Can a Car Stereo Play Wav Files?

Can a Car Stereo Play Wav Files?
Can a Car Stereo Play Wav Files?

Follow these steps to play Wav files on your car stereo. To play and enjoy the favorite tracks on a car stereo, people often come with different choices, and sometimes their requirements change.

Can a Car Stereo Play Wav Files? Yes, car stereo can play Wav files. But Wav files cannot be played directly with a USB stick to your car stereo. The Wav files are played by burning to a CD than playing it directly into the car stereo. 

In older days, when people only had CDs to listen to songs too, they had their records in the form of .wav format. But you cannot just plug your USB stick to the car stereo and play .wav music to your car stereo.

Unless you have a car stereo that supports all types of audio formats with a plug and plays feature. Some car stereos do not have such qualities but this can be changed with a little effort and knowledge. You might have your .wav format tracks and you want to play them in your car stereo and you are having trouble in it.

Can a Car Stereo Play Wav Files?

We have a simple way with which you will be able to play your .wav format songs to your car stereo. For this purpose, you must have a car stereo that also has a CD player in it.

Factory car stereo mostly comes with a built-in CD player feature which was commonly used in the decade of 2000.

But when mp3 files became popular with songs as they are the compressed form and do not take much space, they were only copied to a USB stick and plugged right into the stereo to play.

If you are wondering that you will just copy your .wav format songs to the USB and will play just like the Mp3 files then you are wrong.

Tools required

To play .wav files with a CD, you will need to get a Blank CD so that you can burn your files on it. But make sure that you buy a CD-R disk.

Do not buy a CD-RW disk because most CD players do not recognize audio files on it. Also, you should not rewrite a CD if you are about to use it for your .wav audio format.

You will require a laptop or a computer with a Windows operating system and you must have a CD writer drive in your system.

If your operating system has a windows media player 11, then you must use a separate CD burner for this purpose because it does not support burning the CD according to your requirements.

Let’s move on to the procedure:

Separate .wav files for process

As you may have a mixed list of your .wav files with other audio files like mp3 or Flac, you may want to separate them in another folder to distinguish for ease.

If you have lots of mp3 files and .wav files mixed in a single folder, you can sort them by their type and view them as details in your windows explorer.

Doing so, will rearrange all the files in the order of their type, i.e. mp3 files first and .wav files after them or vice versa. In this way, you will be able to get them separated very quickly. You may also need to create a new audio CD from an older CD.

If your CD is damaged or has many marks and annoy you while playing, you might need to create a new one with them. You should copy all the .wav files or other audio format files out of the CD and place them in a separate folder for your project.

The point is, you must gather all the files that you want to put on your CD because this process will help you to create your favorite record for your car stereo.

Convert into Wav files

Converting process is included in the procedure because you might have a damaged .wav file that could not be supported by the car stereo. So, you can convert them to the .wav format whether in which format they are.

This process will not only enable you to repair the .wav files for audio CD but you will also be able to get other files on your audio CD.

If you have a list of songs that consists of multiple audio formats, i.e. FLAC, Wav, or mp3, you can convert all of them to .wav format. In this way, you will be able to put those songs in your audio CD which are in mp3 and you cannot miss out on them.

To convert your audio list to .wav format, you should download and install a good rated audio converter. You can see reviews and ask your colleagues for a good audio format converter.

Audacity can be a good option, but you can also use other third-party audio converters such as Switch.

You only have to import your audio files in the converter tool and create some selections for the accurate .wav format that is used for an audio CD. You must have an FFmpeg library configurations installed in your computer to convert your audio files.

Audacity has all the options available that are required to create an accurate .wav format for an audio CD. The most important thing in audio conversion is to choose quality. The quality of the audio format should be chosen to 44100 Hz.

This frequency is the best and compatible with the car stereo to play the audio file. You will have to select a 16-bit format for the audio and conversion should be selected to medium speed.

It will not even slow the process of conversion and will not make it fast so that the conversion process takes the required amount of time and is done properly.

One more important thing is that you should select a PCM of 16-bit. All these format selections are necessary if you are converting or exporting in .wav format.

Drag and drop into the windows media player

Windows media player provides you the ability to burn your favorite songs on a blank CD so that your playlist is saved on physical memory and you can access it whenever you want. 

Now, when your conversion is complete and you are ready to burn your audio files on a CD, you must insert your CD into the computer and drag all your songs to the media player. Ithas an option displayed on the menu that says burn.

You can get your tracks in the burn section and arrange them in the order as you want them to play in the car stereo. As all the way files are arranged in the required order and all files are dragged into the media player, it is now time to do the required configurations.

Do the required configurations

Now, you have to configure the burning process of the disk in such a way that the CD is recognized by the car stereo and .wav files are easily played on it. The required configuration involves some simple steps which you might ignore while burning any typical disk.

Now, the first thing to do is to choose the specific CD burner software for your CD. You can use it for this process but we would suggest you use a special CD burner for your procedure.

The logical reason behind it is that, if you work with a specialist, then you will get a good result. But if you work with an all-rounder, then it may cause some issues.

So, the specialist is the single CD burner which you will choose for your work, and all-rounder is that media player which could cause some issue while burning.

Now, let us get back to the configurations. Well, the first thing to do in the configuration is to select the CD as an audio CD. There are two options in windows media player, which are data CD and the audio CD.

If you choose Data CD, the audio might will only play on the computer because the burner will burn the .wav files in the form of zeros and ones, which is a computer understandable term.

If you choose an audio CD, the .wav files will be saved as the car stereo will recognize it. After choosing the audio CD, go to more burn options and go to the burn section.

Here you will see the burn speed option. Select the burn speed to medium here too. The reason behind it is that when you select the fast or fastest option it may not burn the files properly.

So, the safe side is to select a medium speed burn. Another important option to change or select is that under the data disk option you will see the format option to be selected as WPL as default. That option is for Data CD, you should select an M3U option for an audio CD.

Burn the files on the CD

After configuring the options, the next step is to quickly burn the selected .wav files on the CD. So, when you click on the burn, it will take some time to complete. Always make sure the files that you burn are not more than the available space on the CD.

So, as after your CD is burned and your .wav files are on your CD, you can easily play them by inserting the CD in your car stereo. It is now time to test your CD on your car stereo. You should always select good car audio barnds like Kicker to get better sound quality.

Now you can play Wav files in car stereo

When the CD burning process is complete, you should get your CD and get into your car. Get the key in the ignition switch and change the mode to accessory mode.

When you see that your car is in accessory mode and the accessories along with your car stereo are powered on, it is time to insert your CD and test it. You can use Polk Audio car speakers for excellent sound quality.

Now, insert your CD in the stereo. The stereo will read the files, read the format, and then start playing the .wav tracks in the order as you mentioned while burning. This is how it is done. This process applies to those car stereos, which have optional CD players. Many people love to add a soundbar with car stereo for high-quality sound.

Final Words

Your problem can be resolved by moving your .wav tracks to a blank CD and playing it in your car stereo. But if you have .wav files on a USB disk, then it will be difficult for your car stereo to recognize them as audio files.

The reason behind it is that not all car stereos are designed to support all audio formats. Some are designed to provide extra options like playing CD.

With these stereos, you can play your .wav files. But if your stereo has an mp3 player, then it will not play .wav files as required. It will skip these files and will only play mp3 files.

Some smart car stereos support all types of audio format but not necessarily. They work as an android audio player which supports.wav and mp3 both. But it depends.