FLAC vs. MP3: Is FLAC better?
Posted by Nicole
Summary: It is needless to say the importance to pick up the right audio format while listening. But FLAC, WAV, MP3...all these audio formats can be crazy confusing! If you are a music lover, you must have confronted the question: FLAC vs. MP3, is FLAC format better? And what are the differences? If it made your head spin, then we are here to clear it up in this article. And if you need to convert audio among these audio formats, we also prepare the answers for you.
There is no doubt that you will confront with FLAC and MP3 when it comes to music downloads. Normally, we just pick up one randomly without considering the differences between them. However, truth to be told that it is a necessity to figure out the differences between these two formats: FLAC vs. MP3. You may say “I barely know the basic concepts about MP3 or FLAC, not to mention FLAC vs. MP3”. Don’t worry. We are here to break down their differences for you and explain it straightforward based on a series of FLAC vs. MP3 tests. Even better, we will tell you how to convert FLAC to MP3 or vice versa. Just calm down and then dive into this article.
What are MP3 and FLAC?
Before we move on, it is best to start by explaining the basic concepts of MP3 and FLAC.
FLAC, shorting for “Free Lossless Audio Codec”, may stay unfamiliar for you. But if you are a music lover you will know that it is a very popular audio format that is compressed and preserves lossless musical quality. MP3, also named as “MPEG-1 Audio Layer-3”, is a standard audio format you may quite familiar with. It is the audio format that uses psychoacoustic modeling to reduce the size of audio files to make it convenient and popular to store music.
So, if we choose only one word to describe the MP3 format, then this word would be “lossy”. Yet on the opposite, if we choose one word for FLAC, then that would be “lossless”. To put it in a simple way, MP3 is a lossy format because it shaves off part of the music, such as all bits of data that is not likely to be heard by humans, for minimal file size. While FLAC has the original quality, even after compression.
FLAC vs. MP3 in sound quality, is FLAC better?
So, does it mean FLAC format win in terms of FLAC vs. MP3 in sound quality given that FLAC’s quality is as in an original recording, whereas MP3 cannot say so? Well, the answer to this is not so sure. We are sure that FLAC format quality surpasses MP3’s, but whether better quality can lead to a better sound, it all depends. People have done numerous FLAC vs. MP3 test to explore the truth. Truth to be told that there are very clear differences in sound when you listen to FLAC and MP3 files only in the condition that you are using good headphones or an appropriate sound system. Otherwise, the quality differences disappear. That is why many people claim that there are no differences in MP3 vs. FLAC comparison.
MP3 320 vs FLAC, what is MP3 320kbps and which one is better?
Kbps, short for “Kilobits per second”, is a data-rate unit used to measure data transit rate in telecommunications. 320 kbps is the highest rate of the MP3 format. Even more, it is regarded to be the best audio quality of MP3 format so far. 320 kbps is so much better than the other ones, like 192 kbps and 128 kbps. Normally, the higher the bit rate is, the more details it contains, as a result, comes a larger file size. But what if MP3 320 vs. FLAC, which one can win the battle? You should know that FLAC is usually around 1411 kbps. Yet, as a matter of fact, people barely discovered differences when using spectrum analysis software or high-end audio equipment. So it is hard to tell which wins between MP3 320kbps vs. FLAC in quality. But as for file size or compatibility, MP3 320 definitely overmatches FLAC.
FLAC file size vs MP3, is FLAC larger?
As we have mentioned earlier, the MP3 file gets minimal file size by sacrificing resolution. While FLAC format offers high-quality audio without losing any noticeable audio quality. Because of this, in terms of FLAC file size vs. MP3, FLAC file size takes up a large amount of hard drive space, which is almost six times larger than MP3’s.
In a nutshell, no winners or losers in the battle of FLAC vs. MP3. The biggest advantage of the MP3 file is it literally can be played on every single device on earth, while FLAC file is incompatible with lots of music players, even though it gets popular day by day. Out of these reasons, you might need to make MP3 to FLAC or vice versa. But no matter what, there is much available software for you to do this. DVDFab Toolkit is one of these ones.
What is the DVDFab Toolkit?
DVDFab Toolkit is a must-have tool set packed up with dozens of tools to give you a hand in edit videos or audios, even images. It classifies these tools into four major parts: Video Tools, Audio Tools, Image Tools, and Watermark Tools. Speaking of converting MP3 to FLAC format or vice visa, you may need to go for the Audio Tools and ask for the “Converter” module for help. No worry. We will explain the detailed steps of MP3 to FLAC below.
Steps to change MP3 to FLAC format
Step 1: Download and installation of this MP3 to FLAC converter
To convert MP3 to FLAC, you can rely on DVDFab Toolkit to make an audio conversion. This MP3 to FLAC converter is compatible with the Windows system. Below is the downloading button. Click it for one time, the converter will start to download.
Step 2: Find the “Converter” module in the “Audio Tools” section
After a successful installation, please double-click its desktop icon to launch up this MP3 to FLAC converter. Then, move your mouse cursor down to the “Audio Tools” section to click the “Converter” module for one time. Consequently, you will enter into a new interface.
Step 3: Upload your MP3 audio file
Please click on the “+” button. Alternatively, you can drag your MP3 audio file and drop it into the middle of the interface.
Step 4: Set up parameters
When your audio file is uploaded, you will switch into a new interface from which you can set up some parameters.
1. Choose your output format. You can choose the “FLAC” format from that drop-down list of “Output” by pointing your mouse cursor and click that inverted triangle. Besides FLAC, you can also choose AAC, AC3, and M4A formats.
2. Set up the Channels, Bit Rate, and Sample Rate options. Normally, when you have selected the output format, these options will set up by default. But you can still change them. However, we advise you not to change them unless you know well about your audio.
3. Decide your output location. There is another factor worth considering-output location. By clicking that folder icon on the bottom of its interface, you can freely choose the destination file folder for the output audio file.
4. Add other audio files. By the way, if you have more than one file to convert MP3 to FLAC, move your eyesight to the left upper side where you can find a “+” button to add other files from local so that this file will wait in the queue to convert MP3 to FLAC.
Step 5: Convert MP3 to FLAC
When all parameters are set up, you can click that green “Start” button to initiate the conversion of MP3 to FLAC. The whole process shall be finished very soon. In addition to the conversion of MP3 to FLAC, you can also use DVDFab Toolkit to solve the problem of how to convert FLAC to MP3 as this software is not just an MP3 to FLAC converter.
Have you got the answer to “FLAC vs. MP3, which one is better?”. In fact, as we have analyzed so much, you must have known that it all depends on your needs. If you need to play that audio file on every single device, then an MP3 file is always the choice. If, however, you want to enjoy high-quality music, then go to FLAC file. We hope you already have a clear idea about this FLAC vs. MP3 thing and how to convert FLAC to MP3 or MP3 to FLAC with DVDFab Toolkit so that you can choose the one which suits you best from the day on.