How to get the highest sound quality in Spotify

Cezar Renta

Spotify is the most popular music streaming platform in the world, with millions of users and a huge music library. What many Spotify users don’t know, however, is that you can change the streaming quality easily within the app. Keep in mind that only Spotify Premium users have access to this feature, if you’re on a free account, you can’t modify any quality-related settings.

Change the streaming quality for Spotify

This is the easiest way to control the streaming quality of tracks played within Spotify. In Windows, open your Spotify app, click on the arrow next to your username in the top right corner of the app.

Click on the Settings option and you’ll be brought to your Spotify account page. You’ll notice the Music Quality area where you’ll find the streaming quality option.

From here, you can bump your streaming quality to Very High which is basically a 320 kbps bitrate. While audiophiles may disagree about the “high quality” of this setting, it’s certainly an improvement over Normal or High quality. After you made the change, you have to restart the Spotify app in order for the changes to take effect.

For iOS or Android users, you have to open the Spotify app and tap on the cog icon in the top right area of the screen to go to the account settings screen. Tap on the Music Quality menu and choose High Quality as your streaming quality.

Now, you have to keep in mind, while this setting should be the norm when it comes to listening to your Spotify playlists, it comes with several caveats. Enabling the High-Quality option in Spotify automatically means more bandwidth used and if you’re listening to Spotify on your phone or tablet, more battery drain. While the battery aspect doesn’t have a huge impact, you have to keep this in mind when you’re traveling.

Sound normalization doesn’t always help the streaming quality

Another pseudo quality setting that might improve the listening experience is the sound normalization feature. Spotify chose to have this setting enabled by default on all devices and their reasoning is simple, some tracks have louder sounds than others. However, there are a lot of artists who choose to raise the level of songs or part of their song to change the impact of the song. I always disable this setting, even if it means that some songs will be louder than others since I really want my tracks to be unaltered, as intended by the artist.

Use the built-in equalizer in Spotify

Lastly, if you’re using a good pair of headphones/speakers or you just care about the sound quality of your tracks more than changing the bitrate, I highly recommend playing with the built-in Spotify equalizer. You can improve the sound so much just by choosing one the predefined templates as well as playing with the equalizer itself. Of course, not all genres require the same settings, but you get the drift.

Once again, using the cogwheel on the upper right side to get to the Settings screen.

Then tap on the Equalizer option which will open the Equalizer screen where you can play with the EQ or choose an already defined sound template. You can also choose a template first then play with the various frequencies after, it’s your choice.

As you can see, changing Spotify’s streaming quality is pretty easy and if you decide to apply an EQ option to the sound as well, you’ll get the best possible sound while playing your favorite Spotify playlist.