WAV versus FLAC

Until now I though that the sound coming from the files in these two formats are identical. However, recently, I have heard from a person whose opinion I respect highly that sound from WAV files is "warmer" and that from FLAC files is "brighter".

I wonder if anyoner else have similar observations?

Thank you
Yes, those who measure files or compare file structures are measuring the wrong thing, IMO. I don't believe there is one single debate that wav and FLAC (or AIFF, etc) are identical files. However, aren't they processed differently (i.e the FLAC or AIFF decoder or codec is different than the wav one)? It's there that the debate should be focused on. Hell, we have debate over digital cables, and clearly the ones and zeroes are identical...but the path they take, the envelope they ride along, the dielectric they encounter...are different...and to some people (wayyyyy more than hear the diffs between wav and FLAC) there is a debate. I don't have any answers, but I am theorizing, I am simply stating that if two DNA-identical twins ride along different paths, they may look different at the end of the journey.....and yet still be measured as having identical DNA. Their DNA measurements are moot and not in question; their ride experiences are what's important.
Isn't that what I said?
My experiment would confirm it is the processing / conversion, not the file.

All the lossless files 'decode' to the same parent file, but HOW it happens is the difference.

That's what I've heard as the objection to USB as a feed to a DAC.
Alex, do you use your PC to decode FLAC into PCM stream and then feed into the DAC? I need to understand how you set up your system to understand your claim better.

I use the PC to play/decode FLAC using JRMC. I feed my DAC-S via USB.

I think Magfan has a valid point because the quality with FLAC (and other lossless formats) greatly varies on different computer configurations. So it looks like it is indeed a computer issue.

I will do some more experiments this weekend and report back.

Alex Peychev
49 posts later we're back to the same point. Some are fine with FLAC and some aren't.

If people are concerned as to which is best for their particular situation, they should experiment and determine their own preference. Unlike many things in audio, this is a relatively simple experiment for anyone - play a song in FLAC and then play it in WAV - you'll hear what you hear. That may or may not match what someone else heard.

The other good thing is that if you choose FLAC and change your mind down the road, a batch conversion back to WAV is an option. (You can do the same going the other direction, but you'll have to tag the files.)

It is amazing at times how much people need the approval of others to like what they like. However, if one reviews this thread, the positive person will find thoughtful people in his camp no matter which he chooses. And, no matter which he chooses, a negative or nervous type will still fail to get a unanimous consensus.