WAV File - opening and understanding

Did your computer fail to open a WAV file? We explain what they are used for and recommend software that we know can open or otherwise handle your .WAV files.

What is a WAV file?

A .WAV file is a Waveform Audio file. WAV files are audio files saved in the Waveform Audio File Format. The WAV format was invented by Microsoft and IBM as an audio format to use on PCs, and it is the main audio format used in Microsoft Windows.

You can use WAV files to record audio files that can be saved with different sampling and bitrates. The files that contain the .wav file extension are similar to AIF files, but WAV files are based on the Resource Interchange File Format (RIFF) and not the Audio Interchange File Format (AIFF).

WAV files usually contain raw, uncompressed audio data but can also contain compressed (reduced-in-size) audio data.

How to open WAV files

You will need a program compatible with the specific file you are trying to open, as different programs may use files with file extension WAV for different purposes.

While we have not verified the apps ourselves yet, our users have suggested 10 different WAV openers which you will find listed below.

Other file formats using extension .WAV

While Waveform Audio File is a popular type of WAV-file, we know of 2 different uses of the .WAV extension.

The WAV file extension indicates to your device which app can open the file. However, different apps may use the same file extension for different types of data. So a WAV opener may not be able to open all kinds of WAV files. In this case, look through both formats to make sure you find the best suited WAV viewer.

Broadcast Wave File audio

Broadcard Wave File is an extension of the popular Waveform Audio Format invented by Microsoft and IBM. This variation was invented by the European Broadcasting Union and is a recording format used by digital recorders used for movies, radio and television.

It extends the standard WAV format with additional metadata, which makes it easy to exchange sound data between various computer platforms and software systems. The data is stored as "extension chunks" in a standard WAV-file, so players, while not supporting the extensions, can still play the audio file.

While we have not verified the apps ourselves yet, our users have suggested 10 different WAV openers which you will find listed below.

Various viewers for this file format

These apps are known to open certain types of WAV files. Remember, different programs may use WAV files for different purposes, so you may need to try out a few of them to be able to open your specific file.

Final Media PlayerFinal Media PlayerUser submitted
Free File ViewerFree File ViewerUser submitted
WavePad Sound EditorWavePad Sound EditorUser submitted
Any Video ConverterAny Video ConverterUser submitted
WavePad Audio-EditorWavePad Audio-EditorUser submitted
Switch Sound File ConverterSwitch Sound File ConverterUser submitted
iTunesiTunesUser submitted
QuickTimeQuickTimeUser submitted
VideoLAN VLC media playerVideoLAN VLC media playerUser submitted
Microsoft Windows Media PlayerMicrosoft Windows Media PlayerUser submitted
We have not verified any software that we know for certain will work with WAV-files on Mac. If you know one, please use the 'Suggest a program' link below and tell us about it!
We have not verified any web services that we know for certain will work with WAV-files. If you know one, please use the 'Suggest a program' link below and tell us about it!