These links are test comparing digital converters to analog, and comparing audio cables and amplifiers. Those are hardware. Which is not what my article is about. I found the one test comparing bitrates. The problem with this test is it is was comparing bad to worse.
I am talking about compressed digital audio versus uncompressed audio. As you add OGG Vorbis and AAC compression to audio it degrades the sound. An mp3 or AAC file does not sound as good as uncompressed WAV file at 24 bits or higher. It’s very easy to hear with decent speakers. I can easily hear the difference in my home studio recordings.
You can even tell the difference between a CD track and a mp3 or AAC file. Copy a track off a CD with no compression. Then make an mp3 or AAC file of that track. Play them back to back and the difference is noticeable. To my ears.
With streaming, we are getting the worst sounding digital audio yet.