MP3, OGG, VQF, WAV - not all of
these terms are part of the basic vocabulary of a PC-user,
but all of them describe specific audio-formats that have
settled down as standards in the last months and years.
But which one is actually best?
To set it straight: all formats depicted here (except WAV)
describe a lossy compression. Data is filtered out of the
original files, whereby new files are created that are significantly
different from the original. And that means the sound as well.
However with the up-to-date formats this difference is hardly
audible. Audiophiles should take a closer look at a lossless
compression such as Monkey’s Audio. A link to it’s
homepage can be found in the links-column.
On the pages following you will find several audio-formats
listed, with brief descriptions what they are, how common
and how popular they are. The scientific background of the
individual compression-algorithms is resigned, the focus lies
upon compression-duration, file size and, of course, quality
of the converted files, because the average user generally
is not interested in how the formats work, but in how they
For this you can look at tests that have been performed to
examine the formats’ performance regarding two categories
- classic music with a big orchestra and high frequency
- a pop-CD that has gained numerous awards for it’s outstanding
Of course, you can go and see for yourself: there are sound-samples
of all tested bitrates and songs. They can be found either
in the tests themselves
or in the comparison-tables.
Just click on the bitrate in each case.
On the other hand conversion-speeds are not to be neglected.
This and which format does have the smallest file-size can
also be found in the comparison-tables.
However these values are not significant for the final “judgement”,
that’s solely based on the actual sound-quality of each codec.
will also find a little summary which audio-codec might have
a future and which one might not have.
However most important: which codec actually sounds best -
completely independent from the manufacturers’ promises.
Finally, you will find homepage-links to all manufaturers
so you can test or use the audio-codecs yourself.
All “judgments” depicted here are personal ones and do
not represent opinions of all or part of the Litexmedia staff.
Author of this article: