WAV or FLAC Which is Superior ?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by augustya, May 6, 2018.

  1. augustya macrumors 68030

    augustya

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2012
    #1
    is WAV a better format or FLAC Format @ 16-bit/44.1kHz better ?

    I have purchased some Music from Beatport though they sound good, I am just curious which is superior quality ?
     
  2. Audit13 macrumors 68040

    Audit13

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2017
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    #2
    A FLAC and WAV file encoded at 44.1/16 format will sound the same but the WAV file will be larger in size.

    I used to rip my cd collection to wav but switched to FLAC to save space.
     
  3. augustya thread starter macrumors 68030

    augustya

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2012
    #3
    So but the quality of Music will be the same with Both ? is it ?
     
  4. Audit13 macrumors 68040

    Audit13

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2017
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    #4
    I could not hear a difference. WAV and FLAC are different containers for the music with FLAC using lossless compression, just like DTS-HD and TrueHd use lossless compression.
     
  5. givemeanapple macrumors Demi-God

    givemeanapple

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2016
    Location:
    Earth
    #5
    Usually WAV is of the highest quality possible without compression, the file size is big. FLAC is of lower quality than WAV because there's compression of the signal to save size.
     
  6. Audit13 macrumors 68040

    Audit13

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2017
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  7. givemeanapple macrumors Demi-God

    givemeanapple

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2016
    Location:
    Earth
    #7
  8. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    The Far Horizon
    #8
  9. cbautis2 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2013
    #9
    Why use FLAC where ALAC is 100% compatible with OSX and iOS? I rip all of my CDs in ALAC and it retains CD or 24 bit information completely
     
  10. Audit13 macrumors 68040

    Audit13

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2017
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  11. Kcetech1, Jun 18, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2018

    Kcetech1 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2016
    Location:
    Alberta Canada
    #11
    yep.

    to use in non Apple products that support flac and not alac such as my old media server and our families multitude of devices.
     
  12. IronWaffle, Jun 20, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2018

    IronWaffle macrumors 6502

    IronWaffle

    #12
    Just another vote for the sound parity of FLAC/ALAC/WAV. Lossless compression is a marvelous thing and I wouldn’t use WAV or AIFF for those very reasons. I’d add that, from what I’ve read, AIFF also has tagging problems.

    Yes, but other disc formats have wider parameters.

    I’m not expert enough to explain in detail but have recently begun ripping the hi-res stereo, quad and 5.1 layers of Blu-rays I own. These are often 24-bit and are usually 96 or 192 kbps. I believe still 44.1 but that’s not a metric I’ve had to deal with much. SACD also uses DSD, about which I know little, and I think that may be 24-bit. DVD-Audio’s spec allowed foe 24/192 as well.

    For the heck of it, I recommend a few forums for asking greater detail on these fronts:
    1. Computeraudiophile — I rarely visit but there are very knowledgeable folks there with deep knowledge and breadth of experience.
    2. Stevehoffman.tv — this forum is hosted by an audiophile mastering engineer with phenomenal experience. The subforums are very busy and are focused mainly in music, film/tv, and technical media formats for enjoying those areas. Lots of technical folks. Be polite and patient with people who wiphinge “use the search function”... which reminds me, use the search function before asking! And be ready to encounter the most Beatle-obsessed [mostly men] you may ever find and who often crankily forget music continued past 1974.
    3. QuadraphonicQuad — mostly devoted to surround sound music, this is a quieter but more personable place where questions can be found or asked. These folks know a lot about the tech side of media because it’s the nature of their niche. They’re quite laid back in my experience.
    4. Avsforum —much more technical and hardware focused but it can come in handy.
     
  13. Audit13 macrumors 68040

    Audit13

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2017
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    #13
  14. cbautis2 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2013
    #14
    DSD64 is about 5.6 Mbps while 24/96 is about 4.6 Mbps. 11.2 for DSD128 while it's 9.2Mbps for 24/192. Anyhow, DSD is not supported by many streamers so it's not really a good format to use.
     
  15. Audit13 macrumors 68040

    Audit13

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2017
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    #15
    The reason I mentioned SACD because it's native format is not 24 bit but 1 bit quantization. In order to play DSD files, many players need to convert it to pcm before being processed by a DAC. With high end DACs, they can convert DSD directly to analog.
     
  16. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #16
    The above is wrong. FLAC uses lossless compression. The bits you hear are bit-by-bit exactly the same
    --- Post Merged, Jun 22, 2018 ---

    Yes. Note that a sample rate of 44.1K is enough to encode the full audio range up to 20KHz. Most people who are older then teen age ca't hear 20KHz.
     
  17. Audit13 macrumors 68040

    Audit13

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2017
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    #17
    I know CDs are only 44.1/16 and can hit 20 kHz but it's still not as good as using 24 bit encoding.
     
  18. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #18
    16 Bits is a good distribution format. And after mastering it "fits" within human hearing. It is easy to fall into the trap where you thing something is better but in practice yuan't know the difference.

    24 bits with 96K sample rate is a very good studio recording format. The reason is is used is because these recordings will be PROCESSED. they will be mixed with other tracks, likely compressed. There is an effect called "quantization noise" that occurs with t=yu do math with digital data, the high number of bits allows the data to be processed with no loss.

    But after processing, including mastering

    24 bit recording is great. In the old days we used to have to carefully set levels so at not to clip but with 24 bits clipping is nearly impossible. So 24-bit is universally popular in studios not because it sounds better but for technical reasons

    Bt for playback of mastered material do you really need more than 96dB of dynamic range? If so how are you reproducing it?

    It could be that you like 24-bit recordings because of the way they are mastered. People mastering for 24 bit, I think might use less compression the THAT is what you prefer but if you converted those files to rebook audio format you'd still like it and could nt tell the difference.

    You can experiment yourself if you have a microphone and some equipment. then play it back as 320AAC, 44.1/16 or96/24 and if you listen blind try and determine which you are hearing. You'd need software that randomly switches formats
     
  19. Audit13 macrumors 68040

    Audit13

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2017
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    #19
    I buy my tracks in 96/24 and 192/24 so I'm not sure where compression is applied but I have compared the same files in a 44.1/16 format and I can clearly hear better quality with flac, dsd, alac, and dff.
     
  20. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #20
    Everyone can hear the difference when they know which track they are listening to.

    Try having some one switch the tracks and not tel you. NO. "A" and "B" testing is not valid. They must literally flip a coin, this way after the coin flip there night not be a switch. You might hear the same track again or not. Your job is to write down which one you are hearing Then after 20 or so coin flips see how many times out of 20 you got it right..

    A failing score is 50% because a deaf person could score 50% by guessing

    Try this with more then two kinds of recordings 96/24. CD and 320AAC and just for education 128MP3.

    Most listeners score about 50%

    It is very important that the person switching the tracks does the EXACT same thing each time including how long he takes to switch the tracks

    ++++

    About if the recording are the same -- put them in Garage Band or Logic, time align them and subtract one from the other. If they are the same yo are left with just white noise. Anything else and they are different.

    This is an educational way to see how MP3 is different from FLAC to. Convert both to WAV then subtract the files
     

Share This Page