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AAC VS MP3: Which is The Best Audio Format?

Vanessa Chiang updated on Aug 17, 2021 to Video Converter Tips

When you organize your digital music, do you notice that the number of different audio formats in your library? Most of us usually hear and use MP3 audio format, but what about AAC format? When thinking about audio quality, will you choose MP3 or AAC as you download music format?

If you want to clear out these questions, you first need to know what difference between these two audios formats is and which one is the best choice for you. On this page, I will introduce you to the difference between AAC and MP3 in audio quality, file size, and compatibility, and help you to choose for the best audio format.

AAC vs. MP3, Which is The Best Format for Your Music

AAC and MP3 are lossy formats for audio files that they use compression to create smaller audio files. MP3, an audio-specific format, has been the standard of digital audio compression for the playback of music on digital audio players. Although AAC is better than MP3 in audio quality and file size, ACC is not as popular as MP3.

MP3 Overview

MP3 (MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3 ) is a coding format for digital audio. Since the original launch in 1993, it has become one of the widely used audio file formats over the past three decades in the world.    

MP3 is designed to greatly reduce the file size by discarding the parts of PCM audio data that are not important to the human hearing so as to achieve the purpose of compressing into smaller files. The compressed file is nearly 10 times smaller than the original file. The combination of small size and acceptable fidelity also led to the widespread popularity of MP3.

AAC Overview

AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) is an audio coding standard for lossy digital audio compression. Designed to be the successor of the MP3 format, AAC generally achieves higher sound quality than MP3 at the same bit rate.

Although AAC has higher audio quality, this file format is not even close to being as popular as MP3 as of now. However, it has rapidly progressed, at least. At present, a slew of streaming and broadcasting services presently use the AAC file format, such as iPhone, iPod, iPad, Nintendo DSi, Nintendo 3DS, iTunes, DivX Plus Web Player, PlayStation 3, and so on. Compared to MP3, ACC is a more efficient audio codec.

AAC vs. MP3, Which is Better?

AAC and MP3 file formats are different from each other in audio quality, file size, and compatibility.

Audio Quality

While their sound capabilities don't vary considerably, AAC is better than MP3 at lower bit rates. The AAC format leverages its optimal transform window sizes and pure MDCT to make sound maintain brighter and clearer. But If you're working with bit rates lower than 128 kbps, you'll notice that MP3 files will sound a little slurry.

File Size

AAC files are slightly smaller than the MP3 files. When you create MP3 and ACC compressing files, the AAC tends to be smaller than the MP3 format, but the audio quality of AAC files remains intact in the process. If your storage space is limited, using ACC to store music, you will save a large storage space.


MP3 file format owns higher compatibility because almost every music player and device to support to play MP3 format music. However, AAC format may not necessarily play on every device, especially the Android and Windows devices. At present, AAC has been widely used by Apple across all their popular devices like iPhones, iPods, etc.,

Here list a comparison table which may help you to make the right choice.

Format AAC MP3
Compression  Lossy Lossy

.M4a, .m4b, .m4p, .m4v, .m4r, .3gp, .mp4, .aac

Codec  Audio only Audio only
Support Devices  Support in Apple Support in almost music player
Quality ACC offers better quality than MP3 at the same bit rate. MP3 offers lower quality than ACC at the same bit rate.
File Size Slightly smaller than MP3 Higher and requires more space
Popularity  Popular, especially among Apple users Hugely popular
Released for public use on 1997 1997 1993

Form this table, if you are Apple users, have a high-quality requirement and enough storage space, the ACC file format will best suit for you.

If you are a habit of using Windows or Android, do not have a high requirement for the quality of audio, and limited in storage space, the MP3 format will best suit you.

If you have plenty of ACC files and want to convert MP3 files, you may try EaseUS Video Editor. This app can help you turn these two formats easily.

Best Format Conversion Software - EaseUS Video Editor

EaseUS Video Editor is the best audio format converting software, not only supports converting audio format but also supports converting video format.  Using this app, you also can edit your audio and video. If you really need to convert your files, EaseUS Video Editor will be the best choice.


  • The best free audio converter
  • Support MP4, AVI, WMV, MKV and etc., video format
  • Support adding music, filters, text, overlays, and elements on video
  • Support 300+ effects and transitions

How to convert video to AAC or MP3:

Now I will introduce you to how to use EaseUS Video Editor to convert video into these two formats.

Step 1. Launch EaseUS video editing software, and you will be prompted to choose an aspect ratio for your project. Choose any one from the three options available on your screen.

Choose video aspect

Step 2. On the following screen, click on the "Import" option at the top and select your video file.

Import video

Step 3. Navigate to where your video is saved and select it. Right-click on your video and select "Add to Project". It will be added to your current project.

Add video to project

Step 4. Click on the Export option at the top to export your video as an MP3 file.

Export video as Mp3

Step 5. On the screen that follows, click on the Audio tab and then select MP3. Once done, click on Export to save the converted file to your computer.

Export video to Mp3


On this page, you will learn the difference between ACC and MP3 audio formats, which is suitable for you. If you are considering compatibility, then the MP3 is a better option. If you are Apple users and need smaller audio files with better quality, choose AAC file format is more suitable for you. If you do not know how to convert video to audio, or change audio formats, then EaseUS Video Editor is the best assistant tool for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

About the question of which audio formats are best for you, here have some frequently asked questions, and we would like to answer those for you.

1. Is AAC better than 320 mp3?

Naturally, the higher the bit rate is, the less compression is in the audio file. And with AAC being slightly superior to MP3, 320kbps AAC would be the best of the choices given here. If you hold a bit rate constant, AAC will generally be better than MP3.

2. Is 256 kbps AAC good quality?

Bit rates are the best way to judge the quality of an audio file—related to its original. The higher the bit rate is, the better quality is of an audio file.  So a 256 kbps MP3 or AAC file is better than a 128 kbps file.

3. Which Kbps bit rate mp3 format is the best quality?

Bit rates range from 96 to 320 kilobits per second (Kbps). Using a bit rate of 128 Kbps usually results in a sound quality equivalent to what you'd heard on the radio. If you want to set the sound quality of MP3 as the same as a CD, we recommend you to sue a bit rate of 160 Kbps or higher.

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