WAV File Documentation

Files with the WAV extension are used to store waveform data, using a standard audio format.

Files in the WAV format allow you to record audio content that can be saved at different sampling rates. Files with the WAV extension are the most commonly used audio format in the Windows operating system.


Feature Value
File Extension .wav
MIME Type audio/wav, audio/wave, audio/x-wav
Developer Microsoft and IBM
Release Year 1991
Type of Format Audio File Format
Audio Compression Type Lossless and Lossy (mostly Lossless)
Primary Encoding Method Linear PCM
Supported Bit Depth 8-bit, 16-bit, 24-bit, 32-bit
Sample Rate Up to 192kHz
Channels Mono, Stereo, Multi-channel
Metadata Support Limited
Main Usage Professional audio work, Broadcasting, Archiving
File Structure Chunk-based (RIFF, fmt, Data)
Compatibility High (Supported on most software and hardware platforms)
Maximum File Size 4 GB (Standard), Larger with certain extensions
Subtypes Extensible WAV, Broadcast WAV
Loop Points Supported (though not universally)
Streaming Poorly suited due to size
License Publicly documented, no patent licensing
Endian Format Little-endian (Standard), Big-endian (Optional)
Advantages High-quality audio, easy to edit, wide compatibility
Limitations Large file size, limited metadata support