Best audio codec in Hikvision for quality
  • Setting up the audio codec output in the Hikvision DS-2CD2442FWD-IW web interface gives a number of options including:


    Can anyone recommend which are compatible with SS and provide the highest quality?

    Cheers, Andy

  • Hi Andy,

    The best format to use here is G.711.ulaw.

    The other formats are either lower quality, or not supported by SecuritySpy and/or macOS.

    It's a pity that the camera doesn't seem to support AAC format like most other IP cameras, as this is much higher quality. However, G.711 is adequate for most purposes.
  • Thanks Ben, it is a shame - I'll write to Hikvision to see if they are willing to add it as a codec in a future update.
  • Just looping back around, Hikvision came back to me today to confirm that they have no plans to support AAC in the near future for this, its a shame that the only high quality codec they use if MP2L2 which is virtually unused by anyone else :-(
  • Are there competitors to Hikvision cams where they support high-quality Mac-friendly codecs? AAC, AIFF, WAV? We should vote with our wallet for those that make Mac-firlendly and high-quality products.


  • I agree!

    I looked for ages but couldn't find any in the compact cube shape I need for a "room corner" camera.

    I'm currently looking to sideload an aac encoder into the Hikvision firmware, but its not really a production answer for commercial installs.
  • Other than potentially lower sound quality, is there a problem with these rather uncommon codecs? I mean as a Mac user that might want to use the recorded video on my computer in any way that I may like including using it in a Final Cut Pro edit or via Apple TV or iOS... are there any playability issues with the Hikvision audio...?


  • Personally I've found that the Hikvision codecs (G711 etc) don't really play well with modern editing suites such as FCPX or Premiere, I use SS to recompress the audio to AAC and then it works fine with Android/IOS/TVOS/FCPX/Premiere etc.

    G711 etc were created back in the early 70's where bandwidth was extremely limited; these days things have moved on substantially, its a shame that camera vendors are still living in the past...
  • Axis cameras typically support AAC - Andy if you're looking for an indoor cube-style camera, perhaps the AXIS M1065-L or M1065-LW will fit the bill?

    SecuritySpy produces either MOV files or MP4 files - the latter is a subset of the former, with stricter rules about what codecs can be used (basically H.264 and AAC only). Some playback/editing software is able to use either format, but some (most notably web browsers) can only natively play back MP4 files.

    So if the incoming audio is any format other than AAC, you might want to get SecuritySpy to recode this to AAC, so that you get MP4 files that can be more reliably played back in web browsers (and other software as noted by Andy above).

    There's not much point in us supporting unusual formats such as MP2L2, because if SecuritySpy were to record this to movie files, there isn't any software that would be able to play back the audio track!

    AAC is clearly the best choice of audio format for IP cameras, I wish more cameras would support it. The reason that many manufacturers avoid AAC could be due to the licensing requirements that affect anyone developing a product that does AAC encoding. It's a shame.
  • Thanks Ben - I'll check them out
  • Ben, when a cam records with G711 or some such does SS convert this on the fly to AAC?


  • By default, SecuritySpy will capture the audio from the camera directly to disk without converting it (provided that it's a supported format for MOV files).

    To get SecuritySpy to convert this to AAC, you should enable the "Recompress audio data" option under Preferences -> Cameras -> Device, and set AAC as the audio format under Preferences -> Compression.

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