Thread: Base Stereo
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      06-15-2008, 03:44 PM   #30
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Drives: 2015 320i
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Ft Lauderdale, Florida

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Originally Posted by jm1234 View Post
There is no point but I'll bet most people will not be listening to MP3's that are "very compressed" but are in the 160+ kbs range. At 160+ kbs the majority of people have trouble telling the difference between the MP3 and the source when listening in an ideal sound environment. This is a car, I'd be shocked if more than 1 in 100 can tell the difference.

The premium system does have more power and more speakers which is something that directly influences sound quality when in a noisy environment. I think people can hear this. It's also got better sound reproduction than the base system. I would agree with several posters here that the low frequency response of the base system is comparable (at less than full volume), but low frequency response isn't what suffers most from normal car noises (whistling wind (high frequency), tire hum (high frequency) and exhaust (mid bass)).

I think the assumptions about the quality of MP3s people will listen to and the value of a high end system when listening to those MP3s isn't correct. I'd encourage people to listen to MP3s themselves (to see if they can hear a difference) and to listen to both stereos (base and premium) themselves for the same reason.

IMO, burning MP3's at 320kps with Variable Bit Rate (VBR) straight from the CD will give the closest sound quality possible to Lossless (uncompressed) while keeping the song size reasonable. Another thing to consider is that a song that it is originally burned at less than 320kbs will not "upcompress" to 320kbs at the same sound quality as one that is burned straight to 320kbs from the CD source.

I've noticed a slightly better sound quality from USB sticks than iPod with the same MP3 song thru the same USB port. Which tell me that the 6FL option D/A converter could be doing a better job than the one in the iPod.