Uncovering the Truth: The Reality of Music Streaming Quality on Spotify
In the age of music streaming, one of the most popular services is Spotify. With over 320 million monthly active users, Spotify has revolutionized the music industry since its launch in 2008. However, there is a lot of confusion surrounding the sound quality of the music on Spotify. In this article, we will dig deep into the reality of music streaming quality on Spotify and discover the truth.
Understanding Music Streaming Quality
Music streaming quality is a term used to describe the audio quality of the music being streamed from a service like Spotify. The quality of music streaming is determined by two major factors: bitrate and compression.
Bitrate refers to the amount of data transmitted per second. The higher the bitrate, the more data is being sent, and the better quality the audio will be. For example, an audio file with a bitrate of 320 kbps (kilobits per second) is considered to be high-quality audio, whereas an audio file with a bitrate of 128 kbps is considered to be mid-quality.
Compression is used to decrease the size of audio files, making them easier to stream and download. However, compression also reduces the quality of the audio. The amount of compression used on a track can greatly affect the overall sound quality.
Understanding Spotify’s Music Streaming Quality
Spotify has three different music streaming qualities: Normal, High, and Very High. The Normal quality streams at a bitrate of 96 kbps, the High quality streams at a bitrate of 160 kbps, and the Very High quality streams at a bitrate of 320 kbps.
To determine the streaming quality of your music on Spotify, open the app and go to settings. Under the Music Quality heading, you’ll see an option to choose your preferred streaming quality. If you choose the Very High option, your music will be streaming at the highest quality available on the platform.
However, it’s important to note that not all music on Spotify is available in Very High quality. Whether or not a track is available in Very High quality depends on the record label and the artist.
The Truth About the Quality of Music Streaming on Spotify
While Spotify’s Very High streaming quality offers a good standard for music quality, audiophiles have been critical of the service for several reasons. Firstly, Spotify’s music compression algorithm is known to significantly affect the quality of the audio.
In an A/B test conducted by the audio equipment manufacturer AudioScienceReview, the difference between Spotify’s Very High quality and a lossless audio file was very apparent. The test found that Spotify’s Very High quality had compressed the audio to the point where it resembled audio with a bitrate of 192 kbps, which is not considered high-quality.
Another major factor is mastering. Spotify’s streaming quality only accounts for the technical quality of the audio file itself. However, the mastering process applied to the track can greatly affect the overall sound quality. For example, if the track has been mastered poorly, or if there is an over-reliance on compression, it will affect the sound quality, regardless of the bitrate or streaming quality.
1. Is it worth upgrading to Spotify’s Very High quality?
It depends on your listening habits and the quality of your audio equipment. If you’re an audiophile who enjoys high-quality audio and has a good sound system, it’s worth considering upgrading to Very High quality. However, if you’re listening on earbuds or low-quality speakers, you may not hear the difference.
2. Can you tell the difference between Spotify’s Very High quality and lossless audio?
In an A/B test, it was found that there was a noticeable difference in quality between Spotify’s Very High quality and lossless audio. However, whether or not you’ll be able to hear the difference depends on your ear and your playback equipment.
3. How can I ensure the best quality audio on Spotify?
To ensure the highest quality audio on Spotify, choose the Very High quality streaming option in settings and check to see if the track is available in Very High quality. As a precaution, listen on high-quality speakers or headphones, and be aware that mastering can still affect the overall sound quality.