Apple has quietly added support for FLAC audio playback to the recently-announced iPhone 8, iPhone X and Apple TV 4K. Also included in the audio standard’s support list is the iPhone 7.
In case you’re wondering, FLAC stands for Free Lossless Audio Codec. It’s an audio format similar to MP3, but it’s lossless. What that means is the audio is compressed without any loss in quality, providing a lossless compression.
In order to listen to FLAC audio files on your iPhone, you’ll need to use the native Files app or a third-party app such as VLC, as Apple’s Music app doesn’t support the FLAC standard just yet. Plus, a Lightning-connected headphone is recommended to listen to FLAC audio files, as it offers more bandwidth than a connection over Bluetooth.
The new iPhones and Apple TV 4K ship with FLAC playback support, whereas the iPhone 7 gets it with the release of iOS 11 on September 19.