Is there difference in sound quality between Apple Music and Spotify?

Discussion in 'Apple Music, Apple Pay, iCloud, Apple Services' started by thiagueirass, Jun 25, 2016.

  1. thiagueirass macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    #1
  2. chabig macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2002
    #2
    I think it doesn't matter in the slightest. They are both of sufficient "quality" and I put that in quotation marks because it's 100% subjective. In practice, I doubt that you could tell the difference in a double-blind test.
     
  3. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #3
    As for as human perception goes the formats are almost equally matched. The differences will be in source material, mastering, attenuation level, encoding, compression, EQ and..... All of theses factors can very from track to track too. It is extreme hard for a novice to objectivity compare SQ, even under controlled conditions using source/level matched DBT.
     
  4. BrianBaughn macrumors 601

    BrianBaughn

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    #4
    I couldn't help but wonder if the comparison material played might have been from different original sources.

    If you're playing either via Bluetooth you're degrading the sound even further.
     
  5. Hamnasha macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2016
    #5
    I don't think there is a major difference between this 2. But I prefer Apple music.
     
  6. thiagueirass thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    #6
    Why?
     
  7. Hamnasha macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2016
  8. M. Gustave macrumors 68000

    M. Gustave

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2015
    Location:
    Grand Budapest Hotel
    #8
  9. Paco II macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2009
    #9
    Sound quality is not going to be the deal breaker between the two. They are significantly differently enough services that you will likely just prefer one over the over.
     
  10. HDFan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    #10
    If you are really interested in sound quality then you should consider Tidal's hidef streaming. If you listen to a recording

    1. with good provenance (high definition master which isn't degraded during the mastering to delivery media) and

    2. Superior speakers and headphones

    the difference is astounding. It can be as good, or even better, than attending a live performance.
     
  11. Rigby macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2008
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #11
    The test wasn't blind, apparently wasn't level-matched (at least it wasn't mentioned in the article), and they couldn't be sure that the two services used the same source material and/or didn't manipulate it in different ways. Take it for what it is: A subjective impression that may be affected by the methodological flaws.
     
  12. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #12
    100% with a small addition. It should be a double blind test (DBT) to be fully objective. Of course it must be source matched and MOST important level matched. A difference of as little as 1dB or 2dB will total askew any results.
     
  13. SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Location:
    Orbiting a G-type Main Sequence Star
    #13
    I'm not able to discern any sound quality differences between the two. I choose to use Spotify mainly for the user interface experience.
     
  14. thiagueirass, Jun 26, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 26, 2016

    thiagueirass thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    #14

    I know. Some features on Spotify are great (like Connected and social playlists), but I don't like the idea to use 2 apps for music: streaming and my local library. The local files service on Spotify is not well enough.

    It's so interesting.
     
  15. Tech198 macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    Location:
    Australia, Perth
    #15

    I can't tell the different between a pin drop and and a tap.... so i'd say use either.
     
  16. tonyr6, Jun 27, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2016

    tonyr6 macrumors 65816

    tonyr6

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2011
    Location:
    Brooklyn NY
    #16
    Apple Music has the best sound quality. Not over loud. 256kbps AAC is a great codec. I use 192kbps AAC on my own music which sounds great too.
    Play Music sounds good but has more of a over loud sound. 320kbps MP3 is fine but it is a outdated codec.
    Amazon Music sounds the worst. 256kbps MP3 sounds horrible on there.
     
  17. coaama2 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2016
    #17
    I was trying Beats right before Apple took over. And I've dealt with Apple's annoying software flaws for a year now. Finally said screw it I'm going to Spotify. Was actually very excited to swap over; spent hours adding all my bands. Then when I start listening on a high volume on my stereo system... Spotify doesn't have the *umph* that the sound of Apple Music does. Same source, same EQ, same songs played back-to-back unblinded; Apple Music using "high" quality streaming and Spotify on "extreme" (also tried "very high"). I'm really disappointed to go back to Apple Music and deal with the technical issues (like songs randomly not playing anymore or being deleted somehow or syncing old data so songs I added aren't added anymore). It's been over a year, I don't know if Apple will ever fix these things. But quality is ranked above all else so.. I'm going back :/
     
  18. tonyr6 macrumors 65816

    tonyr6

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2011
    Location:
    Brooklyn NY
    #18
    Apple Music use to sound flatter but lately this past few weeks it sounds way better now. I listen to mostly old albums and I think many of them have been recently remaster for iTunes versions.

    Now when I try Play Music I can't stand the sound quality and you can forget about the muddy Amazon Music.
     

Share This Page