AIFF vs. WAV and Comparing the Two Lossless Audio Formats

If you are a music lover or often deal with various audio files, you may know and prefer lossless formats like AIFF and WAV. Both can offer high-quality audio and are ideal for various professional usages. So, what are their key differences, and which audio format should you choose? Read the AIFF vs. WAV and learn further about these two lossless formats.


Part 1. AIFF vs. WAV

AIFF (Audio Interchange File Format) was developed by Apple in 1988 and mainly used for Macintosh computers. It once was the standard for high-quality audio storage and editing. AIFF files can contain nearly all data and details as the source audio recordings.

WAV (Waveform Audio Format) was created by Microsoft and IBM in 1991. Unlike AIFF, it is mainly designed for Windows systems to store audio data without any compression. WAV files can offer a similar sound quality as AIFF. The format uses PCM (Linear Pulse Code Modulation) to turn audio signals into a series of numbers.

Although AIFF and WAV were originally designed for different systems and devices, they have broader compatibility and can be supported by more systems and players. Now, most audio players and editors accept both formats seamlessly. Relatively speaking, WAV has a wider compatibility than AIFF. However, when it comes to managing AIFF and WAV files on older devices, Mac prefers AIFF, and WAV can be the safer option for Windows PCs.

AIFF contains metadata details like artist, genre, album title, track, and more. WAV stores additional file header information, such as the sample rate, bitrate, and channels. In contrast, AIFF focuses on the core audio data. Compared to WAV, AIFF often comes with a slightly larger file size.

Another difference between AIFF and WAV is the way to store data. AIFF adopts the big-endian byte order with the largest value presented at the first. WAV uses the little-endian byte order, with the least byte coming first. When opening or editing audio in some audio software designed for a specific byte order, the minor difference may cause compatibility issues.

Unlike compressed audio formats like MP3 and AAC, both AIFF and WAV won’t suffer from quality degradation. They can be useful for storing important and valuable audio. But compared with compressed audio, they have much larger file sizes. You require more storage space to store them, especially when you have a large number of file collections. For casual users and everyday listening, MP3 can give a relatively good sound quality with a small file size.

Part 2. How to Convert Audio Between AIFF and WAV

Both AIFF and WAV can deliver high-fidelity audio. However, for different purposes, you may want to make the audio conversion from AIFF to WAV, or from WAV to AIFF. Generally, if you are not working within the Apple ecosystem, WAV is always a better option. Converting AIFF to WAV can get the maximum compatibility. This part shares two effective solutions to convert your lossless audio files.

Convert AIFF to WAV Without Quality Loss

To convert audio while keeping the original audio quality, you can rely on a dedicated audio converter like Aiseesoft Video Converter Ultimate. It supports many input and output formats, including AIFF, WAV, FLAC, ALAC, MP3, M4A, and more. It allows batch conversion for multiple AIFF files. It provides customization options like encoder, channel, sample rate, and bitrate to ensure high-quality outputs. Moreover, this AIFF-to-WAV converter offers some basic editing functions.

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Download and launch this AIFF to MP3 converter. Load the audio you want to convert and then select MP3 from Output Format. As mentioned above, you are allowed to convert multiple AIFF files at a time. While selecting the output format, pick the Lossless Quality option if you prefer no quality loss during the conversion.

Convert WAV to Edit Profile

If you want to edit audio and adjust the sound effects, click Cut or Edit next to your added AIFF file. To get faster conversion speeds, you can enable NVIDIA, AMD, and Intel hardware acceleration.

Cut AIFF Audio File Mac Aiseesoft

Make Audio Conversion Between AIFF and WAV Online

Compared to desktop software, many online conversion tools are offered on the market that offers a convenient way to convert ausdio. If you only have a few audio files to convert, you can turn to a free online AIFF to WAV converter like Aiseesoft Free Audio Converter Online, FreeConvert, Convertio,, or CloudConvert.

Aisee Free Online Audio Converter

You can select your desired online tool, upload your audio, and then start the conversion. You should pay attention to the limits on file size and features while choosing an online audio converter.

Part 3. FAQs of AIFF and WAV Audio Formats

Can VLC convert AIFF to WAV?

More than a powerful media player, VLC offers some basic video and audio conversions. It supports the AIFF and WAV formats and allows you to make the conversion between them. You can open VLC, go to the top File menu, and choose the Convert/Save feature. Add your audio file(s), choose the right output format, and then click Start to make the conversion from AIFF to WAV.

What player opens AIFF files?

AIFF files can be accepted and played by many media players on Windows and Mac computers. For instance, you can use Windows Media Player, QuickTime Player, VLC media player, iTunes, and more to easily open AIFF audio.

Can Audacity output WAV?

Audacity is an open-source audio transcoder that supports many input and output audio formats, including WAV. It lets you load audio files in various formats and then export them in WAV.


This post gives the AIFF vs. WAV on different aspects to help you better understand these two lossless audio formats. Moreover, I share two helpful solutions to convert audio between AIFF and WAV. You can message me in the comments if you have other related questions.

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