Streaming Question - 128k AAC vs 320k MP3, which is better?

msgmsg Posts: 4,270
edited December 2017 in 2 Channel Audio
Playing around with Digitally Imported's stations, setting up some streaming internet radio channels on LMS and the Squeezebox. For those unfamiliar, Digitally Imported runs the following:

RadioTunes and DI.FM are/were available as apps for the Squeezebox - mostly electronic, chillout, and ambient - but there are these three additional stations now as well. Subscribe to one, and you have access to all of the stations. One these main stations are additional channels, like different types of Jazz, or Classical music, for example. Different types of Rock, etc. A Christmas music channel!

You can play these online through a web player, choosing a desired quality, or generate playlist files or general server URLs.

The two quality choices they list as "Excellent" quality are 128k AAC or 320k MP3 (some stations only offer 256k MP3)

I'm wondering which would be better.
I was trying to do some reading, but it all seems to say that AAC is the superior quality at the same bitrate. Well that's nice, but what about at different bitrates? Are these two choices simply equivalent, or is one still better than the other? I haven't listened closely yet.
Post edited by msg on


  • FestYboyFestYboy Posts: 2,783
    I prefer 320k mp3. Many years ago I did AB testing between several formats and regardless of file size, I liked the 320k over AAC and WMA.
  • EmlynEmlyn Posts: 2,132
    My understanding is 256k AAC is roughly equivalent in sound quality to 320k MP3. A lot of the sound quality from internet streaming stations will depend on the original source quality. Some stations sound really good while others are harsh and tinny sounding regardless of the bitrate they say they are playing at.
    1. Polk LSiM707, 704C, 703; Dual SVS SB2000 subwoofers; Marantz SR7011 receiver; Parasound A23 amp; Oppo 205; Toshiba HD-DVD Player; Sony 65" 4K TV; FIOS; PS Audio Power Plant Premier; MIT S2 cables
    2. JM Labs Electra 920.1; Parasound JC2 Preamp; Sonic Frontiers Power 2 amp; Sony HAP-Z1ES; Oppo 105D; Music Hall MMF7 and Acoustech phono pre; PS Audio P1000; MIT S1 Cables
    3. Polk LSiM703; Pioneer Elite SC97 receiver; Oppo 203; Squeezebox Touch; MIT S3 cables
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