MP3 is the most popular audio file format. However, when you want to use MP3 format for CD players or other usages, MP3 maybe not a good option for you. So what is the best audio format? What kind of audio codec suits your needs? Check out this post to find the answer!

Like videos, the audio files have various types and formats. You may know the most common format – MP3. In this post, you will learn other audio file formats such as WAV, M4A, AAC, OGG, FLAC, WMA, AIFF and so on. If you are interested in converting FLAC to MP3, here recommend MiniTool MovieMaker released by MiniTool!

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Generally, these audio file formats can be divided into three types: uncompressed audio, lossless audio and lossy audio.

Everything you need to know about audio codec formats and audio codec types is in this post!

Audio Codec Formats

MP3: It’s a coding format that defined as the third audio format of the MPEG-1 standard. It uses lossy compression to encode data. As portable media players appear, MP3 format becomes increasingly popular. Also, it can be easily transferred over the Internet due to its file size.

Related article: How to Convert MP3 to MP4 for Free.

WAV: Waveform Audio File Format, also called WAV, is an audio coding format developed by Microsoft. WAV is uncompressed, but it still can contain compressed audio.

M4A: M4A is an audio codec that is a lossy compression and unprotected. It can store different kinds of audio files, such as audiobooks, songs and podcasts. It’s often used in iTunes.

AAC: Like M4A, AAC (Formally known as Advanced Audio Coding) is an audio codec for lossy audio compression. AAC has better sound quality than MP3 at the same bit rate.

You may like: How to Convert YouTube to AAC for Free.

FLAC: As the name suggests, FLAC is short for Free Lossless Audio Codec. So FLAC is a lossless audio coding format. Moreover, this format is open and royalty-free.

OGG: OGG is a free and open container. It has better quality than other lossy audio formats. If you like to download music from YouTube, here recommend using a YouTube to OGG converter to get the music. To learn more, read this post: YouTube to OGG – Top 8 YouTube to OGG Converters.

Audio Codec Types

Now let’s see the audio codec types.

Uncompressed Audio: Uncompressed audio files usually are large and takes up much storage space. But it has better sound quality. The most common uncompressed audio formats are: WAV, AIFF, AU, BWF and PCM.

Lossless Audio: Lossless audio file can compress the audio file without losing any information. The most common lossless audio file formats are: FLAC, WV, APE ALAC and TTA.

Lossy Audio: Lossy audio offers lower audio quality and smaller file size than other audio types. The most common audio file formats are: MP3, AAC and OGG.

After knowing these audio formats and audio file types, do you have any ideas about the best audio format?

If not, continue to read this post.

Best Audio Format for Music

If you pursue the high sound quality, WAV is the best audio quality audio format and the best recording format for you. Especially you want to get the original audio file without losing sound quality.

Best Audio Format for YouTube

YouTube supports uploading MP3, WAV, AAC and FLAC. To get a better sound experience, here recommend FLAC and WAV. But to avoid compatibility problem when you editing audio on the computer, the best audio format for YouTube is MP3.

best audio format for YouTube


What is the best audio format? After reading this post, you may know the answer! If you like this post, don’t forget to share it with others.

If you have any questions about audio formats, please leave a comment below and let us know!

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