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How to make your Spotify music sound better

Not all equalizer settings are created equal.
By
June 28, 2022

Getting your music to sound better on Spotify doesn’t require you to buy new headphones. There are Spotify settings you can enable to start listening to your music at a higher audio bitrate. Additionally, you can tweak Spotify settings to customize your listening experience by adding an equalizer. Here’s how to make your Spotify music sound better on any device.

READ MORE: How to listen to music offline on Spotify

THE SHORT ANSWER 

To make Spotify sound better, you can turn off Data Saver, set the streaming quality to Very High, normalize playback volume, and tune your equalizer settings to match the style of music you are listening to. The Spotify app—at least for iOS—has a built-in equalizer; however, how you tune it will depend on your playback device and preference. If you're using headphones, make sure they have a good seal to minimize external influences on your listening experience.


KEY SECTIONS 

How to make music sound better on Spotify (Android and iOS)

Turn off Data Saver

turning off data saver in spotify settings
Curtis Joe / Android Authority
Turn off Data Saver to get enable higher quality streaming.

The first thing you can do to increase your music playback quality on Spotify is going into Settings from the Home screen and turn off Data Saver.

This setting aims to reduce the amount of data used when listening to music on the go. If you use data from your phone plan, listening to Spotify music with the quality turned up can quickly eat away at your data pool. Data Saver reduces the bitrate of music playback, lowering the quality so you can save data.

Set Audio Quality to Very High

audio quality in spotify settings
Curtis Joe / Android Authority

The next thing to increase your Spotify music quality is to set your streaming quality to Very High. Spotify has four different levels of playback quality:

  • Low (24 kbps)
  • Normal (96 kbps)
  • High (160 kbps)
  • Very High (320 kbps; Spotify Premium exclusive)

This can be changed for both Wi-Fi streaming and Cellular streaming, the latter of which will impact how much data is used when you are listening on your cellular plan.

Aside from the four different levels of playback quality, Spotify also has an integrated Automatic setting, which automatically changes your streaming quality to the best possible quality based on your device’s internet connection strength.

If you don’t want Spotify to automatically change your listening quality based on its bandwidth parameters, you can turn off Auto adjust quality. Spotify does warn against turning this off, however, saying that “turning this off may cause interruptions to your listening.”

Normalize volume levels

volume normalization in spotify settings
Curtis Joe / Android Authority

Not all music sounds the same on the volume scale. Hard rock and metal songs will undeniably sound much louder than something meant for slow dancing. With Normalize volume, Spotify offers a setting that makes all music play at the same volume level.

Additionally, you can manage how loud or soft you want your music with the Volume level setting. You have three volume levels to choose from — Loud, Normal, and Quiet.

How to make music sound better on Spotify (desktop)

Set Audio Quality to Very High

audio quality tweaking in spotify settings
Curtis Joe / Android Authority

Open up the Spotify desktop app, and head to Settings. You can access this by opening the display name dropdown menu at the top of the interface next to your display name. From here, scroll down to the section marked Audio quality.

Under Streaming quality, you have four options other than Automatic, which allows Spotify to change your quality setting based on your bandwidth connection.

  • Low (24 kbps)
  • Normal (96 kbps)
  • High (160 kbps)
  • Very High (320 kbps; Spotify Premium exclusive)

Set the quality to Very High to get the best possible playback quality from your music.

Normalize volume levels

From the Audio quality section, you can also change your volume settings.

Turn on Normalize volume — Set the same volume level for all songs and podcasts to make all of your content play at the same volume level.

Additionally, you can manage how loud or soft you want your music with the Volume level setting. You have three volume levels to choose from — Loud, Normal, and Quiet.

How to change Spotify equalizer settings (Android)

To access the equalizer function in Spotify:

  • Open the Spotify mobile app.
  • Select the gear icon in the top-right corner of the Home screen to access Settings.
  • Scroll down until you reach the section titled Audio Quality.
  • Press the Equalizer button.

If you do not see the Equalizer button show up in the Settings menu, that means your phone didn’t ship with an equalizer function built into the settings. Operating systems differ from phone to phone, and some devices may have an equalizer built-in. This was not the case for me.

On my OnePlus 8T, I was trying to figure out why I couldn’t see the Equalizer option show up. The option showed up on my friend’s Samsung S21 Ultra and my other friend’s Google Pixel 4.

absence of equalizer option in Spotify
Curtis Joe / Android Authority
What my Spotify settings looked like before downloading a third-party equalizer application.

As it turned out, my phone didn’t come with a built-in equalizer function. On the Samsung S21 Ultra and Google Pixel 4, an audio equalizer is built directly into those phones’ settings.

Now, after downloading Equalizer FX, one of the third-party equalizers from our best equalizer apps list, the Equalizer button magically showed up in Spotify’s settings on my phone.

appearance of equalizer option in Spotify
Curtis Joe / Android Authority
The Equalizer option shows up at the bottom of the list after downloading a third-party equalizer app.

All equalizer apps are made differently, and most have presets for genres like rock, rap, and dance music available for selection. These presets will change the equalizer settings so that the audio playback on your device matches what the app believes to be optimal for that particular purpose.

Alternatively, you can manually change the equalizer settings yourself.

How to change Spotify equalizer settings (iOS)

If you have an Apple device, an equalizer option is built right into Spotify. There is also an equalizer option called EQ available if you go to Settings Music EQ.

To get to the Spotify Equalizer option on iOS, from the Home screen, tap Settings. This is the gear-shaped icon in the upper-right.

Spotify Apple EQ Step 1
Curtis Joe / Android Authority
Special thanks to Harley Maranan for this iOS screenshot.

Within the Settings menu, look for and tap Playback.

Spotify Apple EQ Step 2
Curtis Joe / Android Authority
Special thanks to Harley Maranan for this iOS screenshot.

Within Playback, select Equalizer to open up the equalizer settings from Spotify.

Spotify Apple EQ Step 3
Curtis Joe / Android Authority
Special thanks to Harley Maranan for this iOS screenshot.

Is there an equalizer on the Spotify desktop app or web player?

There is currently no equalizer built into the Spotify desktop app or web player. This is an idea that was explored by the company four years ago. However, due to the small number of users who would use the feature, they opted not to implement an equalizer on the desktop or web player.


READ MORE: How to see your Spotify stats and what they show