There are several online music streaming services that offer lossless audio level in exchange for additional payment, but is it worth it? On paper it is, but the reality is that the human ear is quite limited and, in fact, hearing ability depends on each individual. Fortunately, there is a test that will let you see firsthand if you are able to differentiate lossless audio from the compressed “normal” used in network networks, then we will tell you everything.
This test aims to see if you hear lossless sound
In February 2021, Spotify announced a new level of lossless audio called HiFi (very original, they’re not with their nomenclature, of course), joining companies like Tidal and Deezer to deliver CD-quality audio streaming. Currently, the Premium version of the platform offers a bit rate of up to 320 kbps, while CD quality audio has a bit rate of 1411 kbps, will you ever notice the difference?
To determine if you, as an individual, are able to notice better quality with uncompressed audio, there is the test called ABX High Fidelity Test, which you can access for free through your browser.
Click “Take the test,” review the instructions and keyboard shortcuts, and when you’re ready, choose how long you want to take the test (depending on how long you have available). This test has two reference samples (A and B) and one target sample (X). One is Spotify premium audio quality, while the other offers lossless high fidelity sound. You will need to choose whether the target sample (X) is equal to A or B.
The more tests you run, the more accurate your results will be, as you will reduce the bias that occurs when you accidentally choose the correct answer.
Have you noticed the difference between compressed and uncompressed audio?
Whether you can tell the difference depends on several factors, but from now on we tell you that ideally the human ear is able to notice the difference; however, other factors come into effect, such as “wear and tear” on your hearing or the audio equipment you use. For example, if you use professional headphones, you are much more likely to notice a big difference.
When you are done testing, the result will tell you what percentage of the tests you passed and whether or not you can tell the difference between compressed and lossless audio. Personally, we didn’t notice any difference using speakers and the responses were almost random, while with good headphones (Corsair Virtuoso SE) we noticed the difference on some occasions, but the differences are really so. small that, frankly, for a person like us it wouldn’t be worth paying more for lossless audio service.
Now, if you are an audiophile and have professional gear, things can change, but either way, this test can help you determine if it’s something worth your while or not. .