Encoders 224 kbit/s

Opus VBR@222.5 (libopus 1.1)
Vorbis VBR@210.7 (aoTuV B4)
mp2 CBR@223.9 (VCD)
mp3 VBR@217.3 (Lame 3.97b1)
mp3 VBR@231.9 (Lame 3.98)
SBC CBR@228.8 (Middle Quality)

in alphabetical order

mp2 CBR@223.9 (VCD) - MPEG-1 Layer 2 CBR, 223.9 kbit/s FBR (VCD audio tracks)
CODER: QDesign MPEG Audio Codec 1.01 for ACM
- Encoder optimized for: Quality
- Enable CRC: On
- 44100 Hz Stereo
DECODER: MAD 0.15.2b

mp3 VBR@217.3 (Lame 3.97b1) - MPEG-1 Layer 3 CBR, 217.3 kbit/s FBR
CODER: Lame 3.97b1
- usage: lame -V 0 --vbr-new test.wav test.mp3
- 44100 Hz Joint Stereo
DECODER: MAD 0.15.2b

mp3 VBR@231.9 (Lame 3.98) - MPEG-1 Layer 3 VBR, 231.9 kbit/s FBR
CODER: Lame 3.98
- usage: lame -V 0 ref.wav out.mp3
- 44100 Hz Joint Stereo
DECODER: MAD 0.15.2b

Opus VBR@222.5 (libopus 1.1) - free audio format (IETF RFC6716), VBR, 222.5 kbit/s FBR
CODER: opusenc from opus-tools 0.1.9
- 44.1/16 -> 48/24 by Audition CS6
- usage: opusenc --bitrate 192 ref48.wav out.opus
- 48000Hz Stereo
DECODER: foobar2000 v1.3.7 (32bit output)
- 48/32 -> 44.1/32 by Audition CS6

Vorbis VBR@210.7 (aoTuV B4) - Ogg Vorbis, 210.7 kbit/s FBR
CODER: OggEnc 2.6 [aoTuV b4]
- usage: oggenc2 -q7 ref.wav
- 44100 Hz Stereo
DECODER: OggDec 1.0

SBC CBR@228.8 (Middle Quality) - Subband codec for Bluetooth A2DP profile, CBR, 228.8 kbit/s FBR
CODER: SBC Encoder LIB Version 1.5 (Philips)
- usage: sbc_encoder -jv -r229000 -oout.sbc ref.wav
- Middle Quality setting recommended by Bluetooth SIG
- 44100 Hz Joint Stereo
- bitpool:35, bands:8, allocationn method: SNR
DECODER: SBC Decoder LIB Version 1.5 (Philips)

The ratings above are live. Each time a participant of SE listening test sends a grade - the corresponding rating updates immediately. You can participate as well, it's easy and looks like fun, no need for "golden ears" or special equipment. Just visit our Testing Room, download a random sample, listen it in headphones and send back your grade. Afterwards corresponding rating will get new value and become more accurate. As the testing is fully blind you'll get to know the device/technology you've tested after sending your grade only. Thanks.

Testing Room ►

You can add a codec/setting to SE listening tests for $50 donation. Please, make your request ►

How to read the ratings

Rating bar graph

The rating bar consists of the following elements:

#1 - Device or technology being tested.

#2 - Value of actual perceived audio quality (rating) which is also indicated
by the bar length #3. Anchor points could be interpreted as follows:

In most cases using this device/technology:

1.0 – you will hear heavily distorted sound
2.0 – you will hear unpleasant sound artifacts
3.0 – you will hear distinctly audible but tolerable sound artifacts
4.0 – you will hear faintly discernible sound artifacts
5.0 – you will not hear any sound artifacts
above 5.0 – all sound artifacts will be beyond threshold of human perception with corresponding perception margin

#4 and #5 - "low" and "high" of rating. As each device is tested with nine different sound samples, there are nine different local ratings for a device. In fact, the actual rating #2 is an average of those nine local ratings. The highest and the lowest ones are indicated. Big gap between them means that sound quality of device/technology is not consistent enough. It varies with type of sound material: music of different genres and complexity, voice with or without music, noisy/clear recordings etc. The lowest local rating is more important in this sense as it indicates worst case behavior of tested device.

#6 - Accuracy of rating. It is also indicated by the color of bar - more accurate ratings have darker bars and less percentage values. Accuracy depends on number of grades returned by participants. In most cases 5% or less is OK.

#7 - Ruler for convenient estimation of "highs" and "lows".

For devices with small impairments (not audible in ordinary listening tests) SoundExpert amplifies their sound artifacts to some predefined extent. Ratings of such devices are calculated analytically taking into account both the grades received and the amplification applied. They are above 5th grade on the scale showing certain quality headroom of such devices.