Paying $11.99 a month for Spotify Premium means no ads to break your groove, unlimited song downloads to your device for offline playback, and the ability to play any song in Spotify’s music library at any time.
These were big factors in my decision to go Premium.
Yet, I was also excited to finally turn on the “Extreme” quality option. It kept taunting me with the idea that I wasn’t enjoying Spotify music to its fullest extent while using the free version.
On smartphones, the default setting is “Automatic,” where the quality of the music stream adapts to the speed and connection to your carrier network. If you mostly have a good connection, it’s likely that Spotify is sending music at the same quality it would if you used “Extreme,” but there’s no way of knowing for sure.
However, you can set the sound quality setting to “Extreme” to make sure you’re always listening at the best quality Spotify has to offer. I’ve personally rarely had any skips or buffering while listening to music in “Extreme” quality, even when my connection isn’t strong.
You also need to consider the data limit of your plan. If you have a relatively low data limit, it might be best to leave the quality setting to “Normal” or “High.” If you’re not worried about reaching your data limit, set it to “Extreme.”
If you’re into the numbers: The “Normal” setting on mobile streams at 96 kbps (kilobits per second), which sounds a little thin for my taste, especially for bass heavy tracks. The “High” setting streams at 160 kbps, which sounds a little better. “Extreme” streams at 320 kbps and my music sounds richer, clearer, and brighter. On computers, the default “Normal” setting streams at 160 kbps. With Spotify Premium, you can also set the stream quality to “Extreme,” which streams at 320 kbps.
The “Extreme” setting is only really noticeable when you use a good pair of headphones or speakers. Still, it’s there, and there’s little reason to keep it off if you’re paying for Spotify Premium.
Here’s how to turn switch to the “Extreme” stream setting on iOS, Android, and the Spotify app for computers: