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WAV file format

File extension
.wav
File category
Programs
Microsoft Windows Media Player
VLC media player
MPlayer
jetAudio
Winamp
Audacity
Apple iTunes
Plex Media Center
Amarok
Apple QuickTime Player
Description

WAV is the simplest audio format developed in the early 1990s by Microsoft and IBM. It is a lossless formula which often means large file size.

WAV files sound better than MP3s because they are lossless and uncompressed, providing uncompromised audio quality ideal for broadcast CD music, TV and radio. They are designed to store audio bit stream on CD and tend to be larger than most audio file formats. WAV files aren’t compressed and retain all elements of the original sound, making them perfect for sound processing in DAWs

Technical details

How to create and how to open an WAV file

There are many ways to create a WAV and virtually all digital audio workstations used by beat and music composers record and save using the WAV format. You can also convert other audio files to WAV and vice versa. To create a Wav file, simply open the audio in any program that supports the format and save. Recording tools and apps also render in WAV.

Virtually all players that support MP3s also support WAV, so opening a WAV audio file should be effortless. Windows and Mac users can open WAV files using VLC, local media players, audio editors, online converters and players, DAWs and more. You can also play WAV files using the native player that comes with your Android and iOS smartphone.

Which other formats WAV can be converted into and why

As the simplest audio file format, WAV can be converted to almost any audio format. You can also convert other audio files to WAV. Here are the common conversions.

  1. 1. MP3
  2. 2. WMA
  3. 3. FLAC
  4. 4. MIDI

WAV to MP3 conversions are the most popular among portable device users and streamers. WAV files are uncompressed and lossless, so they tend to be very large, making them impractical for streaming and carrying in portable devices with limited storage. As such, most people convert WAV to MP3 files, which are up to 10 times smaller.

As lossless file formats, WAVs offer the best sound quality and retain all elements, including reverbs, guitar sounds and transients. They are the perfect format for music composers, producers and sound designers. They are also supported by many platforms and programs, so you won’t have to convert to another format. However, you’ll probably need to compress them when sending, streaming to save space and bandwidth.

MIME type
audio/wav
audio/x-wav
audio/wave
audio/x-pn-wav