How to Convert WAV to MP3 on Mac with Best Quality

Cheryl Bennett
April 15, 2024 Preview 52 Preview 0
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Summary:

Step 1: Choose the right WAV to MP3 converter. Two popular choices for Mac are iTunes (now Apple Music) and a dedicated media converter like iFunia Video Converter.

Step 2: Import WAV files. Add the WAV files you want to convert to the chosen converter tool, usually drag and drop will do.

Step 3: Configure output settings. Most converters allow users to customize the audio quality and other settings. If available, select a constant bitrate (CBR) of 320 kbps to maintain the highest quality.

Step 4: Convert WAV to MP3. Click on a Convert or similar button to start the conversion progress.

Read on for detailed tutorials.

WAV is a lossless and uncompressed audio format that can preserve the original quality of audio, but it requires more storage space with large file size. Converting WAV to MP3 format allows a 75-90% reduction in file sizes and thereby enables easier sharing and playback on multiple devices. However, it’s important to note that such conversion from a lossless to a lossy format can result in quality degradation. In this article, we will explore the best five methods to convert WAV to MP3 on Mac while minimizing quality loss.

Batch Convert WAV Files to MP3 With Highest Quality

iFunia Video Converter is a professional media converter software known for its excellent processing speed and versatility. It supports conversion between all video and audio formats, including WAV, MP3, Apple Lossless, FLAC, M4A and more. It sets the best quality output profile by default so even first-time users can effortlessly convert WAV to MP3 in the highest quality without tweaking advanced settings. It also allows you to trim each clip, adjust the volume and merge multiple files if desired.

A simple how-to guide:  

1. Download iFunia Video Converter for Mac by clicking the button below.

Free Download macOS 10.11 or later

2. Drag and drop your WAV audio files to the program. Alternatively, go to the File menu and select "Add File(s)...". Here you can click "Save Convert Folder to..." to specify a save folder for output files.

Import WAV files

3. Set MP3 as the output format. Click "Convert all tasks to" at the bottom left and switch to the "General Audio" tab in the pop-up window, then select "MP3 Audio" from the list.

Convert WAV files to MP3 on Mac

This tool will convert WAV to MP3 with the best quality (320 Kbps) by default. If you want lower bitrate with smaller file size, click the ellipsis icon setting button to access the Advanced Settings window, where you can adjust the audio quality and sample rate.

advanced settings

4. When all the audio files are set up, click the Convert button that sits on the bottom right to initiate the conversion. You can find the MP3 files in the specified folder or click the checkmark icon to locate them quickly.

converting process

 

Convert WAV to MP3 on Mac With iTunes/Music

Both WAV and MP3 are supported formats on Mac, so you can convert WAV to MP3 and vice versa in iTunes (now Music) without using a third-party app. It will create an MP3 version of the WAV file in your music library. iTunes has been integrated into Music since macOS Catalina, so here's a how-to guide for macOS 10.15+:

  1. Launch the Music app on your Mac and click the "Music" menu on the top to select "Preferences" or "Settings". A pop-up window will appear.
  2. Go to the "Files" tab and click "Import Settings..." button.apple music import settings
  3. In the new dialog, choose "MP3 Encoder" from the Import Using list and set the output quality. If you want a higher quality than 192 kbps, click "Custom" from the Setting drop-down list, then you can adjust the "Stereo Bit Rate" up to 320 kbps, leave other options at default and click OK.Music import settings
  4. Import the WAV file(s) you want to convert into Music. Select one or multiple files in the library and then go to File > Convert, click “Create MP3 Version”. Then your Mac will begin to convert WAV file to MP3 one by one.convert WAV to MP3 in Music

The converted MP3 files can be found in the Recently Added tab.

Pro tip: You can also utilize another built-in app called Automator to create a WAV to MP3 "workflow" for more efficient conversion. Click here to learn more.

 

Convert WAV to MP3 Using FFmpeg

FFmpeg is the Swiss army knife for media conversion. It allows you to convert WAV files to MP3 via one line of command and customize the output settings with a lot of FFmpeg options. It may look complicated at first, but once you've figured out its basics, it can be a handy tool.

How to convert WAV to MP3 with FFmpeg on Mac:

1. Install FFmpeg. Visit FFmpeg download page and download the static builds for macOS 64-bit. When the zip file is downloaded, extract the ffmpeg binary to a directory of your choice.

2. Open the Terminal app, add the directory to the path variable. For example, if the FFmpeg file is in /Users/test/downloads, type and run:

  • export PATH=$PATH:/Users/test/downloads

3. Use the "-i" option to refer to the WAV file, and "-ab" option to specify the audio bitrate. For example, if I want to convert WAV to MP3 at 320 kbps, type and run:

  • ffmpeg -i input.wav -ab 320k output.mp3

ffmpeg convert WAV to MP3

FFmpeg can also convert an entire folder of WAV files to MP3:

1. Use "-cd" to add the folder containing WAV files to the path, for example, cd desktop/wav.

2. Then copy and run the following command:

  • for i in *.wav; do ffmpeg -i "$i" -ab 320k "${i%.*}.mp3"; done

The output MP3 files will appear in the same folder of the original files.

ffmpeg batch convert WAV files to mp3

 

Convert WAV to MP3 With Audacity

Audacity is the world's most popular audio editing application, supporting various popular audio formats including WAV and MP3. Although it cannot do batch conversion like the other tools, it can preserve the metadata (title, artist, album, etc.) of WAV files after converted to MP3.

Steps to convert a WAV file to MP3 using Audacity:

1. Download and install Audacity for Mac from its official website.

2. Run Audacity, choose File menu > Import > Audio, then select the WAV file you want to convert.

3. Edit the WAV audio if necessary. (Optional)

4. Go to File again and click "Export Audio...", a new window will pop up.

5. In the new window, enter a file name, choose a folder to save the output file, and select "MP3 Files" from the Format drop-down list. Select a desired kbps from the Quality list, and leave other options as default. You can also click the button in the lower left corner to edit the metadata if needed.

6. Click the "Export" button to start converting.

Audacity convert WAV to MP3 on Mac

 

Convert WAV to MP3 320k Online

CloudConvert is an online converter site that offers options to control audio quality and file size just like desktop software. It contains no malicious ads and allows 25 free conversions per day. You can also buy conversion credits according to your needs.

  1. Visit cloudconvert.com and upload your WAV file to the website. It allows up to 5 simultaneous conversions.
  2. Select MP3 as the output format.
  3. Click the wrench button to adjust the audio options. It allows you to tweak the bitrate, sample rate and set the start time and end time of the audio. Click Okay to apply the settings.
  4. Click Convert to begin the conversion process. Wait for the uploading and converting to finish, then download and save the file to your Mac.cloudconvert.com

 

Bottom Line

Compared to other lossless audio formats, WAV has a wider compatibility, but the file size is huge. Follow the step-by-step instructions provided in each method, you can convert WAV to smaller, high-quality MP3 file on your Mac. To check the output audio quality, you can add the MP3 to the Music app on your Mac, right click on the file and select "Get Info" from the menu to view the parameters.

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Cheryl Bennett
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Cheryl has been writing tutorials, reviews, and how-to articles on consumer apps since 2016. She specializes in multimedia products and is always testing on Mac, PC, and various devices.

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