Image Credit: Spotify

By default, Spotify Free and Premium subscribers aren’t getting the best sound quality possible from their music.

Last week saw a lot of buzz around Spotify’s lossless, CD-quality music streaming tier – Spotify HiFi, but did you know that by default, Spotify Free and Premium listeners aren’t getting the best out of Spotify’s audio quality? By default, for both Free and Premium users, Spotify’s app on desktop, mobile and tablet are set to Automatic for streaming, and Normal for downloads. Automatic varies the quality based on your network connection speed.

Spotify Free ranges from 24kbit/s at Low quality, up to 160kbit/s at High quality. Spotify Premium has an extra Very high option, that reaches 320kbit/s. On Spotify’s mobile app, there are options to switch quality for WiFi streaming, Cellular streaming and Download, so you can ensure you’re not going over your data limit or using too much storage. Spotify’s web player cannot be changed and is set at 128kbit/s for Free users and 256kbit/s for Premium users, so always use the app if you’re after the best quality audio available.

Note, higher audio quality will use more data when streaming on cellular and more storage when downloading music for offline playback.

To change the audio quality on Spotify:
Mobile and tablet app
  • Open the app
  • From the Home panel, tap the setting cog in the upper right corner
  • Tap Audio Quality
  • Choose Very High for each option for maxmium quality all of the time

Desktop app
  • Open the app
  • Click the arrow to the right of your name in the upper right corner
  • Select Setting from the drop down
  • Under Music QualityStreaming quality, click the drop down and select Very High for the best audio quality

How much will/should Spotify HiFi cost?