I’ve been a little busy at school in my last semester before graduation, but I wanted to drop by and lay some info on you for your listening pleasure.  If, you are in fact like me, you play your Windows Phone music all over the place and about as loud as physically possible.  We all know that we, individually, have far greater musical taste than the masses and they should be educated on quality aural stimulation.  While I was trolling around in zune, hopelessly hoping for the fabled nodo update message, I realized that zune is bastardizing my sound quality.  The software defaults all audio quality to 128Kbps.  This includes ripped cds, transferred music, etc.  This is unacceptable, especially if you enjoy listening to your music through larger speaker systems, including home entertainment set ups, surround sound systems, or even a pretty banging car audio set up.  Now if you’re fm transmitting anything you just don’t even need to be reading this because you have destroyed any semblance of audio quality you had to begin with and your standards for audio entertainment rank somewhere between the latest Britney Spears album and someone forcefully cramming butter knives into your ear drums.  Now for the solution to your audio woes.

Open up your hand-dandy Zune program on your PC and hook up your WP device of choice, unless you have an LG, then you should hook it up to the nearest trash can and buy a real phone.  Select your phone’s silhouette at the bottom and click on sync options.  From here you should have some overly tiny text on the left hand side that describe all sorts of options.  The one you’re desperately searching for is “conversion settings”.  In this pane, look at the first setting.  By default your PC music is set to 256Kbps and device quality at a meager 128Kbps.  Neither one of these is going to give you the audio depth you’re going to be expecting from a nice system.  I’d recommend bumping up PC quality all the way to 320Kbps and I’ll let you figure out your own device quality.  Keep in mind this will make your average CD jump from around 50-60Mb to around 120Mb if you have it set at 320.  You’re also going to want to hop over into your software settings inside Zune as well.  From here you want to look into the “rip” menu and check your settings for ripping CDs.  This also defaults pretty low around 128Kbps.  Bump that baby up as far as your hard drives have capacity to hold.  Your ears will thank you.

Like I said though, this is for those of us that like to use substantially larger sound systems.  Your factory car radio does not count, even if it says Bose or some other speaker brand in your car.  This is going to make significant differences in systems that have been amped and larger home sound systems.  Even if you happen to have some bad ass PC speakers you can pick up on this difference.  Headphones do not count either, regardless of how much money you just transferred into Dr. Dre’s weed fund for those overpriced pieces of crap they’re hucking at unsuspecting parents of teenagers.

Doesn't that look like Ramon?


  1. Right, I caught this before. My fault for assuming everyone didn’t care about it. Coming from the Cowon side of the audiophile world, I was spoiled rotten with codec support and by sound quality (not to mention a light on system resources, un-intrusive Music management and transcode software). The minute I synced all my hearted songs to my DVP, I noticed that there was a serious problem.

    I get why the default is like that but I would have preferred to have some kind of notice.

    Only problem that I have with the whole article is the crack on headphones. I’ve owned and lost a pair of Grado GS1000i’s (yes, the wood grain ones, I ****ing hate Delta Airlines) and I currently own a pair of Nokia BH-905i’s (yes, BlueTooth), do not assume that all headphones suck/ won’t be able to pick up subtle differences in music/ doesn’t have the same, if not better, frequency ranges as most home systems.


  2. Thanks for the tip…I’ll be changing the settings for my cd ripping…probably won’t bother on my phone though, as I rarely hook up to anything decent.

  3. @The Fight – Not all headphones are bad, but few headphones (ones that are usually several hundred dollars and are coming off a source that can send some actual voltage along with the audio or are amped sufficiently) can actually give you nice full range without over representing one range of sound over another, which is the biggest problem in headphones today. Frequency response is one thing, but actual frequency dB production is a whole separate issue. Most headphones can’t produce 20Hz at a detectable and enjoyable level to provide a quality sound experience. There are always exceptions to my generalizations but my articles are considerably shorter and more humorous with said generalities. The Nokia headphones are pretty bad ass though and amped since they are active noise reduction, thus falling under my narrow category of sweet headphones. I respect and admire your audio preferences.

    @Sm0k3y – Arguable but I can’t carry around a turntable in my pant pockets. Rewind 5 years ago and my rebellious attire of the Hot Topic yester-year might make it manageable although still very awkward.

  4. @Matt Anderson:

    Fair enough. Those Grado’s were quite possibly the best headphones I’ve ever warn. They just made me worried when I went out in the street with them on.

    As it relates to the Nokia’s, maybe you should get it for yourself. Maybe this will help sway your opinion?

    As far as most headphones are concerned, they may start their range at 20Hz, or at least, that’s what it’s listed as. I suppose it’s what you’re using the cans for. I wanted BT stereo headphones that did a pretty good job blocking out the noise of a train, as I commute everyday (These are flippin great!). There maybe those who are just looking for something to work out to. To each their own, I just don’t want to go around knocking every pair of (expensive) headphones.


  5. didnt read the comments, but i fully agree. the more data that is lost in the lower kbps range the more distortion (even possibly more chance for phase cancelation) and more damage to hearing. i have always said that higher quality music does less damage to the ears and is even louder! i plan on becoming a dj in the next few years so i have an army of 320kbps tracks and i plan on keeping my quality standards no lower than this. i will even start downloading in flac and wav formats to boost the quality.

  6. […] 2011-Apr-05 Thanks for the tip…I’ll be changing […]

  7. @Fight – Thanks for the plug buddy. I’ll have to try and find a pair of those bad boys sometime. Nokia’s top notch in quality build man. There is a reason those guys are still one of the number one manufacturer’s worldwide. My real problem is with the beats man. We’ve seen those things break cosntantly since we’ve gotten our displays in, and we’ve had a pair of bose headphones (not amazing audio quality, but) on display for like 4 years and they haven’t broken once. Plus, like I said, it’s all about the line voltage of what your actually coming out of. A nice set up should have some decent pre-outs to help drive decent headphones. Bluetooth models are amped internally because they’re wireless and even the moto-s9’s have pretty good frequency response for in ears. Just no noise canceling.
    @Colby – You need to get on sm0k3ys wagon with the vinyl man. Only way to truly mix, unless you’re trying to produce more, then digital works better. You should check out the Korg kaos pads. Those things are crazy shit if you want to mix digital or vinyl.

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