I’ve long lamented about people just don’t care about high-fidelity sound anymore. MP3s played through cheap earbuds are good enough for most people. Anyone who has kids has probably wonder how they can stand listening to music through crappy laptop speakers.
This is in stark contrast to the 70s and 80s when high-fidelity was EVERYTHING to music fans. Big amps. Big speakers. Understanding the terms RMS, signal-to-noise-ratio, wow and flutter and speaker efficiency. Fighting over which sounded better: east coast or west coast speakers. Debating over the merits of various types of speaker enclosures.
But does high-quality audio really matter? Can people actually tell the difference between a high-quality digital stream and one of lesser quality? Let’s find out with NPR. Click on the graphic to get started. Oh, and turn your volume up. WAY up. (Note: If you insist on taking this test using crappy laptop speakers, I can pretty much predict the outcome.)