Forget 24-bit; can you even tell the difference between 16- and 8-bit?

I can’t.

I’ve recently been upgrading my audio equipment, mainly by buying some stand-alone DACs and better headphones/IEMs. Some folks I know say that now I’ll really be able to enjoy the benefits of HD audio.

Unfortunately, all of the actual research I’ve read —more and more as I try and get up to speed on current audiophile equipment — proves definitively that human beings simply can’t tell the difference, and so HD audio is a sham.

A great article on Tom’s Hardware (,3733.html) pointed me to this site, which features various blind tests to assess your hearing. This one tests whether you can tell the difference between 16- and 8-bit versions of the same audio.

Using my new 1MORE Triple Driver IEMs and a Fiio Olympus 2 DAC/amp — low-end audiophile, but still a huge step up from what most people use — hooked up to my MacBook, I can’t reliably pass this test.

Can you?

I’m a great believer in getting the best audio equipment you can comfortably afford if you care about music. But the more I delve into audiophile sites, the more I feel like they feature a staggering amount of subjectivity and pseudo- to non-scientific reasoning. Ergo, I think it’s important to subject myself to tests like these and to rely on verifiable research.

As seen on a private share: first edition Pendragon RPG is available for free until the end of January! Grab it!

Notice how it says “Thanks to follwers @stewartwieck on Twitter, this 1st edition of KAP is available free until January 31, 2017! Please enjoy this game, a well-deserved, widely-acknowledged classic RPG.”
Does anybody know what happened?

On Twitter, his profile says:
Stewart Wieck
Novelist & game designer. Founded White Wolf Publishing. Designer of Mage: The Ascension. Still publishing games as owner of Nocturnal Media and West End Games.

I never thought in a million years I would miss an outgoing president, and lord knows Obama has done plenty of things of which I don’t approve… but, man, if you want to get all choked up, look at this collection of photos Judd Karlman posted.

Aside: I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a presidential couple do as good a job of looking happy together as the Obamas. Could be PR magic, but still.