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Posted by Kistent Waung - Contact Author

Best Handbrake Audio Settings for DVDs, Blu-rays, Plex, etc.

Audio settings offered by Handbrake are more straightforward, compared to video settings. However, there are some options - from audio encoders to bitrate, with which many users are struggling. AC3 5.1 or AAC Passthru? What's the best setting for a DVD, Blu-ray, Plex, Apple TV, other Apple, and Android mobile devices, or TVs? The first rule is to get good quality and fast audio encoding speed. If you have no idea what you should choose, our Handbrake audio settings guide can provide some useful hints.

Recommended Handbrake Audio Settings

For NTSC DVDs, HQ 480p30 Surround Preset keeps a good balance between quality and speed, PAL DVDs HQ 576p25 Surround, Blu-ray discs HQ 1080p30 Surround. For high res preset like HQ and Super HQ, there are two audio tracks. Keep the default audio settings to guarantee the most compatibility.

Track 1: AC3 5.1 channel, AAC Passthru, Bitrate: 160, Mixdown Stereo.
Track 2: AC3 5.1 channel, AC3 Passthru.

Best audio settings for Plex, PS, Android & Apple phones and tablets: AC3 5.1 channel, AC3 Passthru, Bitrate: 128 or higher.

1. Select Passthru when it is available. Passthru means remixing that directly copy the audio without re-encoding and quality loss. Audio formats that support Passthru in Handbrake are AC3, AAC, MP3, FLAC, DTS, DTS-HD, and True HD.

2. What audio codec should you choose? Handbrake supports most popular audio formats, such as AAC, MP3, AC3, FLAC. AC3, AAC, and MP3 are widely accepted and recommended.

3. DTS or Dolby? DTS (Digital Theater Systems) supports higher bitrate, however, it doesn't mean that DTS offers better audio effect. It's quite subjective to tell their differences in quality. There's a lot of complaining about DTS compatibility. Currently, many devices handle it poorly.

Check the complete guide on how to use Handbrake >>

Fixes to Audio Lost After Handbrake Encoding

After ripping DVDs or transcoding videos, Handbrake outputs video file with no sound. Possible causes of the error are encrypted source files, incompatibility audio codec, and devices issue. Try the following tips to solve the problem.

  • Install libdvdcss to copy encrypted DVDs with Handbrake or use DVD decrypter software to rip DVDs which Handbrake doesn't work with.
  • Select an audio codec that is more widely accepted, such as MP3, AAC. Quit DTS that many devices may fail to play.
  • Check the audio hardware and system on your devices.

Learn more fixes if Handbrake no audio issue occurs.

Use A More Powerful Handbrake Alternative to Get Around Audio Issue

For audio issues caused by copy protection in the source file, the most straightforward solution is to get an alternative that can handle encryption scheme. WinX DVD Ripper Platinum is a popular tool for such a thing. Look at its main features below.

  • Support any DVD, including DVDs with region code, CSS, Disney DRM, or other copy protection, 99-title DVDs, unplayable DVDs, scratched discs, and more.
  • Rip DVDs with original Dolby sound or 5.1 channel audio kept.
  • Support adjusting audio codecs, sample rate, bitrate, etc. Extract audio from DVD video files.
  • Decrypt DVDs to MP4, MOV, WMV, H.264, H.265, etc. with 350+ profiles.
  • Deliver 5X faster-processing speed than Handbrake does thanks to level-3 hardware acceleration.


author - Kistent Waung

Kistent Waung twitter icon

Graduated from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, she employs herself in IT related content creation (since 2013) and happens to perfectly combine her major (computer & science) and her gusto (writing). She's seasoned at offering video audio conversion workarounds and always passionate about new trends, from hot HEVC, 4K to the new AV1 codec.

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