10 Mar

MP3’s Sound Better than Vinyl or CD’s?

I just read this post on TechDirt about how young people prefer the sound of MP3’s to other types of media. They actually like the sound of MP3’s! Well, this is why ‘young people’ don’t have a drivers license or are allowed to buy alcohol. Because they can’t think!

The post author believes this is sort of funny because audiophiles are always complaining about how MP3’s will ruin music. I’m not sure it will ruin music, but I do believe that poor quality will produce engineers an sound people with a bad idea of what music should sound like.

By the way, this started well before MP3’s, it started with the consumers buying stereos with only a three band EQ.

I love this comment made on the post;

MP3 Sound “quality”

by brokeastunes – Mar 3rd, 2009 @ 8:30am

Believe me, you don’t need to have an expensive audiophile sound system to hear how obviously superior vinyl is. Even a crappy system will fill the the room with three-dimensional sound compared to the one-dimensional, tinny, transparent bass of MP3s. This post confirms what I already predicted-that after a few years of MP3s being the dominant medium, pretty soon people wouldn’t even know what recorded music was supposed to sound sound like. The dumbing down of our culture is nearly complete.”

Ha! That’s good. MP3’s are convenient. Extremely convenient. But that does not mean they sound good. Kids are just getting used to a certain sound, and then thinking that it is best. The same thing happens with those of us who listen to vinyl, we are used to that sound. To a point, even after not listening to vinyl for years, I still think it sounds better.

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6 Responses to “MP3’s Sound Better than Vinyl or CD’s?”

  1. The Motorcycle Traveler Says:

    I think you are right about kids being used to a certain sound (MP3 in your example). Bands know this and that is why bands like The Eagles strive so hard to make their live shows sound just like their albums. If their live music does not sound like what people are used to, people will not pay to see multiple shows, they leave with a feeling of disappointment. I have heard these comments after some excellent concerts that I have been to. I appreciated the live versions of the songs, for the musical talent that was demonstrated, but others complained as we were leaving that “the album was better.” I argue that it may not have “been better” but it is what they (the average listener) is used to.

    Having said that, I listen to MP3 and CD a lot, as it is hard to listen to vinyl while I do my evening jog, or ride my motorcycle to work or on a trip. MP3 is easy for me, my GPS on the motorcycle plays MP3, my phone plays MP3, and my wife’s iPod does too. All of these things are connected to my intercom on my bike.

    I do have to say that my Dad copied his records over to MP3 and CD. I can tell which ones were his favorites when I hear them, the grooves on the records were getting worn, and there are some scratches and pops in the music sometimes, mostly due to my brother and I mishandling the records so many years ago.

  2. Huh? Better? Says:

    Ok. I can accept that many people say they can’t tell the diiference, there’s no evidence etc.. even though I love vinyl.

    But how can a lossy format which discards data sound BETTER?

  3. Ben Says:

    Hey, I agree with you. Vinyl is better. However, it’s really got a lot do with what you are used to.

    If you listened to MP3’s all your life, you would think that’s how music is supposed to sound.

    Vinyl doesn’t have the ability to get really loud due to the fact that they can’t compress the sound on it like they can CD’s and MP3’s, and to many people, that means it doesn’t sound as powerful and exciting.


  4. Brandon Says:

    I think its all in what you grew up with. I grew up with CDs, and I think that CDs sound the best, though Vinyl Records don’t sound half bad either. I can only stand MP3s that are 256, or 320K, 192K is the ABSOLUTE Minimum…

  5. anonymous Says:

    uhhhh Mp3’s actually do sound better as long as you have the right setup its called imax and HD bose speakers your crazy if you think records sounds better and its all in the music you listen to anyway. Live is always the best hands down.

  6. Ben Says:

    Sorry, I’m not sure you get the idea of this debate.

    If a CD sounds better than vinyl only because I play it through a superior sound system, then by he same logic, so would vinyl through that same sounds system.

    It can take a bit more equipment to get that perfect sound out of vinyl than CD’s, but many people feel it is worth it.

    As to Live music sounding better… It really depends. I have an album by Threshold called Critical Energy that is a live album and sounds amazing. I also have a live album by the 13th Floor Elevators that doesn’t sound so amazing. To have a live album sound as good as a studio album takes much, much more high end equipment and more importantly, excellent sound engineers.

    The Classic Vinyl Record Guy

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