Everyone knows about MP3. Hard to miss. It’s been around since 1993 and is the most popular audio format on the planet. However, there are a lot more audio formats other than MP3. There is the WAV audio format that stores waveform data. A WAV format is not always playable by just any media player. WAV audio formats, for example, can only be played with a WAV file player.
WAV, short for Waveform Audio File Format, is a better type of audio format (in terms of sound quality at least) created by Microsoft and IBM. WAV belongs to the lossless audio format category. These files have better sound quality but are bigger in size (about 10MB per minute for 16-bit, 44.1 kHz stereo).
This is because, unlike MP3 and lossy audio format files, there isn’t any data loss when the size of the audio file is reduced.
WAV is now a standard audio format synonymous with PCs, and the better sound quality might prompt you to use it on your mobile devices.
However, it does not work with every media player, and you’ll need a WAV file player to play the audio format. So in this article, we will cover the best WAV players in the market.
Further Reading: How to Convert and Download Spotify to WAV for Free
Best for: audio playback modification
G2 rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars, 457 good reviews out of 539
The first on this list is VLC. In case you didn’t know, VLC is like the Tom Brady of multimedia players. And that means if any player can play a WAV file, it’s VLC.
VLC also supports streaming options for integration with several services with its plugins.
It has important features for fine-tuning both audio. It’s super fast and has downloadable skins. You also enjoy the much-needed simplicity that many media players lack while being offered the option to tweak the settings to personal taste.
The most fun part, it gives all this without ads or any type of adware that typically comes with good free services.
- Works on all devices
- Plays without the need for codec packs
- Absolutely free.
- Adjustable settings
- Lack of tags
- While you can tweak the personal settings, the interface cannot be customized.
- Editing Metadata can be clumsy
Best for: finding and streaming music from SoundCloud
AlternativeTo rating: 4.4 out of 5, 49 good ratings out of 56
MusicBee is available only for Windows. Nonetheless, it is one of the best WAV file players on the market.
Unlike VLC, MusicBee offers an impressive tagging system that helps one edit metadata and easily arrange files.
You can change the look of MusicBee by selecting one of their skins, downloading more from the Add-on section, or even creating your skin. MusicBee also allows plugins if you want additional features.
Also, Groove Music (previously Xbox Music) is natively supported by MusicBee. This means you can listen to music straight from MusicBee or add it to an existing playlist, and you can get music suggestions from the large Groove collection.
It offers versions for Windows 7, 8, and 10.
- Impressive tagging
- File conversion
- Integration with several other platforms with its plugins
- It may be complex for beginners
- Available only on Windows.
Best for: ReplayGain and gapless playback
Trustpilot rating: 4.1 out of 5, 8 good reviews out of 9.
Another impressive WAV player, WinAmp has constantly evolved over the years to stay on top of its game.
If you are looking for aesthetics, you won’t be all that impressed by WinAmp. But if you look past the interface and get to the features, you are bound to be blown away.
There is so much to unpack, but for starters, WinAmp gives you access to a large number of radio stations and lets you search the web for audio files to download for your library. WinAmp is also excellent for ripping music and conversion.
Although available for Mac, Windows, and Android, there isn’t a version for iPhone. Also, the WinAmp version for Android is not all that impressive, just really basic.
- A lot of plugins for additional features.
- Simple interface
- Excellent for music ripping and conversion
- Poor tagging
- It hasn’t been updated recently (although they promise a new version soon)
- The Android version is below par.
Best for: Organizing and playing music
G2 rating: 4.2 out of 5, 27 good reviews out of 31
iTunes is another example of the excellence synonymous with the Apple brand. And being able to play WAV files is crucial if you want to be synonymous with excellence, which is what iTunes offers.
Although a lot of changes have been made over the years, iTunes has managed, somehow, to keep the interface familiar and more and more user-friendly. iTunes also uses a navigation bar on the left, which makes switching tabs convenient.
iTunes offers a mini player which helps you get rid of the full-screen interface, so you don’t have to return to the full interface every time. This Mini player offers controls for playing, pausing, and skipping forward and backward, and it also has other buttons for managing your library.
Although there is no iTunes application for Android, Apple provides an Apple Music application for Android users. There is also a Windows version available. It is available on Mac and iPhone.
- Access to a lot of features.
- Available across multiple devices and platforms
- Integration into iCloud
- The App is space-consuming
- Suffers from lags
Best for: Sound tuning and high sound quality
Price: 15-day free trial, full access for $5.49
Play Store rating: 4.4 out of 5, 1.2M good reviews of 1.4
PowerAmp, unlike the majority of the apps on this list, is not free (although it offers a free trial for 15 days). But what kind of value does it provide for the price? Let’s see what happens.
First, it plays many audio formats, including WAV, and allows you to tweak your settings in a way your WAV audio sounds like you want it to. It does this with its excellent equalizer and the presets that come with it. The presets are very impressive and can be edited separately.
It also has a sleep timer. Now, while you will find this feature on a lot of players, PowerAmp takes it to a different level by making it easily accessible. You don’t have to dig into the settings to turn it on, you can toggle it from the Now-playing interface.
Being able to search lyrics is another useful feature that comes with PowerAmp. However, you’ll need to install Musixmatch, a different app, to use the feature well. Thankfully, Musixmatch is completely free.
PowerAmp is only available on Android.
- Easily-accessible sleep timer
- Equalizer presets
- Options for modifications
- Not free (once your free trial is over)
- No streaming
- Navigation can be clumsy.
Best for: High-quality sound
Price: Free with in-app purchases
Play Store rating: 4.2 out of 5, 151k good reviews out of 180k reviews.
JetAudio is another impressive audio player with an intuitive and user-friendly interface with a pop-up description every time you toggle over a button. Weirdly though, you can’t resize the window, but there are different skins with different sizes. You also get an additional 25 skins online to choose from.
JetAudio supports WAV format and several other formats (over 50 formats) and includes features that let you burn, rip and convert your WAV files into your desired format. JetAudio has 10 Equalizer settings which you can individually tweak to taste. You can also save your edited presets for later.
You have the option to adjust the pitch and the playback speed and pitch. You can also play around with the virtualizer, the reverb effect (all four of them), and the bass.
Another interesting feature is the alarm and timer. Both features can be used for playing or pausing your audio. It can also be used to exit the app or windows itself. Even more cool is that the alarm feature can be configured to start a recording. Although, you’ll have to stop it manually.
The app is free, but you can upgrade for $29.
- User-friendly interface
- Supports a wide range of formats
- Variety of EQ
- The app sometimes crashes.
- Paid version to access additional features.
Best for: playing audiophiles
Play Store rating: 4.0 out of 5, 800k good reviews of 1M
Foobar2000 is yet another audio player that plays WAV files. Although it offers below-par aesthetics, it has an impressive range of features.
Foobar2000 is a media player that lets Windows users personalize their experience. It can play a wide variety of audio formats (of course, WAV) and can be expanded to support even more.
Foobar2000 offers integration with external plugins to allow more functionalities based on the user’s preferences. It also offers an option for keyboard shortcuts with full personal customization.
Foobar2000 has a customizable interface, gapless audio track playback, advanced tagging, and ReplayGain – a technical standard that allows audio players to adjust the volume of tracks and is used for measuring and normalizing audio perceived loudness in audio formats.
For Windows users, Foobar2000 is dependable and highly customizable.
- Gapless audio and advanced tagging
- Keyboard Shortcuts
- Integration of 3rd-party apps
- Replay Gain Support
- It might take a while to understand the functions fully.
- Aesthetically below par
Best for: playing GSM/WAV/AU
Price: free version, premium $1.49
Play Store rating: 3.2 of 5.0, 6,400 good reviews of 10,000
Most of the apps we reviewed contain a lot of features that show why they are some of the WAV players out there.
Remote wave player is a little different. Maybe a lot different even, in that it is not your typical music player.
First off, it works only for Android devices, but you can use it on Mac and Windows with the help of a simulator. But that’s not even the strange part.
Remote Wave Player does not have an icon, nor is it an app that can open any of your songs. Rather, it’s a GSM/WAV/AU voicemail attachment player that primarily plays only the audio formats – GSM, WAV, and AU.
You can set it as a default app on your device to play those audio formats. It also has a reasonably priced premium with better functionality.
- Small app size
- Extremely limited variety of audio formats
Best for: compatibility with a wide range of windows versions.
Softonic rating: 3.4 of 5, 129 good reviews of 190
The Final Media player is very similar to VLC in that it plays all types of multimedia – both audio and video. And yes, it plays WAV files, and to spice it up, it offers a lot of tools to help in tweaking your WAV file.
It works exclusively on Windows, including Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, and 10 (32-bit and 64-bit).
This program provides many formatting options, preventing the user from having to reformat the required audio files.
The Final Media Player file compatibility system ensures that users can comfortably use all their downloads without encountering errors.
This ensures that the user can produce a file format compatible with multiple versions of the windows pc. Moreso, this makes it possible for all customers to be able to use the program.
- Works on multiple windows platform
- Offers an impressive file compatibility system
- Wide range of formatting options.
- Works only on the Windows platform.
Best for: loading, saving, and modifying playlists
Mac App Store rating: 4.5 out of 5, 8.4k good reviews out of 9.4k
Elmedia Player is another exceptional WAV file player exclusive to Mac systems. Of course, it does more than play WAV files.
The app is user-friendly, and the user interface is visually appealing. A lot of people consider Elmedia one of the best media players designed for Mac.
Elmedia also provides tools for loading, saving, and modifying playlists. It also provides numerous features needed for managing large libraries. This makes it easy to find audio files, be it audiobooks or music albums.
Elmedia Player has two versions: A free version that supports almost every media format imaginable, and a paid version (completely optional). The paid version lets you download from YouTube, adjust audio settings, and extract still images from video files.
- Easy to organize and locate files
- Offers a feature-rich free version
- You have to pay to access all its features.
Here’s a list of the top 10 .WAV file players
- Remote Wave Player
- Final Media Player
Ideally, no. But you can install apps (like VLC or the Remote Wave) to help you play WAV files.
Yes, iPhones can play WAV files using apps like iTunes and VLC.
A lot of MP3 players support common file formats, including WAV.
VLC is the best audio player for Windows 10. It has a lot of adjustable settings, it has no ads, and it’s completely free.
I hope this article has answered your problem, and you can make an informed decision for your preferred WAV player from the list.
However, if you still have problems deciding on the best WAV player for you, here are things to look out for:
- Features: What WAV player has the features you love the most? Which ones have other features that you would love to try?
- Reviews: Reviews help you understand the first-hand experience of a lot more people and make a more informed decision. The rule of thumb is to read reviews with 3 stars because they tend to be more honest and constructively critical.
- Know what you want: Yes, you want a WAV file player. But that’s not what I mean. The statement is more about your other preferences. Would you have an aesthetically pleasing player or something simple? Do you want a multimedia player or just an audio player? Questions like this make your decision-making process much more convenient.
- Customer Support: You know it’s always a pleasure using the product of a company with solid customer support and guide materials to help when you are stuck. You might want to factor this in too.