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It makes a difference; the lower the bitrate, the less amount of data transmitted each second and the lower the quality. There are other variables beyond bitrate, though - lossy vs. non-lossy formats, variable bitrate, coding efficiency, etc. I’m not sure that I would say it only makes a difference to audiophiles, but if you are using inexpensive earbuds with your smartphone, you might not be able to appreciate it. On higher quality equipment, you probably will. Here is an article that goes into greater detail.