The difference of FLAC And WAV file

Tiya Vaj
2 min readOct 24, 2023

FLAC and WAV (Waveform Audio File Format) are both audio file formats, but they have some key differences:

1. Compression:
— FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec): FLAC is a lossless audio compression format, which means that it reduces the file size without losing any audio quality. This makes it a great choice for archiving or distributing high-quality audio with no loss in fidelity.
— WAV: WAV, on the other hand, is an uncompressed audio format. It stores audio data in a raw, unprocessed form. This results in larger file sizes but ensures that no audio data is lost during storage.

2. File Size:
— FLAC files are typically much smaller in size compared to their equivalent WAV files. The compression in FLAC can reduce file sizes by 30–50% or more, depending on the complexity of the audio.

3. Audio Quality:
— FLAC preserves the original audio quality, making it a lossless format.
— WAV is also a lossless format because it doesn’t apply any compression, but the file sizes are much larger.

4. Use Cases:
— FLAC is often used for archiving and distribution of high-quality audio because it reduces storage space without compromising quality. It’s common for music enthusiasts and audiophiles.
— WAV is used when you need to work with uncompressed audio data directly, such as in professional audio editing and production.

5. Compatibility:
— FLAC files may not be as widely supported by all media players and devices compared to formats like MP3 or WAV, so compatibility can be an issue in some cases.
— WAV files are more widely supported and can be played on almost all media players and devices.

In summary, the main difference between FLAC and WAV is that FLAC is a compressed, lossless audio format that reduces file size while preserving audio quality, while WAV is an uncompressed, lossless format that maintains the highest audio quality but results in larger file sizes. The choice between them depends on your specific use case and requirements for audio quality and file size.



Tiya Vaj

Ph.D. Research Scholar in Informatics and my passionate towards data-driven for social good.Let's connect here