Sound Quality of Slacker

blyons200

These pretzels are making me thirsty.
Oct 12, 2008
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How's the SQ? If it's no better than Sirius, or worse than 128k iPod, I won't get one. If it's at least as good as 128K iPod I probably will.
 

snakester

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Oct 29, 2008
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How's the SQ? If it's no better than Sirius, or worse than 128k iPod, I won't get one. If it's at least as good as 128K iPod I probably will.

The online stream or the player? The online stream is just as good as a 128k iPod. The player is somewhere between said iPod and Sirius (Sirius being on the low end of the scale of course), closer to the iPod.
 

xan_user

Banned
Dec 16, 2008
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The online stream or the player? The online stream is just as good as a 128k iPod. The player is somewhere between said iPod and Sirius (Sirius being on the low end of the scale of course), closer to the iPod.
doesn't the g2 have bass and trebble? G1 doesn't.

not dealing whit itunes and SXM? how can you go wrong?
 

Jon

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Dec 16, 2008
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I have the iPhone app and it's as good as advertised. Easily 128k if not a little more. Even through the iPhone earbuds it sounds good.
 

styckx

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Nov 11, 2008
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The G2 blows away satellite sound quality. Using the same 3.5mm jack to RCA cables into the AUX in on my headunit, XM sounded like utter shit, the G2 sounds AMAZING in comparison. There is true stereo seperation, great bass, nice highs. NO ARTIFACTS. Can't even think of anything to complain about.
 

snakester

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The G2 blows away satellite sound quality. Using the same 3.5mm jack to RCA cables into the AUX in on my headunit, XM sounded like utter shit, the G2 sounds AMAZING in comparison. There is true stereo seperation, great bass, nice highs. NO ARTIFACTS. Can't even think of anything to complain about.

Saying "no" artifacts is a little bit of a stretch.I'm overly sensitive to aacPlus artifacts because of my years with XM. It's head and shoulders over the shitty sound quality XM has degenerated to, though. I'd say it sounded like XM pre-Howard Stern pissing match, though, maybe even a bit better.
 

DAB

Mod Emeritus
Oct 9, 2008
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The SQ discussion is always a tough one because there are so many variables, but there is little doubt that the SQ of Slacker is head and shoulders better than Sirius XM. The Web Player and the iPod Touch when connected via Wifi is 128kb MP3 and the G1/G2 is 40kb AAC+

My ears can hardly tell a difference between the web/iPod and the G1/G2. I've seen very, very few complaints in regards to SQ on the Slacker support forums and most of the time those that have complained admit they are audiophiles and likely have unreal expectations.
 

styckx

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Nov 11, 2008
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The SQ discussion is always a tough one because there are so many variables, but there is little doubt that the SQ of Slacker is head and shoulders better than Sirius XM. The Web Player and the iPod Touch when connected via Wifi is 128kb MP3 and the G1/G2 is 40kb AAC+

My ears can hardly tell a difference between the web/iPod and the G1/G2. I've seen very, very few complaints in regards to SQ on the Slacker support forums and most of the time those that have complained admit they are audiophiles and likely have unreal expectations.

Is this a fact? The SQ is amazing considering how low the bite rate is. I myself would've thought it was around mid 50's or so.

I hate audiophiles, they have unreal expectation of EVERYTHING. I've never seen one say anything sounds good.
 

DAB

Mod Emeritus
Oct 9, 2008
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Is this a fact? The SQ is amazing considering how low the bite rate is. I myself would've thought it was around mid 50's or so.

I hate audiophiles, they have unreal expectation of EVERYTHING. I've never seen one say anything sounds good.

According to the support team on the Slacker forums that information is indeed accurate.

I could not agree with yo more in terms of Audiophiles, I have little tolerence for them. I guess it would be about as much tolerance as they have with SQ. LOL
 

snakester

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I could not agree with yo more in terms of Audiophiles, I have little tolerence for them. I guess it would be about as much tolerance as they have with SQ. LOL

I consider myself a little bit of an audiophile (Please don't hate me DAB :shock:). I'm not picky about equipment or anything but I can definitely tell the difference between a 128k AAC-LC file and the original CD on decent speakers or headphones. However, to my ears, Sirius-XM is pushing their luck a little TOO much. Slacker, like I said, although I can hear slight artifacting, is nothing to really complain about and definitely understandable for how small the device is and the bandwidth requirements. I'd say it's comparable to CD quality, but not quite there.
 

DAB

Mod Emeritus
Oct 9, 2008
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I consider myself a little bit of an audiophile (Please don't hate me DAB :shock:).

No DAWG, you are just a tad bit picky, but not a true blue Audiophile! There is a huge difference. I am sort of like you in a sense, I can certainly tell a difference in most cases. The real audiophile though just absolutely can't tolerate any type difference in SQ without going totally Bizerk! (However you spell it) LOL
 

styckx

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Nov 11, 2008
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No DAWG, you are just a tad bit picky, but not a true blue Audiophile! There is a huge difference. I am sort of like you in a sense, I can certainly tell a difference in most cases. The real audiophile though just absolutely can't tolerate any type difference in SQ without going totally Bizerk! (How ever you spell it) LOL

Yeah, anyone who who is so picky about audio quality that they have a playstation 1 and let it warm up for 4hrs cause it's TOTALLY THE BEST CD PLAYER EVER should shoot themselves now and get it over with.
 

snakester

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Yeah, anyone who who is so picky about audio quality that they have a playstation 1 and let it warm up for 4hrs cause it's TOTALLY THE BEST CD PLAYER EVER should shoot themselves now and get it over with.

I remember reading about that a long time ago... there was also an audio forum (not going to name here) that I got banned from once upon a time because I posted my thoughts about the way a certain audio codec sounded without backing up my results with double-blind testing... the true audiophiles are a sad group, really.

I hope I'm not convincing the OP out of getting a Slacker with my thoughts. I was actually pleasantly surprised with the sound quality knowing it was 40kbit/sec aacPlus. Buy one, you won't regret it.
 

dlnester

Active Member
Oct 15, 2008
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I can tell a big difference since I got my G1. Now I've heard a couple songs that sounded really bad but they were older songs and I'm chalking it up to a bad source to begin with or just a bad rip into the Slacker music database. I don't blame the portable for it.
 

DAB

Mod Emeritus
Oct 9, 2008
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I can tell a big difference since I got my G1. Now I've heard a couple songs that sounded really bad but they were older songs and I'm chalking it up to a bad source to begin with or just a bad rip into the Slacker music database. I don't blame the portable for it.

Yeah there have been from time to time a few bad encoding or ripping and the SQ is bad. I usually try to report those in hopes of them fixing them. So if and when you hear a song try to remember the artist and the name of the song and report is so they can check it in their library and replace it with a better quality version.
 

Ryokurin

New Member
Feb 22, 2009
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I consider myself a little bit of an audiophile (Please don't hate me DAB :shock:). I'm not picky about equipment or anything but I can definitely tell the difference between a 128k AAC-LC file and the original CD on decent speakers or headphones. However, to my ears, Sirius-XM is pushing their luck a little TOO much. Slacker, like I said, although I can hear slight artifacting, is nothing to really complain about and definitely understandable for how small the device is and the bandwidth requirements. I'd say it's comparable to CD quality, but not quite there.

Well yes, a 128k AAC-LC file is close to around a 160k mp3, and what the player is using is 40k AACPlus V2, so it has spectral band replication and parametric stereo. The closest satellite provider is XM which is just AACPlus V1 which just has SBR, and I'm willing to bet its probably is in the low 30k range. I've been personally messing with V1 and V2 files on my phone for a year or two, and while the difference is only around 10k it sometimes drastically makes a difference in quality. If you think Slacker sounds good at 40k a 48k stream is basically seamless to me.

A good place to basically preview how Slacker kind of sounds is by listening to some of the aac shoutcast streams available on shoutcast, or tuner2.com. Make sure you are using a recent version of winamp 5, or the plugin on the tuner2 site or you'll only hear the LC compatible part of the stream.
 
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snakester

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Well yes, a 128k AAC-LC file is close to around a 160k mp3, and what the player is using is 40k AACPlus V2, so it has spectral band replication and parametric stereo. The closest satellite provider is XM which is just AACPlus V1 which just has SBR, and I'm willing to bet its probably is in the low 30k range. I've been personally messing with V1 and V2 files on my phone for a year or two, and while the difference is only around 10k it sometimes drastically makes a difference in quality. If you think Slacker sounds good at 40k a 48k stream is basically seamless to me.

A good place to basically preview how Slacker kind of sounds is by listening to some of the aac shoutcast streams available on shoutcast, or tuner2.com. Make sure you are using a recent version of winamp 5, or the plugin on the tuner2 site or you'll only hear the LC compatible part of the stream.

Not to go too far OT, but XM is running 32kbit/sec on their music channels, aac+V1. I personally think they should just throw the switch for parametric stereo. The newer radios support it and the older radios will go to mono (which is pretty damn close to what they're pushing down now). The only reason I can tell the difference between the slacker and the original source is really because the mid/high aliasing artifacts on XM were so blatantly obvious, it subconsciously trained me into being able to hear them in virtually any SBR codec.