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Best audio quality - which input?

Discussion in 'New A3/S3 (8V Chassis)' started by ConS3, Mar 20, 2014.

  1. ConS3
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    ConS3 Active Member

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    [Mar 20, 2014]
    So, which would be the best input to use for sound quality? SD? Bluetooth? AMI?

    I know it depends on the quality of the source, but I'm not sure if the MMI uses the same DAC for all of input sources?
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  3. madrussa
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    madrussa Member

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    [Mar 20, 2014]
    The best would be to use CD's.
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  4. 0B1001001
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    0B1001001 Active Member

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    [Mar 20, 2014]
    Pretty sure it supports FLAC, so FLAC on SD card would be best (with embedded album art at 800x800). Not got my car yet but think that's what I'll be using.
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  5. arad85
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    arad85 Active Member

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    [Mar 20, 2014]
    It will use the same DAC.

    Even if there was a difference, assuming the same source material (i.e. exactly the same file) it isn't going to make a blind bit of difference which input is used as any subtle nuances which might be better are going to be completely masked by any road noise (and I speak as an audiophile who has spent as much as a new A3 on audio equipment over the years).

    The best source file will be either direct from CD or FLAC files (I think the MMI plays FLAC files) as these are lossless formats. You aren't likely to be able to tell much difference between that and well compressed mp3s in a car though IMHO - due to the general environmental noise as mentioned above.
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  6. felsby
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    felsby Member

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    [Mar 20, 2014]
    AAC 320kbps from SD has an advantage of being immune to read errors - plus, you may hit the road with 1000 CD´s on a 128Gb card. That´s what I chose. I am an audiophile also, and I myself struggle to distinguish 320kbps from CD after two beers. :beerchug:

    edit: MMI can´t read files in FLAC or Apple lossless according to the manual, that states 320kbps as the upper limit, but I havent´t tested it.
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  7. felsby
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    felsby Member

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    [Mar 20, 2014]
    OT on: I cannot figure how to put my car´s details at the bottom of my posts like OB1001001! OT off
    #6
  8. 0B1001001
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    0B1001001 Active Member

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    [Mar 20, 2014]
    Settings at top, Edit Signature on left
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  9. arad85
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    arad85 Active Member

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    [Mar 20, 2014]
    Apparently the tech. pack addon can according to posts on the forum......
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  10. 0B1001001
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    0B1001001 Active Member

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    [Mar 20, 2014]
    If you want to save space vs. FLAC, I'd go for 320kbps VBR MP3.
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  11. RossR
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    RossR Active Member

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    [Mar 20, 2014]
    I've got tech pack with connect and can play FLAC at 48KHz, 16bit. I've not tried higher bit depth or sample rate, although I did successfully play a DVD with 96KHz, 24bit PCM audio. I doubt the DAC is anywhere near that quality, but it did play.
    #10
  12. oaf
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    oaf New Member

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    [Mar 20, 2014]
    First post(!)

    I tried to find on the web the maximum supported AAC bitrate and couldn't; however my car is happily playing ("True") [T]VBR Apple-encoded AAC files at the highest quality setting. Foobar2000 reports that the bitrate of these files often peaks (quite some way) over 320kbps but I haven't encountered any stutters yet, they all play fine. I've got a new S3 with B&O stereo but no tech pack.

    I used https://sites.google.com/site/qaacpage/ in conjunction with foobar2000 to transcode my FLAC files to AAC. This means I can use (the good) Apple encoder without installing the (not so good!) iTunes :) and have the flexibility of Foobar too. Killer samples aside I'd defy anyone to ABX the FLAC/AAC files (and that's before the car has started!) ;)

    Hope this helps someone.
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  13. PembsA3
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    PembsA3 Active Member

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    [Mar 20, 2014]
    Slightly off-topic but I tried a cd for first time in my week old car (been using Bluetooth...) and there is no track data showing on the MMI... What's wrong?
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  14. snakehips
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    snakehips Active Member

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    [Mar 20, 2014]
    Agreed. I have used both formats and really can't tell the difference in the car, but maybe this is because I'm running on Continentals...
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  15. RVP20
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    RVP20 Member

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    [Mar 20, 2014]
    Yeah I have noticed this. It only shows cd track 1 only
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  16. felsby
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    felsby Member

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    [Mar 21, 2014]
    mine shows all tracks. Standard MMI (w/o HDD, touch)
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  17. Itguy
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    Itguy Active Member

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    [Mar 21, 2014]
    :laugh:
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  18. felsby
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    felsby Member

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    [Mar 21, 2014]
    Probably :)
    But seriously, 320kbps for in-car audio is really good enough.
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  19. JohnnyM100
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    JohnnyM100 Active Member

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    [Mar 21, 2014]
    +1

    only tried recent CDs though. Perhaps older ones or burned CDs don't have CD-Text

    John.
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  20. 0B1001001
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    0B1001001 Active Member

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    [Mar 21, 2014]
    All this talk of actual, real CD's is just so 80's :wacko:
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  21. danilotto
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    danilotto Member

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    [Mar 21, 2014]
    24 bit >48 KHz DACs are expensive stuff. I doubt that they fit a high-res high-sr DAC in a small family car. Maybe on bigger models. I think if you try to play hi-res material it is resampled before the DAC.

    I could be wrong obviously.
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  22. PembsA3
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    PembsA3 Active Member

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    [Mar 21, 2014]
    Brand new original recording cd - no track info - just "Track 1" "Track 2" etc... Surely that's not right with all this talk of people seeing videos and album covers via their MMI...
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  23. RVP20
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    RVP20 Member

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    [Mar 22, 2014]
    Yeah I'm confused. I've tried loads of CDs and none of them show the track names?
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  24. illingworth22
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    illingworth22 Active Member

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    [Mar 22, 2014]
    Slightly off topic.... only just! I have all my music on my iPhone 5S and play via Bluetooth. How come some of the Album Art is displayed and other artwork is not? (Generic Artwork is displayed)
    #23
  25. JohnnyM100
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    JohnnyM100 Active Member

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    [Mar 22, 2014]
    #24
  26. oufc1976
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    oufc1976 Member

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    [Mar 22, 2014]
    Ditto that.

    Did some tests today. Compared Eminem's Without Me in lossless, MP3 and AAC (via iPod and SD)

    And whatever others may say, for me there is a massive difference between lossless and the compressed formats.

    As such, it's iPod all the way for me.

    Played a CD and was surprisingly underwhelmed although it wasn't the same track to be fair.

    Makes me think Audi scrimped on the CD transport
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  27. arad85
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    arad85 Active Member

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    [Mar 22, 2014]
    It does depend on what bitrate though.... 320k CBR or 192k VBR (mp3) are very difficult to tell apart from original - even on quite high end gear....
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  28. oufc1976
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    oufc1976 Member

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    [Mar 22, 2014]
    Both AAC and MP3 files were 320kbs

    The difference was most noticable in the low end frequencies.

    It's clear as day to my ears. But I accept its different for different people
    #27
  29. arad85
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    arad85 Active Member

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    [Mar 22, 2014]
    I would challenge you to a double blind test... but my anorak days are behind me..... :)
    #28
  30. RVP20
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    RVP20 Member

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    [Mar 23, 2014]
    Thinking of loading a 128gb SD card. What type of file should I put on it? ACC? Is this the best sound quality?
    #29
  31. 0B1001001
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    0B1001001 Active Member

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    [Mar 23, 2014]
    Embedded image size greater than 800x800 pixels? I believe this is the limit.
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  32. felsby
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    felsby Member

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    [Apr 12, 2014]
    Rvp20: yes, AAC 320 kbps was my choice.
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  33. oufc1976
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    oufc1976 Member

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    [Apr 12, 2014]
    Lossless every day.

    AAC/MP3s sound thin. And even the CD player, which in principle should be the best, sounds flat.
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  34. PembsA3
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    PembsA3 Active Member

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    [Apr 12, 2014]
    No matter how I organise the music files on the SD card, (e.g. by album...) the MMI always displays the files in track number order i.e. all the first tracks on all the albums first... Can't find any way of changing how they are sorted via MMI... Help anyone?..
    #33
  35. oufc1976
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    oufc1976 Member

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    [Apr 12, 2014]
    Similar question. How do you shuffle 'all' songs?
    #34
  36. cemerson
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    cemerson Well-Known Member

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    [Apr 12, 2014]
    For the first one, I use the 'folder' view in the MMI media menu, just lets you browse by folder.

    For shuffle, it's just in the options for me. Load the whole SD card to the playlist and then put shuffle on.
    #35
  37. PembsA3
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    PembsA3 Active Member

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    [Apr 13, 2014]
    I don't have any 'folders' showing on the MMI - below 'SD Card' level I have all the tracks listed... Should I have put each album in a different folder on the computer when I ripped the CDs?..
    #36
  38. andy203
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    andy203 181 BHP

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    [Apr 13, 2014]
    I just copied and pasted the individual albums from PC to SD card, and they appear in the MMI in alphabetical order.
    #37
  39. felsby
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    felsby Member

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    [Apr 13, 2014]
    Seems like you have to blame the DAC, then.
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  40. felsby
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    felsby Member

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    [Apr 13, 2014]
    Which program did you use to rip them?

    Yes, it would be a good idea to organise tracks in folders. The MMI cannot sort them for you. :meeting:
    #39
  41. andy203
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    andy203 181 BHP

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    [Apr 13, 2014]
    I used Windows media to rip them.
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