The thing with music is that it’s subjective. Some people prefer the hard thumping bass from electronic dance music, while others prefer crystal clear vocals and guitar notes that sound like it’s sparkling. But if there is one thing most people can agree on, it’s that audio quality does matter (to a certain extent).
If you’re trying to get the most out of your Spotify experience and squeeze the best possible quality out of the service, hardware aside, it’s actually a really simple process that you can do in a matter of seconds.
- Open Spotify
- Go to Preferences
- Under Music Quality, click on Streaming quality
- Select your preference
- Launch Spotify
- Tap on Home
- Tap on Settings
- Under Audio Quality, select your preferred quality
What these options will do is change the quality of the music being played. Obviously choosing a higher quality stream means that all things equal, it should sound better than a stream of normal quality, but it doesn’t end there.
While changing the quality of your stream will no doubt have an impact on how it sounds, there are other ways you can also go about making your Spotify sound better, and that is by adjusting the equalizer.
What is an equalizer?
You might have heard the term tossed around before and if you’ve never bothered to adjust the equalizer in your music player, you are missing out! For those unfamiliar, an equalizer is essentially an audio filter that can isolate or boost certain frequencies.
This is because sound is essentially a frequency and by adding filters, cutting, lowering, or increasing certain frequencies, it will change how your music will sound. For example if you want to boost the bass of a song, you would adjust the equalizer where you turn up the lower frequencies.
Alternatively, if a song sounds too bassy, you can try lowering the lower frequencies and boosting the mids or highs to balance it out. The reason why you would do this is because sometimes the headphones or speakers you’re using might lean towards one spectrum, so using an equalizer can help balance things out.
To adjust the equalizer in Spotify:
- Launch Spotify on your smartphone
- Tap on Home
- Tap Settings
- On iOS tap Playback > Equalizer and toggle it on; On Android under Music Quality tap on Equalizer
- Choose a preset or drag the dots to make the adjustments manually
If you’re listening to Spotify and the quality isn’t quite as good as you’d like it to be, there’s a good chance it could be due to the audio equipment you’re using. While you don’t necessarily have to spend thousands on audiophile grade speakers or earphones, using a cheap $5 pair of earphones probably won’t cut it.
Yes and no. In both the Free and Premium versions of Spotify, you have the option of choosing the quality. However, with Spotify Free, your “High” option caps out at 160kbit/s, but if you’re a Premium subscriber, you can go to “Very High” which will stream at 320kbit/s.
Also, by default, Premium will play in your web player at 256kbit/s, while Free will play at 128kbit/s. So depending on your hardware and preferences, Spotify Free’s “High” might be good enough for your needs.