Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

All that scientific and anecdotal evidence that, no matter how much it might make wine snobs’ bowties spin and dickies roll up, pretty much nobody can tell the difference between top-shelf wine and a $6 bottle from Trader Joe’s? The same may be true for digital music, no matter how many people who have been famous millionaires for long enough that they’ve forgotten what money even means continue to make a sport of seeing how much they can charge people to listen to lossless music formats.

A new quiz from NPR challenges you to try and tell the difference between uncompressed music and compressed versions of the same samples. The 128kbps-quality clips may have a noticeable if subtle dip in quality, but the difference between 320kbps and uncompressed WAV files is likely to be lost on all but a handful of “As a music producer listening through my standalone DAC and HD Ultrasone headphones, I am appalled at the garbage I’m hearing, etc., etc.” types. Go ahead and take the challenge, or better yet, make your audio snob friend take it in front of you and marvel at the sputtered excuses he comes up with for not getting 100 percent.


Share This Story

Get our newsletter