Audacity vs the Best Alternatives – What Else Can You Use? Reviews & More

While Audacity is definitely a great, free audio editing tool that can adequately edit your sound files for free, sometimes you may need some extra features to elevate your audio narration.

Audacity does have its limitations when it comes to its interface, the number of effects, and audio manipulation options which is why it makes sense to seek alternatives. 

In this post, we’ll go over three of the best alternatives to Audacity as well as analyze why you should go for a certain alternative depending on what you want.

Now that you’ve had a quick overview of the three Audacity alternatives, let’s delve deeper and see what each of them has to offer. 


Adobe Audition

Adobe Audition is a popular tool for audio editing and mixing thanks to the high level of control it provides to its users. It has a multi-track editor and a waveform editor so you can control left and right channels as well as multiple elements in different tracks.

adobe audition


FL Studio

FL Studio is a tremendous audio editor that is geared towards beginners as is evident by its simple user interface. It has a wide array of effects and you can use presets to quicken tedious tasks. It’s loaded with features but not to the point where it’s overwhelming.

fl studio


Sound Forge

This is an affordable audio editor that is geared towards both beginners as well as veterans. It has an instant action window for frequently used tools and a simple user interface for cutting, blending and editing audio in a few simple clicks. 

sound forge

Audacity Alternatives – Top 3 Reviews

#1: Best All-Around Audacity Alternative – Adobe Audition Review

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Adobe Audition is an extremely versatile tool that you can use to manipulate your audio in a number of different ways. 

As an online course creator, you’ll mostly use your DAW to clean up audio but Adobe Audition also has many more features and editing tools at your disposal. 

For example, you can record audio from multiple microphones at the same time. Something other software programs in this list cannot do. 

Furthermore, its multi-track editing mode allows you to fine-tune different elements within your tracks to make them sound exactly how you want them to. 

You don’t have to worry about your operating system either as this software is available on Windows and Mac OS.

Factors to Consider Before you Decide to Buy Adobe Audition

Pricing: Adobe Audition does not have a free version. Instead, you can get it as a monthly subscription that costs $20.99 per month or you can choose to pay annually which would cost you $19.99 per month.  

User-Friendliness: Unlike other sound editing programs on this list, Adobe Audition has a fairly steep learning curve. It can be difficult to get into when you first start and you won’t be able to use it to its fullest potential if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Number of Effects and Tools: Not only does Adobe Audition have a large number of tools, effects, and transitions at its disposal but it also has several editing options to customize them in any way you want. 

Formats Supported: Adobe Audition supports all the common file formats such as WAV, MP3, OGG, FLAC, etc.

What we liked

  • Extensive control over audio manipulation
  • Audio visualization tools and graphics
  • Synced with other Adobe apps for streamlined editing of your online course audio and video
  • Extensive library of effects, presets and transitions
  • Customizable interface

What we didn’t like

  • No free version
  • Steep learning curve

Best All-Around Audacity Alternative

The best all-around Audacity Alternative is Adobe Audition thanks to its extensive set of features that surpass Audacity. In addition to extensive control over what your audio sounds like, you can customize the interface so it suits your personal workflow. 

#2: Best Free Audacity Alternative for Making Background Music – FL Studio Review

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If you’ve never worked with DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) or audio editors before, then FL Studio is a great place to start. 

While it does have advanced editing features for finer control, you won’t really need them if you just want to create narration for online course videos. 

When it comes to cleaning up your audio files and making them sound clear for your students, FL Studio does a great job.

Furthermore, you can create presets to add all the effects to similar sound files. 

This will save you a lot of time because you won’t have to repeat the same process for similar files. 

Factors to Consider Before you Decide to Buy FL Studio

Pricing: FL Studio is fairly expensive with its basic license costing $99 with all plugins and presets costing extra. Luckily, it does have a free trial that has an unlimited trial period. 

User-Friendliness: FL Studio’s interface is fairly easy to get the hang of. It’s aimed towards beginners and you’ll see that all common tools are within a few clicks’ reach. 

Number of Effects and Tools: FL Studio’s library of effects and tools is one of the largest we’ve ever seen. However, you’ll have to pay a hefty amount if you want complete access to all the tools. 

As an online course creator, we feel you can get adequate tools and effects to edit audio narration within the basic license ($99). 

Formats Supported: FL Studio supports all the common audio formats such as WAV, MP3, OGG as well as MIDI. 

What we liked

  • Unlimited free trial
  • Audio visualization tools for analyzing audio
  • Preset creation for automatically performing tedious tasks
  • Huge library of effects and presets
  • Friendly and intuitive interface

What we didn’t like

  • Quite expensive if you want full access to everything it has to offer

Best Free Audacity Alternative

The best free Audacity alternative is FL Studio. It has the perfect balance of user-friendliness and functionality and gives you complete control over how your audio sounds without overwhelming you with its features. 

#3: Best Affordable Audacity Alternative – Sound Forge Audio Studio Review

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Sound Forge Audio Studio might just be the best option for online course creators since it’s affordable and it gives you exactly what you need to edit narration. 

Its noise reduction tool is effective and easy to use. 

Furthermore, you can use its multi-track mode to add background music and/or sound effects to your narration as well. 

Sound Forge has done a great job of simplifying its user interface to the point where it’s very easy to adjust multiple tracks to suit your needs.

Along with noise reduction and the ability to blend, cut, and merge multiple tracks, you also get an interface that is entirely customizable just like Adobe Audition. 

Factors to Consider Before you Decide to Buy Sound Forge Audio Studio

Pricing: This software costs $5 per month or if you choose to pay annually, it would cost $3 per month. We feel that this is quite a generous price for a digital audio workstation that does so much. It does not have a free trial. 

User-Friendliness: In our opinion, Sound Forge has done an amazing job simplifying its interface while keeping functionality intact as compared to Audacity. It’s very easy to get the hang of and all important features are within a few clicks. 

Number of Effects and Tools: Sound Forge, just like Audacity, comes with all the effects and tools you’ll need as an online course creator to create a crisp audio narration. However, if you want to do some more advanced editing, you may need to use additional plug-ins. 

Formats Supported: It supports all the common file formats just like Audacity (MP3, OGG, FLAC, WAV, AIFF, etc.) 

What we liked

  • Available on Windows and macOS
  • Supports a wide variety of formats
  • Budget-Friendly
  • Easy to use
  • Easy keyboard shortcuts for faster editing

What we didn’t like

  • Tends to crash and freeze when editing large files

Best Affordable Audacity Alternative

The best affordable Audacity Alternative is Sound Forge Audio Studio. The sound design features you get with this digital audio workstation for $3 per month are astonishing. It’s a great option for online course creators. 

Take a look at how audacity compares to Adobe Audition and Reaper in our complete guides.

audacity vs

Audio Editor Buyers’ Guide

Audacity is a free and open-source software, so there’s really no harm in trying it out to see whether it suits you or not. 

However, if you intend to pay for your audio software, it’s important that you take some time to do research on whether or not a specific software suits your needs or not. 

That way, you’ll save yourself from unneeded expenses and find the tool that does everything you need. 

Here are some factors you can think about that will help you reach a decision on which tool would be best for you: 


First comes the pricing. 

As an online course creator, you have to be very vigilant about how you spend your money. Especially at the start when you’re not making any income from your online courses (since you haven’t made any yet). 

You may already need to spend money on other tools, so it’s important that the tool you choose to edit tracks for your narration is affordable. 

We recommend that you go for something that is priced at below $50 if it’s a one-time purchase or below $20 per month if it has a monthly subscription.


This is true not just for digital audio workstations but for every tool you buy to help you make online courses: It has to be easy to use so that you can start to gain value from it immediately.

Avoid tools that have steep learning curves because they’ll need you to spend time learning them. 

On the other hand, if you have a tool that is self-explanatory, you could use that time towards making your online course better.

Number of Effects and Tools 

It’s important to do your research and ensure that the software you intend to get has all the tools and effects you’ll need to create a compelling audio narration

Some tools that your digital audio workstation must have are EQ, a normalizer, a compressor, and a noise reduction tool. 

Take a look at our website to learn all there is to start an online course business.

Audio Editing – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

Is Audacity the Best Tool to Create Effective Audio Narration for Online Courses? 

Audacity is definitely one of the best tools available to you if you want to clean up your audio and make it perfect for your online course videos. 

However, some people may want other features and add effects and transitions to make their audio the best it can be which a free tool like Audacity might not be able to provide. 

What Format Should I Export My Audio Files in to Use within My Video Editing Tool? 

That depends on your video editing tool. 

If your video editing tool supports WAV files, it’s a good idea to export your audio from Audacity (or whatever tool you use) as a WAV file. This is because WAV files provide the best sound quality. 

However, if you’re unsure about what formats your video editing tool supports, you can choose to export them as MP3. MP3 is a universal file format that almost every editing tool supports. 

Will I Need Extra Plugins Along with My Audio Editor? 

For the purposes of basic audio cleanup, you won’t really need additional plugins within Audacity (or any other alternative). 

However, if you want to manipulate your sound further, use advanced editing techniques or maybe perform some fancy mixing, you may need to download extra plugins. 

Final Verdict 

We’ve listed down the best Audacity alternatives for you to choose from. 

In the end, we have to say that Adobe Audition is definitely the best one. While it may be a little difficult to get into, the tools you’ll need to use for audio cleanup are not that difficult to learn. 

It gives you much finer control compared to free tools like Audacity and even provides audio visualization options for easy editing. 

What do you think of Audacity? Do you use Audacity to edit sound files? Let us know in the comments below.