Like many people around the world I like to listen to music from youtube. With poor laptop sound you cannot really tell the difference, but when listening through stereo system or good quality headsets you can notice that youtube basic sound is not that great. This comes from the fact that youtube usually starts to play with 360 resolution. No matter what the video codec, you don’t get the best sound with this resolution setting.
this wikipedia page contains chart that shows the codec differencies.
from 360 to 1080 the sampling rate is always cd level 44100hz, but the bitrate is 96kbits/s with 360. Already changing to 480, the sound bitrate is 128kbits/s. When you change to 720p, the sound quality is always the best, 152 or 192kbits/s.
Also if possible, don’t use bluetooth to connect the sound to stereo as it seriously cuts down the sound quality.
Try to listen to beginning of this song first with 360, then 480, then 720p. The difference is there, maybe easiest to hear with headphones or quality stereo. Changing straight from 360 to 720p shows the difference best. The 360 makes the piano sound dull and audience voices are muted. There is no spark in the sound. With the 720p the piano has more brightness and debth, even the smallest audience voices can be heard.
you can change the quality from the ‘sprocket’ looking icon.
If you cannot hear the difference, you need better headphones and you need to listen more. To me it’s standard to always change to 720p, if it’s there, even if I don’t even watch the video. If the video doesn’t stream well with 720p, try to keep the window size small, as it streams usually better with smaller window size. Or change to 480.