WAV files are still seen as the industry standard when it comes to audio files. If you’re looking for a file type that’s lossless and contains the most possible data, then WAV is for you.

Professional recording studios utilize the WAV format, ensuring that no data is lost during the mixing and mastering process. Once the finished mixes are converted to the MP3 format, high levels of data compression to decrease the file size results in the significant loss of both dynamic range and frequency response.

Though WAV files have existed since the early 1990s, their large size has made it prohibitive for most consumers to download. In the age of broadband high-speed internet and cloud storage, this has all become far more simple. Today, most users can easily download WAV files and enjoy the benefits of all that extra data.

At the moment, you cannot download high-resolution audio from iTunes. So where are WAV files currently available?

HDTracks

HDTracks is a music platform that was ahead of its time, offering high sample rates and different file formats since 2008. The team has a positive outlook on the fact that music should be available in as much detail as possible, and every file they receive is quality-controlled so they get the highest possible fidelity.

As well as WAV, you can download in some other lossless formats such as FLAC. These files utilize lossless compression (making them smaller than WAVs) and, like WAV, offer 5.1 playback in addition to stereo.

Immersive Audio Album

The platform at Immersive Audio Album is designed for releasing music in high-resolution file formats including WAV. Artists and their fans can connect in surround sound, and choose between a variety of file formats.

Tracks on our store are available in Atmos MP4, 5.1 WAV, 3D Binaural WAV and MP3, so you can choose which works best for your setup and enjoy 3D audio on your phone, Dolby Atmos-enabled device, or through a traditional surround sound system. Once you buy an album, EP, or other releases on our store you can choose the download format you would prefer.

To sell your music in IAA’s shop, visit our artist platform here!

Bandcamp

Bandcamp remains extremely popular among independent musicians. It’s easy to start an account and begin releasing ads selling music within hours of signing up. You don’t necessarily find many of the biggest bands and artists releasing via Bandcamp, but due to the simplicity of the setup it is great for smaller musicians.

You can download via MP3, FLAC, AAC, Ogg Vorbis, ALAC, WAV, and AIFF files. There isn’t much immersive audio, or platforms like Dolby Atmos, so be sure to check that you’re getting exactly what you are looking for for your device setup.

Other places to explore if you are looking for WAV files include:

  • Directly via a band’s website
  • 7digital.com
  • Qobuz.com

Remember that you need an audio player that is capable, too. Although you cannot buy WAV files on iTunes, you can still play the tracks you have purchased on the platform. You can also opt for software, such as VLC media player, which can play Atmos files.

About the Author
Ben is a writer and musician from the UK with a background in music technology. He writes about engineering and production, musicianship and music equipment for a number of publications including his site, Subreel.
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