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How to Transform M4A to WAV and Back

Edited by Ben Jacklin

February 11, 2020

Despite having been designed to be the equivalent of MP4 for audio only, M4A does not enjoy the same popularity as its video “cousin.” For this reason, you will likely have problems playing back M4A files on your device. Converting these files into a more readily accessible format like WAV will make life easier. In this article, you’ll learn how to convert audio files between formats, what’s the difference between M4A and WAV, and also we’ll answer some frequently asked questions. Use the links below to jump to the section needed.

How to Convert M4A to WAV and Vice Versa

Use the Movavi converter! It is one of the fastest and most efficient ways to change the format of your audio files not only from M4A to WAV but also from WAV to M4A. All you have to do is download the program and follow the four simple steps below.

Install the Movavi M4A-to-WAV Converter

Launch the downloaded file and install the app following the setup instructions.

Transfer the Audio Files to the Program

Click the Add Media button and then Add Audio. Find the sound files you want to convert and add them to program.

Choose the Output Preset

Open the Audio tab. Select the WAV or M4A group – depending on which conversion direction you want to take. Click the preset within the selected group.

Launch the Conversion from M4A to WAV

If you want to save your output files in a folder other than the default Movavi Library, click the Folder icon and make your selection. Hit Convert, wait a few seconds – and there you go!


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M4A vs. WAV: A Comparison

When comparing WAV vs. M4A, pay particular attention to audio quality, file size, and devices supported. For example, Apple users might find M4A more useful because it is Apple’s native format. And professionals (singers or even lawyers) might prefer WAV because of its high quality and no data loss. Check the table below to learn about the main differences between the formats.

Comparison parameterWAVM4A
File extension.wav.m4a
DeveloperMicrosoft and IBMApple
CodecsPCM, MP3, ADPCM, GSM, µ-Law, othersAAC, ALAC, others
File sizeRelatively largeDepends on the codec (smaller with AAC, larger with ALAC)
Audio qualityBest quality (uncompressed audio)Good
Supported byApple devices, iTunesWindows, Apple devices

Frequently Asked Questions

This depends on what is more important to you: quality or file size. WAVs require more storage space, but the audio quality is great. M4As are smaller while maintaining acceptable quality. Also, when making your selection, take into account the type and model of your device, because M4A and WAV are not very widely supported.

The main disadvantage of the WAV format is the file size. WAVs take up a lot of space, so if you have limited storage, maybe it will be better to convert audio files to a format that’s smaller in size. Also, some devices do not support WAV.

You can download the Mac version of the converter app or use an online tool.

It depends on the phone. Android phones don’t support the WAV format, so you’ll need to convert your WAV files before you can listen to them. iPhones can usually play WAV format files.

Yes, if you have the correct codec pack installed. For example, the K-Lite Codec Pack will work.