The music we listen to is such a big part of our lives. It tells other people who we are, it sets moods for exercising or relaxing, inspires us, and so many more things. Just as important as the music we listen to, is how we listen to it. Over the last several years, music streaming has quickly become the go-to choice for listening to music. It’s easy, it doesn’t require a physical disc or separate music player, and there are a lot of good streaming options out there. With so many streaming services to choose from, it’s hard to know what the best one is, and which one provides the highest quality for music streaming.
Listening to music on the go has become a popular way to listen to music. Most people use streaming service apps on their phones and headphones to listen to music. While this is great for travel and portability, many people choose to listen to music on their home theater systems. Many of the great streaming services available on your phone don’t provide the same quality of high definition streaming music. Streaming companies assume that most people stream music through headphones, which is true. And while the sound is good over small headphone speakers, a lot of quality is lost when played through a good sound system.
Thanks to streaming services like Deezer and Tidal, you have an easy access to lossless audio quality. These services allow you to stream HD audio for your home theater or other systems.
Tidal is an online streaming service focusing on CD-quality lossless music and HD video content.
Tidal’s basic service, called ‘Premium’ ($10/month), has a set bitrate of up to 320kbps, which is the same as Spotify’s Premium service. Tidal also offers a HiFi service ($20/month), allowing you to stream lossless audio at 1411kbps (similar to the 16-bit/44.1kHz music available on CDs) on over 25 million tracks, over 75,000 HD music videos, music playlists, interviews with artists, and much more.
Having a stable internet connection is the best way to enjoy this service consistently, though anywhere with good 4G or LTE connections will allow you to stream high-quality music via the free Tidal mobile app. Tidal is available as a web-based player or desktop download. It’s important to note that Google Chrome is the only web browser that supports lossless playback, so make sure to install that before using Tidal on the web.
In the future, Tidal has discussed bringing in Meridian’s Master Quality Authenticated (MQA) audio, which makes it possible to stream music at better than CD-quality. With Tidal using this service, it will even allow non-MQA devices to play non-MQA audio at a higher quality than other streaming services that offer CD-quality streaming.
Spotify easily claims the title of longest-running, most popular and subscribed-to streaming service of all time. Spotify has been an industry leader in the music streaming business for a long time, and even with new competition from Tidal, Soundcloud, and Amazon, it remains a premier lossless, high definition streaming audio service.
Spotify’s Premium service ($10/month) allows unlimited music streaming at 320kbps, and at just $15 a month, Spotify’s Premium Family Plan allows six users to access unlimited streaming at the same speed.
While Spotify lacks some of the higher quality music streaming of Tidal or other competitors, it’s stayed true to its founding mantra, “music for everyone”. It has remained one of the only streaming services that offer a free (ad-supported) subscription in addition to the paid service. Spotify has a large library of over 30 million songs and has become the first choice for anyone wanting to listen to old and new music, and for the low price of $10/month, it’s hard to beat.
Apple Music streams at 256kbps, which is less than Spotify and Tidal, but Apple uses a better encoding scheme than Spotify which allows for a higher quality streaming. Apple Music is a relatively young music streaming service, but one that is gaining popularity every day. Apple’s price of $10/month is a direct competitor with Spotify. Apple also has a $15/month family plan that allows up to six users. One of the biggest benefits of Apple Music is the ability that users have to listen to music on an unlimited number of devices. And even though it’s a new streaming service, in its first year, Apple Music had 15 million paid subscribers, while it took Spotify eight years to reach 20 million paid subscribers.
There are several good options for music streaming services. Spotify and Apple Music have cheaper options and allow for listening for multiple users, Tidal provides the highest quality, lossless streaming music audio.