Why does Internet radio sound tinny? Anything to do about it?

I have a pretty fast connection at the offices here (probably broadband- 1 meg files take a few seconds to download). I have been trying the Windows MEdia Player and the radio stations…Damn, they still sound like you are in an aluminum tunnel. Why and what can I do about it?


Get better speakers?

Headphones - good headphones.

Unless it is, indeed, crappy speakers/headphones, the problem is most likely not your side of the connection. Internet radio broadcasts are heavily compressed, which comes at a noticeable cost in sound quality. In Media Player, you can see the bit rate it’s currently streaming at.

Some stations use a lower bandwidth to save money or get more possible connections out of the bandwidth they have. My station, for example, has 100 connections possible at a bandwidth of 24kbps and a sampling rate of 22KHz. There has been discussion of lowering the bandwidth of each connection to allow more people to listen.


Yeah, the transfer rate is it…20 sounds tinny, 65 sounds fine.


One odd thing I’ve noticed when I’ve been listening to my favorite show on CBC internet radio…

Talking almost always sounds fine. Music generally sounds about right.

Applause usually sounds like it’s some weird sound coming out of an electronic synthesizer. :smiley: (The show often broadcasts recordings of public concerts, which is why there’s applause to be heard.)