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Key Facts

  • The VLC media player is one of the best options for converting MP3 files into WAV audio.
  • iTunes is also another free conversion method which can be used for the procedure.
  • Audacity, a free, open-source multi-track digital audio editor, can also be used to convert files from MP3 to WAV audio.

MP3 has become one of the most common audio formats due to its flexibility and compatibility with most players. However, MP3 files aren’t as easily edited as WAV audio, a lossless audio format that better suits the needs of podcasters, hosts, and audio editors.

In this guide, we’ll discuss how to convert MP3 to WAV and share details about both file formats, their differences, and what makes them unique. Read more to learn how to convert MP3 to WAV in three easy steps.

#1: Convert MP3 to WAV using VLC Media Player

The VLC media player is probably the best possible option to convert your MP3 file into WAV audio. The program is free and features a slew of codecs that can be employed to decode and/or convert various audio and video files. This will allow you to convert your MP3 to WAV, but also to a number of different file formats, like AAC, WMA 2, MPEG audio, etc.

To convert MP3 to WAV, refer to the steps below:

Step 1: Import the MP3 File

Using the VLC media player to convert MP3 to WAV implies that you have the freeware (free software) installed on your computer. If you don’t, you can easily download it here for free and install it on your computer.

how to convert mp3 to wav
Converting an MP3 file in the VLC media player.


Start the VLC media player, and click on the Media menu located in the upper-left corner of the VLC media player window. When the drop-down menu appears, click on the Convert/Save option. Alternatively, you can press CTRL+R on your keyboard to bring up the Open Media window.

how to convert mp3 to wav
Bringing up the “Convert” window.


When the Open Media window pops up, click on the Add… button at the side to open up the file explorer box. Navigate to your file, click on it, and click Open at the bottom of the file explorer box. Once imported, your file will appear in the File Selection list. Click on the Convert/Save button at the bottom of the Open Media window to bring up the Convert window.

Step 2: Set up the Conversion Profile

how to convert mp3 to wav
Creating a new profile.


Setting up a conversion profile is a one-time action. Once you’ve converted your first MP3 to WAV, the VLC media player will memorize your settings for future use. Assuming that you’ve already brought up the Convert window, click on the Create a new profile button located left from the Profile dropdown menu.

When the Profile edition box appears, type the profile name into the Profile name field. For the purpose of this guide, we’ll call our conversion profile “WAV Profile.” Next, click on the Audio codec tab, and put a checkmark on the Audio checkbox. This will allow you to edit the Encoding parameters.

how to convert mp3 to wav
Enabling encoding parameters.


In the Encoding parameters tab, select WAV from the Codec dropdown menu. Also, you should consider increasing the Sample Rate to 44100Hz, to retain the quality of the audio. Next, click on Create to create the profile and return to the Covert window.

Step 3: Convert the File

how to convert mp3 to wav
Converting the MP3 file in the VLC media player.


Select the newly created profile in the Profile dropdown menu, and click on Browse to choose the file destination. Click Start to convert MP3 to WAV; the process shouldn’t take longer than a few seconds to complete. Please note that WAV files might take up more space on your system’s storage.

#2: Convert MP3 to WAV using iTunes

Apple’s iTunes is also capable of converting MP3 to WAV for free and without tweaking any settings. The best thing about this software is that it’s compatible with Windows and macOS. Furthermore, it’s capable of converting your entire MP3 library to WAV file format. Here’s how you can do it.

Step 1: Set up iTunes

Make sure that you have iTunes installed on your personal computer. If you don’t, you can download it here for free.

how to convert mp3 to wav
Opening the General Preferences window in iTunes.


Start iTunes, click on the Edit menu located in the upper left corner of the media player/library, and choose Preferences to open up the General Preferences window. Alternatively, you can do the same by pressing CTRL+, on your keyboard. Next, click on the Import Settings… button to open the Import Settings dialog box.

how to convert mp3 to wav
Selecting the WAV Encoder.


In the Import Settings dialog box, select the WAV Encoder option from the Import Using drop-down menu. Click OK to confirm and return to the General Preferences window. Click OK to close General Preferences and return to iTunes.

Step 2: Select/Import File

how to convert mp3 to wav
Adding the MP3 file to iTunes manually.


If your MP3 file isn’t already loaded into your iTunes library, you must add it manually. To do so, click on the File menu located in the upper left corner of the iTunes window, and click on Add File to Library… to bring up a file explorer box.

Once you’ve located the file on your system’s storage, select it, and click Open. Alternatively, you can either press CTRL+O on your keyboard or drag and drop the file into your iTunes window.

Step 3: Convert the File

how to convert mp3 to wav
Choosing the “Create WAV Version” option in the iTunes library.


Once the MP3 file has loaded into your iTunes library, select it and click on the File menu. Click on the Convert dropdown, and choose the Create WAV Version option to convert the MP3 to WAV. Once the conversion has ended, you can play the converted file right from iTunes.

#3: Convert MP3 to WAV using Audacity

Audacity is a free, open-source multi-track digital audio editor that’s equipped with MP3 to WAV conversion capabilities. However, Audacity offers additional features you’re not likely to encounter on other media converters. These include fade-in/out effects, speed change, filter, normalization, noise reduction, and much more. Here’s how to convert an MP3 to WAV using Audacity.

Step 1: Start Audacity

Using Audacity to convert MP3 to WAV implies that you have the free, open-source program installed on your computer. If you don’t, you can easily download it here and install it on your Windows, Mac, or Linux computer.

how to convert mp3 to wav
Opening the MP3 file in Audacity.


When Audacity starts, click on the File menu in the upper left corner and select Open to bring up a file explorer box. Alternatively, you can press CTRL+O on your keyboard to open the file explorer box. Navigate to your MP3 file, select it, and click Open.

Step 2: Convert and Save the File

how to convert mp3 to wav
Exporting the MP3 file as WAV.


When you complete Step 1, Audacity will load your MP3 file. Before you continue with the conversion, make sure that the Project Rate—located at the bottom-left—is set to 44100 Hz. Next, click on the File menu, go to the Export dropdown, and click Export as WAV.

how to convert mp3 to wav
Selecting “Signed 16-bit PCM” in the Encoding drop-down menu.


An Export Audio dialog box will appear. Choose the file save destination, and select Signed 16-bit PCM in the Encoding drop-down menu. Click Save to bring up the Edit Metadata Tags dialog box. Make any edits you deem necessary, and click OK to complete the conversion.

#4: Convert MP3 to WAV using Online Converters

Online converters are great for single-use one-time conversions, as they eliminate the need to install any type of software on your computer. However, they’re very limited when it comes to conversion preferences and batch conversions. With that said, here are some of the best online audio converters.

1. Audio Converter

Audio Converter is a surprisingly advanced online converter that offers a plethora of useful features. Besides converting MP3s to WAV file format, this tool allows file conversions between several different file formats. It can also help you extract audio from a video file and configure bit rate, quality, number of channels, etc.

2. Convert Audio

Convert Audio is another exceptionally user-friendly but pretty advanced tool that allows for audio conversion. Besides converting MP3 and WAV files, Convert Audio also processes AAC, M4A, FLAC, and numerous other formats.

3. Convertio

Convertio is a browser-based converter that allows you to download your converted files immediately. Additionally, you can upload the files directly from your storage or from various cloud storage services, such as Google Drive and Dropbox. It supports all the major file formats, including MP3 and WAV, and deletes them immediately after conversion to maintain user privacy.

What is an MP3 File Format?

MP3 is a coding format for digital audio that commonly designates files containing elementary streams from MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 Audio encoded data. It uses lossy data compression to encode audio data using inexact approximations and the partial discarding of data. This further allows for massive reductions in file sizes, especially when compared to uncompressed audio.

MP3 acted as enabling technology in the mid-to-late-1990s—a time when bandwidth and storage were still at a premium—for the sharing of music via the Internet, thanks to its relatively small size and acceptable fidelity. With the advent of portable media players, a product category also including smartphones, MP3 support remains near-universal.

What is WAV File Format?

Waveform Audio File Format (*.WAV) is an audio file format developed by IBM and Microsoft for storing audio bitstreams on personal computers. It’s the main audio format used on Microsoft Windows OS for storing and processing uncompressed audio.

Though it can contain compressed audio, the WAV file format is uncompressed and retains all samples of an audio track. The high fidelity makes this file format exceptionally popular among professional users and audio experts, especially since it’s easy to edit and manipulate using various software.

However, the uncompressed nature of the audio format makes WAV files large, which hinders online sharing among regular users. The same can’t be said about video and audio professionals, who hold uncompressed WAV in very high regard.

Converting MP3 to WAV: Final Thoughts

The solutions offered in this guide were meant to help you convert your MP3 to a WAV file. Unfortunately, due to the lossy compression of the MP3 file format, converting the file into a WAV file format can’t restore the original audio quality. However, converting to WAV is still viable since it’s easily edited—a trait that’s highly valued by disc jockeys.  

Up Next

How to Convert MP3 to WAV in 3 Easy Steps FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Is MP3 or WAV better?

In general, WAV files are better quality than MP3 files, but this isn’t always the case. The WAV file could have been compressed, for example. A lossless WAV file is always best for recording and carrying high-quality audio files.

Which music format is the best quality?

A lossless audio file format is the best format for sound quality. These include FLAC, WAV, or AIFF. They’re considered “hi-res” because they are better or equal to CD quality.

What are the disadvantages of WAV?

It is an uncompressed format, so it will consume more storage space. Due to its large size, the tracks saved using this format are not ideal for uploading online.

What is MP3 used for?

MP3s usually contain music, but the format is also used for general audio files such as audiobooks and podcasts.

Are MP3s bad?

MP3 is a lossy format, which means it sacrifices audio information for a smaller file size. This loss of information results in a lower-quality sound. But this doesn’t make MP3s bad. In fact, it’s one of the most used audio formats today.

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