best mp3 export settings

For the last year I have been enjoying recorded internet radio shows on my cell phone.
I used Audacity and exported these files with a constant bitrate of 128kbit to mp3.
Now I’ve recently noticed that there is a massive lack in audio quality when I playback the recorded 128bit mp3 files on my Yamaha Stereo system.

So I’ve started playing around with the different export settings of Audacity.
I’ve come to the conclusion that the Preset ‘Extreme’ or even ‘Insane’ sounds best with my high end stereo system-naturally.

BUT: after a short stroll through the city those same mp3 files nearly lead to an empty battery on my cell phone.
It seems that the higher the bitrate the higher the energy consumption because of decoding I guess.
Or is this due to the non-constant bitrate I chose?

Can anyone help me advise on all those different settings for mp3 export?

Cheers, chris

“Insane” is the best sound quality MP3 possible.

The “Preset” settings are VBR (except for “Insane”) and are optimised settings to give the best trade-off between sound quality and file size. Higher “bit rate” files use more “bits per second”, so the file size is bigger, but the quality is also better. Low bit rate = small file size = low quality.

128kbps is generally considered the minimum acceptable quality for stereo music.

VBR will usually give better overall sound quality than a CBR file of the same size.

The highest bit rate that MP3 will go to is 320kbps, so the highest quality setting (insane) is a constant 320kbps (320 CBR).

Distorted music will often sound louder than clean undistorted sounds. You are probably turning up the volume when listening to your new high quality recordings, because at the same volume level it does not sound so painfully distorted. Turning the volume up will use your batteries quicker and may cause permanent hearing loss. Take care not to listen too loud, especially for long periods - hearing is irreplaceable.