AAC File: What is AAC Format? Best Settings for High AAC Quality?

by Brian Fisher • Apr 04,2019 • Proven solutions

Is AAC better than MP3?

AAC was developed as a successor of MP3. Both MP3 and AAC are lossy compression file formats, and they all have their merits and demerits. For instance, AAC has a high sound quality compared to MP3, and it is also small. MP3, on the other hand, is more compatible with more media players and devices than AAC. If you take all things into consideration, it is hard to determine which format is better than the other. However, if you are looking for sound quality traits and file size, then AAC is the best file for you. MP3 is better when considering compatibility issues.

Part 1. What is AAC File? And evolution of AAC Format?

#1. AAC Format:

AAC which is a short form for Advanced Audio Coding refers to a standardized, lossy compression and encoding system for digital audio. It was developed to be the successor of the MP3 format. When encoded at similar bitrates, AAC achieves better sound quality than MP3. AAC was created with the contribution of companies including Fraunhofer IIS, Dolby Laboratories, AT & T BELL Laboratories, Nokia and Sony Corporation. In 1997, it was declared an international standard by the Moving Picture Experts Group. It is specified as part 7 of MPEG-2 standard, and subpart 4 of part 3 in the MPEG-4 standard. The development and evolution of AAC include different features such as AAC 2.0 which is the version 2 of AAC which is based on SBR, and parametric stereo coding tools in the MPEG-4 Audio standard.

#2. AAC SBR:

AAC SBR as used in the development of AAC audio format refers to Spectral Band Replication in full. It is a technology used to enhance audio codecs, particularly on low bitrates.

#3. AAC Stereo:

AAC stereo in the development of AAC is the method of sound reproduction that forms an illusion of multi-directional audible perspective. It is achieved through the use of two or more independent audio channels. AAC 5.1 is the standard for broadcasts sounds in AAC audio. Lastly, AAC ADTS (Audio Data Transport Stream) is a format utilized by the MPEG-TS to stream AAC audio.

Part 2. AAC-LC vs HE-AAC

#1. HE-AAC:

HE-AAC refers to High-Efficiency Advanced Audio Coding. It is an audio coding format for lossy data compression of digital audio. It is defined as MPEG-4 Audio profile in IEC/ISO 14496-3. The coding is an extension of AAC LC and is optimized for low bitrates.

#2. AAC-LC:

AAC-LC refers to the Low Complexity AAC. It is mostly optimized for high bitrates. LC comprises of a base format which is like the AT and T’s Perceptual Audio Coding (PAC) format and the Temporal Noise Shaping.

#3. Differnces Between HE-AAC and AAC-LC:

1. HE-AAC is good for low bitrates such as 80kbps and below while AAC LC is optimized for high bitrates such as 90kbps and above. In that case, HE-AAC is better if you are planning on playing files on the computer using a compatible software or when encoding at low bitrates. On the other hand, LC-AAC is suitable for hardware support and encoding at high bitrates such as 90kbps and above.
2. LC-AAC spares your battery charge either in your car or your mobile device while the HE-AAC drains your battery very easily.
3. The HE-AAC v1 sound quality at 64 kb/s is similar to AAC-LC at 96 kb/s.

Part 3. Best Setting for AAC Format

Bit Rate: 320kbps or higher for 2 channels (a higher bitrate is always better, however, 256 kbps is also acceptable).

Sample Rate: 44.1Khz

Channels: 2(stereo)

Part 4. AAC Codec Recommended

#1. AAC-LC:

AAC refers to the low complexity AAC. It supports for mono/stereo/5.0/5.1 content with standard sampling rates from 8 to 48 kHz.

Supported OS: Android 4.1+, Windows 8 phone with processor MSM8x27, MSM8x30, MSM8960 and MSM8974
Supported Container: 3GP, 3G2, MP4, M4A, MPR, AAC

#2. HE-AACv1 (AAC+):

This codec stands for HE- AAC version 1 profile. The codec utilizes the Spectral Band Replication (SBR) to enhance the compression efficiency in the frequency domain. It supports the mono/stereo/5.0/5.1 content with standard sampling rates from 8 to 48 kHz.

Supported OS: Android 4.1+, Windows 8 phone with processor MSM8x27, MSM8x30, MSM8960 and MSM8974
Supported Container: 3GP, 3G2, MP4, M4A, AAC

#3. HE-AACv2 (enhanced AAC+):

This is HE- AAC version 2 profile and it joins SBR with Parametric Stereo (PS) to promote compression efficiency of stereo signals. The version is an improvement and a standardized version for AAC plus. It supports stereo/5.0/5.1 content with standard sampling rates from 8 to 48 kHz.

Supported OS: Android 4.1+, Windows 8 phone with processor MSM8x27, MSM8x30, MSM8960 and MSM8974
Supported Container: 3GP, 3G2, MP4, M4A, AAC

#4. AAC-ELD (enhanced low delay AAC):

Also known as the MPEG-4 Low Delay Audio Coder. It combines the advantages of perceptual audio coding with a low delay to improve two-way communication. It offers support for mono and stereo content with standard sampling rates from 16 to 48 kHz.

Supported OS: Android 4.1+
Supported Container: 3GPP (.3gp), MPEG-4 (.mp4, .m4a), MPEG-TS

#5. AAC-HEv2:

Support for mono or stereo content with standard sampling rates from 16 to 48 kHz.

Supported OS: Android 4.1+
Supported Container: 3GPP (.3gp), MPEG-4 (.mp4, .m4a)

Part 5. Best AAC Converter

iSkysoft Video Converter Ultimate is the greatest solution to all video and audio conversion functions. It supports conversion between more than 150 file formats with new ones being added with new upgrades. If you want to convert any file, you can follow three simple steps and get a format which is friendly to your media player. The AAC Converter saves your data without interfering with the quality of your file, and you can convert directly to the device format by choosing the device type as the output format from AAC. You can also install this AAC Converter on your Windows PC or Mac computer by selecting the version supported by your computer’s operating system. The conversion speed is also faster, and you can convert a variety of files at a go.

iSkysoft Video Converter Ultimate - Video Converter

  • Batch AAC Converter with the capacity of converting multiple files of more than 150 video and audio format at once.
  • Fastest converter with speed 90X faster than other converters thanks to advanced hardware and Intel techniques.
  • Inbuilt editing tools to help transform the settings of your output file to the preferred specs.
  • Internal video downloader that supports easier download of videos and movies from more than 1000 sites.
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  • Video recorder which supports recording of videos from the streaming sites such as YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and many others.

If you want to learn how iSkysoft Video Converter Ultimate converts AAC audio files, just click to watch the following video tutorial to get a quick glimpse right now!

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Brian Fisher

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