Thursday, October 27th 2005

Winamp’s Equalizer Degrades the Sound of Your MP3s

Over in this thread at Hydrogen Audio it has been established that Winamp’s equalizer, when switched on and tweaked, degrades any MP3s you play. This is because Winamp by default uses some EQ method for MP3s which (if I’ve understood things correctly) uses less resources, and affects different frequency ranges.

The difference is pretty obvious: Compare a good quality (220kbps +) MP3 to it’s original Wave file. If you have the higher bands on the EQ turned up a few notches, the MP3 will sound much poorer than the Wave – even though the sound information contained in the MP3 at this quality level should be pretty much indistinguishable from the original.

Thankfully, there is a simple solution to this problem. If you want your MP3s to be played using the same equalizer method as Waves, Oggs, FLACs, etc just click…

[Winamp menu] > [Options] > [Preferences…] > [Input]

Select the Nullsoft MPEG… input plugin and click [Configure]. Select the [Decoder] tab and uncheck [Fast Layer 3 EQ]. That’s it! Enjoy your MP3s as if they were Oggs!

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