Lossless quality is not for everyone. If you can’t distinguish between lossless audio and other formats, you probably don’t need it. But if you’re a musician who shares ideas with bandmates, or a journalist who interviews people for a video, you may want the best quality that is lossless. And you may not know it, but the voice memo app on your iPhone supports it.
When it comes to audio files, there are lossy and lossless ones. When compressed, lossy file formats like MP3 and AAC remove certain data from the recording that human ears cannot hear. This makes it easier to save and share files because they are smaller, but the deleted data is lost forever.
On the other hand, lossless files like FLAC and the Apple Lossless (ALAC) format intelligently compress audio files, much like a ZIP file compresses information so that no data is lost. A file would therefore be as high quality as a completely uncompressed raw version. It is much larger than a lossy file, but if you want the highest quality sounds, there is nothing better than lossless.
By default, voice memos in iOS 1
You won’t find the option directly in voice memos. Instead, open the “Settings” app, tap on “Voice Memos” and select “Audio Quality” under “Audio Quality” Voice memo settings. The “Compressed” option is activated by default. Tap Lossless to improve your audio quality.
Below you can see two audio recordings with the same tones, both for exactly one minute. As you can see, the lossless file with almost three megabytes (right screenshot) is considerably larger than the lossy file with just over 500 kilobytes (left screenshot).
Now you can set voice memos for lossless recordings and still bring out bad sounding audio tracks. When recording, it is recommended to move your iPhone’s microphone a reasonable distance from the subject so that the loudest level is between -3 and zero decibels (dB). This is your sweet spot.
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