Best free audio converters, even specialized, for optimal sound quality
Free MP3 Wma Converter and XRecode. XRecode is a great audio converter, that now has become commercial, so that I can do nothing else but offer you the last version of it as a freeware (2.61), a version that I still enjoy without problems. — A decent alternative to XRecode is the Free Mp3 Wma Converter, which will let you convert between Mp3, Wma, AAC, Ogg vorbis and Wav files. Just like XRecode, it supports MP3 vbr encoding.
MediaHuman Audio Converter supports the most popular formats, such as FLAC, MP3, OGG, WAV, AAC, AIFF, ALAC and WMA. You can tell it to overwrite existing files if it happens to find any, split a large audio file using CUE sheets information, start conversion without further input from you when you drop new files, delete the original files when conversion if finished, and more. The program is also able to extract audio from video.
VSDC Free Audio Converter supports the most common media formats and you can use it also to extract audio from movies. Of course it lets you also control the quality / size of resulting files. Saving your adjustments as profiles you can use them again in subsequent conversions.
File Converter supports a lot of output formats and even more input formats. You can customize the application to add or remove conversion presets in the context menu or edit the existing presets to change conversion options. If your source file is a video, the conversion to an audio format will extract the audio part of the video.
Efficient WMA MP3 Converter supports the most popular audio and video files formats for input, and converts them to MP3, WMA, OGG Vorbis, MonkeysAudio (APE) or WAV format. I tried this program for months and I am impressed. Yet, I still prefer XRecode (the last freeware version).
Oxelon Media Converter will let you convert AC3, AAC, AIFF, AMR, AU, FLAC, MMF, MP2, MP3, OGG, VOC, WAV. It works also (and mainly) as a video converter.
Format Factory supports conversion between all popular video, audio, and picture formats. Converting to mp3 does not allow variable bit rate! More serious problems exist – take care: Format Factory installs without your permission an Ask toolbar to your browser and also a QuickStores toolbar! Format Factory has also been reported for malware. It’s a nice program but you need to be careful upon installation, even scan it with some antivirus / antimalware program before installation.
mkwACT converts shn files easily with the MKW Audio Compression Tool (mkwact), a free program that will turn your shn files to the wav format. Shn is in fact a wav variation, with a ‘light’ compression.
Free RM to MP3 Converter will convert Real Media files to MP3 files. All Real Media formats (*.rm, *.ra, *.rmvb) are supported.
Audio Extractor will extract the audio part (soundtrack) of a video file and save it as MP3, WAV, OGG and other audio formats. I found it a surprisingly fast application.
Lame Front-End is just a graphical interface for the MP3 encoder & decoder – Lame. It offers easy access to all LAME parameters without the need for command line usage. The program offers a simple mode and an advanced mode which reveals additional expert options.
Mp3Extractor will extract one or several (adjacent or not, but not overlapping) portions from an audio file and write them to new (optionally tagged) audio files. It can also be used to trim and split audio files.
Audio Recorder will let you record sounds and music on your PC. You can save the recordings directly as MP3, WMA or WAV files. It supports recording from a microphone, streaming audio from the Internet, external input devices (e.g. CDs, LP, music cassettes, phone line etc.) as well as other applications like Winamp, Media Player, etc.
TEncoder can convert almost every video and audio type to each other. You can also extract video or audio content.
File Blender uses external command line programs to convert or otherwise process files that are being dropped onto the interface. File Blender is preconfigured with: Image Converter (BMP, JPG, PNG, GIF, TIF) * Audio Converter (MP3, WAV, FLAC, OGG) * PDF/TIFF Splitter and Joiner * JS/CSS Minifier and Obfuscator
Check also these guides on What is the best bitrate to encode MP3 files and on How to Convert SACD ISO images to MP3 audio easily.
Don’t miss this special section on Audio freeware for a powerful, PC based, Hi-Fi system.