Reloading HD5



Right then, following from my earlier thread, When I loaded the HD5 initially it was done a few albums at a time & they were all 132 or 256 Kbs transfers. When I reload, what is the most sensible bit rate to use? The HD5 is used exclusively as a portable music source.


Without being rude, how long is a piece of string?

It's really up to you what bitrate you transcode to when loading your player. I find 64kbps more than satisfactory; some think I'm a loon who belongs in a padded cell and won't touch anything lower than 192kbps. Others still think that only at the highest bitrates can you get the best quality - and technically, they're right, of course.

What matters is how it sounds to you. Try a few bitrates, and trust your own ears. It's the only sensible way. And bear in mind the size of your track collection: if it's massive, use the lowest bitrate acceptable to your ears to achieve maximum storage.


Thanks. I suppose I am just trying to get a handle on what most people consider 'Acceptable quality', bearing in mind that portable music is often listened to in less than ideal conditions. I have always gone for top quality before but wonder if people really notice the slight difference if transferred at 64kb under typical conditions.


Standard Member
I like good quality sound (I have NHT speakers with a Yamaha or Denon receiver on my HT, all balanced). Given that, I still find 64 kbps Atrac3+ fine on my HD5. I tried a few settings with a few headphones, and things sound fine. Even after 2 weeks of listening to various music, it sounds fine. I am enjoying the nuances of aerosmith's dueling guitars, the roughness of Janis' blues, etc. and it all sounds great--solid bass, cymbals seem clear and not irritating, voices sound natural. I haven't been noticing any artifacts at all.

BTW, I am also using Sony MDR-A34 headphones, and would recommend them highly. They are the verticl in-ear type with a very thin folding headband. (I have another similar Sony pair that doesn't fold and which also sounds great.) Plus, these phones are very efficient--full volume is way too loud, even in a noisy environment.

Also, I am getting a ton of music onto my player at 64 kbps. And when listening in quiet places, it still sounds clear and enjoyable.


Established Member
I use 128kb MP3 although I could probably live with 64.

If used primarily for portable use you'd probably not notice the difference.

IMHO it's pretty futile to demand HiFi performance from any DAP when in a car on the train/cycling/jogging etc.


I only use ATRAC3plus @ 256kbps. But then I am extremely picky when it comes to sound quality.


Distinguished Member
I'm using 64k Atarac3+ on my HD3 and notice little or no difference than when I used to transfer at 256k (especially by the time it's gone through an FM receiver in my car).

Plus you can get So much music on you player (I've transfered 100's of albums already and still have 13Gb left)!

I think a lot of the sound quality arguments do depend on your phones, personally I use Sony EX71's as they fit me better than other phones and without paying mad ££'s for others are a good sound/cost comprimise, however many other's on here will and do slate EX71's......Horses for courses

The latest video from AVForums

Samsung & LG UK TV Prices 2023; Amazon Fire TV Cube; Calibration Tools of the Trade + AV news
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom