services can not be - it seems that the data were obtained almost at random, said Hi-tech.mail. Spotify fared slightly less than Apple Music and Tidal. In 29% of cases, the experts did not find any differences in the sound tracks. Tidal, which attracts the users is a high bit rate, definitely not awarded first place in research; In some cases, the service is generally called an outsider.

"Perhaps this is due to the fact that we used the average headset that connects to the phone. If you repeat the test on your home audio system with expensive components, say with a very expensive very expensive headphones or speakers, you can hear the difference. But in the case of mobile audio service - a mobile streaming - this does not seem to make much sense, "- concluded the experts.

If the "blind" test Apple Music, Tidal and Spotify show roughly the same quality, the choice in favor of a streaming service is done on the basis of other indicators: cost, convenience, interface, system recommendations, etc.

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