AAC vs MP3: Is AAC Same or Better than MP3?

by Brian Fisher • • 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. AAC vs MP3 Format

#1. What is AAC Format? And What is MP3 Format?

AAC stands for Advanced Audio Coding. It is an audio coding standard for lossy digital audio compression. AAC was designed as a successor to MP3 format, and it achieves better sound quality than MP3 at the same bitrate. AAC supports up to 96kHz audio channels in one stream, and the quality of stereo is accomplished at 96kbits in joint stereo.

MP3 is an audio coding format for digital audio. It is also referred to MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 Audio Layer III. The MP3 format uses lossy data compression to encode data and reduce its file size. The compression reduces the file size by a factor of 10. The MP3 lossy compression reduces certain parts of a continuous sound.

#2. What is the Difference between AAC and MP3 File?

AAC and MP3 are both lossy file formats. Apart from the time of release, the two file formats differ from each other in sound quality, file size, and compatibility as discussed below.


Sound Quality

File Size



AAC sounds better than MP3 at the same bitrate or lower (AAC sounds better at 96kbs than MP3 at 128Kbs). AAC is slightly smaller than MP3, which means AAC is smaller at a high bitrate. AAC only works on iTunes, iPod, iPad, Sony PS3/PSP, Microsoft's Zune, and some mobile phones. AAC is less supported partly because it’s newer.


MP3 sound quality is low than AAC at the same bitrate. MP3 is larger than AAC at high bitrate. MP3 is more popular and more compatible with most devices and media players. It works with all cell phones, audio players, and pads.

Part 2. Recommended Settings for AAC Format

Bitrate Recommendations

Spoken Word Shows

Music Shows

YouTube Upload Configurations

Voice/analog tape recordings: 32 kbps
Ripping tracks from a CD: 128 to 192 kbps
Recording complex audio sources: 192 to 320 kbps

Stereo Bit Rate: 192 kbps
Sample Rate: 44.1 kHz
Channels: Mono
Stereo Bit Rate: 128 kbps
Sample Rate: 44.1 kHz
Channels: Stereo
Stereo Mode: Joint Stereo
Mono Type: 128 kbps
Stereo Type: 384 kbps
5.1 Type: 512 kbps

Part 3. One Click AAC and MP3 Converter

UniConverter is an ultimate video and audio converter. It supports conversion of more than 150 audio and video file formats. The program can convert your audio or video files in batch, and you just have to import all the files into the AAC and MP3 converter, and it will convert them at once. The tool does not have a file size limit, and you turn any size of records at an incredible speed. Besides, as you save the files, there is zero quality loss, and the conversion process is simple at straightforward. You can also edit your video or audio before converting them using the inbuilt editing tools.

Key Features of UniConverter - Video Converter

  • Enhance conversion to video and audio formats compatible with Apple devices, Android devices and Game Consoles such as Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii.
  • Allow users to convert media files at 90X faster while retaining the original quality of audios and videos with NVIDIA GPU hardware acceleration.
  • Download videos from more than 1000 streaming sites such as YouTube, Vimeo, Vevo, etc, which can also be converted directly before saving to PC.
  • Ultimate DVD toolkit which supports burning of DVDs to DVD IFO file, DVD disc, and DVD folders, and copy of DVD data with zero quality loss.
  • Edit videos before converting, like crop, trim, add subtitles, watermarks, metadata information, and special effects to the video.
  • Support batch processing where multiple videos or audios can be added to the program and converted at the same time.

mp3 to aac itunes

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Brian Fisher

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