Number 1 was already enabled and the ads are still entirely too loud.
Number 2 isn't an option for me.
Why are the ads so loud? They haven't been loud for a while and all of a sudden they are today. They are blasting my ear and I'm not a happy camper. Why did it change? It's illegal for ads to be louder than shows on TV so I imagine it's illegal to do so on the internet.
I realize that this topic was initiated quite some time ago, and more than once in the past four years, but I figured I'd throw my hat into the ring.
My first thought, upon reading the complaints above, is that Spotify knows exactly what it is doing. Threatening a company that you will stop using their free service isn't exactly a solid tactic.
My second thought: my ears still hurt, despite agreeing with Spotify's methods. I am perfectly able of fixing this (either use a different free service or pay up to receive a better service), but in playing ads so loudly that a person's first reaction is to violently throw their buds out and immediately resent the ad, its content, and its creator, perhaps Spotify is doing a disjustice to the respective ad companies that are paying good money to advertise with them.
Thus, I suggest, my dear comrades and mutually maimed, that we voice our concerns to the ad companies and not to Spotify. Let the advertisers know that Spotify plays their ads in such a way that it completely ruins the purpose of the ad and effectively wastes their money. Also, don't swear. It makes you sound thick and weakens your argument.
I listen to Spotify on various computers and my mobile smartphone using the app on each device. I noticed that on one computer at work, the volume of the adds was a lot louder than the music. I started looking for a solution as the noise level from the adds was seriously annoying in an office environment.
I searched for a solution but did not find anything online that actually worked for me. I started comparing my Spotify settings on each device since I only experienced this issue on one computer. Turns out you need to leave the volume level in Spotify on full and instead control the volume via Windows or from the speakers or mobile device volume control. On this particular problem computer, I had lowered the Spotify volume to about half level. So when the adds played, they ignored the volume setting in Spotify and instead played like it was set to maximum. However Spotify cannot override the volume settings in Windows or on your speakers.
Sorry, that's not a solution. The problem is they have the dang ads WAY overly compressed so the average volume is MUCH too high. I really can't listen at all. There is nothing more obtrusive and deafening than some bimbo voice talent screaming in my headphones about some genre of music 360 degrees away from what I was listening to. Or some stupid hiphop beat so compressed the high hat is deafening, not to mention the bass blowing out my headphones. I really can't listen at all without my hand on the mute.
The problem here is that Spotify ad production teams aren't mixing in at the same levels. I find specifically the Spotify ads are WAY higher in volume than most other ads, and the mash-ups during the ads very annoying to listen to. Perhaps, this is just a strategy to get listeners to give in for 10$ a month
Honestly, it makes sense... For Spotify, anyway. If I were a company advertising through Spotify, being promised a certain sized audience for my money, I'd be more than upset to learn that Spotify actively alienates a chunk of that audience I'm paying for.
Also - as previously suggested, I've been trying out the "max Spotify volume, reduced system volume" method, and it works well.