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Old 04-26-2009, 09:53 AM
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robjrock robjrock is offline
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 272
Default My thoughts on BT sound quality - & how to improve it

I just picked up a pair of Motorola S805s BT headphones for my P3. Because I only got an 8 giga P3 I transferred over my music in 160 kbit MP3 format. Pretty low but saves space. I would have used OGG but there are album art issues. I encoded straight from lossless FLAC files so there shouldn't be any particular loss in sound quality by re-encoding the files..

Anyway, long story short, the 160 MP3s had big big problems with the treble, especially cymbals and high hats sucked big time. I wasn't sure whether bluetooth sends the mp3 data straight to the headphones to be decoded, or whether the P3 decodes it to an analogue signal, then re-encodes it again into a bluetooth signal. According to my personal listening tests, its the latter.

Long story cut short, encoding your mp3s in a higher quality format appears to greatly improve the sound quality using Bluetooth, much much more noticeable then with wired headphones. I'm guessing when the music is sent through BT the artifacts present in low bitrate MP3s magnify when using BT. So yeah, the loss in sound quality by using low bitrates appears much worse when using bluetooth instead of normal wired headphones.

The negative I suppose is higher bitrates take up more space and use more battery.
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