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What is the Best Audio Codec?

The best audio codec is the one that best combines high quality with speed. There are many different codecs for audio recording and editing, so it is important to have knowledge of how and why you should use each one. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most popular ones and how to decide which one is best suited for your needs.


An AAC codec is one of the most popular and commonly used audio codecs around. It is a “lossy” audio codec, which simply means that it is not as efficient as other codecs. However, since it is a widely accepted format it is generally considered to be a good choice for consumers who are looking for high quality audio without having to sacrifice too much speed. Its biggest advantage is that it supports the MP3 format, which is currently used by more than 500 million of YouTube’s monthly unique visitors. This makes it very easy for any user to find the format, regardless of whether they have access to expensive studio tools or simply have a computer and an internet connection. It is also the default format of the iTunes music store, which makes it very popular as an option for users who already own an Apple device. Finally, AAC is free and open source, which means that anyone can listen to, download, and edit the format, as long as they have the appropriate software.


The HE-AAC codec was developed by the High Efficiency Audio Coding Experts Group. It should not be mistaken with the widely used AAC codec, as the former is actually two separate formats combined into one. The HE-AAC codec allows for greater compression than traditional AAC codecs, which provides for much higher quality audio. It also supports the Opus codec from Google, which is another popular and highly regarded open source audio codec. The biggest advantage of the HE-AAC codec is that it supports high quality, lossless compression and decompression, which means that audio files can be compressed without any quality losses. Furthermore, the developers behind the HE-AAC codec make it easy for anyone to use the format, as they have provided sample code and instructions on how to implement the format in an application. So if you are looking for a high quality audio codec that is also simple to use, then the HE-AAC may be the answer you are looking for.

Ogg Vorbis

Ogg Vorbis is quite possibly one of the most recognizable audio codecs developed. It was designed as a free and open source replacement for the MP3 format, which it largely superseded within a few years of its creation. Its popularity can be attributed to the fact that it is available for almost every platform and computer system, and also because it supports high quality, lossless compression and decompression. It also has a very high degree of compression, which means that even more information can be stored in a smaller file size. This makes it suitable for use in anything from podcasts to internet radio stations. Due to all these factors, it has remained one of the most popular audio formats over the years.


The Free Lossless Audio Codec is another lossless audio codec that has largely replaced the MP3 format. It was designed with the philosophy that if something can be considered lossless, then it should be considered completely lossless. The only difference between FLAC and Ogg Vorbis is that the latter is designed for human consumption, whereas the former is more of a machine format. This means that even small differences in audio quality can be discerned by the human ear. The advantages of the FLAC codec are that it has a very broad support base, with the majority of operating systems and hardware platforms supported. It is also open source, which opens up the possibility for anyone to analyze, study, and contribute to its development. Finally, the format is available for royalty free use, which helps make it a popular choice for content creators. If you are looking for an open source audio codec that is highly compatible across platforms and systems, then the FLAC is a good choice.


The MP3 format was designed to combine high efficiency with high quality, which makes it the granddaddy of all audio formats. It was originally intended for audio CDs, but the ability to store high quality audio files in a smaller file size more than made it popular for use in all areas of media. Its biggest advantage is that it is one of the most ubiquitous formats around, which means that almost everyone has access to suitable software to view and listen to music in the format. It is also one of the most commonly used codecs on the internet, which greatly aids its accessibility. It is easy to use, and since it is generally considered to be a good compromise between size and quality, it has been popular for years among consumers and content creators alike. If you are looking for an audio format that has been around for as long as the internet and is still highly compatible with new versions of software and hardware, then the MP3 is a wise choice. Having said that, since it is a lossy format there are areas where it does not perform as well as other formats, which is why it has become less popular over time as internet speeds have increased and hardware quality improved.


WebM is a free open source video codec that was developed by Google. It was created to replace the Flash Video format, which was previously used to stream videos on YouTube. WebM is based on VP8, which was developed by Google and Mozilla. Like Vorbis, WebM is a lossless audio codec, meaning that it preserves the original sound quality. However, unlike Vorbis, WebM is not yet widely adopted.


PCM was developed as a less efficient alternative to MP3. It is actually a standard developed by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), which serves as the audio standard for the internet. It is a fairly simple and straightforward format, which was made to be compatible with hardware and software available at the time of its development. However, the downside is that it is not nearly as efficient as other codecs and it requires a lot of bandwidth, which is why it is not commonly used today, even though it has been made available in newer editions of popular software and operating systems. It can also suffer from compatibility issues with newer versions of Windows and other software. Still, if your main focus is on audio quality it is a well-worth consideration.

What is the Difference Between All of These Audio Codecs?

It is quite difficult to determine the exact differences between all of these codecs, since they are all very similar and use the same basic compression and decompression methods. The exception is that AAC and HE-AAC use a different compression algorithm. Still, for the most part, any of these audio codecs will do, as long as you are aware of their differences and know which one is best suited for your needs.

Which Audio Codec is Best Suited for My Needs?

There are various aspects to consider when choosing an audio codec over another, but perhaps the most important one is how much quality you want to sacrifice for the sake of a smaller file size. If you are dealing with small files then the efficiency of the codec is quite important, as otherwise you will be wasting a lot of time on compression and decompression. If you are looking for a format that best supports the compression of huge files, then the FLAC format provides the greatest degree of efficiency, as it was designed with that in mind.

But if you’re looking for something that can do everything, then you’ll probably want to go with MP3.