Looking for best AAC radio stream recording quality

Hello all,

I’m new on the forum. I’m using Audacity on Solus Linux to record streaming audio (music radio) that I play on my JVC car stereo.

The radio stream is 64 kbps AAC. The car stereo can handle these formats: MP3, WMA, WAV, FLAC (no AAC).

Currently, I export recordings to MP3 VBR 110-150 kbps, joint stereo. Which export format (and settings) would you choose for the best possible audio quality? File size is not really a consideration.

Thank you for your suggestions.


For best quality use WAV

Personally for in-car use I use 256 CBR stereo MP3 - perfectly fine for that. I do use WAVs though for the player I have attached to my hi-fi rig at home.


I know you said file size is not really a consideration, but I’d go with FLAC. It produces smaller files but has the same quality as WAV (there’s no loss when converting between WAV and FLAC). Also, FLAC can store metadata (track name, artist name, album name, etc.), while WAV cannot.

Thank you for your suggestions. I had never before tried FLAC. I tested it and it produces a dull/flat sound in my JVC car stereo.

MP3 with Waxycilinder’s settings sounds much better.

In the meantime I found out that the Firefox and Librewolf browsers are able to save an AAC stream as an AAC file directly. No digital > analogue conversion before recording. The AAC file can be converted to MP3 easily.


I had never before tried FLAC. I tested it and it produces a dull/flat sound in my JVC car stereo.

FLAC is lossless. It doesn’t change the sound. (WAV is also lossless).*

MP3, AAC, and WMA are lossy. Theoretically, it’s possible that MP3 is changing the sound in a way that you like it better, but at 256kbps it’s unlikely that you’ll get any audible artifacts.


  • You can make a low-quality WAV or FLAC by using a low bit-depth or a low sample rate. But for example, when you rip a CD to FLAC you normally get the same 16-bit, 44.1kHz format as the original CD so when it’s decompressed you get the same-identical audio data as the CD.

It’s also possible that the stereo system applies different EQ settings to different file formats.

I found yet another option, albeit for Windows: saving an AAC stream to disk directly.

These freeware programs can do that:

StreamWriter (has a nice recording scheduler)

NetRadio (simple UI, but lacks a scheduler and requires .NET Framework 4.8)