Why are wav files so much larger than MP3 files?

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– Wav files are the parents of other formats such as MP3, FLAC, et al. As such, they possess the full dynamic range and bandwidth supported by the CD format.

– MP3 files use a ‘lossy’ codec that throws out – forever – what you purportedly can’t hear. If you use a high bit rate when you compress to MP3 the fidelity will be close to the original wav file – but the file won’t be as compact.

– Conversely, as you use lower and lower bit rates (higher and higher compression), the fidelity will become progressively worse than the wav file, but the file size will become very, very small.