The Loudness Wars have been fought for several decades on various fronts. The term generally indicates the efforts by the music industry to release records with a steadily increasing loudness to the market. Besides radio broadcasting, movies and television the recordings in popular music are one of the most contested fronts. This research is focused on digitally-produced popular music and its post-processing. At this stage of production compressors are used to make the final product sound louder. Since the Audio-CD hit the market and thus established digital audio, the average loudness of Audio-CDs has increased steadily. In many cases, the tendency towards “hypercompression” has led to a decrease in overall sound quality in the sense of a measurable loss of dynamic range or even audible distortion. Quantitative studies concerning the many aesthetic concerns on the usage of dynamic range compression and the implications of the phenomenon of the Loudness War are still quite rare. Hypercompression harms overall sound quality and lets the music sound squashed, reduces depth, texture and stereo width and eventually decreases the emotional impact of music. This empirical study examines two main questions. First, if an increasing amount of compression applied has a negative influence on the judgement of overall sound quality and second, if increasing amounts of compression really decrease the perceived stereo width. The aim was to quantify the perception of compression effects on a scientific basis and thereby contribute to de-escalation strategies aiming at ending the Loudness War. The collected data shows, that increasing amounts of compression applied significantly reduce the overall sound quality. Surprisingly I failed to find any significant evidence for a loss of perceived stereo width, though some tendencies towards an expected decrease, depending on the respective audio content, are shown.