As the other streaming services are picking up steam…Spotify is falling short many ways. Of course you have your stupid controversies but that really isn’t even the worst of it. Outside of their horrible payouts to artists, Spotify has been lacking one large feature that the other streaming services are doubling down on.
If you have any sound system in your house or car that is worth listening to, you have known for awhile now that Spotify is severely lacking on audio quality. They have been hinting at a “Spotify HiFi” that has had nothing but released dates pushed back. Thanks to that…Spotify is capped at 320kps. Let’s also be honest, that isn’t even consistent across their platform. There are certain tracks (especially rock ones) that sound like absolute junk.
Now that it was supposed to be A 2021 release date…now “sometime in 2022”…I finally am ready to jump ship.
In the world of high quality, streaming music, there are really 3 main players that have decent catalogs. You have Amazon Music UHD, Tidal and Apple Music. There are some other options out there as well…but those are really considered the big 3.
Let’s get one thing straight. When you switch from Spotify to another one of these services with high quality audio…it’s HUGE difference. One top of that, the better your system…the bigger of a difference you are going to hear. Here are some quick stats.
- Amazon Music UHD – up to 24 bit, 192 kHz (better than CD quality) at 1.5Mbps or higher
- Tidal – HiFi (lossless, 44.1 kHz sample rate) – 20 MB / MQA (lossless, max 352 kHz sample rate) – 26.25 MB
- Apple Music – up to 24-bit/192 kHz
As you can see by the stats, Apple Music and Amazon Music are pretty comparable with Tidal coming in at a massive 352 kHz for tracks that support that format. To be fair to Apple and Amazon, Tidal is known and heavily promotes its audio quality.
So what did I do?
So far…I have switched to Amazon Music for a couple of reasons.
- We are prime members so the incremental cost is a lot lower. The Amazon Music Unlimited family plan for prime members (which includes UHD tracks) is $14.99/month for 6 devices. When you compare that to Tidal for their “unlimited” plan…it is $29.99/month and Apple is the same as Amazon.
- I have high quality audio systems but I don’t need the top end of Tidal. When I really want the best I can get for quality, I download it individually. Also, the Amazon and Apple platforms are more cross platform and familiar to the rest of our house.
There are certain aspects to Spotify I will miss. I do enjoy the social aspect of seeing what my friends are listening to. I find a lot of new songs and artists that way. I just can’t get over how horrible the songs that I love sound anymore. Once you make the switch…your ears will thank you.