AIFF vs AAC: Difference and Comparison

AIFF (Audio Interchange File Format) and AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) are coding algorithms. These two algorithms are used in Apple products.

The AIFF was developed by Apple company whereas AAC was several developers like Bell Labs, Dolby Laboratories, and many more.

The purpose of these two coding algorithms is to dominate the audio as to how the audio is digitized and recorded in a particular format. Audio files that are stored in these two formats have high-quality audio.

Key Takeaways

  1. AIFF and AAC are two popular audio file formats with fundamental differences in compression, file size, and audio quality.
  2. AIFF files are uncompressed and larger, whereas AAC files are compressed and smaller.
  3. AAC files use lossy compression, which means some audio data is lost during compression, while AIFF files use lossless compression, retaining all audio data.


AIFF is an uncompressed audio file format that Apple Inc developed. It is a lossless format; hence the audio data is not compressed, and there is no loss of quality. AAC is a compressed digital audio file format developed by the MPEG and later adopted as the default audio format in Apple products.


It has also been found that the AIFF format is better than other formats, like the MP3 format.

The sound quality of the audio files is much better, but the files in the AIFF format consume more space, making one of their disadvantages of them.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonAIFFAAC
DevelopersAppleBell Labs, Fraunhofer Society, Dolby Laboratories, Sony Corporation, Nokia, LG Electronics, NEC Corp, NTT Docomo, and Panasonic.
Stands forAudio Interchange File FormatAdvanced Audio Coding
Lossless or lostThe AIFF is a lossless format, meaning the files stay original without any parts getting deleted or removed.The AAC is a lossy format, meaning the files stored in this format lose some parts from their original file.
QualityThe quality of an AIFF format is much better than the AAC format.The sound quality lacks a bit because of their lossy format.
Space ConsumptionDue to its lossless format, AIFF consumes more space for audio files.The AAC format files consume less space because some parts from the audio files are removed or deleted.
UsedThe AIFF is rarely used and is not that popular.A large number of users use the AAC format. It is a popular codec.

What is AIFF?

AIFF is a lossless format, similar to a CD. Due to their lossless format, the AIIF format files stay pure, as nothing is lost or deleted.

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The sound quality is great in AIFF format files, which is one of the advantages points.

However, if there is an advantage, there is a disadvantage too because if the files stored in AIFF format stay in their original form, the files will be huge in size and consume more space.

And the other disadvantage is that when you use an AIFF file on your device, it drains your battery rapidly.

Because of these reasons, the AIFF format is rarely used these days.

The hardware inside the device will take longer to process your audio files. Therefore, your battery gets drained, and much time is consumed.

However, in terms of sound quality, the AIFF format files are much better than most audio formats. AIFF is also said to have much better sound quality than Mp3 and AAC.

You can play AIFF files with the help of Windows Media Player, Apple iTunes, VLC, and many other multi-format media players.

What is AAC?

AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) is also an audio coding format developed by several companies like Bell Labs, Fraunhofer Society, Dolby Laboratories, Sony Corporation, Nokia, LG Electronics, NEC Corp, NTT Docomo, and Panasonic.

The AAC is a lossy format, meaning files stored in this format get some parts deleted, thus losing their original form and sound quality.

However, the advantage is that files in the AAC format will consume less space and will not drain that much of your device’s battery.

Due to these reasons, AAC is more popular and used than AIFF. Apple Company uses the AAC format as its default file format in its products like iPods and its music store.

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The AAC is a more modernized format than the AIFF.

Improvements have been made in the AAC as the sound quality is much better than the sound quality provided by Mp3.

Well, the significance of the improvements is to provide work faster as the latest technologies are made to be fast but, on the other hand, the quality gets compromised.

AAC format files are best suited for people who listen to music because stored files consume less space, and the battery does not drain much compared to AIFF. The AIFF files are mostly used because of editing.

Main Differences Between AIFF and AAC

  1. The AIFF is a lossless format, whereas AAC is a lossy format and loses unimportant parts of an audio file.
  2. The sound quality of AIFF is much better than the AAC file format.
  3. AAC format is more popular and most used than the AIFF format.
  4. The AIFF format is best used for editing audio files, whereas the AAC format is for personal listening.
  5. AIFF files consume more space and are much larger than an AAC format.
Difference Between AIFF and AAC

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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