Jan 5, 2012
If you’re a regular reader you’ll know I like to start the new year off with some good news.
Something you may not know though, is that I also like it when I’m right : )
And the PDF above hits the spot on both counts !
Almost 3 years ago now, I wrote a blog post called
It was a response to a study by Professor John Berger of Stanford University which he claimed showed that young people today actually prefer the sound of mp3 to CD audio.
Now, you probably already know what I think of mp3:
- so it probably won’t come as a surprise that I disagreed quite strongly with Prof. Berger ! You can read my full response on that link, but the reason for this post is to present some new evidence that I was right.
Just yesterday, Dr Sean Olive posted a comment on my old site with a link to research he has done on the same subject, which
(a) is fully documented (unlike Professer Berger’s work) and
(b) draws the exact opposite conclusion !
The high-school students who took part in his tests preferred the sound of CD over mp3, and can hear the difference between very high quality speakers and less accurate models.
In fact, 67% of the people who took part in his test preferred CD audio.
For more detail I recommend you scroll through the PDF embedded above, or read Sean’s full article here:
But whatever you do, next time someone tells you “no-one cares about audio quality these days” – please remember to show them this post !
Let’s start spreading the word that people prefer dynamic, lossless audio quality, as confirmed by the success of sites like Bandcamp, which offer lossless hi-res downloads as standard.
And with over a million dollars worth of sales in December alone, Bandcamp also proves that people are still happy to pay for music they love.
Happy New Year : )
Edit to add – several people have rightly pointed out that this is a promotional piece for Harman. Yes, it is. But the testing and methodology are sound, so I’m inclined to trust the conclusions . And yes, the “preferred” speaker is made by Harman – but personally, if a speaker manufacturer is going out of it’s way to prove that better speakers are desirable, and happen to sell a few along the way – I’m all for it !