How to Convert MP3 to WAV.

MP3 might be the most universal audio file around – but such versatility comes at a cost. MP3 files’ lossy compression leads to poorer overall audio quality than some rival formats. Indeed, for audiophiles and video editors, WAV tends to be the audio file format of choice.


In this explainer, we’ll find out how to convert MP3s to WAV across a range of operating systems – ensuring you have easily manipulated audio files whether you’re working on a podcast, recording music, or doing a voiceover.


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.

Mixer table

What is a WAV file?

WAV files, like MP3s, are a digital audio file that stores audio information and bitrates, or sound.


The difference between the two is that WAV files are a lossless and uncompressed file format. They work by recording audio signals and sound waves directly from the source, converting the information into binary data to be read by a computer. By recording uncompressed audio in this way, they can store sounds in the audio range of 20 Hz to 20 kHz. That makes for a much clearer, quality sound.


However, it also makes for a much larger file size. WAVs take up a lot of hard drive space and can be difficult to transfer between users without a powerful connection or data transfer.


Is it worth converting MP3 to WAV?

Converting MP3s to WAVs, unfortunately, won’t get you any of that lost audio quality back.

An MP3 file has already lost some of its sound information, so this can’t be returned – even when converting to a better sounding format, such as WAV.

However, it may make your files easier to manipulate in audio and video editing software. Plus, WAVs tend to be more user-friendly. The bitrate information can be more readily edited, spliced, and manipulated.


You might convert MP3s to WAVs to make them easier to use in a video editor. It’s important to remember that the files will retain their lossy audio compression – meaning you might have audio issues if the files are played on a premium-quality sound system.


WAVs are a universal file format and one of the oldest around. That means you’ll be able to use them on both Windows, Mac, and a range of digital audio software and audio editors, such as:




Pros and cons of MP3s

√   Smaller file size

√   Easily stored on personal devices and hard drives

√  Easily and quickly transferred due to small file size

√  Universal usage


 X  Lossy compression means some audio quality is lost

 X  Audio quality will not improve when converting to WAV

 X  Can be harder to manipulate bitrates in audio editing software


Pros and cons of WAVs.

√  Better audio quality due to lossless compression model

√  Ideal for good quality audio software and equipment

√  Ideal for professional video and audio editing

√  Universal usage


 X  Larger file size makes it difficult to store on a standard hard drive

 X  Slower to use and transfer due to large file size


Even though there aren’t too many benefits to converting MP3s to WAVs in terms of sound quality, you may still feel that making the switch is necessary in order to make your files easier to edit.


Below you can find out how to convert MP3 to WAV on the most commonly used platforms.


How to convert MP3 to WAV on Mac.


Discover how to convert MP3 to WAV on Mac by following these steps. You’ll need the Apple Music app to begin.

  1. Open the Apple Music app.
  2. Go to Music > Preferences.
  3. Click on the Files tab, select Import Settings.
  4. Select the dropdown menu on Import Using. Select WAV.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Select the audio you want to convert.
  7. Head to File > Convert > Create WAV Version.

How to convert MP3 to WAV on PC.

Find out how to convert MP3 to WAV on your Windows PC using these directions. You’ll need Windows Media Player or iTunes for Windows to convert your audio files.


Windows Media Player.


  1. Launch Windows Media Player on your PC.
  2. Select the ‘Burn’ option.
  3. Highlight the files you want to convert and drag and drop them into the ‘Burn List’.
  4. Insert a blank CD-R into your disc drive. Then select ‘Start Burn’.
  5. Select Rip Settings > Format.
  6. Select the WAV format.
  7. Once your CD-R has finished burning, you will be able to save the converted WAV files to your hard drive.


iTunes for Windows.


  1. Open iTunes for Windows.
  2. Select Edit > Preferences.
  3. Under General, select Import Settings.
  4. Import Using > Select WAV.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Select the audio files you want to convert.
  7. Click File > Convert > Create WAV format.


How to convert MP3 to WAV using Adobe Media Encoder.

You’ll need Adobe Media Encoder to convert MP3 to WAV using this approach. Follow these steps:


  1. Drag your MP3s into the Encoding Queue.
  2. Select WAV from the ‘Presets’ dropdown menu of the file in the queue.
  3. Highlight the files you want to convert and click Edit > Export Settings.
  4. Start the queue to encode the MP3 and begin the conversion to WAV.


Dive deeper on the WAV converter abilities of Media Encoder to see a more detailed rundown of the encoding process steps for music files and more.

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