Originally Posted by polska9
On the other hand 256 VBR MP3's sound pretty darn good for their file size and portability. Lossy formats are going to keep getting better
How are lossy formats going to keep getting better...are they going to become lossless?
I don't know if it is me or my stereo components, but I can, blindly, differentiate between FLAC and any lossy format, and so can my gf. I'm talking about whether over my amp and speakers through my computer and DAC (amp: Cambridge azur 640a v2, speakers: Usher S-520, DAC: Cambridge DAC Magic), or through my headphones hooked into my amp (Senn HD 595), or right out of any DAP I've owned, with either my Senn PX-100's or RE2's.
None of this is real high end stuff of course, but it is revealing and detailed and maybe that's why I can tell the difference so easily. It's not as easy on a lesser system such as I recently had (no DAC, vintage Pioneer 980 receiver, BIC speakers, etc.). But most recordings, if not night and day, are at least evening and day lol. Lossless (FLAC) always sounds significantly better.
Originally Posted by coarse.sand
The difference between 320 MPEG-3 and FLAC is debatable in itself since mp3s try only to discard sound information that exists in frequencies that are generally inaudible to humans, or at least things we wouldn't generally notice anyways when listening. That said, I <3 FLAC.
Well, as I said above, I can definitely hear something! There is compression, loss of accuracy, detail, soundstage, and headroom, and an overall more muffled sound with lossy compared to lossless, like I threw a blanket over my speakers or put a bit of cotton in between my ears and my headphones.
Anway, back to the OP's question: When using my Fuze I can easily tell the difference between lossy files and lossless files, even with my Senn PX-100's. Put on my RE2's, especially with my Fiio E5 amp, and there is a stark contrast. The Fuze, iow, puts out good enough sound to be able to reveal the limitations of lossy files and the strengths of lossless ones imo. It is a pretty good sounding player, if a little "dry" or "crisp" (but not really thin, more like lean and not real warm) sounding. My Cowon F2 does sound better (fuller and warmer), and I suspect the Cowon D2 I'm getting will sound better too, but the Fuze is a great solid little player for a good price. My only complaint is that the theme it comes with is bland, and you can't wallpaper it. But if a Rockbox comes out for it soon (as seems to be the case) then it will be close to perfect. I'd definitely buy one again, and certainly buy any DAP capable of playing lossless files over one only capable of playing lossy. For me that's absolutely fundamental.