... on the type of music you listen to.<br>I listen to a lot of classical and acoustic music and therefore use only Apple Lossless. Strings, voices, timbres .... all are smoother and more dynamic. You hear things that lower compression just tends to swallow.<br>And ... apart from the tonal quality, the sound stage opens up as well.<br>Lossless makes sense, because the Mac plays really quite well through good phones (and a USB headphone amp), and you may be able to stream the files to your stereo and not even hear a difference to the original CDs. Then just change iTouch playlists once in awhile. <br>Since you own the CDs, you have the advantage of testing a few representative cuts. Try 256 and also try lossless. If you can "feel" the difference, you know what to do. ;)<br><br>As far as the Apple in-ears are concerned, stay away from them. Overpriced. For in-ears, I suggest Ultimate Ears 5 or 4 ..... the latter are designed for the iPhone and have the start-stop etc. The normal buds are okay for the gym or so. <br>In-ears are great in noisy surroundings, but they do tend to localize the sound inside your head instead of extending the stage around it. <br> <br>For most listening, I second nagrome's advice. The Sennheiser PX100 are really quite amazing for their size and price. Airy with just enough bass. They seem to fit the iPhone/Touch well, but they are open designs and do not keep noise out. <br>For more punch, but not quite as portable, look at the Sennheiser 25-1 DJ phones. They really rock and are very robust as well. But not the 25SP or SD .... the 25-1.<br><br>The newer iPhones and iTouches sound better than previous ones. (The classic still sounds best) Their codec are quite improved, so that ripping at higher quality really does pay. No more ear-bleeds after half an hour. ;)<br><br><br><br><br>----------------------------------------------------------------------------------<br>"Woe the nation, which has no heros. ...... Blessed the one, which needs none!" (Bertold Brecht)
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