In these modern times, there are so many ways that you can enjoy music. One of these is through digital streaming platforms. You don’t need to have the music physically. You don’t even need the files stored on any of your devices. Just pick a song or album that you want to listen to (you may choose from our list of songs suitable to test your audio devices) and it gets pulled straight off the cloud for you to enjoy.
You might be wondering, why are we talking about streaming services today? As a site to give you all you need on audio hardware and equipment, it’s not out of place to talk about where you get your music. These days, you don’t need to worry about vinyl, discs, or even MP3s.
There are so many streaming platforms out there. If you have never used any before, it can be difficult knowing which of them is perfect for you. They each have their pros and cons and some are better suited for some groups of people than they are for others. Luckily, this article is here to tell you all about these and help decide on the best streaming platform for you.
Spotify is one of the most popular streaming services in the world. In 2020, there were 286 million monthly users of the service. With such popularity, there must be something good about it.
Well, Spotify boasts a huge array of music. There are over 60 million songs and you can access all these even as a free user. You’ll need to listen to ads to make up for this. The Premium subscription costs $10 every month.
It is supported on iOS, Android, PC, and even on smart TVs. It makes it so easy to listen to your music from anywhere. The music can be streamed at 320Kbps quality, which is great. There is no option for lossless audio, however.
Spotify is a great option for the average person. If you like your music sounding good, want a huge library, and access on many devices, Spotify is a solid option. And its great music discovery makes it one of the best streaming platforms out there.
Visit Spotify on their website: www.spotify.com.
- The free version doesn’t limit music
- Music discovery is great
- Easy to use
- The free version locks out many useful features like seeking or unlimited skips
- No lossless audio
The music streaming market has too much potential for the tech giant Apple not to give it a shot. Despite what it might seem like, this is also available on Android and Windows.
Just like many of Apple’s software products, if you are deep into their ecosystem, this is a solid option. It is compatible with Siri, Apple Watch, and HomePod, which makes it a no-brainer if you are all Apple.
It has 60 million songs available, which is more than Spotify. You also get access to music videos which is a great feature. There is no free version, however, so you’ll have to pay $10 each month to access music.
If you already have an array of Apple devices, then this is the best choice for you. It’ll work seamlessly with your devices while providing you with clean-sounding music.
See Apple Music here
- Huge music library
- Works great with Apple devices
- Music videos are a unique feature
- No free tier
- Not much appeal outside Apple devices
Tidal is well-known for the array of major musicians with an ownership stake in the product. IT may be this insight that they give that makes this one of the few services to provide hi-res audio.
You get access to a huge library of music, with over 70 million songs. This makes this one of the largest libraries available on a streaming platform.
There are many different tiers available. A Premium account costs $10 a month, while a HiFi account, which gives access to Hi-Res music, costs $20. Many services have student plans. But this also has family, military, and first responder discounts.
If high-quality audio is extremely important to you, it is not hard making this decision. This is one of the best streaming platforms for those with high-end equipment.
Subscribe for Tidal on tidal.com
- Its sound quality is the very best
- Wide array of discounts
- Music library is massive
- No free option
Amazon Music Unlimited & Prime Music
If you already have Amazon Prime, you automatically have access to Amazon Music Prime. Think of this as a considerate add-on, not a full-fledged alternative. This is because it only comes with a library of 2 million songs.
If you want a bigger option from Amazon, then Amazon Music Unlimited is what you’re looking for. This competes with the other big players, with 70 million songs available to listen to. If Amazon Music Prime is not enough for you, you can upgrade to Unlimited for $9. If you don’t have Prime, it’ll cost $10.
It is compatible with Android, iOS, computers, and Fire TVs, and some cars. If you have an Amazon speaker, Alexa is always on deck to play whatever you want. You don’t have access to hi-res music unless you upgrade to Amazon Music HD.
If you have Amazon Prime already, you may find Prime Music to be the best service for you. The library is very meager though, so if you use it and like the interface, it’ll be worth upgrading to Unlimited.
And here are links (affiliate links):
- Synchrony with Alexa is great
- Available on many devices
- Ample library on Unlimited
- Not much to offer beyond the music
Amazon Music HD
If you love Amazon Music Unlimited but you want higher-quality tracks, this is the one for you. You get everything that Unlimited gives you, plus hi-res music. If the best sounding music is what you are looking for, then this is a viable option.
For those who have Amazon Prime, then this service will cost you $13 every month. If you do not have Prime though, it’ll set you back $15. That’s better than what you’d pay for hi-res music on Tidal.
If you want hi-res music at a more competitive price, then Amazon Music HD is one of the best streaming services.
Link for Amazon Music HD (Affiliate link)
- Hi-res audio
- Attractive price
- The same large library as Amazon Music Unlimited
- Similar to Amazon Music Unlimited, not many perks beyond the music
To fall in love with Idagio, you’ll need to be looking for a specific genre of music, and that’s classical. Idagio is built for those who love classical music. It can’t boast the tens of millions of tracks that other streaming platforms do. But that’s fine, it was never meant to.
It has a free tier and with that, you get the full library but some features are not available. This includes on-demand playback or unlimited skips. Idagio Premium+ provides all the features with access to lossless FLAC audio.
For ardent fans of classical music, that is a steal. It is only $10 per month if you subscribe to their website. There is a regular Premium plan available on mobile that does not have hi-res audio. The pricing on mobile is completely different as well, with Premium costing $10. Premium+ costs about $15.
Play the Classics with Idagio.
- Has a free tier
- Lossless FLAC audio option
- The premium option is well priced, especially on desktop
- It only for classical enthusiasts, which can be annoying if you like multiple genres
We have all come to know and love YouTube, seeing as it is the foremost video hosting site. This is their move on the digital music streaming service market.
You get a huge catalog of music, as well as many music videos. It has a free-tier that is fully-featured and it only held back by ads. And for $10 a month, you can say farewell to the ads. You can also listen to music in the background on mobile.
If music videos are a big thing to you, then this is a great option. All the music videos that are already on YouTube are easily accessible here. When it comes to the music itself, it tops off at 256Kbps.
Youtube Music is here.
- More music videos than any other service
- Free-tier is available
- Music can be played on-demand for free
- Difference in audio quality is noticeable
This streaming service is the most likely one on this list that you have never heard of. Despite this, they take their streaming serious. There are over 60 million songs in total. According to them, the “worldwide leader in 24-Bit Hi-Res downloads”.
If your audiophile headphones have been gathering dust, then Qobuz might be for you. The service will give your headphones some work to do. You’ll find more hi-res music to listen to here than anywhere else.
There’s no free tier, but the Studio Premier plan will set you back $15 every month. Studio Sublime is only available yearly, for $250. You get a discount on hi-res purchases, but both plans can stream hi-res.
If you want nothing other than hi-res music, this is one of the best streaming platforms for you.
Go to see Qobuz.
- Largest hi-res music streaming collection
- A large catalogue
- No free-tier
- Plans are rather pricey
Regardless of your taste, there is likely a platform for you. Whether you are into music videos, hi-res audio, or just want everyday music. These are some of the best streaming platforms you’ll find.