Flac and alac - spot the difference?

What is the difference? Is SQ better on one rather than the other? Can an ND555 using Roon play both?

They are both lossless formats. One is free and one is licensed by Apple. I never heard anyone claim they could tell the difference between them in terms of SQ. But no doubt someone will now pop up with an opinion!


Roon will transcode both to PCM to send to the end point - to the ND555 there will be no difference.


yes, ND555 via roon can play both (means you can even have wav, dsf files etc on NAS…) guess roon converts everythin in pcm…

It’s been a while since I tried it, but I’m not aware of any audible differences between ALAC and FLAC. Roon can play either, and once it has processed the data, I’d be very surprised if you heard differences between any lossless formats once they reach your streamer.
The old Naim streamers were perhaps more sensitive to different formats, but I think you’ll find with the new models that the differences are small or non-existent. Again, with Roon as a server, the processing is done before the stream reaches the ND555, so there should be a level playing field.

Thank you for all your prompt, simple replies

I can’t hear a difference but I’m sure someone thinks they can.

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