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WAV audio file – How to open and convert it

by Casey Schmidt  |  October 3, 2019

2 min. read
A screenshot of an audio adjustment on a computer.

The WAV audio file is a great way for audio purists and musical artists to easily share work without sacrificing sound quality. Here’s all the things you need to know about the WAV.

What is a WAV audio file?

The WAV is an audio file format that stores WAVeform data. What makes the WAV different from other audio formats is it’s uncompressed – making it much larger than something like an mp3. It’s a raw audio file capable of saving recordings using different bitrates.

How to open a WAV file

There are plenty of third-party software capable of opening a WAV file. However, most users won’t need to seek it out. This is because Windows and Mac systems open the WAV using pre-installed programs.

The WAV audio file icon.
Windows and Mac are both capable of opening WAV files.

For Windows, if you double-click a WAV file, it will open using Windows Media Player. For Mac, if you double-click a WAV, it will open using iTunes or Quicktime. If you’re on a system without these programs installed, then consider third-party software. We recommend Audacity for its extensive features and ease-of-use.

How to convert a WAV file

There’s a few different ways to convert a WAV file. First, you could find an online, browser-based converter. These types of converters allow you to upload a file, then they convert it to any of the audio file types you choose. This is typically the least convenient option, however, as it requires both an upload and download of what sometimes is a very large file. Instead, you might consider using a converter program that requires installation on your system. This allows you to convert multiple files at once and doesn’t necessitate internet connection.

For users who have iTunes installed on their system, it is capable of converting WAV files. Simply navigate to the ‘preferences’ tab, then click the ‘import settings’ button. Select which type of audio file you wish to convert to. Then locate the files you want to convert and select ‘file then convert’.

A keyboard that has an 'audio' key.
There are numerous ways to convert a WAV file.

When should you use WAV?

There are two main reasons to use the WAV. First, if you need an audio file that is easily-shared among different systems. This is because it doesn’t require numerous codecs to use the file. Windows users are able to use the WAV just as well as Mac users, making WAV a convenient file type.

The second big reason to choose WAV audio files is it’s a raw audio file. This means it retains all the quality of the original recording. Though this makes the file larger than compressed audio types, it also allows the file to be shared and then edited at its original quality.

The WAV is still a popular file, making it easy to access. Take advantage of this convenience and use it for its high quality, uncompressed audio.