DTS HD Audio & FLAC on Onkyo NR509 vs DTS Core & MP3

mkelbie

Well-known Member
Can someone tell me if I am wasting time space & money with high quality audio/video with my current setup. I think I can hear the difference but I don't know if its all in my head.

My setup is

Samsung 46 LCD 1080p 3Dtv
Onkyo NR-509
HTCP
Jamo A102 HCS6

I play my music form the USB port form my iPhone which is ALAC format average 900kbps but I also play FLAC (same bitrate) from my HTPC. I dont think there is any difference between iPhone and HTPC but will 256kbps AAC or 320kbps MP3 have the same quality?

I have tried a couple test on my macbook with my Studio Beats and if I am being honest I struggled to hear the difference. Given most playback for music is iPhone and even with my Beats its still not the most powerful amplifier I might be better just ripping my music again as either MP3 or AAC and saving a lot of HDD space.

Next movies; do I have powerful enough equipment to take advantage of HD audio? I know my receiver and HTPC support DTS master & dolby true HD but will it be a better experience compared to standard DTS core. I archive all my media on my HTPC in the best quality possible but HDD space is running low and I only recently stuck another 2TB drive in there. If I rip a 2D Blu-Ray will my hardware miss the Master Audio and high bit rate video. 3D films I think I will always keep as disc for the Full 3D effect.

If watching Transformers with Dolby True HD will be better on my hardware than a standard Dolby Digital then I will just have to buy another HDD :)

Thanks
 

andy1249

Distinguished Member
I play my music form the USB port form my iPhone which is ALAC format average 900kbps but I also play FLAC (same bitrate) from my HTPC. I dont think there is any difference between iPhone and HTPC....

Alac is apples lossless format , flac is the free lossless audio codec , given the same title both will deliver the same data to your amp , so there will be no difference , no difference in data , no difference in sound.

....but will 256kbps AAC or 320kbps MP3 have the same quality?

No they wont , they cant , these formats use Psychoacoustics to throw away all the data that it says you cant hear anyway , which amounts to up to 90% of the content. In practice this does not work.
It will never be the same quality , and you can most definitely hear the difference.
Heres the technical data ...

MP3 vs AAC vs FLAC vs CD | Stereophile.com

I have tried a couple test on my macbook with my Studio Beats and if I am being honest I struggled to hear the difference.

Earlier this year I fell for the marketing hype around "Beats" headphones too. I was lucky enough to be able to return them for a refund.

They deliberately and grossly overaccentuate the bass frequencies , smearing all the detail out of the content. Rock music is truly awful on them. As far as fidelity to the source material goes , these are the worst headphones on the market.
Truly truly terrible , and as such , you cannot use them to judge between formats.
 
Last edited:

larkone

Member
Hard disk space is cheap so why limit yourself to lossy codecs when you could have them as lossless.
 

mkelbie

Well-known Member
I apologise, I didn't mean to question the difference with ALAC & Flac. I only use ALAC simple because I am an Apple user. I just want to be sure my hardware can take advantage of the lossless audio and it not just sound like a standard mp3.

I have owned my beats for a while now, comfortable and seem a quality build but I must agree sound quality isn't what I expected.

Do you have any experience with DTS HD? Thats my main concern, am I just wasting time and money storing 50GB files when DTS 1500kbps is more than to much for my AMP & Speakers.
 

mkelbie

Well-known Member
Hard disk space is cheap so why limit yourself to lossy codecs when you could have them as lossless.


Its reasonably cheap I agree, but my HTPC holds 3 HDDs and I now have a 3rd 2TB in there. I would love everything to be lossless but I like to archive everything for safe keeping and ideally the best quality would be nice but at the same time it could be pointless if my AMP and speakers wont take advantage of it.
 

mkelbie

Well-known Member
Anyone help with this 1? Main issue is that I don't think my hardware is powerful enough for HD audio codecs for movies and lossless audio for my music. Takes up sO much more space want be to be sure my ears are enjoying it
 

goujam

Well-known Member
mkelbie said:
Anyone help with this 1? Main issue is that I don't think my hardware is powerful enough for HD audio codecs for movies and lossless audio for my music. Takes up sO much more space want be to be sure my ears are enjoying it

I think there is only one person who can answer the question and that's you ! Why not get two identical samples one with hd audio the other without and listen to the results. I'd probably try a sample with lots going on and a wide frequency range !
 

larkone

Member
Taking out the HD audio is not going to make a huge difference to the overall size of a ripped Bluray. If you saved 20% on file size you would reduce a 50GB file to a 40GB file. Little point on a 2TB drive, especially as disk prices will continue to fall in relative terms. Why are you archiving your blurays to hard disk, if as you say it is for safe keeping then why not just make a bluray copy instead. Hard disk is not the best archive media for long term storage - all drives start to fail from day 1, which is why if you are serious about HD archiving you should have at least 3 copies on hard disk - or one copy on bluray media.
 

mkelbie

Well-known Member
larkone said:
Taking out the HD audio is not going to make a huge difference to the overall size of a ripped Bluray. If you saved 20% on file size you would reduce a 50GB file to a 40GB file. Little point on a 2TB drive, especially as disk prices will continue to fall in relative terms. Why are you archiving your blurays to hard disk, if as you say it is for safe keeping then why not just make a bluray copy instead. Hard disk is not the best archive media for long term storage - all drives start to fail from day 1, which is why if you are serious about HD archiving you should have at least 3 copies on hard disk - or one copy on bluray media.

I have looked into backing up straight on disc but it's so expensive for a BD-DL disc it seemed better to store on on a HDD.

As for the size difference, if I make an image of a disc it takes hours and is around 40gb. I can download a 1080p rip with DTS audio that's only 10gb. So with the speaker and amp I have is it worth it? Eg I can only backup 50 films on a 2TB drive but rips I would get upto 200. If I have to backup them all I will but if quality is unnoticeable then I will get rips with my 120mb connection
 

larkone

Member
As Goujam said you are the best person to test if you can hear a difference on your system by comparing a ripped DTS core version with the full HD sound version. If you can't then it won't matter if you store them as DTS core. You need to trust in your ears.
 

mkelbie

Well-known Member
larkone said:
As Goujam said you are the best person to test if you can hear a difference on your system by comparing a ripped DTS core version with the full HD sound version. If you can't then it won't matter if you store them as DTS core. You need to trust in your ears.

I don't trust my ears :p it's may brain that has me thinking about it. I can't tell the difference, my SSD on my MBPr is getting full due to ALAC audio and spent ages listening and comparing AAC 256kbps versions agains the original and couldn't hear any difference personally but the time it took ripping all them CDs I don't want to delete the ALAC versions until I am sure.
 

The latest video from AVForums

AVForums Movies Podcast: Streaming Theatrical Releases And The Future Of Cinema
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom