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Which has better quality?

1. Opus 384kbps vs MP2 384kbps
2. Opus 96kbps vs WMA 10 Professional 96kbps*

* WMA 10 Professional uses SBR when the bitrate is 96kbps or lower

Re: Which has better quality?

Reply #1
1. Opus 384kbps vs MP2 384kbps
2. Opus 96kbps vs WMA 10 Professional 96kbps

1. Opus guarantees transparency at this bitrate (outliers may or may not exist). I don't know about MP2 at this bitrate, but it can't be better than Opus.

2. Opus.

Re: Which has better quality?

Reply #2
1. Opus, unless the 44.1 > 48 conversion is an issue to you. With these bitrates I would opt for lessless, of Wavpack Lossy.

2. Clearly Opus.

Re: Which has better quality?

Reply #3
in short... putting hardware compatibility aside, Opus is basically the best lossy encoder right now. but I think anything higher than 2xx kbps is overkill in general for MP3/AAC/Opus (and the like) as it defeats the purpose of using lossy encoders. that answers your questions.

a bit more details...

in terms of lossy encoders at this point in time I think only three are worth using...

-MP3 (LAME) (the safest choice due to everything that works with lossy files supports it)

-AAC (Apple AAC) (the all around best choice given it's widely supported and it beats MP3 at lower bit rates. say roughly around 128kbps and lower. it's just a more efficient version of MP3 one could say.)

-Opus (the best choice if hardware support is not a big concern and your planning on using bit rates around 96kbps and lower. while Opus is great in the 128kbps+ range I feel it loses it's advantages over AAC once you get into the 128kbps+ range and your probably better off using AAC due to the bonus of much better hardware support)

but at the 384kbps bit rate you mentioned... your probably best off just using lossless formats instead (if sound quality is of super high importance) as the whole point in using lossy encoders is for efficiency sake to get similar audio quality to the lossless file but at a much lower bit rate. those who use 320kbps MP3 (and the like), unless they have to for a specific reason, is just a waste of storage space.

or to give you some suggestions given some basic scenario's...

-If you got storage space to burn and are paranoid about sound quality = use lossless audio.
-If you want to use lossy audio but are a bit paranoid on sound quality = use AAC @ 256kbps (Apple AAC CVBR mode). I think this is what iTunes uses.
-If you want efficient use of storage space but still maintain solid sound quality  = use AAC @ 128kbps (Apple AAC @ q64 TVBR)
-If you don't mind trying some of the latest tech and are more concerned with maximum efficiency = use Opus @ 96kbps (maybe a bit lower depending on your preferences (64kbps is respectable for the bit rate) but I just suggested 96kbps since that scores very well around here and you can be confident sound is not really sacrificed at that rate).

if you don't want to overthink things... I suggest you use Apple AAC @ 128kbps (q64 TVBR) and forget about it. you can't go wrong with that choice.
For music (especially on-the-go)...
-I suggest Opus @ 96kbps (or... 64kbps minimum, 128kbps maximum). *preferred choice*
-I suggest AAC(Apple) @ 96kbps (q45 TVBR) or 128kbps (q64 TVBR). *secondary choice*
-I use Foobar2000 (/w Encoders Pack etc) to convert FLAC to Opus/AAC(Apple).

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