Why does music in MP3 sound so much worse than it does on CD's?

I tested it on many albums, and pretty everything that sounds great on CD sounds depressing on MP3.

Of course, a lot of music already is garbage no matter which medium, but on MP3 even the good one sounds bad. Is there a reason why?

3 Answers

  • 1 month ago

    How good an MP3 sounds depends on the "bit rate" setting used to create it.

    And also using a good encoder; some are abysmal.

    The lower the bit rate setting, the more audio detail is discarded.

    Using LAME, a 320Kbit per second constant rate MP3 is pretty close to CD quality - but a lot of stuff defaults to 128K or something else less than 320 & that means noticeably poor quality.

    Bad encoders can also cause a noticeable quality problems.

  • 1 month ago

    MP3 is a "lossy" codec. 

    When an original recording is converted to MP3, 

    a certain percentage of fine detail is lost. 


    CDs using the normal "Red Book" format store the entire original signal.   


    I don't use MP3 for music if I can get better quality. 


    Even my USB sticks have copies of various tracks in a lossless format.

    so I get full CD quality from them.  

  • 1 month ago

    When an original recording is compressed into an MP3 file, a lot of information is lost which is why CD's sound better

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