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Sound quality sounds awful, like 96 / 128kbs

Sound quality sounds awful, like 96 / 128kbs

The sound is absolutely terrible.  It is exactly at described, it sounds like old streaming from 20 yrs ago.  The the high end is warbled, cymbals sound under water etc.

I'm at pro-level with audio devices and music production.  It is not my PC, my phone, or my Stereo.  I've been a premium user since invitations were needed to use Spotify.

Spotify is simply not streaming at the quality I am paying for anymore.

Yes, it is set to High-Quality with Normalization off.  There are no enhancements on either.  Please don't insult me with those as a suggestion.

Is there a way I can prove the low bit rate at which the music is streaming at?  Because I guarantee you it's not at 320kbps.

All my devices and drivers are updated, that's not the problem.  There are countless others with the same problem having to post to Reddit since it's nearly impossible to get any solutions here.

It simply sounds horrible through any stereo, no matter if I'm streaming from phone, TV, or PC.






Samsung Galaxy S21Ultra, PC Win10)

Operating System

(Android, Windows 10)


7 Replies

Screenshot 2022-08-13 at 18-59-27 Account overview - Spotify.png

I want what I'm paying for.  There is no way this streaming quality I'm getting is above 128kbs.  * Yes I have plenty of bandwidth, I livestream 1080p vid for hours with no issues.

Quit pretending this doesn't exist Spotify.  All my tracks sound like they are underwater.  It's not my bandwidth.  You guys are clearly throttling.  Everything sounds like garbage and you are laughing at us who complaining about it (because most don't have the ears to notice).

The sound quality is as bad a Real Player back in the 90s/00s.

Wired or bluetooth it's the same.  Bandwidth is not what Premium is paying for, you are crooks.

I have the same issue! But it's weird because I only notice it for newer songs. Usually, older songs don't get the same bad audio quality

Hi folks!


Could you try with a different wifi network or with mobile data instead to see if that would make a difference? It's worth downloading the tracks for offline use, then turning on Offline mode in the app's Settings to check if the songs would sound different then. Just make sure to adjust the audio quality for your downloads first.


Note also that the audio quality can also depend on the artist and the particular song they've uploaded. In any case, feel free to share the links to a track which sounds worse than normal as well as one that sounds okay so we can compare the two and check if we can also hear an audible difference.


A short screen recording which captures the internal audio playback would be greatly appreciated as we can get a clear idea of how things look (and sound) on your end.



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Thank you for the reply.  To share my credentials I work in professional video / audio.  What I'm hearing is clearly the results of low bit / rates and reduced stereo image.  The cymbals sound underwater (most teenage kids using Spotify won't even notice as phasing issues often vanish when wearing headphones).  My ears a good enough to tell the difference between lowbit and highbit, between 128k and 320k.


This happens with older tracks and newer tracks. Tracks that have sounded fine for years that I've had on playlists now sound like bit rate from an illegally downloaded mp3 in 2001.

For whatever reason there is a minor improvement in bit rate if I use the browser version on my PC as opposed to the PC app.

I don't know what else to say.  I'm hearing what I'm hearing and it's just something I'm learning to live with.

Hey @SpotifyCookieCo,


Thanks for getting back to us.


Would it be possible to send us a few links to tracks where the difference is more noticeable so we can forward this to the relevant team for further review?


Looking forward to your reply.


Take care,

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This same thing I have noticed as well when uploading to Spotify. But in my case it happens for only an hour or so and after that it goes away and sounds how it was intended. This issue only seems to happen on my mobile phone. Sometimes I’m connected to Wi-Fi and sometimes I’m not. So that doesn’t seem to be the cause…. Is it because when it’s first released it’s being shown at a lower quality causing that effect? Or Do I need to just re upload the app or something? My client played the song in their car when it first came out and said it sounded great, so it seems to not be a universal thing that’s happening. But I noticed it immediately, and then played it again about 30 minutes later and the bad quality went away and it sounds great now lol

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