What is the Best Music Format for Audiophiles?


There is no one clear answer to what is the best file format for music playback is and quality mastering of will sound also makes a big impact but there are a many formats that audiophiles tend to use more than others. Flac and Mp3 (over 320kbps) are the most commonly used in the audiophile community and what I use personally use myself.  One disadvantage of Flac and 320kbps is that the file size is rather large due to the payback being of near lossless sound quality.  If space on your memory card is not at a premium then we suggest the above formats, however, if you have a smaller drive, or a lot of music, feel free to look at a more compressed music file option.


The most common of the digital music formats.  Mp3 can come in various levels of compression and ones that are commonly accepted in audiophile circles are 320kbps or higher.  More compressed files can still produce excellent sound quality but this is a hotly contested topic amongst the audio community.


Another very common file format although less so in the past few years – WMA has a lossless format when selected and one particular benefit is that a tracks information (Metadata) can be contained within the file.


A very large file format that is usually associated with lossless music. 


This is Apples offering to the audio format world and the file type you would expect when downloading from the apples store.  For some time there was issues with playback on certain devices although this is becoming less common.

OGG Vorbis

Open source music format that has the ability to retain high levels of detail even down to 192kbps.  Mos audiophile grade players should now support OGG playback.


The daddy of file formats toted by audiophiles.  Has a rather large file format especially in high bitrates but is generally accepted to have one of the best sound quality retentions of all file formats.  Commonly supported amongst most high-grade players.