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Do Vinyl LPs Really Sound Better?

We’ve all seen the resurgence of vinyl records in recent years. 

According to the British Phonographic Industry, 5.3 million LPs were sold in 2021, and even though streaming accounts for 83% of UK music consumption, vinyl LPs represented over a quarter of all physical format purchases.

While you might think it’s nostalgic Boomers, or Gen Xers behind the renaissance, surveys actually show it’s millennial consumers driving the trend.

Despite the resurgence, Redshark News writer David Shapton, remains steadfast, arguing that the audio quality of digital is far superior to vinyl.

To test this, David took a live sound source and recorded it in two ways. First, via analogue tape and then to vinyl. Second, direct to a digital recorder, capturing at 24 bits and at 192KHz sampling frequency.

So which sounded better? The digital one, suggests David. 

“They will sound different, and the sound from the vinyl record certainly won’t be unpleasant if it’s recorded well. But by any objective and subjective measure, it will sound worse than the digital one.”

In his experiment David concluded that there’s nothing wrong with liking the “vinyl” sound. It’s only when proponents of a certain analogue “sound” feel so strongly that they start denying the feasibility of a really good digital recording that it becomes a problem.

He suggests it’s not their ears. It’s their brains, or, more specifically, their cognitive systems that prefer the audio from a vinyl record. It’s a trigger to our brains that makes us say that “this sounds great”.

You can read the full story from Redshark News here.

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