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Music Fan
landon
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎09-06-2013

Re: Upgraded to Premium-not hearing sound quality difference

Make sure you bought Premium and it went though. I bought it and it was a bit better. It is more clear... and I have $11 speakers!

If it is still not good, restart the program, disable High Quality Streaming, close and restart Spotify, then go back and enable High Quality Streaming, then close and re-open.

Roadie
Choiglia
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎30-06-2013

Re: Upgraded to Premium-not hearing sound quality difference


asgilbert wrote:

I gotta concur with the OP. I am taking advantage of the 1 month free trial of premium access, but so far I'm not at all impressed with the quality. It doesn't sound anywhere close to 320kbps. I've tried comparing some tracks to local files I have encoded at 320kps, the local ones sound a lot better. Like, significantly better, which isn't good at all because I often have a hard time hearing the difference between even 192kbps and lossless.

 

I've definitely got the high quality option on in the preferences menu and they aren't cached because I haven't listened to them before through spotify.

 

So I've concluded that either:

I don't really have access to 320kbps streams.

The files offered aren't really 320kbps

Or, there is something wrong with the way Spotify encodes.

 

Not trying to cause trouble here, I just want to know where I stand before I pay for a subscription.


I'm experiencing THE SAME EXACT ISSUE as described above.  In my case at least, this has nothing to do with cache, as I just signed up for Spotify yesterday and have no cache built up.

 

I'm on the 30-day Premium trial plan, where you provide credit card information, but you aren't charged anything.  Yes, I set my preferences to High Quality Streaming, so please don't bother telling me to toggle that on.

 

Spotify located all of my local music from iTunes, some of which is ripped at 320kbps CBR mp3 from a CD and some of which I purchased from iTunes directly.  If I try playing ANY of those local files in the Spotify desktop player and then compare that to THE SAME SONG streaming from Spotify, the difference is HUGE.  I'm not trying to be difficult here, and I'm not being super picky.  The difference is  night and day, unmistakably worse in Spotify.  The volume is lower, but more importantly the range and richness of the recording is noticeably decreased in the Spotify streamed version.

 

I am not using any high end equipment.  I plan on buying a DAC and a new set of speakers, but I'm noticing all of this on my current setup, which is on-board audio connected to a pair of Klipsch Pro Media 2.1 powered speakers.  I don't have a DAC, I don't have a sound card.  I'm using the audio from the motherboard.

 

I encourage all of you to try the same test:  using Spotify, play a local track, then compare it to that same track streaming off Spotify.  MAKE SURE THE SPOTIFY STREAM VERSION IS NOT LINKED TO YOUR LOCAL TRACK.  If it's linked, it'll simply play your local track and there will be no difference.  You have to find an unlinked version so that you know it's truly streaming off of Spotify's servers.  For example, maybe your local track is from a greatest hits compilation.  If so, make sure the streaming version is the same song but from the original album, that way Spotify won't stream your local copy.

 

If any of you bother to try this comparison, please post back.  I'm very curious to hear your results.  It can't be just me and asgilbert experience this difference.

 

Thanks.

Music Fan
Loukiz
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎22-01-2013

Re: Upgraded to Premium-not hearing sound quality difference

same here. I think many songs have just been converted from lower bitrates to 320kbps. I cancelled my premium subscription because of that. There's an alternative in this regard (also from scandinavia) which I won't name here but they nearly completed rebuilding their library from scratch starting with CD Quality.

 

 

Roadie
thegass
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎24-04-2012

Re: Upgraded to Premium-not hearing sound quality difference


Choiglia wrote:

 The difference is  night and day, unmistakably worse in Spotify.  The volume is lower, but more importantly the range and richness of the recording is noticeably decreased in the Spotify streamed version.


 

You cannot compare soundquality without having the same volume in both cases.

the louder one always sounds better.

 

Roadie
Choiglia
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎30-06-2013

Re: Upgraded to Premium-not hearing sound quality difference


thegass wrote:

Choiglia wrote:

 The difference is  night and day, unmistakably worse in Spotify.  The volume is lower, but more importantly the range and richness of the recording is noticeably decreased in the Spotify streamed version.


 

You cannot compare soundquality without having the same volume in both cases.

the louder one always sounds better.

 


Hey everyone, you heard it here first: "louder is always better!"

 

 

Roadie
thegass
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎24-04-2012

Re: Upgraded to Premium-not hearing sound quality difference

Should be common knowledge that level-matching is very important for audio-comparison.

 

quote from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audio_equipment_testing

 

It is difficult, but very important, to match sound levels before comparing systems, as minute increases in loudness—more than 0.15 dB[12] or 0.1 dB[13]—have been demonstrated to cause perceived improvements in sound quality.

 

Simple explaination: 

 

Mostly because of the fact that details are easier heard when louder. Bass and highs are perceived as more boosted than midrange when you turn up the volume, so the overall frequency ballance actually changes.
In short: more bass, more highs & more details. A lot of people prefer that.

Roadie
Choiglia
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎30-06-2013

Re: Upgraded to Premium-not hearing sound quality difference


thegass wrote:

Should be common knowledge that level-matching is very important for audio-comparison.

 


Adjusting the volume is the first thing I did.  Like I said initially, it's not just a volume issue.

Garage Band
djshackesq
Posts: 67
Registered: ‎18-07-2013

Re: Upgraded to Premium-not hearing sound quality difference

Make sure "Set the same volume level for all tracks" is disabled. That seems to "decrease" sound quality/play everything at a lower volume. It may do some other form of compressing the sound as well.

Music Lover
rzzyx
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎24-07-2013

Re: Upgraded to Premium-not hearing sound quality difference

Exact same issue here. All of my collection is lossless, but I compared Spotify to Google Music, and SQ is noticeably worse than GM's 320Kbps MP3. And no, it has nothing to do with volume. It's the details and separation that is lacking, quite noticeable.

Music Fan
dpattmcf
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎31-07-2013

Re: Upgraded to Premium-not hearing sound quality difference

I haven't really noticed a difference in the audio quality from the "normal level" to the "extreme level".

 

Do basic smartphone headphones have a high enough quality to play the 320 kpbs audio quality? I also have a pair of bose headphones. I think something was mentioned before about editing preferences?

 

I'm just curious if I should even bother to get the better sound quality and risk the storage space.

 

Thanks guys

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