.WAV File Extension

2 file types use the .wav file extension.
File Type 1

WAVE Audio File

Developer Microsoft & IBM
3.8  |  427 Votes
Category Audio Files
Format Binary

What is a WAV file?

A WAV file is an audio file saved in the WAVE format, a standard digital audio file format utilized for storing waveform data. WAV files may contain audio recordings with different sampling rates and bitrates but are often saved in a 44.1 kHz, 16-bit, stereo format, which is the standard format used for CD audio.

More Information
Screenshot of a .wav file in VideoLAN VLC media player 3
WAV file open in VideoLAN VLC media player 3

The WAVE format is based on the Resource Interchange File Format (RIFF), a file container format primarily used to save video and sound. Microsoft and IBM jointly developed the WAVE format in the early-1990s adopting WAV files as the primary option for saving raw, uncompressed audio in Microsoft Windows.

WAV files are similar to .AIF files, which are saved in the Audio Interchange File Format (AIFF) and are more common on Macintosh systems. However, WAV files are more often saved and played on Windows computers rather than Macs.

NOTE: WAV is short for "Waveform Audio File Format" and is pronounced "wave."

How to open a WAV file

You can open WAV files with various programs in Windows, macOS, and Linux. Microsoft Windows Media Player (bundled with Windows), Microsoft Groove Music (bundled with Windows), and Apple Music (bundled with macOS) can open WAV files.

You can also open the audio files with third-party applications, such as VideoLAN VLC media player (multiplatform), Clementine (multiplatform), Eltima Elmedia Player (macOS), and olimsoft OPlayer (iOS).

How to convert a WAV file

Several audio editors and media players, including Audacity, VideoLAN VLC media player, and Adobe Audition, can convert WAV files to other formats.

Audacity can convert WAV files to the following audio formats:

  • .AIFF - Audio Interchange File Format
  • .MP3 - MP3 Audio
  • .OGG - Ogg Vorbis Audio
  • .FLAC - Free Lossless Audio Codec
  • .MP2 - MP2 Audio
  • .M4A - MPEG-4 Audio
  • .AC3 - Audio Codec 3
  • .AMR - Adaptive Multi-rate Codec
  • .OPUS - Opus Audio
  • .WMA - Windows Media Audio
Open and view .WAV files with File Viewer Plus.Free Download

Programs that open WAV files

Updated February 24, 2022
File Type 2


Developer DTS
2.5  |  48 Votes
Category Audio Files
Format Binary

What is a WAV file?

File created by DTS audio programs, which are used to author stereo music and surround sound music CDs; contains audio data for multiple channels; can only be played by programs that support DTS-WAV encoding.

Programs that open WAV files

DTS Surround Audio Suite
DTS Surround Sound Suite
DTS Surround Audio Suite
DTS Surround Sound Suite
Updated January 19, 2010

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