What is the WAV? What is MP3? What are the differences between WAV and MP3? Which one is the better of the audio file format? How to convert WAV to MP3? This post from MiniTool will show you the differences of WAV vs MP3 and shows how to convert them.

The audio file formats are various, such as WAV, MP3, PCM, AIFF, AAC, OGG, WMA, FLAC, ALAC and so on. WAV and MP3 are the two most popular audio file format and these two file types have become standard. But what are their differences? In this post, we will take a look at what they are, how they work and how to convert WAV to MP3 or MP3 to WAV.

What Is WAV?

WAV, whose full name is the Waveform Audio File Format, is an audio file format standard, developed by Microsoft and IBM. The WAV is used to store an audio bitstream on PCs.

The WAV format uses containers to store audio data, track numbers, sample rate, and bit rate. WAV file uses containers to contain the audio in raw and typically uncompressed chunks using the Resource Interchange File Format. Because the WAV files are uncompressed lossless audio, it will take up quite a bit of space, coming in around 10 MB per minute with a maximum file size of 4GB.

WAV file format

What Is MP3?

MP3 is a coding format for digital audio and it is originally defined as the third audio format of the MPEG-1 standard. MP3 is a file format commonly designating files containing an elementary stream of MPEG-1 Audio or MPEG-2 Audio encoded data, without other complexities of the MP3 standard.

The MP3 file is an audio file that uses a compression algorithm to reduce the overall file size. The MP3 file is known as a lossy format since the compression is irreversible and some of source’s original data is lost during the compression process. But the MP3 file also has fairly high quality. The purpose of compression is to reduce the storage the MP3 takes up. As for a 3 minutes MP3 file, it is about 3MB, smaller than the WAV file.

MP3 file format

After knowing some general basic information of WAV and MP3, do you know what the differences between MP3 and WAV are? So, in the following part, we will list some differences of MP3 vs WAV.

WAV VS MP3: What Are the Differences?

WAV VS MP3: Lossy Compression

As for WAV vs MP3, the first point we want to mention is the lossy compression, which will discard some data from the original recordings.

The WAV format files are lossless and uncompressed. It is the same as the CD format, coming with the 44.1 frequency and 16 bit quantization number. The quality of WAV file is the same as the CD quality music file.

However, MP3 files are lossy compressed files. Since human ear can only hear sounds in certain frequencies, and other sounds of higher or lower frequencies are not useful to the human ear, so the MP3 technology removes the sound which can’t be heard, making the MP3 file much smaller, and taking up less storage space.

WAV vs MP3: Size

The second difference between WAV file and MP3 file we want to mention is the file size. As we have mentioned above, the WAV is lossless and uncompressed, while the MP3 file is lossy and compressed. So, as for WAV vs MP3 size, the WAV file is larger than the MP3 file.

For example, the WAV file is about 10 MB per minute, while it will compress an audio file a factor of 10 – 12 after converting to MP3 format.

WAV vs MP3: Quality

As for WAV vs MP3, we have compared the lossy compression and file size. In this part, we will mention the fourth factor: WAV vs MP3 quality.

Since the MP3 format is lossy and compressed, the quality of MP3 file will be reduced, but average users won’t hear any loss in quality. However, the MP3 file format can’t be used for professional work.

So, to sum up, as for the WAV VS MP3 quality, the quality of WAV is higher than the MP3 file format.

From the above part, you have known what the WAV and MP3 are and what the differences of WAV vs MP3 are. Each of audio file formats has its advantages and disadvantages. So, in the following part, we will summarize some advantages and disadvantages of the WAV file and MP3 file.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of WAV

First of all, we will show you the advantages and disadvantages of the WAV.

Advantages

  • Full quality because of lossless and uncompressed.
  • It is easy to edit and process with third-party software, such as MiniTool MovieMaker.
  • Many home studio audio interfaces can offer recording rates up to 192KHz, so it can make improvements in home recording.

Disadvantages

  • The size of WAV format file would be larger, so it takes up more storage space and it would be impractical for portable devices and streaming media.
  • Due to its large sizes, the tracks save using this format is not ideal for uploading online.
  • Converting from a compressed audio file to WAV file may not restore the full sound of the original source.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of MP3

After knowing the advantages and disadvantages of the WAV, we will show you the advantages and disadvantages of the MP3 format.

Advantages

  • Due to the MP3 format is compressed, the size of MP3 file would be smaller and it takes up less storage space.
  • Many programs can convert WAV or other audio format files to MP3.

Disadvantages

  • The quality of MP3 file would be reduced due to the compression.
  • The nasty side effects of MP3 compression.
  • The MP3 file format is not suitable for professional works due to the loss of quality.

From the above information, you have known what the advantages and disadvantages of MAV and MP3 are. So, some people wonder whether it is possible to convert WAV to MP3 or convert MP3 to WAV. The answer is positive. So, in the following section, we will show you how to convert WAV to MP3.

How to Convert WAV to MP3

After reading the WAV vs MP3 part, you have known that WAV and MP3 are two different audio file formats and each of them has their advantages. In order to save storage space, some people would like to convert WAV to MP3. As a matter of fact, to convert WAV to MP3 or convert MP3 to WAV, there are several ways.

So, in the following part, we will show you how to convert WAV to MP3 for free.

Way 1. Convert WAV to MP3 via Windows Media Player

To convert WAV to MP3 free, you can use the Windows built-in tool – Windows Media Player, which is used to view audio, video and images.

Now, here is the tutorial on converting WAV to MP3.

1. Right-click the WAV file you want to convert and choose Open with > Windows Media Player.

2. In the pop-up window, click on the Menu icon to continue.

3. Then you will enter the Windows Media Player home page.

4. Click Organize, and then click Options... from the drop-down menu.

click Options to continue

5. In the pop-up window, navigate to the Rip Music tab, then go to the Format section.

6. Expand the drop-down menu and choose MP3. From the drop-down menu, you can see that this Windows Media Player tool also enables you to convert WAV to FLAC or convert WAV to ALAC.

choose MP3 to continue

7. After that, click Apply and OK to save the changes.

When all steps are finished, you have converted WAV to MP3 free with the Windows Media Player tool. In addition, this tool also enables you to convert MP4 to MP3.

Way 2. Convert WAV to MP3 via MiniTool MovieMaker

Besides the above way to convert WAV to MP3, you can also choose to convert WAV to MP3 via a piece of free video editing software. Thus, MiniTool MovieMaker is strongly recommended. It enables you to change video format and convert WAV to MP3, or convert WAV to MP4 and so on.

Now, we will show you how to convert WAV to MP3 with MiniTool MovieMaker.

1. Click the following button to download MiniTool MovieMaker.

Free Download

2. Then follow the on-screen instructions to install it on your computer.

3. Then you will enter the main interface of MiniTool MovieMaker. Then click Import Media Files to import the WAV file.

click Import Media Files

4. Then you can edit the WAV file.

5. After that, you can click the Export button on the right corner to continue.

6. Then choose MP3 from the drop-down menu.

select MP3 and click Export

7. After that, you can successfully convert WAV to MP3.

Besides converting file to MP3, MiniTool MovieMaker also enables you to change video format, such as converting AVI to MP4, FLV to MP4 and so on.

Apart from the above ways to convert WAV to MP3, there are also some other ways. You can choose to convert WAV to MP3 with the online tool, such as the Convertio, ZAMZAR, etc.

All in all, if you want to convert WAV to MP3 convert MP3 to WAV or change media file to other formats, you can use the above ways.

For more ways, you can read the post: How to Convert WAV to MP3 for Free - Top 3 Ways

Way 3. MiniTool Video Converter

To convert WAV to MP3, besides the above ways, there is another way for you. MiniTool provides another powerful tool for you to do that. And it is MiniTool Video Converter which is an all-in-one and free video converter, enabling you to convert audio or video into multiple formats.

Now, we will show you how to convert WAV to MP3 with step-by-step guide.

1. Download it from the following button.

Free Download

2. Install it on your computer.

3. In the main interface, you will see Video Convert and Video Download modules on the home page.

4. Locate Video Convert tab, open Add Files drop-down arrow. If you select Add files, choose the files you want to convert. You can also add a folder to achieve batch convert. Or you can add or drag files by clicking the Add or Drag files here to start conversion section. Here, you need to upload the WAV file.

upload the WAV file

5. Under Target section, edit the output file name and select output destination.

6. Select an output format and audio quality level. Here, you need to choose MP3 as the output format.

7. At last, click Convert.

choose output format

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Bottom Line

To sum up, this post has introduced what the WAV is and what the MP3 file is. And this post also has shown what the differences between WAV file vs MP3 file are.

As for MP3 vs WAV, if you have any different idea, you can share it in the comment zone. If you want to convert WAV to MP3, you can try these ways.

If you have any problem with MiniTool MovieMaker, please feel free to contact us via the email [email protected] and we will reply to you as soon as possible.

WAV vs MP3 FAQ

Is a WAV file better than MP3?

The WAV and MP3 are two different formats of audio files. The WAV file has better quality than the MP3 file since it is lossless and uncompressed. However, the WAV file takes up more space than the MP3 file.

Is WAV the best format for music?

In general, a lossless audio format is the best format for sound quality. The lossless audio file formats include the FLAC, WAV or AIFF. These types of files are considered hi-res because they are better or equal to CD-quality.

Should I buy WAV or MP3?

In general, WAV file format has higher sound quality than the MP3 file format. But it takes up more storage space. In order to know more differences between WAV and MP3, you can read the above content and decide to buy WAV or MP3.

What are the disadvantages of WAV?

  • It is an uncompressed format, so it will consume more storage space.
  • Due to its large sizes, the tracks save using this format is not ideal for uploading online.
  • Converting from a compressed audio file to WAV file may not restore the full sound of the original source.

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