Decoding Spotify’s Audio Quality: Is It Up to Snuff?
With the abundance of music streaming platforms available in the market, Spotify has emerged as the clear leader with over 356 million monthly active users around the world. Spotify’s popularity can be attributed to its extensive music library, user-friendly interface, and the convenience it offers in terms of accessibility across multiple devices and platforms. However, when it comes to the quality of audio streaming on Spotify, people have expressed concerns.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Spotify’s audio quality and decode whether it is up to snuff.
Understanding Spotify’s Audio Quality
Spotify offers three tiers of audio streaming quality – Normal (96 kbps), High (160 kbps), and Very High (320 kbps). The higher the bitrate, the better the quality of audio streaming. Most music services, including Spotify, use the AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) format for their audio streaming.
Normal quality audio streams on Spotify are compressed at a bitrate of 96 kbps, which makes them smaller in size and easier to stream online. High-quality audio streams on Spotify are compressed at a bitrate of 160 kbps, offering better quality sound. Finally, Very High-quality audio streams are compressed at a bitrate of 320 kbps, which is considered the highest quality audio streaming available on Spotify.
However, the audio quality of Spotify also depends on various factors like network conditions, the quality of headphones/speakers, and the device used to stream audio.
Spotify’s Audio Quality Compared to Other Music Streaming Services
Spotify has been on par with others like Apple Music, Tidal, and Amazon Music when it comes to the audio streaming quality on offer. Yet, it lags behind audiophile streaming services like Tidal HiFi and Qobuz, which offer lossless quality audio streaming.
Lossless quality audio streaming is considered to be the best audio quality that one can get on a music streaming platform. The music is compressed in a way that there is no loss in the quality of the audio.
Spotify, however, offers a 320 kbps bitrate for its audio streaming compared to the 1411 kbps bitrate offered by lossless quality audio streaming platforms like Tidal HiFi and Qobuz. Though the difference in bitrate suggests that Tidal HiFi and Qobuz may offer better audio quality, it might be difficult for the untrained ear to discern any difference between the two.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. How can I improve the audio quality of music streaming on Spotify?
You can improve audio quality on Spotify by upgrading to a higher quality audio stream. To do this, go to the Settings tab on the Spotify app, choose Music Quality, and select Very High from the Streaming Quality option. You can also connect to a high-quality network and use headphones or speakers that support high-quality audio.
2. What is the best quality audio streaming available on Spotify?
The highest quality audio streaming available on Spotify is the Very High-quality streams that are compressed at a bitrate of 320 kbps.
3. Why does Spotify not offer lossless audio streaming?
Spotify does not offer lossless audio streaming as it caters to a broader audience base. Lossless audio streaming would require higher bandwidth and network speed, which may not be accessible to people across the globe. Moreover, most users may not have a setup that can distinguish between a lossless and compressed audio file.
4. Can I tell the difference between Spotify’s High and Very High-quality audio streams?
For average listeners, it might be challenging to distinguish between high and very high-quality audio streams on Spotify. But, if you are an audiophile or a professional in the music industry, you may be able to distinguish between the two.
Spotify’s audio quality is of decent quality and should be sufficient for the average listener. However, for people who seek the most authentic audio quality available, lossless-quality audio streaming services like Tidal and Qobuz may be a better option.
With music streaming becoming a part of our everyday life, it’s essential to understand the type of audio quality we’re receiving. Hopefully, this article has helped you to decode Spotify’s audio quality and make a better-informed decision about your music streaming options.