CDs Sound Better Than Vinyl. Discuss.

Don’t be silly. A fresh piece of 180-gram vinyl played on a proper turntable through proper speakers sounds brilliant. Better than an MP3 and better than a CD. I’ve done the blind A/B/C tests, so case closed.

Or is it?  Could it be that vinyl just sounds…different from CDs?  And maybe the sound from CDs is better–at least from a technical point of view. It’s an interesting position. From the LA Times:

The CD revolutionized the music industry, but it was never cool. Even as CD sales eclipsed and nearly exterminated vinyl, the format was plagued by accusations that its sound was inferior, that it was merely a convenient alternative to the LP.

As consumers flocked to the convenience and ubiquity of downloadable and streaming music, they unsentimentally abandoned their CD collections. But as CD sales have plummeted, vinyl’s sales figures have been moving in the other direction. The CD-versus-vinyl debate — and, by extension, the debate over digital versus analog sound — has only grown.

Intrigued? Read on.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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