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AAC V.S. AC3 – What are the Differences between Audio Formats

Aira Lesly Escoto Posted by Aira Lesly Escoto to Convert Audio Dec 29, 2022

AAC VS. AC3, they are two commonly used audio formats in the daily life, and you can see them in music, movies, TV shows, games, DVD discs, CDs, and more. They are both lossy audio formats, but which one has the higher quality or a smaller size? And how to choose between them for different usages? Read the full guide of AAC and AC3 formats and learn more about their definitions of them. Moreover, you can also learn the best way to extract AAC/AC3 formats from videos and convert them between AAC and AC3 formats. Continue reading below for a more extensive comparison between the two audio formats.

Part 1: What are the Differences between AAC and AC3 Audio Format

1. What is AAC Format?

Developed by various companies, including AT&T, Nokia, Dolby, Sony, and Fraunhofer, AAC stands for Advanced Audio Coding and is an audio coding standard for compressed digital audio and music data. It is the successor to MP3 for its higher compression efficiency and better sound quality at the same bit rate. In addition, this format is mainly used on iPhones, iPods, Apple Music, Youtube Music, Nintendo consoles, and Spotify web player.

2. What is AC3 Format?

AC3, also known as Dolby Digital, is an audio compression technology developed by Dolby Laboratories. AC3 or Audio Codec 3, is an audio format that lets you connect up to 6 channels of audio output. This format is popular for audio on DVD, Blu-ray, five speakers and one subwoofer home theater setup.

3. Differences between AAC VS. AC3

Now that you know the origin and meaning of AAC and AC3, then you can learn more about their differences more thoroughly. You will tackle the sample rate, bitrate, quality, and applications of the audio formats mentioned in this article and see how they differ.

Sample Rate8 to 192 kHz32, 44.1, 48 kHz
Bitrate8-529 kbit/s (stereo)32-640 kbit/s
VBR (Variable Bit Rate)yesno
ApplicationsWindows, macOS, Linux, Palm OS, Unix, Symbian OS, iOS, Android, Rockbox, Chromium, Digital TV service, Internet streaming, Digital RadioWindows, Linux, iOS, movie theaters, TV broadcast, digital video streaming, DVDs, Blu-ray, radio broadcast, and gaming consoles

1. Sample Rate

The sample rate is the digit of audio carried per second. A broader and higher range of sample rates leads to better sound and music quality. AAC is better than AC3 in this aspect.

2. Bitrate

Bitrate refers to the numbers or bits processed per second, minute, hour, or longer. A higher bitrate is associated with higher quality, which means a bigger file size. It is more commonly used in playback/streaming than in recording.

3. VBR (Variable Bitrate)

Variable Bitrate is a control technique that allows the bit rate to vary yet maintains the audio quality. It improves audio quality in contrast to the file size ratio, producing a better quality-to-space ratio on the same file size. AAC is more flexible than AC3.

4. Applications

Video and streaming audio application enables you to listen to or view music files. The more applications it supports, the better. This is because you can playback your audio on various platforms and devices.

In summary, AAC is better than AC3 in sample rate, bitrate, quality, and support for more platforms. The only thing that AC3 has the advantage of is backward compatibility with older Dolby equipment.

Part 2: How to Convert AAC to AC3, or Vice Versa

After knowing the differences between AAC and AC3 formats, you can choose the desired one for saving and uploading through simple conversion. 4Easysoft Total Video Converter will help you convert between AAC and AC3 formats without losing the original quality. It can quickly and easily convert AAC to AC3 format and vice versa. To get higher audio quality, you can also convert AC3 to AAC. This user-friendly tool can also extract audio from movies and videos and convert it to AAC/AC3 audio formats that are popular and widely used efficiently.

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Detailed and Easy-to-follow steps on converting AAC to AC3 or Vice Versa.

Step 1Add Media Files

Launch the program after you successfully download and install it on your computer to see the main interface window. On the application window, click Add Files located on the left part to include the media files you need to convert.

Video Converter Add Files TVC

Step 2Select AAC or AC3 Audio Format

Next is selecting the format you want to use. Click the Format button on the right of the file you are converting. From there, you can choose the format supported by this tool for video, audio, and format compatible with smartphone devices. Under the Audio tab, select the format you need, whether AAC or AC3.

Video Converter Choose Format TVC

Step 3Convert the Audio File Format

For the final step, choose your file output directory for your final output on your PC to locate the file quickly. You can adjust this on the bottom left part of the window. And if everything is good, click Convert All button to start converting the AAC or AC3 audio file format.

Video Converter Convert All TVC

Part 3: FAQs about AAC V.S. AC3 Formats


There you have it, now you recognize the differences between AAC and AC3, as well as their respective advantage. Moreover, you can rely on 4Easysoft Total Video Converter for fast and easy audio file conversion on your Windows and Mac. Have a try on it and get the high-quality AAC or AC3 audio files. You can contact us and leave your thoughts and feedback.

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