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  • Apple's Eddy Cue says Spatial Audio is a 'game-changer' for music

    sevenfeet said:
    genovelle said:
    rcfa said:
    Most people never heard of lossless? Really?

    Anyone who’s ever heard of these silver discs calls “CD”s has heard of lossless.

    Only Napster, music piracy in conjunction with slow internet, metered cellular data and expensive flash memory brought us the “blessings” of lossy audio compression algorithms.

    So, no, lossless isn’t “niche”, it was and should always be the normal case, lossy compression should be the exception.
    CDs are not lossless. They are limited to 16 bits and 44.1 kHz while lossless is at least 24 bits and 96 kHz. Every record theses days is recorded well above CD quality. 
    CDs are lossless. They do not use a compression technology that throws away data like MP3 or AAC. That is the meaning of "lossless". Do not confuse that with the sampling and bit rates, which certainly do make a difference to the overall sound profile.

    As for what Eddy Cue said, yes Spatial Audio will probably make a bigger difference to most listeners than lossless.  Most people get their music from their phones now and since lossless Bluetooth isn't a thing, Spatial Audio/Dolby Atmos makes more sense because it can be implemented with what most listeners already have.

    That being said, I'm in the minority of users who does have the ability to easily show the difference between lossy AAC and lossless and especially HiRes audio. I have a dedicated 2 channel listening room, a smaller 5.1 home theater listening room and a larger 7.1.2 Dolby Atmos home theater. I spent some of today listening to the Atmos tracks in the Atmos theater and it sounded nice....not unlike the similar content on Tidal (which I also subscribe to mainly since I use the Roon player). I've been waiting for Apple to go lossless for a LONG time, and we got the added bonus of HiRes lossless which I wasn't expecting.

    The problem for me now is that Roon has made it really easy to pipe my lossless and HiRes music to wherever I am in the house at the best possible quality. Apple Music and Airplay can't do that right now which makes using it for day to day listening a lot harder. Airplay can do straight 16 bit/44.1 CD quality lossless right now (it's been part of the standard since Airplay 1 was invented two decades ago). But I usually try to listen to HiRes audio these days if I can and that's going to be hard to feed my DACs which already connected to Roon.
    If Cd's are lossless then why have 24bit 96k or higher - surely 16bit 44.1k is enough
  • Apple's Eddy Cue says Spatial Audio is a 'game-changer' for music

    iyfcalvin said:
    Regarding Lossless, In my opinion, the average person can “hear” the difference. The key to that is whether they can “recognize the difference and appreciate it.  The “average” person today has lived primarily with highly compressed music, lower quality electronics, emphasizing booming and distorted sounds.  They would not recognize the difference at all.  
    It’s akin to serving an unfamiliar foreign culinary entree to an American palate and having them recognize and appreciate the flavor while growing up on a fast food, prepared food diet.
    There are many variants between "lossless" and compressed audio, lossless only means it recreates (the often poor) recording accurately.  Most master recordings are made with many objectives in mind (vinyl, broadcast, etc) and most aim to reduce dynamic range to avoid noise and keep the average sound levels consistent.
  • English teenager suffers facial burns after iPhone charger catches fire

    The law of unintended consequences -  not putting a charger in every product is likely to increase the number of cheap and maybe poor quality products. Although other companies substandard products are not really Apples problem.

  • Apple debuts $549 AirPods Max over-ear headphones

    macgui said:
    Clearly most of you aren't familiar with high-end headphones. They can range from 2-10x the cost of these Apple headphones, easy.

    It's comical the way some idiots pick one feature of these headphones then compare their little POS headsets and claim some kind of victory.

    And suggesting that these have to be binned when the battery dies? Idiocy. Replacing batteries in AirPods isn't really very practical, and comparing that to replacing the batteries in the Max is again another exercise in stupidity.

    These are pricey for the casual listener. Not all that pricey when compared to a litany of high-end headphones, if these live up to the claims. 
    Clearly you are not familiar with Apple's marketing.  These are a far cry from being high-end headphones.  They are just excessively overpriced cans.  You don't have to be so insulting to people in your comment.  No professional recording studio or person would buy these.  They will buy the high-end headphones from reputable companies in the industry that know audio very well.  Apple is not that company.  Apple is known for mediocre audio quality in their products.  Apple does not even allow you to adjust tone quality in any of their speaker products.  These are heavily marketed as BLUETOOTH headphones to use with your iPhone for playing back heavily compressed audio files.  Something a professional audio person would never listen to.  Yes, Apple charges an extra $35 for an audio cable, but again, that is not what Apple wants you to do.  These are just overpriced ugly headphones that no one will be buying, except for a few fools that think anything with an Apple logo is somehow magical.
    I’m familiar with Apple’s marketing - I bought the original Macintosh at release and have spent plenty on their products over the years and currently have 4 of their products.

    I wasn’t trying to insult anyone, I was just surprised that people were so surprised at the price. I agree, no professional studio or audio engineer would buy these and Apple is clearly not aiming their marketing for these headphones at those people as can be seen from their web site.

    You will find that Naim Audio’s NAC 552 pre-amplifier, costing £21,000 doesn’t allow you to adjust the “tone quality” either and such controls are very rare to find on a loudspeaker anyway. As for the mention of Bluetooth, again, Apple are not aiming these are audio engineers, they are being aimed at Apple’s usual audience (Pro Apps notwithstanding).

    I think they look very attractive, much more so than the endless lumps of unimaginative black plastic that pass for the design of most headphones. To say they are overpriced is unwise when you have not even heard them; you may be right, but they combine a number of features which for a lot of people will be very appealing. If no one is buying them then I’m not sure why the shipping times are already lengthening unless it’s all the fools, in which case Apple will happily take their money!
    The audiophile market is certainly in a world of it’s own. As a designer for 15 years for a small Britsh company I designed some pretty mad products; like the Titan" power amplifier, 1000 Watts per channel into 8 ohms and 2000 Watts into 4 ohms, at the bargin price of $30,000 and a 14 tube pri-amp (no tone controls of course), the Primo for $7900. I suspect Apple's headphones are going to be very good but not suitable for the professionals, The 1% distortion figure is epecially good for headphones and may put them in the same class as electrostatic types.