What you’ll learn.
What is an MP3?
What is a WAV?
Benefits of converting MP3 to WAV
How to convert MP3 to WAV on Mac
How to convert MP3 to WAV on PC
How to convert MP3 to WAV using Adobe Media Encoder
What is an MP3 file?
MP3 (or MPEG Layer 3) is a common digital audio format designed to reproduce a CD-quality sound in a much smaller size. Ubiquitous both in the audio industry and at consumer level, the MP3’s small size means it can be easily stored on hard drives where space is at a premium and easily transferred between users.
To convert audio files into such a smaller format, they need to be compressed. Audio compression is available in two forms: lossy and lossless.
MP3s are converted using lossy compression. This means, that to get the file size as small as they are, some of the sound quality is lost.
A process called temporal noise shaping decides which audio information is discarded. Typically, a consumer may not be able to identify much of a noticeable difference between a lossy and lossless file when listening on entry-level consumer devices.
However, the better the listening equipment, the more apparent the poorer quality sound becomes.
A standard MP3 usually ranges from 90kbps (kilobits per second) to 320kbps. The lower the KBPS, the smaller the file size and the lower the overall sound quality.
This means MP3s might be useful if you were listening to your favourite songs on your phone, but for professional video and audio mastering, a better-quality audio format is needed.