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MP3 player VS Cd Player ??

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March 28, 2006 11:31:43 PM

Hi.,
I am not really sure if this forum is the right place to ask this question, hope someone will help me :p 

I am using a cd player and headphone(sennheiser HD 212) while I am travelling . my question is why mp3 player never sound better than a cd player, i tried ipod, creative muvo, etc but the sound is not as pure and loud as cd(bass is the most noticeable)? Is that because the Kbps ? or is that because of the power(battery) since cd player ussualy use 2 AA batery while mp3 player only use the *small* battery ? I really want something small in size that I can easily carry while i am travelling, carrying cd player is to big for my bag and i want the best quality sound..

Thanksss

More about : mp3 player player

March 29, 2006 6:30:16 AM

Its due kbs.
One *.mp3 song have 3-5 mb etc
One *.wav(CDA) have 40-50mb etc

And for many,many,many,many other reasons.

But i think Panasonic is what you are looking for.
March 29, 2006 7:57:32 AM

When it comes to mobile audio I don't think the real bottleneck comes from the source, I think it depends on the device. For example, on my HI-FI (Denon DCD615 > Philips 384 > B&W P2) I can clearly hear the difference between CD and MP3. CDs just sound better, MP3s, no matter how high the KBPS, just sound a bit dead.

But when it comes to mobile audio, I always take my MP3. I love sound quality and I hate crappy sound, but on all but the best headphones (that said, Sennheisers are great headphones usually) I can't really tell the difference. So long as the MP3 is better than 192 (preferablly 320) you have to be in total silence to hear the difference.

If you don't like the sound, you could use an MP3 with a built-in EQ. My Sony NW-HD5H has a built in Equaliser which always boosts the sound a bit. I don't think your ever going to get decent quality out of a Creative anything, though!

(sorry for the long-ish post, but sound quality is on of my favourites!)
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March 29, 2006 9:22:05 AM

Thanks for the quick reply...
Is there any device that can play a cd quality in reasonable small in size? I am thinking of MD(mini disc) has anyone use it? i know with md you can upgrade their card so you can fit the cd quality music inside it, is there any other suggestion?

Thanks a lot... :D 
March 29, 2006 10:57:12 AM

The principle behing mp3 is that its compression method removes frequencies (below and above) the average human ear can't hear, but i guess you can :p 
MD is cool and i think you can have cd quality with it, but you get stuck to 74minutes of music per disc. Some support compressed files, but i guess it's proprietary format...
I agree with mesarectifier... if you use high bitrates you wont feel much of a difference... but then you'll have to buy i high capacity mp3 player for the bigger filesizes
March 29, 2006 11:27:21 AM

The good thing about MD is that you can have different sets of disks and you just change them... with a mp3 player you would be stuck to what you have uploaded... besides, depending on storage capacity, there would be a point where you would have to swap your uploaded songs if you want to upload some new ones... that wouldn't happen with MD, you'd had just to record a new disc...
But i dont know at which point size is an issue for you :p 
March 29, 2006 11:31:18 AM

If you're complaining about quality, don't take a step back and use MD!!

The only way they fit that much music onto a small disc is because they chop out frequencies. MD is even worse than MP3 in that respect IMHO.
March 29, 2006 12:50:11 PM

I think there's been some slight confusion here.

Yes, sound quality would be better on CDs compared to low bitrate mp3s. However if we are talking about higher bitrate mp3s, the difference should not be severe, *all things equal.*

When you say its not as loud and pure (particularly the bass), most likely your original hypothesis is correct. Low frequencies are the hardest to drive as it requires a lot of brute amplifier power to make your loudspeaker push large amounts of air. Your CD player will be better equipped for bass than small mp3 players are. It's probably as simple as that.
March 29, 2006 1:18:22 PM

Yeah, I know you can use NetMD and also those CD players that play MP3s. In my opinion (and it is just opinion!) the quality of format goes thus:

1) CD
2) MP3
3) MD

Although some people would argue that MD is just as good/bad as MP3 - I've just never enjoyed the quality much, thats all.

The thing about CD/MD players is that they're almost always good quality units as far as sound goes, because they're built by HI-FI companies (Sony, Panasonic etc...) who just know how to get a good sound. MP3 players on the other hand are sometimes a little dubious when it comes to quality - Creative MP3s are terrible, as are most of the cheap-o no-name ones. Sony, iPod and Philips MP3 have audio components comparable to CD/MD - but with the advantage of being more practical (smaller, more songs).

Astrallite, I agree with you when you say high KBPS MP3 sounds virtually indistinguishable from CD, but I think only on headphones. Hook up to a good hifi with great speakers and there's no comparison.
March 29, 2006 1:58:33 PM

I know just putting something on CD doesn't magically change it into spectacular quality, the same with converting a 64kbps rip to 320.

By MD I mean MiniDisc. From what I've listened to Atrac3 is pretty poor - Sony were saying how great it was saying that 128kbps ATRAC is like 320 MP3 or something like that - same as WMA, really. A load of $%^&.

Obviously MP3, OGG, WMA, ATRAC3 or whatever cannot compete with FLAC, APE, WAV (lol) because they are compressed. What I'm saying is that CDs sound better (as in original pressings, not P2P>CDR CDs) than MP3s or MP3 CDs, but as far as listening through headphones out 'in the field' is concerned there is no difference you can appreciate, and from there its all in the hardware.

Minidisc and MP3 are nowhere near as good for HI-FI as CD/DVD-A/SA is, but for listening 'out there' you can't really tell the difference above 128kbps and MP3s are just more practical.
March 29, 2006 2:47:56 PM

ATRAC never really took off as it is propritary format and all the hassle with SonicStage make people turn their back on Sony. "Sony's superior to anything else sound quality" is a myth, similar to Denon's, iPod's and other myths used by people selling them. As with many things unless a device is a qualified total crap its quality can be looked at from various angles. Look at following:

-floor noise of the device
-quality of headphones used
-ease of getting songs onto player
-range of information about the song displayed on player
-presence of sound processing options like customizable EQ
-compatibility with various formats and their various encoding parameters.
etcetera.

Some players can play Wave files or loseless WMA format for example. Myself I use VBR MP3 encoded at highest quality. There are people who prefer FLAC but this is played back by few players. VBR MP3 is working fine, for me anyway. Carrying CD player outdoors makes little sense to me.
March 29, 2006 3:43:19 PM

[code:1:fa4b3b567e]"Sony's superior to anything else sound quality" is a myth, similar to Denon's, iPod's [/code:1:fa4b3b567e]

I think, for the money, Sony always make a quality product that's reliable and sounds good - in my experience. My Denon CD player isn't fantastic, I've gotta say (but that was a gift anyway). iPod just don't cut it as far as reliability goes, but it has a rep for sounding good because it does - it's not audiophile, but audiophile isn't PMD; iPod isn't 'bad'.
March 29, 2006 3:48:02 PM

Besides that, in portable media players depending on the model, you have to choose between flash or micro drive media each one with its pros and cons... hahahaahh always more than one thing to choose
March 29, 2006 4:12:27 PM

It's one of those things where you spend days looking at reviews and just have to end up biting the bullet - it might be great, it might use Sonic Stage.
March 29, 2006 4:44:38 PM

Whoa, someone who openly admits to USING RealPlayer! A rare find!

I thought all comp-types used winamp?

(I use Media Player Classic with RealAlternative and QTAlternative - plays everything but is super ugly!)
March 29, 2006 5:03:50 PM

Yep I never found WinAmp to be 'all it's cracked up to be' either.

My WMP always breaks...might start a topic.
March 29, 2006 5:04:24 PM

OXXY,

Sounds like you might have a Keen ear.

I would think you may want to experiement in two ways to get the small formfactor player that supports your needs.

1) Experiment is with encoding standards -- For instance aac encoding tends to carry more percieved data per mb. It is supposed to be a superior format. For instance it is said that a 128kbps aac has the same fidelity as a 192kbps mp3 using the lame encoder. Also look into mp4a.

2) Hardware devices -- This is a little more difficult since not all of them support the above standards. It is well known that different devices playing the same mp3/ogg/mp4a/aac/wma... will SOUND different. What you really need to do is find a device that supports your best sounding encoding scheme and also your flavor of music reproduction. If I listen a player and then you listen to it we both could have completely differing experiences.

So far my favorite device for playback is my phone. UTStarcom VX6700 from Verizon and Sprint carries it too. The phone coupled with a 2gb minisd card and a good headset works very well for me and is a great travelling companion. By the way it also supports video playback too. Might want to look into an app called TCPMP. This PPC smartphone actually has a much better playback fidelity with the same mp3s than my former mpx200.

Just some food for thought. Windows mobile devices support all sorts of playback and can be multi functional.
March 30, 2006 1:40:49 AM

Thanks for the info guys...really help,
personally i dont have trouble with player which only able to play 70 minutes of song as long they are good quality.
I am wondering, when u transfer mp3 into MD, is there any equalizer to make the result better?ussualy when i burn a cd with nero, I did some EQ first with nero to produce good result.
Regarding the DMP, is there any small size for this type of player?

Thanks ,
March 30, 2006 6:48:15 AM

By 'EQ First' did you mean putting the files into SoundForge or equiv. first? If you wern't you could just do the EQ in SF-type software before transfer to MiniDisc.

One of the problems with MD/CD players is that the EQs on-board are usually just a preset Bass boost (like MegaBass on the Sonys) which normally isn't that great. The advantage of DMP is that they usually have preset 5-band graphic EQs, which are great.

By small size did you mean capacity or literal size of player?
March 30, 2006 7:24:59 AM

Why anyone here talks about the BEST DAP makers in the world...

iaudio - mpio - iriver

I am pretty close to the audiophile side, and have an iaudio G3 that sounds the way it's meant to sound (heheh). You can notice the diference between a wav / mp3 and mp3 128kbps / mp3 320kbps too.
March 30, 2006 8:52:15 AM

Quote:
I am pretty close to the audiophile side, and have an iaudio G3 that sounds the way it's meant to sound (heheh). You can notice the diference between a wav / mp3 and mp3 128kbps / mp3 320kbps too.


What do you play it through?

(And you can tell the difference between KBPS on any almost player (unless they are REALLY bad), it pretty much all depends on the environment your in)
March 30, 2006 9:10:57 AM

Virtually all kinds of music, from bossa nova to electro (don't want to go off-topic).

And I use some in-ear earbuds, so the environment is not a problem at all.
March 30, 2006 9:22:35 AM

Quote:
Virtually all kinds of music, from bossa nova to electro (don't want to go off-topic).


Sure, I was just wondering what you used to get results that you say are so good - I've never had an 'audiophile' experience with an MP3 player.
March 30, 2006 9:47:54 AM

Quote:
Hi.,
I am not really sure if this forum is the right place to ask this question, hope someone will help me :p 

I am using a cd player and headphone(sennheiser HD 212) while I am travelling . my question is why mp3 player never sound better than a cd player, i tried ipod, creative muvo, etc but the sound is not as pure and loud as cd(bass is the most noticeable)? Is that because the Kbps ? or is that because of the power(battery) since cd player ussualy use 2 AA batery while mp3 player only use the *small* battery ? I really want something small in size that I can easily carry while i am travelling, carrying cd player is to big for my bag and i want the best quality sound..

Thanksss

MP3's sound worse than CD's because they're compressed, and they lose some of the audio data.
March 30, 2006 10:20:51 AM

MP3 vs CD comparison is easy to do when the mp3 format is bottlenecked, like with classical or symphonic music; the dynamic range of CDs become very apparent.

However with most modern pop recordings, the volume is normalized so high that CDs are compressed and dynamic peaks have been shaved off. At this point, it becomes very difficult to tell the difference between MP3 and CD. Both are significantly bottlenecked.
March 30, 2006 11:32:07 AM

Quote:
like with classical or symphonic music; the dynamic range of CDs become very apparent.


Thats why I don't like MD - the frequencies are snipped by the format so theres no way it can be good for music like that. Obviously it depends on the quality of recording, though, which can sometimes totally ruin a 'classical' album.

The limitations of everything really come out when you listen to something like Civilization, Phaze III (Zappa) which was made on Synclavier, which samples at 100Khz. One can only imagine how spectacular it might sound being played straight from the source!
March 30, 2006 12:25:20 PM

Quote:
By 'EQ First' did you mean putting the files into SoundForge or equiv. first? If you wern't you could just do the EQ in SF-type software before transfer to MiniDisc.

One of the problems with MD/CD players is that the EQs on-board are usually just a preset Bass boost (like MegaBass on the Sonys) which normally isn't that great. The advantage of DMP is that they usually have preset 5-band graphic EQs, which are great.

By small size did you mean capacity or literal size of player?



what i mean by EQ first is doing the EQ in the MD software where you ussually use it to transfer from pc to MD.

And by small size i mean is physical size of the player...

thankss...
March 30, 2006 9:30:19 PM

First of all to clarify, by MD I mean MiniDisc. And by 'picking on' ATRAC, I just don't think it sounds that good. Obviously lossy formats are, well, lossy, but WMA/ATRAC that are supposed to be such high definition at such low bitrates just don't sound as good - IMO (!).

Secondly, to OxxY, doing EQ first is probably a good idea to compensate for the limitations of your portable music player, but one of the advantages of MP3 is that it's usually not neccessary, although StrangeStranger reliably informs that MiniDisc players also have built-in equalizers - CD players don't. And MP3 players are just tiny now, they can be pretty much any size.



oh, and thirdly, Vinyl kicks the ass of MD/MP3/CD....anything! Analog formats are just...better! (Although not that practical for mobile use!)
!