Encoders 256 kbit/s

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aac VBR@265.1 iTunes Plus 2012
9.81
~25%
AAC VBR@264.6 (iTunes 7.6)
8.83
~1%
Vorbis VBR@256.4 (Xiph 1.3.3)
7.25
~8%
AAC CBR@250.3 (iTunes 7.5)
6.96
~4%
ATRAC3plus CBR@256.9 (Hi-SP)
6.20
~4%
mp3 CBR@256.1 (Audition 1.5)
6.14
~3%
AAC CBR@257.4 (iTunes 7.1)
5.71
~3%

in alphabetical order

AAC CBR@257.4 (iTunes 7.1) - MPEG-4 AAC CBR Low Complexity, 257.4 kbit/s FBR
CODER: AAC Encoder from iTunes 7.1.1.5
- Stereo Bit Rate: 256 kbps
- Sample Rate: 44.100 kHz
- Channels: Stereo
- Use Variable Bit Rate Encoding (VBR): No
- Optimize for voice: No
DECODER: iTunes 7.1.1.5

AAC CBR@250.3 (iTunes 7.5) - MPEG-4 AAC CBR Low Complexity, 250.3 kbit/s FBR
CODER: AAC Encoder from iTunes 7.5.0.20
- Stereo Bit Rate: 256 kbps
- Sample Rate: 44.100 kHz
- Channels: Stereo
- Use Variable Bit Rate Encoding (VBR): No
- Optimize for voice: No
DECODER: iTunes 7.5.0.20

AAC VBR@264.6 (iTunes 7.6) - MPEG-4 AAC VBR Low Complexity, 264.6 kbit/s FBR
CODER: AAC Encoder from iTunes 7.6.2.9
- Stereo Bit Rate: 256 kbps
- Sample Rate: 44.100 kHz
- Channels: Stereo
- Use Variable Bit Rate Encoding (VBR): Yes
- Optimize for voice: No
DECODER: iTunes 7.6.2.9

aac VBR@265.1 iTunes Plus 2012 - MPEG-4 AAC VBR Low Complexity, 265.1 kbit/s FBR
CODER: afconvert from Mac OS X 10.7.3 (11D50b) 64bit, 2012/04
- bitrate: 256000 bps
- quality: 127
- strategy: VBR_constrained
- Sample Rate: 44100 Hz
- Channels: Stereo
DECODER: afconvert from Mac OS X 10.7.3 (11D50b) 64bit, 2012/04
- data: 24 bit, Integer

ATRAC3plus CBR@256.9 (Hi-SP) - ATRAC3plus (used in Hi-MD and Sony's solid-state and CD walkman products), 256.9 kbit/s FBR
CODER: SonicStage 3.3
- 44100 Hz Stereo
DECODER: SonicStage 3.3
- "Create an Audio CD"

mp3 CBR@256.1 (Audition 1.5) - MPEG-1 Layer 3 CBR, 256.1 kbit/s FBR
CODER: MP3/mp3PRO(R) Encoder for Adobe Audition 1.5
- Codec: Current - Best Quality
- Allow Mid-Side Joint Stereo: No
- Allow Intensity Joint Stereo: No
- Allow Narrowing of Stereo Image: No
- 44100 Hz Joint Stereo
DECODER: MAD 0.15.2b

Vorbis VBR@256.4 (Xiph 1.3.3) - Ogg Vorbis, 256.4 kbit/s FBR
CODER: OggEnc v2.87 (libVorbis 1.3.3)
- usage: oggenc2 -q8.2 ref.wav
- 44100 Hz Stereo
DECODER: OggDec v1.9.7 (libVorbis 1.3.1)
- oggdec ref.ogg

 

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 >>

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.