AIFF vs WAV: Difference and Comparison

AIFF and WAV are two sound file formats created in the late 1990s and still being used. Both format designs share a similar beginning; they were derived from the IFF file format.

Both file types are original sound record types utilized in proficient sound handling/altering sound design as it has a high quality of files.

Key Takeaways

  1. AIFF (Audio Interchange File Format) is an uncompressed audio file format developed by Apple, while WAV (Waveform Audio File Format) is an uncompressed format created by Microsoft and IBM.
  2. AIFF and WAV files provide high-quality audio, but AIFF files are more common on Apple devices, and WAV files are more widely supported on Windows systems.
  3. AIFF and WAV files are larger than compressed formats, such as MP3, but offer superior audio fidelity for various professional applications.


The difference between AIFF and WAV is that AIFF files are stored in the format extension of .aiff or .aif, while the file format extension for WAV is stored in .wav. Besides this, the AIFF files cannot be corrupted easily as compared to WAV files which corrupt easily.


AIFF or Audio Interchange File Format is a sound record design created by Apple in late 1988 in view of the Interchange File Format (IFF) created by the Electronic Arts/Amiga frameworks.

AIFF is a major inference from the IFF and is utilized widely in the Mac OS. AIFF utilizes to store information, and each piece is distinguished by a piece ID.

WAV or Waveform Audio File Format is a record design created by Microsoft and IBM for PCs, and it is a deduction from the Microsoft Resource Interchange File Format (RIFF).

Acquiring from IFF, this strategy likewise stores the sound as information in pieces. WAV is the principle sound document design utilized in windows based programming for quality sound.

Comparison Table

Parameters of Comparison AIFFWAV
Developed ByAppleMicrosoft & IBM
Acronym Audio Interchange File FormatWaveform Audio File Format
File Extension Uses the extension .aiff or .aifUses the extension .wav
Supported Players Apple iTunes, VLC, Windows Media PlayerWindows Media Player and VLC
Compression PossibleNot possible 

What is AIFF?

AIFF works for the most part on Macs and iOS gadgets. It can likewise play on Windows with specific media players like VLC. AIFF files are represented on Windows with the file extension .aif to, while Macs use the file extension as .aiff to them.

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This implies that Windows clients will see .aif while those on Mac will see the expansion .aiff.You can open and play AIFF media on Apple iTunes, VLC, Windows Media Player, and other multi-design media players.

Assuming that you are a Mac client, use those Apple projects to play these sound files.

iPhones and iPads play these sound configurations locally without any application to be installed, yet to play them on Android devices, one has to convert the files into compatible ones to play them.

Since the AIFF files are uncompressed, this makes them greater in size than other lossy arrangements like MP3.

However, the uncompressed sound documents imply that it will consume more space on your hard disk media, up to 10 MB of each file of sound recording. It is very well a little cost to pay in the event that you are searching for top-notch sound results.

What is WAV?

Short for Waveform Audio File Format, WAV is one of the most seasoned and least complex high-goal sound configurations created by IBM and Microsoft in 1991.

This sound arrangement works by changing over sound signs into paired information, which is then put away as a sound design on PC. It stores information in pieces, very much like the AIFF design utilized on Mac PCs.

WAV records are likewise uncompressed, implying that the information is put away as-is in a full unique configuration that doesn’t need translating. This gives huge adaptability permitting altering and control of sound.

Nonetheless, WAV records can be packed utilizing Audio Compression Manager (ACM) codecs. There are a few APIs and applications accessible that can change over WAV documents to other sound record designs.

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WAV records catch and produce a unique sound waveform at best without influencing or adjusting the sonic qualities of the sound in any manner.

To do some sound mixing, WAV would be your smartest option. This is on the grounds that you can alter or control WAV documents utilizing some product.

The file extension which is used by the WAV file formats is basically in the .wav form.

Main Differences Between AIFF and WAV

  1. AIFF files use the file extension as .aiff or .aif, while the file extension used for WAV file is .wav
  2. AIFF files can work in macOS and Windows, whereas the WAV files work only in the Windows platform.
  3. AIFF files cannot be compressed easily when compared to the WAV files, which are easily compressible without using any external applications.
  4. AIFF files do not corrupt easily, while the WAV files get corrupted easily as the user can change the file formats easily in WAV files.
  5. In AIFF files, it’s not easy to add the Tags due to their file formats which are not flexible, while in WAV files, it is easy to add Tags.
Difference Between AIFF and WAV

Last Updated : 14 July, 2023

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