OBS-Studio: Enable CoreAudio AAC encoder (Windows)

OBS-Studio: Enable CoreAudio AAC encoder (Windows)

First of all, if you have iTunes or QuickTime installed, chances are you are already using the CoreAudio AAC encoder in OBS-Studio. But if you normally do not use or install any of those, there is another way to enable it.

All we need is the Apple Application Support, for 32 or 64bit depending on the OBS Studio version you use. Apple themselves explain how to get those:

But in short, with a software like 7-Zip you can open the iTunes or QuickTime installer and then extract the file AppleApplicationSupport.msi or AppleApplicationSupport64.msi (it should have both installers for 32 and 64 bit if you get the 64bit installer).
Close OBS and run both files, then restart OBS.

You can see that the encoder is used by checking the log file of OBS.
Search for a line that says: "[CoreAudio encoder]: Adding CoreAudio AAC encoder"

According to HydrogenAudio listening tests, the CoreAudio AAC encoder is the highest quality AAC encoder available, while still being quite performant.

Long version:
  • You go to apple.com/itunes and download itunes OR go to apple.com/quicktime and download quicktime for windows.
  • DO NOT RUN THE INSTALLER (unless you want to use them, if you run the installer and install the software you can skip the rest of the steps)
  • Download 7-Zip from 7-zip.org and install it, then open 7-Zip
  • In 7-Zip open the downloaded itunes or quicktime-installer.exe (might be named a bit differently).
  • It should show you a bunch of files, we are looking for:
    AppleApplicationSupport64.msi (for 64bit) AND
    AppleApplicationSupport.msi (for 32bit)
  • Extract them both and then run them both (make sure OBS is closed while you do this)[on a 32bit system you can only run the AppleApplicationSupport.msi]
  • After both are installed you can start OBS again
  • Click on Help (at the top) -> Log Files -> View current log
  • In the new window scroll through a bit or use the search function (it should open in Notepad by default) to find a line that says "[CoreAudio encoder]: Adding CoreAudio AAC encoder"
    This means the encoder was correctly installed and will be used by OBS.
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This resolves the awful, bassy sound that may be experienced with the default encoder. It drove me crazy for a couple of days. But there is no need to go wild with an EQ plugin, just install the Apple encoder. As well as being a way more balanced sound, you will hear far fewer compression artefacts due to its superior quality.

THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT OBS POSTS FOR BEGINNERS, IMO and deserves to be a sticky if it isn't already!
works great.

for those on Windows 10: Scroll DOWN on the iTunes download page for standalone Windows & Mac installers. There is NO NEED to use the Windows Store APP.
Links to current & past versions of the iTunes installer can be found here: https://discussions.apple.com/docs/DOC-6562#versions

Since Apple moved to a Windows Store release it's harder to find the installer on its own, so I think it's appropriate to add that link to this guide since OBS people are recommending it in conversations with people, and this is better than people going to 3rd party sites to find it.
Works great for those that can't find itunes now that it is a windows store app you can find it here: https://itunes-64-bit.en.softonic.com/

Quicktime didn't contain 32 and 64 bit either so this was my only solution.
Thank you. Downloading itunes and extracting the Application Support file using 7zip worked.
Followed this guide and downloaded iTunes from Apple's website. Using 7-zip I extracted the .msi installers and ran them then restarted OBS Studio. File changed to this:

01:36:29.415: [CoreAudio encoder]: Adding CoreAudio AAC encoder
works great thanks!