I’m always amazed by how many of my friends still don’t know about Spotify’s “Extreme” sound quality setting, which comes with Spotify’s $US9.99 per month “Premium” service.
The “Extreme” sound quality setting streams music in the highest possible sound quality that Spotify offers. It’s a feature you might as well enable if you use Spotify’s Premium service, as it doesn’t cost you extra.
On smartphones, the default setting is “Automatic,” where the quality of the music stream adapts to the speed and signal strength of your carrier network. If you mostly have a good connection, it’s likely that Spotify is streaming music at the same quality it would if you used “Extreme,” but there’s no way of knowing for sure.
To make sure you’re always listening to music at Spotify’s highest possible sound quality, you can go into its settings and change it to “Extreme.” I’ve rarely experienced skips or buffering while listening to music in “Extreme” quality, even when my connection isn’t strong.
Here’s how to turn switch to the “Extreme” stream setting on iOS, Android, and the Spotify app for computers:
In iOS, tap 'Streaming Quality.' For Android, scroll down the Settings menu until you see 'Music Quality.'
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.
In iOS, tap 'Extreme' on both 'Stream quality' and 'Download quality.' For Android, tap where it says 'Automatic Quality' and select 'Extreme Quality.' Do the same for Downloads.
You should 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.'
On computers, go to the settings in the Spotify app and switch on the 'High quality streaming' toggle.
With Spotify Premium on computers, the 'Extreme' streams streams at 320 kbps.
The 'Extreme' setting on both mobile and computers 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.