How to Convert M4A to WAV Online and Offline

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Understanding the process of converting M4A to WAV is crucial for those who manage audio files.

WAV files are a more widely supported format than M4A. For example, some professional media players may not recognize M4A format, so you will need to convert your file to WAV.

In summary, being familiar with the M4A to WAV conversion process is important for anyone who works with audio files.

M4A vs WAV

Comparing the two most popular audio formats, M4A and WAV, it's clear that each has its unique advantages. Both are widely used for storing audio files, but which one is the right format for your needs?

M4A stands for MPEG-4 Audio and is a compressed audio file format.

M4A stores audio data more efficiently than other formats, rendering it an optimal selection for streaming music over the internet. The smaller file size means that you can store more songs or podcasts on your device without running out of space.

WAV stands for the Waveform Audio Format and is an uncompressed sound data type.

WAV is larger than M4A but provides higher-quality sound. The larger size also makes it ideal for storing music that will be played in high-fidelity sound systems such as concert halls or recording studios.

In conclusion, both M4A and WAV have their advantages and disadvantages concerning the storage of audio files.

If you require a lesser file size, then M4A is the way to go. However, if you require better-quality sound, then WAV is the better option.

Converting between these two formats isn't difficult and there are plenty of tools available to help with the process.

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How we picked M4A to WAV converters

There are quite many audio converters that support converting M4A to WAV. We picked the top 5 based on the following criteria:

  • Three of the choices are desktop software to ensure users who want to work offline can do that.
  • The other two are online audio converters to provide an option for quick processing with no need to get a new app.

To rank them, we evaluated their limitations, additional features, format support, and overall user experience.

M4A to WAV converters

Program OS Free version limitations Type of license Rating
Icecream Video Converter
Windows
N/A
License required for commercial use
5.0
Audacity
Windows
macOS
Linux
N/A
Open-source
4.5
Switch
Windows
macOS
N/A
License required for commercial use
4.5
Convertio
Web
10 conversions per day
Monthly subscription
4.0
CloudConvert
Web
25 min of 5 conversions per day
Monthly subscription
4.0

1. Icecream Video Converter

To easily convert M4A to WAV, you can use the reliable Icecream Video Converter. Despite the word "video" in the name, this converter supports turning video into audio as well as switching between audio formats.

Below is the instruction on how to change the M4A format to WAV:

Step 1. Download the audio converter on your PC and complete the installation process.

Step 2. Open the program. Add your M4A files by clicking the "Add file" button.

Step 3. Choose "WAV" as the output format from the dropdown menu. Optionally, trim the audio's length if needed.

Step 4. If you have multiple files, repeat steps 2 and 3 for each file.

Step 5. Hit the "Convert" button to start the process.

Step 6. Once the conversion is complete, view the output files by clicking the "Open folder" button.

Convert M4A to WAV on Windows

Pros:

  • A clean and intuitive user interface, making it easy for users of all levels to navigate and utilize its features efficiently.
  • Supports a vast array of video and audio formats, including MOV, 3GP, and others.
  • Allows users to convert multiple files simultaneously, saving time and effort compared to converting videos one by one.
  • Includes adjusting parameters such as resolution, bitrate, and codec to achieve the desired output quality.
  • Provides tools for trimming and cropping videos, allowing users to remove unwanted sections or adjust the frame size as needed.

2. Audacity

Transforming audio files between formats can be a tricky task. Fortunately, you can easily convert M4A to WAV with Audacity, a free, open-source software created for music processing.

Here's a detailed guide on how to employ this app to transcode M4A into WAV.

Step 1. Download and install Audacity on your computer.

Step 2. Open the program and click "File", then pick "Import" and select "Audio" from the dropdown menu.

Step 3. Select the M4A file on your computer that you want to convert to WAV.

Step 4. Open the "File" menu again. Locate "Export" and choose "Export as WAV".

Step 5. In the new window, enter the file's name, add tags, and choose a location for it on your computer. You can also adjust Encoding.

Step 6. Click "Save", edit "Metadata Tags" if needed, and finish by hitting "OK".

Convert M4A to WAV with Audacity

Pros:

  • No limitations on the file size and number of operations.
  • The program is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems.
  • This M4A to WAV converter is a preliminary audio editor, so you can make changes to your file before exporting it.
  • Many input and output audio formats are supported.

Cons:

  • Users have to install the FFmpeg import/export library to process the M4A format.
  • If you need a simple audio converter, this interface may seem a bit overwhelming.

3. Switch

Converting audio files from one format to another is often necessary for various reasons. One of the most popular formats, M4A, can be converted to the WAV format using a program called Switch.

Here is how to use this software to convert M4A to WAV:

Step 1. Download and install Switch on your computer.

Step 2. Launch the application and go from "Home" window to "Convert".

Step 3. Drag and drop your M4A file into the main window. Alternatively, go to the "File" menu and use the "Add file" option.

Step 4. In the "Save to Folder" field browse and pick a location for the new file. In the "Output Format" select "WAV".

Step 5. In the top left corner, locate the "Convert" button with the orange arrow. Click it to begin M4A to WAV conversion.

How to convert M4A to WAV with Switch

Pros:

  • Simple to use audio converter for Windows and macOS.
  • Free downloading, unlimited file size, and number of operations.
  • Capable of processing a wide variety of audio formats.

Cons:

  • The free version is only for home use. If you need to for commercial purposes, you have to purchase the license.

4. Convertio

Convertio is a web-based converter for changing M4A to WAV. It is a quick solution to convert audio, images, video, and document files to other formats with only a few clicks of the mouse.

Here's how to convert M4A to WAV with this online audio converter:

Step 1. Go to Convertio and click "Select Files" to upload the M4A audio you desire to transform. You can upload it from your device or select it from Dropbox or Google Drive.

Step 2. Select "WAV" as the output file format from the "to" dropdown list.

Step 3. Click "Convert" and wait for the transformation to complete.

Step 4. When the conversion is complete, hit "Download" to save the WAV file to your computer.

Convert M4A to WAV online with Convertio

Pros:

  • Batch processing is available.
  • All popular audio formats are supported.
  • Offers a preview of the resulting file's size.
  • Files are automatically deleted within 24 hours of processing.

Cons:

  • The free plan allows you to convert 10 files per day with a maximum file size of 100 MB.
  • With the free access, the number of concurrently launched conversions is limited to 2.

5. CloudConvert

Another online audio converter is CloudConvert, which has become a great option for users needing to convert M4A to WAV online.

Here is a step-by-step guide that explains how to use it:

Step 1. Go to CloudConvert website. Choose the input and output file formats to prepare the M4A to WAV converter.

Step 2. Click the "Select Files" button to pick your audio. You can upload it from your computer, Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive, or add it by URL.

Step 3. Hit "Convert" and wait for processing to finish.

Step 4. Once the conversion is finished, you will see the green "Download" button. Click it to fetch your fresh WAV file.

How to convert M4A to WAV with CloudConvert

Pros:

  • More than 200 input and output formats supported.
  • This service works not just with audio as it is also a video converter.
  • Relatively quick processing time.
  • Reputable service with high data security.
  • Can process multiple files simultaneously.

Cons:

  • The free plan is limited to 25 minutes or 5 conversions per day.

Reasons to convert M4A to WAV

When preparing to use a M4A to WAV converter, make sure the source file is of high quality. If it is not, then converting it may not result in better sound quality.

If you wish to change an M4A format to WAV, there could be a few reasons behind that.

  • WAV files offer superior sound quality. The lossless compression used by the WAV format makes it ideal for audiophiles and music producers who need the highest quality audio.
  • WAV files can be easily edited. With M4A,  any changes you make to the file will cause it to be re-encoded, which can lead to a loss of quality. WAV audio can easily be manipulated by using audio editing software.
  • Most professional audio equipment will only accept WAV files. Therefore, if you're producing music in a studio, you should make sure your files are in the correct format.
  • WAV format is better suited for CD and DVD. If you're still burning music onto a CD or DVD, then you'll need to use the WAV format as well.

Overall, transforming M4A files to WAV can offer numerous advantages. Not only does it make your music compatible with older devices, but it also offers higher sound quality and better editing options. If you're looking for the best audio quality and compatibility with all devices, converting your M4A files to WAV format is a great choice.

FAQ

Is there a free program to convert M4A to WAV?
Yes, a multitude of programs or online services can help you do that for free. Such are open-source software or web-based converters.
How do I convert M4A to WAV in Windows?
If you want to modify M4A audio files to the more versatile WAV format on a Windows computer, all you need is a desktop application. You can also utilize any online audio converter that supports these input and output formats.
How do I convert M4A to WAV on Mac?
Similarly to Windows users, Mac customers can rapidly turn M4A files into WAV with an online audio converter or download the macOS version of a desktop program.
Should I convert M4A to WAV?
In short, it depends. If you want the highest quality sound and don't mind taking up some extra storage space, then interchanging between M4A and WAV may be worth it. But if you're just listening casually or don't notice much difference between audio file formats, then sticking with M4A is probably fine.

Conclusion

As you can see from the above, converting an M4A file to WAV is not a complicated process. The key points to remember when doing so are to make sure the source audio file is of good quality, use a reliable converter, and be aware of any applicable copyright laws.

With a suitable program and data, you can speedily and easily convert your M4A files to a WAV format.

Alexandra Meyer

Editor-in-Chief at Icecream Apps

With experience spanning over several years, Alexandra Meyer holds the esteemed position of editor-in-chief at Icecream Apps. Originally involved in the website's establishment in 2014, Alexandra now ensures the maintenance of the company's exceptional content standards across their various projects. Specializing in technology, software, online services, and human resources, she has extensively written and edited numerous articles on these subjects.
6 min read
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