Which is the best audio editor?

Audio editing software plays an important role for many creative professionals and hobbyists today. As this article discusses, quality audio editing tools allow users to record, edit, and polish audio tracks to achieve a professional sound. Whether you’re a podcaster, music producer, audiobook narrator, or home recording enthusiast, having the right audio editor makes a big difference.

The goal of this article is to explore some of the top audio editing software options available in 2023. We’ll compare key features, strengths and weaknesses, and overall usability of the leading audio editors to help you determine which is the best fit for your needs and budget. With the music, podcasting, and audiobook industries all rapidly expanding, now is a great time to invest in a quality audio production toolkit.

Top Audio Editors

When searching for the best audio editing software, there are several leading options to consider including Audacity, Adobe Audition, Apple Logic Pro, Avid Pro Tools, and FL Studio:

Audacity is an open-source, free audio editing software available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Audacity provides tools for recording, editing, mixing, and exporting audio. Key features include multitrack editing, amplitude envelope editing, support for LADSPA, VST, Audio Unit plugins, and unlimited undo/redo steps (Software Testing Help).

Adobe Audition is a paid audio workstation software from Adobe. It provides professional tools for recording, mixing, restoring, and editing audio. Key features include AI-powered audio cleanup, spectral editing, multitrack editing, processing and effects, music composition tools, and integration with other Adobe apps.

Apple Logic Pro is Apple’s flagship digital audio workstation software for macOS. It provides advanced tools for composing, recording, editing, and mixing music. Key features include a massive sound library, powerful virtual instruments, flex time and pitch editing, smart tempo, advanced multitrack editing, and robust effects.

Avid Pro Tools is an industry-standard DAW used widely in music and film production. It offers robust tools for editing, recording, mixing, and mastering audio. Key features include 64-bit audio processing, dynamic voice isolation, offline bounce, advanced metering, and over 75 included plugins.

FL Studio is a complete music production environment from Image-Line. It provides tools for composing, arranging, recording, mixing, and mastering. Key features include a pattern-based workflow, comprehensive midi editing, vectorial interface, flexible audio editing, and over 80 plugin instruments and effects.

Key Features to Compare

When evaluating different audio editing software options, there are several key features to consider:


Check what operating systems the software runs on (Windows, Mac, Linux). Some audio editors are compatible across multiple platforms while others are limited. Also consider if the software works as a standalone app or requires a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW).

Learning Curve

Look at the complexity of the interface and tools. Some audio editors like Audacity are designed for beginners while tools like Pro Tools have a steeper learning curve. Consider how easy it is to pick up the basics vs. mastering advanced functionality.

Effects and Plugins

Examine the built-in effects, filters and plugin support. Look for software with features like equalization, compression, reverb, delay, and support for VST/AU plugins from third parties. More plugin options provide greater ability to manipulate and enhance audio.

Audio Restoration Tools

Check if the software includes audio restoration features like click/pop removal, noise reduction, and the ability to fix clipping or distorted audio. These tools help improve the quality of flawed recordings.

Multi-track Editing

See if you can edit multiple tracks at once for mixing and advanced editing. Multi-track support allows working with layered audio from different sources.

Audacity Overview

Audacity is an open source and completely free audio editor that can be downloaded online. According to an article on Planetsmarts.com, “Audacity 3.0: the best open source audio editor comes with new features and improvements” (https://planetsmarts.com/2021/03/19/audacity-3-0-the-best-open-source-audio-editor-comes-with-new-features-and-improvements-and-free/), Audacity is praised for its user-friendly interface and powerful recording, editing, and mixing capabilities.

As an open source platform, Audacity offers advanced audio editing tools for free. Users highlight Audacity’s intuitive workflow and the ability to cut, splice, mix, and edit audio files with ease. While it lacks some of the more advanced features of paid software, Audacity provides a remarkable set of capabilities given its open source nature.

Overall, Audacity’s free availability, user-friendly interface, and robust editing capabilities make it a top choice for basic to intermediate audio editing needs. Its open source foundation allows a community of developers to continually improve Audacity and offer this editor to the public free of charge.

Adobe Audition Overview

Adobe Audition is a professional audio workstation that provides advanced audio editing features. Some of the key capabilities include:

Advanced audio restoration tools – Adobe Audition includes advanced audio repair and restoration tools like the DeNoise algorithm to remove background noise, DeReverb to mitigate reverb issues, and DeEsser to tame harsh sibilants. These help clean up and polish audio recordings https://www.getapp.com/website-ecommerce-software/a/adobe-audition/features/.

Intuitive interface – The user interface employs panels and windows that can be moved and customized as needed. Common tools are accessible in the toolbar for efficient workflow. The spectral frequency display allows visual editing of audio https://tekpon.com/software/adobe-audition/reviews/.

Integration with other Adobe products – Adobe Audition seamlessly integrates with other applications like Adobe Premiere Pro for audio-video editing and Adobe After Effects for post-production. The workflow is streamlined across Adobe Creative Cloud apps.

Apple Logic Pro Overview

Apple Logic Pro is one of the top digital audio workstations and MIDI sequencers designed specifically for MacOS. Logic Pro is optimized to take advantage of the power, speed, and flexibility of macOS and the Apple silicon chip, while integrating seamlessly with other Apple apps and devices. [1]

Logic Pro includes advanced MIDI sequencing capabilities for creating and manipulating software instrument tracks. It comes bundled with a huge sound library featuring thousands of patches, loops, and virtual instruments. Users can easily create complex MIDI sequences and manipulate software instruments using Logic’s piano roll editor and step sequencer. [2]

For mixing and mastering, Logic Pro provides an extensive set of audio production tools including advanced EQs, compressors, sound enhancers, and more. It features an intuitive mixer with various channel strips and a full automation system. Logic offers advanced surround sound authoring abilities, allowing users to mix and export projects in surround formats. [3]

Avid Pro Tools Overview

Avid Pro Tools is considered an industry standard digital audio workstation (DAW) used widely for audio recording, editing, and mixing for professionals in music, film, television, radio, gaming and more. It is known for its advanced tools specialized for post-production and high-end studios. According to Mediaspec, key features of Avid Pro Tools include:

Create big, great-sounding mixes; Sound your best; Collaborate in the cloud; Edit audio with ease; Take hands-on control of your mix.

As an industry leader, Avid Pro Tools offers robust capabilities for audio engineers and producers. However, it also comes at a high cost. The perpetual license runs around $600 for Pro Tools Standard and $3000 for Pro Tools Ultimate according to Avid’s website. There are also subscription options available.

So Avid Pro Tools provides professional-grade tools for audio post-production, but it is one of the priciest options compared to other DAWs on the market.

FL Studio Overview

FL Studio, created by Image-Line, is an intuitive and innovative digital audio workstation focused on music production and beat making. FL Studio’s loop-based workflow makes it easy for beginners to get started composing musical ideas quickly and efficiently. The software also offers advanced tools for more experienced producers.

One of FL Studio’s biggest advantages is its affordability. While professional DAWs like Pro Tools and Logic Pro cost hundreds of dollars, FL Studio’s low price makes it accessible for hobbyists and professionals alike. The Producer Edition costs just $199, significantly less than other comparable DAWs (Image-Line, 2023).

FL Studio also shines with its extensive library of native effects and virtual instruments. With over 80 plugins ranging from synthesizers to samplers, FL Studio provides producers with a versatile toolkit right out of the box (Image-Line, 2023). The software also supports third-party VST plugins for even more customization.

In summary, FL Studio’s user-friendly design, reasonable pricing, and abundant sound library make it an appealing choice for music makers of all skill levels looking for an affordable, fully-featured DAW.

Comparative Analysis

When comparing the top audio editing software, there are key features to consider like editing capabilities, audio effects, compatibility, learning curve, and price. Here’s an overview of how the main options stack up:

Audacity is free and open source, making it accessible for anyone. It has basic editing tools like cut, copy, paste, mix tracks, and some effects. While capable for simple projects, it lacks more advanced features of paid options. Audacity runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux. The interface is straightforward but lacks some polish. Overall, it’s great for beginners on a budget.

Adobe Audition provides professional-grade tools for audio editing and mixing, including AI-powered features like automatic speech-to-text. It enables precise editing, audio restoration, sound design, mastering, and more. Audition integrates seamlessly with other Adobe apps. The learning curve is steep and the subscription cost makes it better suited for audio professionals. It’s Mac and Windows compatible.

Apple Logic Pro is designed specifically for Mac users. It offers advanced capabilities for music production, recording, editing MIDI, mixing tracks, adding effects, and more. The interface is intuitive and streamlined. Logic Pro also comes with an extensive built-in sound library. It’s an ideal choice for music creators on Mac who want power and depth.

Avid Pro Tools is considered an industry standard DAW for audio production. It’s used widely for recording, mixing, and mastering music and audio for TV, film, and gaming. Pro Tools offers deep editing, effects, virtual instruments, and seamless compatibility with Avid hardware products. It has a high cost and steeper learning curve. Pro Tools is recommended for professional media production rather than casual users.

When choosing the best audio editor, consider your budget, platform, editing needs, and level of audio production experience. Audacity is great for simple edits, while Logic Pro and Pro Tools excel for music creation and professional media production. Adobe Audition balances powerful tools with an easier learning curve.


After reviewing the top audio editors and their key features, Adobe Audition emerges as the best overall audio editor. With its robust editing tools, multitrack editing interface, advanced audio restoration capabilities, and seamless integration with other Adobe apps, Adobe Audition provides professional sound designers and audio engineers with everything they need in an accessible workflow. Though the licensing model makes it more costly for amateurs, the deep feature set of Adobe Audition is hard to beat for professionals. For those seeking a full-featured free alternative, Audacity is an excellent open-source option. However, Audacity lacks some of the more advanced features of paid options like Adobe Audition. Ultimately, Adobe Audition strikes the right balance of professional-grade audio editing capabilities in an approachable interface.

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