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32 kHz - 128 kbps vs. 44.1 kHz - 64 kbps; Which is better?

2 reputable Audiobook sources have their books in the respective formats.

Namely

eMusic: 64k, 44.1 kHz
Downpour/Blackstone: 128k, 32 kHz

Which is the preferred option and why?

32 kHz - 128 kbps vs. 44.1 kHz - 64 kbps; Which is better?

Reply #1
The human voice does not have useful information above 16 kHz, and at the same bitrate 32ksps should give better sound quality than 44.1ksps (other than the loss of high frequencies). So, even if they were the same bitrate you would be better off with the 32ksps version.

32 kHz - 128 kbps vs. 44.1 kHz - 64 kbps; Which is better?

Reply #2
My money says that if you record some speech, resample as necessary, and encode your sample recordings to both of those specifications, you will be unlikely to be able to tell them apart.

32 kHz - 128 kbps vs. 44.1 kHz - 64 kbps; Which is better?

Reply #3
[quote author=AndyH-ha link=msg=858999 date=1393123329]My money says[/quote]
I read it like 'your Mom says'

32 kHz - 128 kbps vs. 44.1 kHz - 64 kbps; Which is better?

Reply #4
I don't know what that means but if it is a way of saying you don't believe me, it is very simple to created outputs in those different formats and compare them, using any of several ABX testing applications. Do it properly and it will be hard to find any speech input that lets you differentiate the outputs.

32 kHz - 128 kbps vs. 44.1 kHz - 64 kbps; Which is better?

Reply #5
[quote author=AndyH-ha link=msg=859087 date=1393229503]I don't know what that means but if it is a way of saying you don't believe me, it is very simple to created outputs in those different formats and compare them, using any of several ABX testing applications. Do it properly and it will be hard to find any speech input that lets you differentiate the outputs.[/quote]
It was just a funny acknowledgement and appreciation of your answer from my part.

To add insult to injury I have some poems with some music (not a full band but a few instruments) encoded as low quality audiobook speech. Now I wonder if there is a difference between the above 2 formats?

32 kHz - 128 kbps vs. 44.1 kHz - 64 kbps; Which is better?

Reply #6
You may be able to tell them apart with music. I want music I listen to to be high quality, but music included in audiobooks is just a distraction, from my viewpoint, so I care not at all if it isn't up to music quality specs.

Regardless, properly done listening tests are the only way to tell if there is an audible difference, unless it is so extreme no question ever arises.

32 kHz - 128 kbps vs. 44.1 kHz - 64 kbps; Which is better?

Reply #7
You don't mention what compression format is used for either.  AFAIK emusic uses standard options in lame, so the audio will be low pass filtered.

32 kHz - 128 kbps vs. 44.1 kHz - 64 kbps; Which is better?

Reply #8
If other things are equal, I'd prefer 128 kbps, 32 kHz.

32 kHz - 128 kbps vs. 44.1 kHz - 64 kbps; Which is better?

Reply #9
If other things are equal, I'd prefer 128 kbps, 32 kHz.
I'd say the opposite, if both files sounds equally well you should choose the smallest and most compatible (common sample rate) file, i.e. the 64kbps/44kHz one.
It's only audiophile if it's inconvenient.

32 kHz - 128 kbps vs. 44.1 kHz - 64 kbps; Which is better?

Reply #10
If other things are equal, I'd prefer 128 kbps, 32 kHz.
I'd say the opposite, if both files sounds equally well you should choose the smallest and most compatible (common sample rate) file, i.e. the 64kbps/44kHz one.

Would you expand on that?

eMusic is the 64k/44.1kHz.
Downpour/Blackstone is the other, 128k/32kHz one.

And no, it's not distraction music. It is an audiobook of poems intended with a musical background. Would have been better if they encoded it as music but this is what we have.

32 kHz - 128 kbps vs. 44.1 kHz - 64 kbps; Which is better?

Reply #11
While it might not be especially polite of me to put words in someone's mouth, the comment about preferring the smaller format means:

If both sound the same, which is quite possible, the advantage is with the one that produces the smaller file. The larger file format just takes up more space, it doesn't give you anything in additional audio quality.

32 kHz - 128 kbps vs. 44.1 kHz - 64 kbps; Which is better?

Reply #12
[quote author=AndyH-ha link=msg=859642 date=1393736656]While it might not be especially polite of me to put words in someone's mouth, the comment about preferring the smaller format means:

If both sound the same, which is quite possible, the advantage is with the one that produces the smaller file. The larger file format just takes up more space, it doesn't give you anything in additional audio quality.[/quote]
Now it's pretty clear. Thank you.

32 kHz - 128 kbps vs. 44.1 kHz - 64 kbps; Which is better?

Reply #13
[quote author=AndyH-ha link=msg=859642 date=1393736656]While it might not be especially polite of me to put words in someone's mouth[/quote]Fine by me!
It's only audiophile if it's inconvenient.

32 kHz - 128 kbps vs. 44.1 kHz - 64 kbps; Which is better?

Reply #14
I listen to a lot of podcasts using everything from 22050 to 48000 with bitrates from 64kbps to 320 kbps and honestly it makes no difference to my experience.

It's quite possible that 48000 at 320kbps can be distinguished from 22050 at 64kbps in an ABX test but it's speech, not music, so my ears are in a different mode - and there are no artifacts in either that detract from my experience. It's the content itself that matters, what ideas it sparks in my mind that matters, not the sample rate or the encoding rate.

If there are sound effects then 44100 or 48000 might be needed depending upon the sound effect for it to sound right.

EDIT - that's not to suggest 48000 has audio benedit over 44100 - just that some sound effects may require use of one of those rather than 22050.

 
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