The Fraunhofer encoding-routines (used in L3ENC, MP3 Compressor
and MP3 Producer) are widely known for creating the best soundquality,
but this is not always true.
The Fraunhofer Institute is mostly interested in increasing the quality
of low bitrate MP3:s since they hope this will allow for realtime radio
transmissions over internet, which they hope to make a lot of money from
in the future. Nothing wrong with that, but unfortunately it gives some
So, my simple conclusion is that Fraunhofer's routines produces a better
quality when dealing with low bitrate MP3s (128 kBit or less) while bladeEnc
is to be preferred when dealing with high bitrate MP3s (160 kBit or above).
Since their routines are so heavily geared towards producing low-bitrate
MP3s, they really cut the music to the bones from frequencies that are
harder to hear in order to boost the presence of easily heard frequencies.
This works well if you encode for low bitrates, but when you encode for
higher bitrates it only gives the result that you fill up some frequency
bands with more information than is needed, while other still are almost
empty. The routines used by bladeEnc fills up the frequency bands more
equally, therefore producing better quality when encoding for higher bitrates
(and worse quality when encoding for lower bitrates). If you ask me, I
consider the limit where bladeEnc passes L3Enc in quality to be 160 kBit.
Their sophisticated routines for cutting away waveforms that aren't so
important sometimes backfire and makes the music sound a bit like if it
is played under water. This never happens with an encoder that is based
on the ISO-routines (like bladeEnc and mpegEnc).
When comparing BladeEnc with other encoders based on the same ISO routines
(mpegEnc for example), you should know that my main focus always has been
quality. I have made some optimizations, but NEVER sacrificed quality for
speed. So, unless the creator of some other ISO-based encoder has added
some tricks of his own to increase the quality (very unlikely), BladeEnc
should surpass (or at least be on par with) all the other ISO-based encoders.
If you want some more in depth quality comparisons I can really recommend
- The User Oriented MP3 Encoding Guide. Just remember that there is
no technical test that is 100% accurate. The final judge should always
be your own ears (as long as you have a good soundcard and a decent pair