More often than not, when producing videos for YouTube, more attention is paid to video quality than audio quality.
But then there are some instances where audio quality matters more than video quality.
An instance of this is talking head videos. There’s nothing much to see except the person talking and what he or she is saying is more important than anything else.
Also, if you’re uploading a music video, audio quality is of paramount importance.
More often than not, your audio equipment and recording environment determine the type of audio quality you’ll get for your video. A good microphone and a soundproof room are a given when it comes to recording quality audio.
But then the audio file format used when recording, editing, or encoding your video also matters.
That said, here’s how to choose the best audio file format for YouTube.
Choose a Supported Audio Format
Before we even talk about the quality of an audio format, it’s pertinent that we are aware of the audio formats supported by YouTube.
Generally, YouTube supports most of the popular audio formats out there.
But to be sure, here are the audio formats YouTube supports:
- MP3 audio that must be in an MP3 or WAV container.
- PCM audio in a WAV container
- AAC audio in a MOV container
- FLAC audio
So, which among these is the best audio file format for YouTube?
Best Audio File Format for YouTube
If you’re uploading a music video to YouTube, it is recommended that you use the WAV audio format.
That would be selecting PCM with a .wav file extension.
WAV vs MP3
MP3 as you would have already known is compressed audio. Of course, video with MP3 video will have smaller file sizes.
This would facilitate uploading if you have a slow Internet connection.
If you’re doing a talking-head video using MP3 with a high audio bitrate would be sufficient.
If your video editor compresses audio in the AAC format, then you could use the following specs recommended by YouTube.
Use the AAC-LC codec with a sample rate of 44.1Khz.
Set the bit rate to 320kbps or higher for 2-channel stereo audio.
YouTube Compresses Your Audio
If you’re new to this game of audio compression for YouTube and are confused, rest easy.
More often than not, YouTube compresses high-quality videos. That’s understandable to save space.
Also, those with slower Internet connections are allowed to view YouTube videos in lower resolutions. Video and audio quality are reduced to facilitate smooth streaming.
So, the trick is just to upload the highest quality audio possible and hope for the best.
Just make sure that you’re using one of the best audio file formats for YouTube.