For those who are unfamiliar, FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) files are a digital audio file format that is completely lossless, meaning that it loses none of the original audio or its data when it’s encoded.
Because of these reasons, FLAC files are often associated with audiophiles and other audio “purists.” And even though MP3 is a much more popular format, there is almost always audio data lost.
FLAC files — though they are larger than MP3 files — are one of the only ways to ensure that you are listening to the audio as originally intended.
What is a FLAC player
A FLAC player is a program that supports FLAC file playback. Essentially, this means that it can be used to play FLAC files.
Other file types — like MP3 — are more popular and take up less storage space, so FLAC file compatibility isn’t always taken into account when designing a media player.
Some media players aren’t built to support such files, so if you’re interested in storing, keeping, or playing FLAC files, it’s important to make sure that you have access to a media player that will allow you to play them.
What is the best FLAC player
There is much debate about which FLAC player is the best. It’s difficult to say with certainty what FLAC file player is the best choice for everyone, so here are a few top choices.
VLC Media Player is a free, open-source, portable audio and video player. It supports FLAC files, as well as virtually all other audio and video file formats. VLC media player is incredibly versatile and can play devices, discs, and internet streams.
It’s compatible with multiple operating systems, including iOS, Mac, Android, and Linux. One of the best media players out there, VLC media player is also extremely intuitive and perfect for beginners who don’t know the ins and outs of similar programs.
5K Player is a media player that offers tons of features. It allows users to wirelessly stream both audio and video from AirPlay and DLNA, and it supports FLAC file playback. It also allows you to download videos from popular websites like YouTube and Facebook and save them to your device.
With another great feature that allows glitch-free and stutter-free playback for 4K, 8K, and HDR videos, 5K Player is another great media player that supports FLAC files.
Available in 30 different languages, SM Player is a great option that’s open to millions of people around the world.
Free of charge, SM Player is a great, open-source, media player. SM Player is compatible with Windows, as well as many other operating systems, and it supports numerous file formats, including FLAC.
Another great feature of SM Player is that it allows the users to create their own playlists, which serves as a great way to categorize FLAC files.
What devices can play FLAC files
All Android devices, including tablets and smartphones, support FLAC files and can be used to listen to audio files made in that format — provided that they operate on Android 3.1 or later. As of iOS 11, Apple has made it possible for iPhones and other iOS devices to support FLAC files and playback.
However, if you have an iPhone 5S or older, you’ll have to convert your FLAC files to ALAC (Apple’s version of FLAC) files or install a third-party audio conversion app on your phone.
Here, it’s important to note that Bluetooth playback is never completely lossless. If you listen to FLAC files through Bluetooth headphones or a Bluetooth speaker, the file is being changed and is no longer lossless.
The best way to go is to use high-quality, wired, over-ear headphones to ensure a listening experience that is as close to the original as possible.
Can VLC play FLAC files
Yes, VLC media player can play and support FLAC files. The process is easy and intuitive. To play a FLAC file on VLC media player, simply open the application, select “Media,” tap “Open File,” and locate the FLAC file that you wish to play.
VLC media player also allows you to load multiple FLAC files at once. To achieve this, simply press down the control (ctrl) key, click on every desired FLAC file individually, and then select “Open.” Not only does VLC media player support FLAC file playback, but it also simplifies the process for the listeners.
Can Windows 10 play FLAC files
Yes, Windows 10 supports FLAC files and allows playback for files in that format. It used to be necessary to convert the FLAC files or to install a FLAC codec onto your computer. However, the built-in media player, Groove Music, was designed to play FLAC files, as well as other lossless audio formats.
So anyone who owns a Windows 10 device is able to play FLAC files right from the built-in media player, and no third-party app or audio file conversion is necessary.
What are the best headphones for FLAC file playback
While there isn’t one, specific pair of headphones that are the best for playing FLAC files, there are certainly some qualifications to look for when searching for a pair.
First, when planning on playing FLAC files, you should always avoid Bluetooth. Bluetooth headphones use their own codecs that change the audio files and defeat the entire purpose of the lossless format.
Therefore, wired, Hi-Fi headphones are the best way to go. Hi-Fi stands for high fidelity, which essentially means that the listening experience through the headphones is incredibly close to how the audio file is intended to sound.
Headphones of lower quality tend to dampen, sully, or otherwise alter the sound of the audio, so it’s important to do some research and find the best option for FLAC file playback.
Can FLAC files be played through speakers
Yes, FLAC files can be played through speakers. However, the logic is the same as with the headphones. If the speaker is Bluetooth, then it’s going to alter the sound of the original file. So it’s crucial to use a high-quality speaker with high fidelity that can play the file the way that it was designed to sound.