MP3 vs AAC vs FLAC vs CD. As Wes Phillips recently reported on this website, CD sales are down and legal downloads of audio files are up.
Stereophile has been criticized more than once for not paying enough attention to the subjects of MP3 and other compressed file formats, such as AAC, and for offering no guidance at all to readers about how to get the best sound quality from compressed downloads. These criticisms are correct. We don't. The reason is simple: Although they are universally described in the mainstream press as being of "CD quality," MP3s and their lossy-compressed ilk do not offer sufficient audio quality for serious music listening. MP3 vs AAC vs FLAC vs CD. Psychoacoustics. Psychoacoustics is the scientific study of sound perception.
More specifically, it is the branch of science studying the psychological and physiological responses associated with sound (including speech and music). It can be further categorized as a branch of psychophysics. Background Hearing is not a purely mechanical phenomenon of wave propagation, but is also a sensory and perceptual event; in other words, when a person hears something, that something arrives at the ear as a mechanical sound wave traveling through the air, but within the ear it is transformed into neural action potentials.