What Is An AMR File and How to Open It

Are you having trouble opening an audio file with an ".amr" extension? Don't worry; you're not alone. AMR files are a type of audio file format that's widely used for voice recordings on cell phones and other mobile devices. But what exactly is an AMR file, and how can you open it on your computer or mobile device?

In this tutorial, we'll explore the ins and outs of AMR files, including what they are, how they work, and how to play them on various platforms like Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. We'll also discuss the different types of AMR formats like AMR-NB and AMR-WB, their bit rates, encoding algorithms, and speech coding technologies like GSM and Algebraic Code Excited Linear Prediction (ACELP).

We'll also dive into the various media players and codecs that support AMR files, such as VLC Media Player, QuickTime, RealPlayer, and Audacity. If you're looking to convert AMR files to other audio formats like WAV, WMA, AAC, OGG, or FLAC, we'll cover that too.

By the end of this post, you'll have a better understanding of what AMR files are, how to open them, and how to work with them effectively. So let's get started and discover everything you need to know about AMR files and their audio format.

What are AMR files?

AMR files are a type of audio file format that is primarily used for storing voice recordings. AMR stands for Adaptive Multi-Rate and was developed by Ericsson as a speech coding standard. It was later adopted by the 3GPP for use in cellular networks. The AMR file extension is ".amr" and is commonly found on cell phones and other devices.

The AMR file format uses a narrowband codec to compress audio files, making them smaller in size and more suitable for use in VoIP (voice over internet protocol) applications. The codec works by using an algorithm known as Algebraic Code Excited Linear Prediction (ACELP) to compress human speech while retaining its quality. The codec is also capable of adapting to different bit rates, hence the name Adaptive Multi-Rate.

AMR files come in two variations, AMR-NB (Narrowband) and AMR-WB (Wideband). AMR-NB has a lower bit rate and is designed for use in narrowband applications such as cell phone networks. AMR-WB, on the other hand, has a higher bit rate and is suitable for use in wideband applications such as VoIP.

To play AMR files on a computer, an AMR player or codec file is needed. QuickTime Player and RealPlayer are two popular media players that support AMR files on Apple's macOS and Microsoft Windows operating systems.

VLC media player, an open-source media player, is also capable of playing AMR audio files on Linux and other operating systems. For editing AMR files, the Audacity audio editor is a free and open-source option that supports the format.

How to open an AMR file

To open an AMR file, there are several methods depending on the operating system and media player being used.

For Windows users, the default media player, Windows Media Player, can play AMR files if the proper codec is installed. The codec can be downloaded from Microsoft's website or other trusted third-party websites. Another option is to use the VLC media player, a free and open-source media player that can play a wide range of file formats including AMR. Users can download VLC from the VideoLAN website and install it on their Windows computer. Once installed, users can simply drag and drop the AMR file into the VLC media player to play it.

For Mac users, QuickTime Player can play AMR files if the appropriate codec is installed. The codec is available from Apple's website or can be downloaded from third-party websites. Another option is to use the VLC media player, which is also available for Mac users. Users can download and install VLC on their Mac, and then drag and drop the AMR file into the media player to play it.

For mobile devices, there are several media player apps available for both Android and iOS that can play AMR files. Android users can use apps like VLC for Android, MX Player, or BSPlayer, while iOS users can use apps like VLC for Mobile, nPlayer, or OPlayer. These apps can be downloaded from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store respectively.

In addition to media player apps, there are also online converters available that can convert AMR files into other audio formats such as MP3 or WAV, which can be played on a wider range of devices and media players. Users can upload their AMR file to the converter website, select the desired output format, and then download the converted file. Some popular online converters include Zamzar, Online-Convert, and Convertio.

How to convert an AMR file

If you have an AMR file that you want to convert to another audio format, there are several methods you can use. One of the easiest ways to convert AMR files is to use an online conversion tool. These tools are free and can be found with a quick search engine query. Some popular online converters include Online Convert, Zamzar, and FileZigZag.

These services typically allow you to upload your AMR file and choose the desired output format, such as MP3, WAV, or AAC. Once you select the output format, the tool will convert the file and allow you to download it to your computer.

Another method to convert AMR files is to use dedicated conversion software. Many audio converters, such as Any Audio Converter, Freemake Audio Converter, and Xilisoft Audio Converter, support AMR files and can convert them to various audio formats. 

These software programs are usually free or offer a trial version that you can use to test their functionality before committing to purchasing the full version. Once you install the software, you can import the AMR file, choose the output format, and convert the file.

If you have access to an audio editing software, such as Adobe Audition, Audacity, or Apple GarageBand, you can also convert AMR files to other formats. To do this, you will need to import the AMR file into the software and export it to the desired format.

This method may require some familiarity with the software and audio editing concepts, but it offers more flexibility in terms of customization and control over the conversion process.


AMR files are an efficient audio format that is commonly used to store human speech recordings. They are compatible with various platforms and can be easily opened with the right media player or converted to other formats. However, to maximize the benefits of AMR files, it is essential to have reliable transcription software that can transcribe them accurately and quickly.

Simon Says is an excellent option for this purpose, as it supports various audio formats, including AMR, and provides efficient and accurate transcription services. Give Simon Says a try today and experience hassle-free audio-to-text conversion!

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