Some of you may already know the answer to this question, but I did not.
But I started thinking about it after I got my new headphones, which made listening to music much more enjoyable than hearing it come out of my laptop speakers.
So I started searching the web, and the consensus was pretty clear: vinyl wins. This is because the vinyl can pick up every single part of the sound wave. No information is lost. The records will hold the scale of the sound and you will get everything.
Next comes the CD. The sound quality is better than cassettes, but it doesn’t compare to the quality of vinyl records. This is because a digital file only captures some of the data.
Next is an MP3. MP3 files sacrifice the range and quality in exchange for the convenience of small file sizes. This means reduced audio quality when compared with something like vinyl.
Streaming services like Spotify: Spotify has a bit rate of 160 kpbs which is less than the standard of mp3 files, while Spotify Premium comes in at 360 kpbs which makes it just equal to mp3. Both offer less quality than a CD, indeed, only Tidal offers a lossless compression audio, making it the only streaming service to offer CD quality.
Cassettes: the sound quality leaves a lot to be desired.
Obviously, there are some advantages to the lesser quality audio formats, such as convenience (CDs and cassettes are much smaller than vinyl) and access to a large library of music (an iPod can store thousands of songs, while Spotify gives you access to seemingly every song you might want to hear.
It is up to each individual to decide if they are willing to sacrifice sound quality for convenience, and if so, how much.
For my untrained ear, Spotify sounds terrific, especially through my headphones.
But I am sure there are some people who have never given up on vinyl.
I might have to check to see if there is a way to hook up my wireless headphones to my record player.
Seems like that may be the best solution. But then I would wonder if I lose any quality by being wireless as opposed to wired.
Hmmmm…. decisions, decisions…
Fun fact from the Top Ten Reviews article: some older cars had record players in them!