What Audio File Types Can the iPhone Play?

The iPhone Supports Many Popular Audio File Formats

Teenager listening to mp3 player against wall with graffiti
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There is a misconception that the iPhone only supports the AAC format and can only be used with the iTunes Store. In fact, the iPhone supports a lot of different audio formats. Whether you are using a current iPhone or turning an older iPhone into the equivalent of an iPod touch, you end up with a powerful music player.

iPhone Audio Format Specifications

Learning about the audio formats that the iPhone supports is important if you want to seriously start using your iPhone as a portable media player.

This can be essential if the contents of your music collection came from different sources—like a mix of online music services and ripped CD tracks,​digitize cassette tapes or vinyl records, all of which are legal to copy into iTunes if you own the original recording. If this is the case, there's a good chance you have a mix of audio formats.

The currently supported audio formats for the iPhone 7 are:

  • AAC (16 to 320 Kbps)
  • AIFF
  • ACC Protected (MP4 from iTunes Store)
  • MP3 (16 to 320 Kbps)
  • MP3 VBR (Variable bit rate)
  • Audible formats 2-4 (Spoken word)
  • Apple Lossless (high-quality compressed format)
  • WAV

Uses for the iPhone and Digital Music

As well as being a great smartphone, there's a lot you can do with the iPhone when it comes to listening to digital music. For starters, the iPhone makes a stellar portable media player that plays audio and videos. You may have already synced the iPhone with your iTunes music library or with your music on iCloud and listened to your songs on the go.

The iPhone can also be used to access streaming music services via apps for an almost unlimited supply of music.