320kbps vs 128kbps – Which is Better?

320kbps vs 128kbps Which is Better

The bitrate, which affects the amount of data required to encode audio files, is a critical issue regarding audio compression. In this comparison, we’ll examine the variations between two widely utilized bitrates: 320kbps vs 128kbps. 

Selecting the proper bitrate is essential since it directly impacts the quality and size of audio recordings. Making wise choices requires understanding the trade-off between audio quality and file size. 

We will examine the properties of 320 kbps and 128 kbps in more detail in the following parts, assisting you in understanding their ramifications and choosing the best bitrate for your audio demands.

Understanding Bitrate 

Bitrate, commonly expressed in kilobits per second (kbps), refers to the quantity of data utilised to encode audio files. It has an immediate effect on the audio recording’s quality. More excellent data and better audio quality with more information, clarity, and dynamic range are provided when bitrates are higher, such as 320 kbps. 

Low bitrates, while comparing 320kbps vs 128 kbps, 128kbps consume fewer data but may lose some audio clarity, producing a compressed sound with some detail loss. Users may select the ideal bitrate depending on their unique needs and tastes by being aware of how the bitrate affects the trade-off between audio quality and file size.

128kbps Audio Quality 


Compared to higher bitrates, audio files of 320kbps vs 128kbps, 128kbps are compressed to poorer quality. The audio may still be audible, but there may have been a significant loss in clarity, detail, and dynamic range. 

But in some circumstances, when file size is a factor, such as when streaming music or podcasts with constrained internet or storage space, 128kbps might be appropriate. Portable music players and internet streaming services frequently employ it. 

Although audio quality has been compromised, 128kbps can offer a satisfactory listening experience for casual listeners or in settings where high-fidelity reproduction is not essential.

320kbps Audio Quality 

320kbps vs 128kbps

Compared to lesser bitrates, audio files are compressed with more excellent quality with a bitrate of 320 kbps. This improves audio fidelity by capturing more of the original recording’s subtleties, dynamics, and nuances. 

The bigger file sizes with the higher bitrate provide a more faithful reproduction of the original audio. For applications where audio quality is crucial, such as professional music creation, audiophile listening, and archiving needs, 320 kbps is advised. 

It guarantees a listening experience that is nearly as good as a CD and is ideal for music genres with complex soundscapes, classical music, and high-end audio systems where the subtleties of the music need to be accurately represented.

Comparison: 320kbps vs 128kbps 

The audio quality is the fundamental distinction between 320kbps vs 128kbps. Compared to 128kbps, 320kbps audio is less compressed and maintains more information, resulting in higher quality and better sound reproduction. 

The listener’s equipment, the original recording’s quality, and the intricacy of the audio can all affect how distinct the variations are heard. According to listening studies, audiophiles and discriminating listeners may detect the enhanced clarity and richness of 320kbps music. 

However, 128kbps may be sufficient and acceptable for casual listeners or content, such as podcasts or poor-quality recordings.

Choosing the Right Bitrate 

Numerous aspects should be taken into account while selecting the proper bitrate. Lower bitrates, such as 128 kbps, are frequently employed for streaming services or online platforms to maximise bandwidth and guarantee seamless performance. 

A compromise between quality and file size may benefit portable devices with limited storage space, making 128kbps a standard option. A higher bitrate, such as 320 kbps, is advised for audiophiles or historical uses when audio quality is crucial to maintain the subtleties of the original recording. 

Ultimately, the choice should depend on the particular use case, considering elements like available bandwidth, storage constraints, and listener preference for audio fidelity.

Final Words

In conclusion, the decision between 320kbps vs 128kbps is based on how well audio quality and file size should be balanced. 320kbps results in bigger file sizes even though it gives more quality and keeps more information. 

However, comparing 320kbps vs 128kbps, 128kbps offers a lesser file size at the expense of some audio quality. It is vital to consider elements like the intended purpose, available storage, and personal choice. 

128kbps can be appropriate for casual listening or scenarios with limited bandwidth or storage, whereas 320kbps may be chosen for severe listening or archive purposes. Selecting the suitable bitrate should be based on personal preferences and needs.