How Are You Listening?

There's been many threads regarding the sound qualities and comparisons of various digital equipment and many stating that they cannot hear the difference between a very expensive system and something bought for a few 100 bucks.

Let's eliminate MP3 first. This is not an audiophile format it is super lossy and was created for cramming as many tracks as possible on Ipods or similar.

If you are listening to MP3 you are NOT an audiophile, don't slam the door on the way out.

The legitimate formats are in order of superiority are DSD, WAV and to a lesser extent FLAC. I can hear the difference between WAV and FLAC although people will dispute it, after all it's compressed so at least theoretically losses will occur.

FLAC sounds flat to me. AIFF and other such formats I wouldn't even bother listening to because WAV is uncompressed unadulterated and exactly what was on the CD you ripped.

Now how do you actually listen? Do you continually play your ripped CDs that you may have been listening to for 50 years or so, in various formats, in which you know every nuance and are so pleased when you get a new piece of equipment that enables you to hear a little more. Even though you've heard the same track 5000 or more times.

Are you a professional classical musician that has the hearing of a dog that can hear the tuning and timbre of every single instrument in an orchestra and knows exactly what sounds real including the venue.

Are you an accomplished guitarist that can tell a Les Paul from an SG or Strat or Tele?

Do you just like quality background music, the soundtrack to your life?

Do you just rockout with your friends have a few beers but want a quality system and quality sounds?


The list goes on but everyone wants something different to fit their purpose and as you can see there are many reasons why everyone hears the music differently. Not many are willing to hang on to every note but expect to hear the difference.

Let the Love begin


Wav files and AIFF files are basically the same.  One was developed by Apple and the other by Microsoft.  They are both uncompressed formats.  Sound wise they are indistinguishable.

Lord Melton

sire I humbly listen to my digital recordings on CDs, I know that sounds passé but I don’t have to remember all those abbreviations and instead of trying to decide what I am going to listen to next I actually listen to music. Give it a try you might actually enjoy your system. It’s not about the format it’s about the music.