Here are some samples of the same song recorded in 5 different bit-rates and through three different interfaces. I used an iRig for one recording, and iMic at different rates for 3 of the other recordings and then the StudioLive to my laptop for the last file. When I used the StudioLive I used an file aiff that I uploaded to SoundCloud. This was to see what the best possible scenario would sound like. The iMic/iRig recordings were all compressed to an m4a file. This was on purpose to simulate more of a student situation and to take into account using these files in emails to keep the file sizes down.
See what you think. Do you hear any difference?
Now for the real kicker – SoundCloud transcodes any file uploaded to them down to 128 kbps mp3 for streaming playback. What does that mean? The files that might be better quality on your computer may not be any different when you go to share them online! Of course you can make the original file available for download but….
So even though I uploaded 4 m4a files and one Aiff file… what you are listening to are all mp3 files