Does YouTube Music Offer HIGH Quality? (Sound Quality Compared)

Let’s look at YouTube Music’s audio quality and how it compares to other music streaming platforms.

YouTube Music offers three tiers of audio quality. But how good is each tier and what do you really need with the listening gear you have?

Let’s dive in!

YouTube Music’s Audio Quality

Standard Quality

The standard quality on YouTube Music is set at a bitrate of 128kbps AAC.

This option is recommended for users with limited data or who prioritize a faster streaming experience over the highest possible audio quality.

High Quality

High-quality streaming is available at a bitrate of 256kbps AAC.

When compared to the standard quality, this option provides a more immersive and detailed listening experience for users with a preference for enhanced audio quality.

To enable High-Quality Streaming on Android, follow these steps:

  1. Download and open the YouTube Music app on your Android device.
  2. From the home page, tap on your avatar in the top-right corner.
  3. Select the “Settings” button.
  4. Choose the “Audio Quality On Mobile Network” or “Audio Quality On Wi-Fi” option.
  5. Finally, select the desired high-quality setting.

Premium Quality

YouTube Music doesn’t offer a specific “Premium Quality” audio tier.

Its audio quality falls short when compared to competitors like Spotify or Apple Music, which are known to have higher bit-rates and better overall sound quality.

Can You Really Hear the Difference?

As always – it depends!

What Headphones Are Required for High Quality?

When it comes to determining whether YouTube Music offers high-quality audio, it’s essential to consider the listening experience and the equipment used.

Some users may claim that they can distinguish between high and low-quality audio, while others might struggle to notice a difference.

Factors such as the user’s hearing ability, audio hardware (quality of headphones), and personal preferences can all influence their perception of audio quality.

High-quality headphones or speakers play an essential role in unveiling and details in audio. For instance, investing in a pair of headphones with a broad frequency response, comfortable fit, and accurate sound reproduction will significantly enhance the listening experience and help discern audio quality differences.

To have the best possible audio experience, consider using:

  • Over-ear headphones that provide a good seal around the ears for better sound isolation and bass response;
  • In-ear monitors that offer excellent noise isolation and accurate audio reproduction, especially for listening on-the-go;
  • Studio monitors or high-quality speakers for an even more immersive listening experience at home or in a dedicated listening space.

Closed headphones (like above) are crucial to hear the tiny differences.

When comparing YouTube Music’s audio quality, it’s essential to be aware of its streaming settings and options. The platform allows users to toggle between different audio quality settings, including “Audio Quality On Mobile Network” and “Audio Quality On Wi-Fi.”

While this gives users control over their listening experience, it also indicates that the quality may not always be consistent.

Whether users can hear a difference in audio quality on YouTube Music depends on various factors. These include their hearing ability, personal preferences, and the quality of the audio equipment they use. Investing in high-quality headphones or speakers and adjusting the streaming settings on the platform can make a noticeable difference in the overall audio quality and user experience.

Comparing YouTube Music to Other Streaming Services

When comparing YouTube Music to other streaming services, particularly Spotify, we can see that both platforms offer a similar service, in general.

But again – YouTube Music, though, may not quite match the competition around bitrates.

Nonetheless, it is a viable option for users wanting to enjoy music on-the-go without incurring extra charges from their network provider. To enable high-quality audio streaming on YouTube Music, users can change their settings for “Audio Quality On Mobile Network” and “Audio Quality On Wi-Fi.”

Some key differences between YouTube Music and Spotify come down to their additional features. Spotify leads the way when it comes to podcasts and music discovery, with its wide range of podcast offerings and personalized playlists such as Discover Weekly.

On the other hand, YouTube Music stands out for its focus on live performances, music videos, and covers, offering users access to a vast library of visual content that connects them more closely with their favorite artists and songs.

In summary, some key comparisons between YouTube Music and other streaming services include:

  • Similar pricing and music libraries
  • Slightly lower audio quality on YouTube Music
  • Great family plan pricing on YouTube Music
  • A more extensive range of podcasts and better music discovery on Spotify
  • More focus on live performances, music videos, and covers on YouTube Music

How to Improve Your Listening Experience on YouTube Music

YouTube Music offers a great platform for users to enjoy their favorite music and discover new songs, playlists, and artists.

To optimize the listening experience, one can try the following steps:

  1. Enable High-Quality Audio Streaming: YouTube Music allows users to adjust the audio quality settings for both mobile networks and Wi-Fi connections. To enable high-quality streaming, open the YouTube Music app, tap on the avatar in the top-right corner, and go to the “Settings” menu. Choose either “Audio Quality On Mobile Network” or “Audio Quality On Wi-Fi” option, and select the highest quality available (256kbps AAC & OPUS).
  2. Customize Music and Playlists: YouTube Music offers personalized recommendations based on the music a user has liked or listened to in the past. To enhance the listening experience, one can like or dislike songs while they are playing to further customize the station. The liked songs will appear in the “Your Likes” playlist, which can be accessed in the Library tab.
  3. Improve Recommendations: To get better song suggestions, users can pause their watch history and search history in the YouTube Music app. This can be done by tapping on the avatar icon in the top right corner, selecting “Settings,” scrolling down to “Location & privacy,” and pressing “Pause watch history” and/or “Pause search history.”

By following these steps, users can improve their listening experience on YouTube Music, enjoy higher audio quality and well-tailored recommendations.

Is YouTube Music High Quality for YOU?

YouTube Music’s high-quality audio has a bitrate of 256kbps in AAC & OPUS formats.

For those who value the highest quality audio, YouTube Music might not be their top choice. Other streaming services like Qobuz and Tidal offer master-quality sound, which surpasses YouTube Music’s high-quality option.

You can enable high-quality streaming settings on both Android and iOS devices.

  • For Android, go to your avatar in the top-right corner of the YouTube Music app, select “Settings,” and choose the “Audio Quality On Mobile Network” or “Audio Quality On Wi-Fi” options.
  • For iOS users, follow the same steps, but look for the “Playback & Restrictions” option under Settings.

In terms of subscription costs, YouTube Music Premium is priced at $9.99/month for individual plans, and $14.99/month for family plans covering up to six accounts. Student plans are available for both platforms at $4.99/month.

Compared to Spotify, YouTube Music offers a similar pricing structure, with the only difference being the family plan, where Spotify charges $15.99/month.

In summary, YouTube Music’s high-quality audio option may suffice for casual listeners who prefer a wide range of content, including music videos and live performances. However, avid audiophiles seeking the best possible sound quality may opt for alternative streaming services.

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