16 Best Audio Converter Software for Windows & Mac in 2022

There are many different types of audio files and an equal number of reasons you might want to convert one into another.

To do that, you need specialized software for the purpose. Thankfully, there are many options available. What are their pros and cons? Which should you choose? Aren’t they “the same”, more or less?

The quick answer’s a “nope”. The longer one, including the reasons you should go for one over the rest, is the very reason for this article.

So, let’s see the ten best audio converter software solutions worth using in 2022.

What Is Audio Converter Software?

Although MP3s are better known as standalone audio files, the same algorithm has also been used to encode audio saved in other “file containers”. You can save a single MP3-encoded song into a WAV file or even bundle multiple MP3s as individually selectable audio streams in a multilingual MKV video file.

Similarly, many might recognize AAC as “that music format popularized by Apple’s iTunes”. It was initially created as a successor to the MP3 algorithm. Today it’s also the preferred solution for encoding the multichannel audio of streaming movies.

Using modern media players like VLC, you don’t have to overthink codecs and file containers. However, many popular media players’ broad compatibility is the exception, not the rule. Try playing some AAC files on your car’s older audio system or using your favorite AC3 soundtrack as a ringtone. You’ll realize why you should always keep an audio converter solution installed.

Because of not only the vast number of audio codecs and file containers but also their potential combinations, an audio converter is an essential piece of software.

Audio converter software can mutate those codecs and formats into one another and “frees” your audio so you can use it wherever and however you wish.

Who Should Get This?

There are many reasons you might be interested in audio converter software.

Those are only a few reasons you might need one of the audio converter apps listed here.

How We Tested and Picked The Best Audio Converter Software

There are dozens of audio converter software solutions you can find online. Many, though, will disappoint you with a lackluster interface, slow performance, or support for only a handful of formats. They may impose significant limitations, trying to convince you to purchase a license for them. A few even come bundled with unwanted extra software.

We’ve downloaded and tested dozens of different solutions for this article, considering all those factors and more. We’ve benchmarked each app by using files in various encodings as inputs and converting them to many popular file formats.

What you’ll see next are, as stated in the title of this article, the best audio converter software you can use today.

We should clarify, though, that we’ve strictly tested audio converters. That’s why you won’t find software for other audio-related tasks, like editors or muxers, in case you were wondering “why we skipped Audacity”.

Our Top 10 Best Audio Converter Software in 2022 List

By now, you’re probably planning how you will use the audio converter app you’ll choose. But which one should it be? Here are the best audio converter solutions we found while researching this article. Now, isn’t that convenient?

1. Switch Audio File Converter Software

Switch Audio File Converter Software
Switch Audio File Converter Software

We’d love to say that the order of our list has nothing to do with each app’s quality. However, we also have to admit there’s a reason we’re beginning with the Switch Audio File Converter by NCH Software.

That’s because you could very well skip everything else. Switch can do almost anything you want an audio converter to do.

NCH Software’s creation has a clean and user-friendly interface. Thanks to this, Switch demands almost zero time to start using it.

You can use Switch Audio File Converter to convert between over 75 audio file formats, either one by one or in batches. And yes, that includes video files, like AVIs and MOVs, from which it can “extract” audio.

Switch Audio File Converter tries to keep any music tags and metadata after mutating one format into another. If such information doesn’t exist, Switch converter can “pull” it from an online database to enrich your audio files with useful data.

Apart from the excellent quality of all produced files and its speedy performance, Switch Audio File Converter can also perform basic editing tasks to improve audio quality. “Tasks” like audio normalization, noise reduction, etc.

Website: Switch Audio File Converter Software

Further Reading: Switch Audio File Converter Review

2. Stellar Converter for Audio Video

Stellar Converter for Audio Video
Stellar Converter for Audio Video

Stellar’s offering isn’t actually an audio but a media app, as evident by its complete name: Stellar Converter for Audio and Video.

Unlike audio-centric software, Stellar Converter for Audio and Video can transmute both audio and video files to different formats. Thus, you can use it as your main go-to for almost all your media conversions.

You can turn almost any audio file into another but also re-encode videos using various popular codecs, tweak their resolution, bitrate, and frame rate, or extract their audio to a standalone file.

Stellar Converter for Audio and Video also allows you to add new or replace the existing audio tracks on videos and blend watermarks over them or attach subtitles. And there’s also GIF support, perfect for extracting meme-worthy clips from your videos.

Stellar Converter for Audio and Video has a relatively clean and straightforward interface, but it’s far from perfect. It uses too much “whitespace” for each entry, spreading individual customization options to improve readability. It also presents audio files the same way as video files, including a large “media preview” for every single one.

Because of that, you may find yourself scrolling until your mouse wheel melts when batch-converting many files.

Also, it’s easy to produce subpar files if you fiddle with its settings without really knowing what you’re tweaking.

Website: Stellar Converter for Audio Video

3. Xilisoft Audio Converter 6

Xilisoft Audio Converter 6
Xilisoft Audio Converter 6

Xilisoft Audio Converter 6 can transform most types of audio files into one another without demanding super-powered hardware. You can use it on almost any PC since the Windows XP era. At least, as long as its CPU is speedier than 1GHz, and paired with 256MBs of RAM (although 512MBs or above are recommended).

It’s unbelievably easy to use, blazing-fast, and produces excellent results. Like many of its peers, Xilisoft Audio Converter 6 can extract audio from video files, and apply effects (from normalization to echo, chorus, and flanger) to the produced files.

And since it also comes with basic automation features, it’s one of the best audio converters for batch processing dozens of files. “Automation features” like support for working in the background and performing extra actions after a conversion.

Website: Xilisoft Audio Converter 6

4. Audials Music

Audials Music
Audials Music

Unlike a typical converter, Audials Music 2022 is specifically created for using primarily paid streaming media as its input. In other words, it allows you to “record” streams from services like Spotify and YouTube into local “standalone” files. That’s a great way to take your favorite music or podcasts with you, even when and where there’s no Internet access.

However – and it’s a very big and important “however” – using Audials Music 2022 “the way it was supposed to be used” might not be strictly legal.

It all depends on the services from which you want to record and the country where you reside. So, it would be best if you double-checked local laws allow you to record Internet audio streams without stepping on any Copyrights.

Still, you can forgo this functionality and use it as a typical audio converter. It’s great in that regard, too, with support for many audio file formats and a modern interface. It offers many features, like a file manager, a tag editor, and support for organizing and managing music on a PC, mobile device, or cloud services.

Webiste: Audials Music 2022

5. Freemake Audio Converter

Freemake Audio Converter
Freemake Audio Converter

When more people than the whole United Kingdom are using an app, you can probably tell it’s doing at least something right. Meet Free Audio Converter by FreeMake. With over a decade of development behind it and tens of millions of users, we guess the characterization “established” is pretty apt.

Free Audio Converter’s name doesn’t lie in that the app is free to use, with zero restrictions. You can use it to convert audio between over 50 different formats, although its usual target is MP3 files.

Free Audio Converter can also extract audio from video files and convert files in batches. However, it prioritizes simplicity over features and thus comes with no advanced editing options or extended file management.

It’s a simple and, more importantly, free app, doing one thing and doing it great, as proven by its immense and ever-lasting popularity.

Website: Free Audio Converter

6. Movavi Audio Converter

Movavi Audio Converter
Movavi Audio Converter

Like Freemake Audio Converter, Movavi Audio Converter prioritizes simplicity by having a single goal: to help everyone bring their audio files on their devices. Whatever those devices may be.

So, it’s no surprise that it supports over 180 formats, allowing you to render your audio files playable on almost any device imaginable. From the ever-popular MP3s to Microsoft’s WMA and from lossy OGGs to flawless FLACs, Movavi Audio Converter can deal with them all.

Despite being relatively easy to use when you get familiar with its interface, it can look daunting at first glance. Like Stellar Audio Converter, Movavi’s solution visually presents the settings for each file, enabling you to tweak them as you like. However, this also means its interface is littered with information. It might be easier to access, but it also makes Movavi Audio Converter look a bit intimidating.

Still, in action, it ends up being easy to use.

Website: Movavi Audio Converter

7. MediaHuman Audio Converter

MediaHuman Audio Converter
MediaHuman Audio Converter

MediaHuman Audio Converter may feel somewhat limited compared to alternatives. It doesn’t come with editing features. Or filters. Or support for advanced file and metadata management. And, based on what we saw, it supports fewer formats than many of its peers.

So, as realists, we wouldn’t call MediaHuman Audio Converter the best audio converting solution we’ve tried. How come it secured a place on our list?

Because despite the fact other apps may excel in some regards, MediaHuman Audio Converter is still a great all-rounder.

You don’t need support for a wide range of audio file formats you never even knew existed? Neither for various audio filters or editing features you’d never use?

Then, all the “extras” its peers offer could be regarded as “useless fluff”, making MediaHuman Audio Converter the best choice for you.

Website: MediaHuman Audio Converter

8. VSDC Free Audio Converter

VSDC Free Audio Converter
VSDC Free Audio Converter

Finding the optimal balance between extended functionality and ease of use, VSDC Free Audio Converter may be all you need for all your audio conversions.

The app looks deceptively simple. Like many other audio converters:
You can add a bunch of files as “input”.
Select your preferred type of “output”.
Click a button to have VSDC Free Audio Converter perform its magic.
Soon after, you’ll find your converted files in the chosen output folder.

Unfortunately, like MediaHuman’s solution, VSDC Free Audio Converter doesn’t support the widest variety of audio file formats. Nor does it come with a crazy number of features. However, it has everything that would matter to most people.

Apart from converting between audio file formats, it can also download audio from Internet streams, offers basic editing functionality, and even allows you to create your own customized conversion profiles.

Website: VSDC Free Audio Converter

9. FFmpeg

FFmpeg
FFmpeg

If you’re wondering why we didn’t add a proper screenshot for FFMPEG, that’s because this isn’t your typical audio converter. Yes, that also means ” it doesn’t come with a GUI”. No window, no GUI, and no visual elements you can use to interact with it. And yet, if one of the apps in our list could be considered “a must-have”, this is it.

That’s because despite having to use it by inputting commands in a terminal, FFMPEG can be considered the Swiss Army Knife of media conversions.

FFMPEG is the “hidden backbone” that powers many other apps. On its own, it’s also an established tool that produces top-quality results while supporting dozens of different types of media. Simply put, it’s the single tool that can pull off almost any media conversion imaginable. And, as the cherry on top, it’s open-source and free.

It’s easy to mistake its use through typed commands as “hard”, but FFMPEG is easier than many of its peers. How hard is it to type ffmpeg -i INPUT.WAV OUTPUT.MP3 in a terminal?

Yes, that was an actual command. FFMPEG can smartly guess what type of conversion you’re trying to achieve from each filename’s extension. Then, get on with it without demanding further input. That is, unless you want to customize the conversion process further.

Website: FFMPEG

10. Fre:ac

Fre:ac
Fre:ac

Let’s get it out of the way: fre:ac is far from a modern app. On the contrary, it can be considered all but classic by now. In many ways, it’s a piece of software from a long-gone era. Back when optical discs were still the most popular way of consuming music.

Back then, fre:ac became one of the go-to’s for “ripping” Audio CDs to the new-and-fancy MP3 format. Did you want to convert multiple audio CDs to cram your whole LP collection into your portable media player? Fre:ac was one of the best ways to do it.

Today MP3s are old news, and newer formats like AAC achieve better quality at even smaller file sizes. Audio CDs are almost extinct, and most computers don’t even come with a drive that can “read” them – rendering the app’s “ripping” features redundant.

Still, fre:ac is not only a CD ripper. It supports many other formats, including WAV, OGG, WMA, and FLAC files, between which you can convert as you wish. And since it was initially developed when PCs were slower, and software performance mattered, today, it feels blistering fast compared to many alternatives.

Website: Fre:ac

Honorable Mentions

The protagonists in our list are some of the best apps you can turn to for all your audio-converting needs. But they’re far from the only ones.

While seeking the best audio converting software, we found other apps that were just as worthy during our online journeys. You won’t find them in our list because of space and time limitations, not because they were lacking.

Out of all of them, we thought it would be a disservice if we didn’t at least nudge you also to check the following apps.

Helium Converter

If we had ease of use as our only priority in this article, Helium Converter could find itself among our top 5 choices. Converting audio files with it doesn’t deviate from the classic three-step approach: add some files, choose the output format, and click a “convert” button. Done.

Still, although it is easy to use, its interface could also be a case study for how good design can elevate an app. For, in this case, it doesn’t. Helium Converter looks more complex than it is, and the arrangement of the elements and colors on its window are to blame. Gaze at it for 5 seconds, allowing everything to “click”, and you realize converting audio with it is child’s play.

Free Audio Converter

If we were to award the cleanest and most streamlined interface, Free Audio Converter would take the cake. Then, have it while eating it, too.

Its interface is the very definition of the three-step process at the core of most audio converters: choice of input – selection of output – conversion. However, it also looks ultra-clean while doing it. It achieves that the same way self-conscious apps do since the Amiga days, by:
Hiding all non-essential information from view.
Placing any secondary functions and all customization options under drop-down menus.
Keeping everything easily accessible and familiar.
It’s also worth noting how, if you’re interested in MP3s, it produces some of the best-sounding audio, thanks to its use of the tried and tested LAME encoder.

Pazera Free Audio Extractor

Those who already use other audio converting solutions might scoff at Pazera Free Audio Extractor. And it might seem strange because if you look at its highlights, it seems like a great choice.

Pazera Free Audio Extractor is compatible with dozens of audio file formats, has a versatile interface, and comes with most of the features you’d expect from such an app. It can extract audio from videos, split files, preserve metadata, and uses the LAME encoder for producing high-quality MP3s. Best of all, as its name states, it’s available as freeware.

The problem, though, is that, like many other similar apps, it doesn’t manage to excel in some regard. It’s good at everything, but you can find alternatives that may be quicker, easier to use, or better lookers. Give it a chance, though, and it might become your resident audio converter.

FileZigZag

Apps are too old-school, to the point of being “retro”. Everything “runs” in the cloud nowadays, so why follow the archaic tradition of downloading and installing useless fluff on your lean and mean hardware? Who even needs offline standalone converters when you could use solutions like FileZigZag?

Point your browser to FileZigZag’s site, pick your files from a file manager, and drop them on the site’s friendly input box. It’s the one with the hard-to-miss “Drop your files here” message, featuring prominently at the top.

FileZigZag will analyze the files you dropped on it and offer multiple output choices for each, selectable from a drop-down menu on its right. Choose your target formats, click on Start Converting, and download the results back.

We have to admit we cheated, though: FileZigZag is not an audio converter. It’s a file converter, which means you can also use it to turn your MOV videos to MP4s, your PDF ebooks to DocX documents, and even your compressed 7Zip archives to RARs or ZIPs.

And that’s how a single online solution can render multiple standalone utilities, from your audio converter to your archiving app, obsolete.

Hamster Free Audio Converter

Are you pining for the Windows Vista era, when buttons were glossy, backgrounds used gradients, and pseudo-3D visual elements were still relevant? Do you hate the modern flat and reductive style in most modern software? Then, Hamster Free Audio Converter is right up your alley.

Its visuals are Hamster Free Audio Converter’s main differentiating factor, for, in all other regards, it’s pretty similar to many of its peers. And we mean that in the best way possible.

Hamster Free Audio Converter has one of the most straightforward interfaces. Drop your files on it, choose your output device, and enjoy the converted output.

If you noticed, that’s Hamster Free Audio Converter’s second differentiating factor (after aesthetics): it primarily expects you to select a target device instead of a format.

Advanced users can, of course, set things up manually the way they want. Most people will probably prefer clicking on an Apple, Archos, or Motorola logo to choose the desired output format. And then click on a glossy “Convert” button.

Zamzar Audio Converter

Like FileZigZag, Zamzar Audio Converter primarily works as a cloud solution, a “web app”, accessible from a browser. You can visit its site, “drop” a bunch of files on its page, choose the format you want to convert to, and after a while, download the results.

And, again, like FileZigZag, it’s not strictly an audio converter. Zamzar states it supports over 1100 formats and can convert audio files, videos, images, documents, ebooks, and archives.

However, Zamzar is also available for the desktop, allowing the seamless conversion of all those types of files without having to visit a site. Or even run a piece of software and fiddle with its interface. How come?

The downloadable version of Zamzar works in the background as a service, extending the Windows built-in file management options. So, you can simply right-click on any file you wish and choose into what you’d like to convert it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why use audio converter software?

There are many audio file formats, and they’re not all compatible with every audio-playing device available. You could need to convert audio files to play your music on an old car audio system. Since no operating system comes with such functionality built-in, you have to use third-party software for such conversions, like the solutions we saw in this article.

What are the most important features of audio converter software?

The audio converter you choose should be able to convert your existing files into a file format compatible with the device where you want to play them. Strangely, this is far from a given since each type of encoding comes with many customizable parameters. Those can make or break compatibility with particular devices. For example, an older desktop media player might not “like” MP3s encoded at 48KHz with a Variable Bit Rate (VBR).

How does audio conversion software work?

In most cases, converting your audio files is a three-step process. After running the audio converter software you’ll use, the first step is importing the content you want to convert (AKA: one or more audio files). Then you have to choose the format to which you want to convert it. Finally, the third step is starting the actual conversion process.

Which is the best audio converter software?

We can’t offer a single answer to this somewhat general question, apart from “it depends on your preferences”. Although many audio converting apps are similar in their approach, looks, results, or performance, they may differ in other important ways.

  • Some might prefer the simplicity of a solution like Freemake Audio Converter.
  • Others would praise the feature set of Switch Audio File Converter.
  • Windows fans might appreciate how Zamzar integrates with their favorite OS.
  • Multi-platform geeks (like this humble writer) might love how FFMPEG works the same way “everywhere”, from Windows to macOS and Linux. Even if that “same way” means having to remember what to type in a terminal.

Conclusion

As we saw, there are many audio converter software solutions you can use whenever you need to mutate audio files into a different format.

You can use them to make your music accessible to the rest of your audio-playing devices.
They can help you further compress your albums or add metadata and then archive them.
To rip your favorite movie’s soundtrack, edit it to keep only a sample, and push it to your smartphone to use as a ringtone.

We’re sure we’ve located the best options available in 2022. We’ve included some great options prioritizing simplicity, features, or a combination. Tools for converting between audio formats, and some that don’t forget videos come with audio, too. It’s almost a given you’ll find one that will “tick your boxes”, either on our main list or among the extra alternatives.

Do tell us which you’ve ended up choosing.

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