HomePod HomePod music differences between Apple Music and Spotify

Super Xander

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 6, 2016
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Denmark
Hi Forum
Has anyone notices that their is a slight music differences when streaming music between Apple Music and Spotify in sound quality? I have compared a few tracks on both services and to me does the same tracks have better bass and feels more room filling on Apple Music than Spotify. Both services are set to max quality and same equalizer. I can hear any differences when comparing tracks from Spotify and Apple Music on AirPods, 16 MacBook Pro speakers and other speakers.

Do anyone knows the reason for this?
 

boltjames

macrumors 601
May 2, 2010
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Apple Music doesn’t require an iPhone or the subpar Airplay/Bluetooth protocol so its reproduction is cleaner.

When uploaded by the labels, Apple Music tracks are mastered in a very specific manner which optimizes them for HomePod and other Apple devices.

These differences in technology aren’t insignificant.
 
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boltjames

macrumors 601
May 2, 2010
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Not much difference in sound quality according to: Cnet
The CNET test was done from an iPad to a Bluetooth speaker. That's not how HomePod works.

1. HomePod accesses Apple Music via an A8 processor straight of of wi-fi, no conversion to the low quality Bluetooth/AirPlay protocol required. AM beats Spotify via HomePod on sound quality just on that fact alone.

2. The Labels must upload their song files to Apple Music according to the strict Apple Digital Masters protocol which ensures that the files are optimized specifically for Apple devices such as HomePod.

So the method of connectivity is superior to anything that Spotify can deliver in HomePod and the songs themselves are mastered to take advantage of HomePod's technology. Two huge wins for Apple Music over Spotify when listening on a HomePod.
 
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buddyspencer

macrumors 6502
Oct 4, 2005
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Who reads lyrics?:oops:
A lot of people are reading lyrics... Spotify is the only of the big ones without lyrics.... ;-)
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Irrelevant, Apple doesn't allow you to HEAR lyrics that they think are questionable. I prefer to hear the lyrics the artist intended and don't need a nanny protecting my ears...
You're wrong with this statement.

Apple "does" have lyrics as you want... Just search for the E at the end of the song (explicit version).
 
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adamhenry

macrumors 68000
Jan 1, 2015
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On the Beach
A lot of people are reading lyrics... Spotify is the only of the big ones without lyrics.... ;-)
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You're wrong with this statement.

Apple "does" have lyrics as you want... Just search for the E at the end of the song (explicit version).
I listen to lyrics so I wouldn't know about them being provided for reading. Wow, you are right about the Explicit lyrics. The last time I used Apple for music, they just butchered the questionable lyrics out of the song.
 

one more

macrumors 65816
Aug 6, 2015
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Compared to Apple Music, Spotify sounds bad since its “Enable Audio Normalization” feature (Spotify - Seetings - Playback) is turned ON by default. This makes it sound as if the sound was played in a jar or something. 😋 Try turning it OFF, max the playback quality in Spotify, restart the app and try again. Definitely helped in my case and now my Spotify sounds even better than AM. 🤚
 

one more

macrumors 65816
Aug 6, 2015
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Not possible. Don’t spread misinformation.
What is not possible exactly? I use both AM & Spotify and talk from my personal experience. However, I do not have a HomePod, so was comparing them in general terms.

If you want to get more “technical”, watch this video. If in a hurry, fast-forward to 15:00 minutes, where he goes through conclusions:


Sound quality wise, they rank as follows (best to worst):

1) WAV file
2) Tidal
3) Spotify
4) Apple Music
5) YouTube
 
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cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
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What is not possible exactly? I use both AM & Spotify and talk from my personal experience. However, I do not have a HomePod, so was comparing them in general terms.

If you want to get more “technical”, watch this video. If in a hurry, fast-forward to 15:00 minutes, where he goes through conclusions:


Sound quality wise, they rank as follows (best to worst):

1) WAV file
2) Tidal
3) Spotify
4) Apple Music
5) YouTube
I believe they are mostly referencing the sounds quality in the context of this thread, via the HomePod.

Apple Music is decoded at the HomePod run directly through its DSP which is specifically tailored for Apple Music. The result is generally sound that is as accurate to the master as the HomePod is capable of delivering. Sounds in the music are being specifically directed based on what they are, vocals, instrumental, audience in live music, etc...

Spotify no doubt sounds great and honestly you need very sharp ears and very good equipment to tell the difference in audio quality outside of the using the HomePod. While the audio is still run through the HomePods DSP this is after the apps/phones processing. Normalization from the Spotify app is a good example of the processing the app is capable of. The iPhones EQ is an example of the devices processing.

There is also the subjective nature of audio quality that I dont think can be debated. If you like one more than the other then thats all that really matters in the end.
 
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