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320+ kbit/s listening test is over

320+ kbit/s listening test is over now. There are some conclusions:

  • High bitrate AAC+ coder by Coding Technologies bundled with the latest Winamp has substantial increase of perceptual quality margin over all other contenders of the test. So it could be a good candidate for distribution of high quality audio content over the internet.
  • Standard aac has no advantages over mp3 at such high bitrates. If the tendency remains around 192 kbit/s mp3 format will be guaranteed a long life.
  • SBC codec for Bluetooth audio profile provides approx. the same sound quality as mp3@320 and aac@320. Probably BT headphones have a good future especially as wireless solution for mp3 players and mobile phones.
  • wma@320 (standard) showed the lowest perceived audio quality among all contenders, so the use of the codec at this bitrate is senseless.
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Audio-Transparency Initiative