WaveLab Essentials 9.5 Review

WaveLab is a well-established editing and mastering software with an extensive list of restoration and editing tools. We tested the Essentials version because the Pro version is more than $500.

Top Ten Reviews Verdict

WaveLab is one of the best programs we tested in terms of audio editing, but the advanced tools take some practice to get used to.


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    This software has great editing tools.


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    You can only record three tracks per session.

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WaveLab is a well-established editing and mastering software with an extensive list of restoration and editing tools. We tested the Essentials version because the Pro version is more than $500. We identified the less-than-$100 price point as the right amount of money to spend on a software to edit podcasts and improve a noisy vinyl conversion. The user interface is customizable and all the sections are nicely organized in one window. At first glance, it can look a bit intimidating, but you can hide sections you use less frequently to reduce clutter. This audio editing software is a great long-term investment for producing and editing professional-sounding projects.

WaveLab has a template specifically designed to produce, edit and publish podcasts. Once you click on the Create Podcast button in the file menu, the software walks you through the process of inputting info, like the podcast title, a URL address and photos. If you publish on iTunes, WaveLab helps you designate a specific category and export a publish-ready file. This software includes loudness processing to help boost your recording to industry standard volume levels, and can export all the popular file types, including MP3, AAC and lossless formats like FLAC and WAV.

This software is designed to be more of an editing software than a comprehensive solution for recording audio, but it does have user-friendly recording features. Some programs we tested, like Audacity and Reaper, allow for an unlimited amount of audio tracks. With WaveLab you can only record three tracks of audio per session, but WaveLab has a high-quality recording engine that allows you to record in high-fidelity. You can add two effects per track to smooth out the sound of each voice. The EQ effects and newly added tube compressor are some of the best plugins we tested, and have a good selection of presets to help you get started.

One of the new additions to version 9.5 is the RestoreRig restoration tool. It’s comprised of three modules: DeNoiser, DeClicker and DeBuzzer. This plugin has some advanced features that are hard for beginners to understand. After spending a little time with it, it’s easier to remove background noise and the occasional clicks and pops associated with digitized vinyl and poorly recorded audio. The Noise Listening mode lets you listen to the removed portions of the recording to make sure you aren’t removing too much of the source material. The MasterRig plugin also got a face lift in the newest update. It boosts and compresses your recordings to make sure they sound good on any online media player.

WaveLab is a great software for editing audio files. The recording capabilities are limited compared to the best programs we tested, and the advanced editing tools can take some getting used to. If you have long-term plans for editing and finalizing audio projects, this software is one of the best options for less than $100.

Billy Bommer

Billy Bommer is a former Top Ten Reviews writer who now works as a technical advisor at Best Buy. He's a keen sax player, and lives in Utah. Billy also has a BS from Weber State University in Communications and Media Studies. His areas of expertise are diverse, and he has a particular passion for AV and audio tech.