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Home > Video Converter > AC3 VS AAC ? Which is Better in 2024?

AC3 VS AAC ? Which is Better in 2024?

Joshua Hill

Posted 2023-12-25

Since technology is continuing to introduce new wonders in the world, the music world is also getting heated with new technology introduced. With this, there are several audio and video formats circulating. In this article, we will talk about AC3 and AAC audio file formats.

You may not know about them but you must have seen one video with AAC or AC3 audio. In case you know about these, we know the common doubt you must think of is which format is better. Let’s solve this mystery together by seeing AC3 vs AAC from different perspectives.

Part 1. [AAC vs AC3] 5 Perspectives to See the Differences

In this section, we have talked about different perspectives to compare AAC vs AC3. Let’s see which one stands high from the other one.

ac3 vs aac


Talking about quality, the AAC codec creates small audio files which take less storage space. Even having a small size, these files still maintain good sound quality. Compared to this AC3 tracks aren’t big on giving the same results in such size. Moreover, AAC is a lossless audio format in comparison to AC3. AAC produces better audio quality even at low bitrates.


AC3 derives from Audio Coding Version 3. This audio format is developed by Dolby laboratories. On the other hand, AAC is derived from Advanced Audio Coding which follows the MPEG4 standard.


As far as the bit rate is concerned, then AC3 audio files provide a bit rate of 384 kilobits per second. Moreover, its sampling rate goes up to 48 kHz. You can also use it for 640kbps movies. On the other hand, AAC provides an excellent way for 400 kbps output for 5.1 audio channels and 180 kbps for stereo.


Regarding the compatibility of both formats, AAC is used as a standard audio format for YouTube and other gaming consoles. Furthermore, it’s compatible with smartphones and other car audio systems. Compared to this, AC3 is less compatible since it’s commonly used in HDTV broadcasts, Blu-rays discs, DVDs, and other game consoles. Both these formats are compatible with Mac and Windows.

Part 2. [AC3 VS AAC ] Overall Review for Both Formats

To give you an overall picture, then here we have collected a few statements followed by merits and demerits of both formats. Bear in mind that AC3 is exclusively used for videos and it requires licensed software and hardware to encode or decode. On the other hand, if you want to have excellent audio quality in movies, you can never go wrong with AAC audio formats.

aac vs ac3
Format Advantages Disadvantages

1. Support several sampling rates (8000-96000 Hz)

2. Different implementations are available for free

3. AAC audio files take less storage space due to the small size

4. Compatible with many devices and players

5. It’s a part of MPEG4 specs due to which it’s an international standard that is approved by ISO

    1. Sometimes you can’t play these valid AAC files since they come in different object types like AAC LC, AAC HE, AAC PE, etc. Most players support only AAC LC


1. It’s the industry standard so most all the new DVD movies come with DVD soundtracks

2. It provides a full range of channels

3. Greatly used in HDTV, DVD, Blu-ray

1. Its max support is limited to 5.1 channel audio CDs. 448 kbps

2. It’s not widely supported by different media players

Part 3. [Convert Any Audio/Video] Easily AC3 to AAC and Vice Versa

After clearly stating the difference between AAC and AC3, we assume you must be looking for a reliable audio/video converter due to many reasons. For instance, AAC can’t play in your home theatre or AC3 format isn’t supported to open in Android player.

So, in such cases, you can convert AC3 to AAC or AAC to AC3 according to your needs. HitPaw Video Converter lets you tackle this problem very easily by converting any audio/video format to your desired one. This highly praised converter has a simple and sleek user-friendly interface to assist you in converting the process handily.

how to convert ac3 to aac with hitpaw
  • Convert any video/audio to 1000+ formats
  • Download videos from popular video-sharing sites
  • Built-in video editing features
  • Batch conversion supported
  • 90X faster AC3 to AAC or AAC to AC3conversion speed

Here is how to convert AC3 to AAC and vice versa using HitPaw Video Converter.

Step 01 Download and launch HitPaw Video Converter on your PC by clicking button below

Step 02 Add your audio file to the main interface

Step 03 Select the output format by clicking on the inverted triangle icon in the bottom right corner. You can also select the audio quality from the output format list audio section

how to convert aac to ac3 with hitpaw

Step 04 Once satisfied, click on “Convert” to convert your audio file with lossless quality

how to convert aac to ac3 with hitpaw converter

Step 05 Access your converted file from the converted tab in the software

Part 4. [Bonus] FAQs of AC3 VS AAC

Q1. Is AAC good for surround sound?

AAC is mainly used as an audio standard on DVDs and digital TV audio. It can give you a 5.1 surround sound.

Q2. Is AAC better than DTS?

AAC supports arbitrary bit rates letting you customize its usage scenario. This makes AAC a flexible audio format. On the other hand, DTS supports higher bit rates and is a less compressed format compared to the AAC format.

Q3. Is AC3 Dolby Atmos?

AC3 technology term is basically used in place of Dolby Digital. So, it is Dolby Digital. Its surround sound is compressed letting audio information fit on a DVD.


Undoubtedly you can make your choice according to your actual needs from AC3 or AAC formats. Talking about AC3 vs AAC , then we must say AAC is an advanced lossy audio formation and produces better audio quality than AC3. If you want to convert any AC3 file to AAC then don’t forget to consider HitPaw Video Converter since it has got everything in place you may need.

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