WAV (or WAVE) is actually the first full-fledged audio format with good sound quality. It was developed quite a few years ago by the joint efforts of Microsoft and IBM. Sometimes this format is even called “Audio for Windows,” because it is the standard for storing audio stream for a traditional Windows desktop computer. Full name - Wave Audio File Format. The short name is derived from the English word wave ("wave"). The peculiarity of this format of digitized audio stream is the lack of compression. WAV files take up too much space, but it is ideal for storing high quality files in their original form.
WMA is a widespread licensed audio stream compression format. Created in 1999 by Signal Processing Group, a member of the IT giant Microsoft. Initially, this company created WMA as a competitor to the popular MP3 format. The name WMA is an abbreviation for Windows Media Audio. Among the advantages of this format is the support of almost all Windows systems and devices, as well as the similarity in characteristics and quality with MP3 files. It is believed that a compressed WMA audio file with a bit rate of 160 kbit / s is fully consistent with the quality of an MP3 file with a bit rate of 256 kbit / s. Today, even Apple devices support the WMA format.