AAC vs. FLAC: Which One is Better for You

AAC vs. FLAC, which is the better audio format? If you don't know how to choose the right audio format in AAC and FLAC, check out this post. Here you can find the difference between AAC vs FLAC from different aspects and know which one is better for use.

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Jane Zhou

Updated on Nov 03, 2023

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AAC and FLAC format are common files that you are likely to come across while working with music files. Comparing AAC vs. FLAC, you find that the latter has the upper hand in its sound quality. FLAC gives you music in its pure form as it comes with non-compression that may cause file distortion. But AAC is also highly streamable on any device. It is for such reasons that people are tied between FLAC and AAC. Continue to the next section to find the better option.

Part 1. What is the AAC/FLAC File?

First before comparing AAC and FLAC, check out the boundary on these two music files.

#1. What is AAC

Advanced Audio Coding is a standard audio format that offers lossy compression. It's the immediate successor of MP3 files. However, the data loss during conversion is immense, making the file much smaller than before and gaining an advantage for portable devices but losing it on quality output. It is widely used on Apple devices, making it a top choice for iTunes downloads and Apple music streaming.

#2. What is FLAC

Free Lossless Audio Codec first made its debut in 2001 as an open-source file. It offers lossless audio compression and will, therefore, retain its original sound quality. However, FLAC is not widely compatible with many devices as compared to AAC. It highly supports data integrity as it won't interfere with the existing decoders during conversion. You can also use it in real-time for streaming and decoding your files.

Part 2. AAC vs. FLAC: What's the Difference?

AAC is different from FLAC in many aspects. AAC has its weight behind iTunes and is playable in any MP3 player app. FLAC, on the other hand, is free and suitable for downloading hi-res albums. Check out the differences in greater detail.


#Sound Quality

AAC tends to lose some of its audio data when being compressed. It, therefore, lacks a better sound quality as compared to FLAC. The latter gives you superb sound quality but maintains its bulkiness.

#Lossy vs Lossless

Comparing this feature, AAC is a lossy file format and will cut bigger chunks of features of your music. That makes it smaller and more advantageous for portable devices. FLAC does maintain almost all its audio data after compression. It retains sound quality but with no reduced file size.


FLAC is not suitable for portable devices even though it has a great sound quality. AAC is widely used for the popular MP4 video format. It is also highly favorable for streaming music services such as YouTube and also supports Apple devices and software like iTunes and Apple Music services.

#Open and Closed Format

FLAC, being lossless, is a free and open format type. It is, therefore, widely accessible and used on several platforms. AAC is a closed format with some restrictions on its usage. It is not widely accessible.

#File Size

The FLAC format is typically bigger than AAC files to the tune of three to five times larger. If you compare a 320 kbps stereo album in AAC, you find it takes just 120 MB of space while the same 16-bit album in FLAC will consume up to 400 MB of space.

Part 3. Best Media Converter for AAC and FLAC conversion

Given the different capabilities of AAC vs. FLAC, you may find it worthwhile to use one format at the expense of the other. Therefore, converting your file is paramount. The best converter tool, EaseUS Video Converter, works at a fast speed of 30X to convert your video and audio files to over 1000 formats.

More so, this best free audio converter lets you set the quality of the output format and change the parameters like bit rate and the resolution. And if you wish to extract some sound from your video, this software has got you covered. It can carefully extract audio and save it to any format that's compatible with any device. 

EaseUS Video Converter

  • Convert audio files to different audio formats, including AAC and FLAC
  • A flawless conversion that maintains 1:1 ratio quality
  • Convert multiple videos and audios in bulk at a 30X faster rate
  • Lossless conversion of any media in HD and up to 4K resolution

Here is the detailed tutorial to start audio conversion tasks:

Step 1. Download and launch this program. Next, select the "Audio Converter" option from the left sidebar for audio conversion, and click "Choose Files" to import the audio file.

Add media files

Step 2. Click the gear icon to select your output audio format at the bottom. Besides, you can change the saving path, enable the high-speed conversion, GPU acceleration, or merging functions if needed here.

Choose format

Step 3. You can click the "Edit" button to change the file name, bitrate, sample rate, and other settings for your output file.

Adjust settings

Step 4. Once done, you can click the "Convert" or "Convert All" button to begin your audio conversion.

Start conversion

The Bottom Line

As you can see here, AAC and FLAC have their own advantages and disadvantages. For example, the FLAC is lossless that always retains the high audio quality, but the AAC is lossy. So actually, there is not an absolute winner while speaking of AAC vs. FLAC. You can select AAC or FLAC on different occasions.

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