WMA vs WMA Pro: Difference and Comparison

WMA and WMA Pro are two variants of the popular audio format system made by windows, and they are widely popular all across the world because of the intrinsic popularity of windows itself.

The biggest difference between these two lies in the improvement and better qualities provided to the users; however, they still are important to be distinguished. 

Key Takeaways

  1. WMA (Windows Media Audio) is a proprietary audio compression format developed by Microsoft.
  2. WMA Pro is an improved version of WMA with better audio quality and support for multichannel audio.
  3. Both formats are compatible with Windows Media Player, but WMA Pro offers superior sound quality for various applications.

WMA vs WMA Pro 

The difference between WMA and WMA Pro is that even after belonging to the same company and the same manufacturer, there exists a gap of generation between these two formats, and the question totally lies upon the needs of the user and the one format which can cater best to those needs.

The former happens to be an older generation as compared to the latter. 

WMA vs WMA Pro

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WMA basically stands for Windows media audio and showcases a particular software and hardware program created by windows as a means of supporting audios in a particular format.

The system has been operating in the world for more than 30 years, and there is a huge fan following because of the simplicity and the features available.  

But on the other hand, WMA Pro it’s basically an extended and newer version of WMA and somehow provides better features and characteristics as compared to the older version.

Certain technological altercations have brought to life this particular version, but certain technological drawbacks are also present in this particular version. 

Comparison Table

Parameters of Comparison WMA WMA Pro 
Meaning  It refers to an audio format made by the company windows. It refers to the newer and updated version of the previous format.
Full form It stands for Windows media audio. It stands for Windows media audio professional. 
Launched in In the year 1999 After a few years of the launch of the WMA. 
Additional technology  No such additional technologies are supported. It supports certain additional technologies such as dynamic range compression etc. 
Compatibility  Even after being an older version, it happens to be more compatible with many devices. Even after being an updated version, it happens to be less compatible with devices that are prevalent today. 

What is WMA? 

In the year 1999, windows emerged as one of the biggest players in the market of computers and technology, and with the gradual growth in the business and the market, the company was manufacturing new and dynamic products and services in order to extend its operation throughout the whole world.

In this very chain of processes, one very significant product was launched by the company that is known as windows media audio or WMA.  

The main idea behind the emergence of this technology was to support audio differently than the MP3 format and in a better version.

The biggest difference the company made as compared to other formats was the reduction in the data consumption and the storage used by the audio after using Windows media audio format.  

However, constant growth in the technology demanded upgradations in this particular technology as well, and as a result, certain updated versions of windows media audio format were also launched subsequently.

But even after so many upgrades, this particular version of the original Windows Media audio format persists to be relevant. 

What is WMA Pro? 

After a few years of the launch of Windows Media audio format, the need for constant up-gradation was felt by not just the company but the stakeholders as well, and as usual, the demand arose in the market that was effectively supplied by the company as well.  

This upgrade resulted in the emergence of a new version of Windows audio media format that is known as windows audio media format professional.

This upgradation brought with it many traditional technologies that were essentially present in the older version but also brought certain new technological changes as well that was important keeping in mind the constant growth of the Technological market.  

One major change brought in reality by this version was that it reduced the rate of byte rates in the audio format and thus allowed the audio to be clearer as compared to the previous version.

However, to the astonishment of the company and the users as well, this version has not yet succeeded in surpassing the older version in terms of compatibility as the older one still happens to be compatible with the new-age devices. 

Main Differences Between WMA and WMA Pro 

  1. WMA stands for Windows media audio while on the other hand, WMA Pro stands for Windows media audio professional. 
  2. WMA is an older and parent version of the audio format of windows, while on the other hand, WMA Pro is the newer and updated version. 
  3. WMA does not support any other additional technology, while on the other hand, WMA Pro supports additional technologies such as dynamic range compression. 
  4. WMA happens to be more compatible with even new-age devices as compared to WMA Pro. 
  5. WMA, in a nutshell, is the parent and older version of WMA Pro. 


  1. https://www.sae.org/publications/technical-papers/content/2010-01-2319/ 
  2. https://dl.acm.org/doi/abs/10.1145/2575978  

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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