Knowledge for the World

How to increase Spotify streaming quality for free

By default, songs on Spotify only stream at about 96kbps. Why? To save Spotify bandwidth and, ultimately, money. You can increase the streaming quality for free in about two minutes and the results are a night-and-day difference in song quality.

Note: Increasing streaming quality will increase your data usage when not on WiFi. However, there are a few streaming quality settings you can choose from to mitigate this effect should you have a shitty data plan or if you rarely use WiFi when listening.

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1

Find the Streaming Quality settings pane

Open your Spotify app and navigate to settings. On iOS, you do this by going to Your Library > Gear Icon > Streaming Quality.

Find the Streaming Quality settings pane
2

Increase Spotify streaming quality

You'll see several options, with Automatic selected by default:

Automatic (Recommended)
Normal 
High
Extreme

Below is the streaming quality associated with each option:

Automatic (Recommended) - varies between Normal and High
Normal - 96kbps
High - 160kbps
Extreme - 320kbps

What is Spotify's Automatic streaming quality option?
"Automatic" toggles between Normal (96kbps) and High (160kbps) depending on the quality of your cellular reception. However, it never uses Extreme.

Since I listen to Spotify on WiFi most of the time and have a pretty ample data plan, I've selected the Extreme option.

Note: Extreme quality is only available to Spotify Premium members
However, all members have access to High, which is still pretty great.

Increase Spotify streaming quality
3

How much of a difference does it make?

Audio streaming quality is measured by bitrate (in kilobits per second, or kbps). This is the amount of audio data transferred per second so, naturally, a higher kbps results in higher quality music reaching your ears every second. Changing this setting from Automatic (96/160kbps) to Extreme (320kbps) increases your Spotify audio quality by up to 3X.

This YouTube video does a good job of illustrating the range of audio quality up to 320kbps: