The Best Audio FormatThere are so many audio formats available that the question often arises – which is the best audio format? Unless one is tech-savvy, it is but natural to wonder. So, which is the best audio format? The answer in one simple sentence is – there is no “best” audio format.
No best format? Yes, like with everything else, here, too, it depends. It depends on a lot of things – like what you need the format for, what your requirement is, and so on. This is because each audio format suits a different purpose. Let’s get into this a little more.
If what you are looking for is quality of sound, then any lossless codec is fine since it gives you the exact same quality as the original source. There are several lossless codecs available, and each one suits a different purpose. For example if you want to add files to your portable player or record a voice through a microphone, then WMA is best. Besides the quality, WMA is widely popular because of its compatibility, versatility, and soft and hardware supports. But if you are streaming music or want to preserve a favorite album, then FLAC is the best format. FLAC is also best for your speaker system or headphones because of its high bitrate.
Ogg Vorbis is also highly popular because of its excellent sound quality. Although a lossy codec, it handles quality superbly, especially in stereo music where it uses variable bit encoding to handle complex frequency ranges.
Sometimes saving space is more important than quality. In that case, lossy formats are recommended. Lossy audio formats are smaller in size since they discard information it considers unimportant during the encoding process. MP3 is the best when considering saving space since it also has near CD quality and is widely supported by both computers and players. AAC is another best if space is a problem but flexibility and versatility is also needed. In case of extreme space shortage, Monkey’s Audio and OptimFROG are best because they have the smallest sizes… but they do take a lot more time to encode.
For e-books, MP3 is best as it is easiest to handle and can be played back by most devices.
So, which is the best audio format? Well…. It depends.
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