Why is Apple Music softer than Spotify?

Apple Music vs Spotify

Music streaming has become the go-to option for most people when it comes to listening to music. With the rise of music streaming, there are many options available in the market. Apple Music and Spotify are two of the most popular music streaming services available today. Although they offer a similar service, many people have noticed that Apple Music tends to sound softer compared to Spotify.

Why is Apple Music Sound Softer?

There are a few reasons why Apple Music sounds softer when compared to Spotify. One of the significant factors is the sound compression technology used by Apple Music. Apple Music uses its AAC format, which is known to compress music files better than most other formats without affecting the sound quality. The downside to this compression is that the music can sound softer overall.

Spotify, on the other hand, uses the Ogg Vorbis format, which doesn’t compress music files as much as AAC. But it still provides high-quality music while retaining the volume. This is one of the reasons why Spotify sounds louder than Apple Music.

The Bitrate Difference

Another factor that contributes to the difference in sound quality is the bitrate. The higher the bitrate, the better the sound quality. Apple Music streams music at a bitrate of 256 kbps, while Spotify streams at a bitrate of 320 kbps. The higher bitrate makes the music sound more detailed and vibrant.

However, it’s worth noting that the human ear can only pick up so much. Even though Spotify’s bitrate is higher, it’s not easy to detect the difference in sound quality unless you’re using high-end audio equipment.

The Loudness Normalization

Spotify also uses a feature called loudness normalization, which ensures that the volume levels of all songs are equal. This means that all songs regardless of the genre and audio levels, have the same perceived loudness level. This feature is especially useful when shuffling playlists or when playing music from different genres. Apple Music, on the other hand, doesn’t use this feature. Hence, you may experience sudden spikes in volume when playing music on Apple Music.


While both Apple Music and Spotify offer great music streaming services, there are differences in how they sound. Apple Music is softer, and Spotify is louder. It’s all about personal preference and the type of audio equipment you use. Depending on your preference, you may find one service more appealing than the other. Nevertheless, both services provide high-quality music to satisfy your listening needs.

Table: Differences Between Apple Music and Spotify

Factor Apple Music Spotify
Sound Compression AAC (higher compression) Ogg Vorbis (lower compression)
Bitrate 256 kbps 320 kbps
Loudness Normalization No Yes

Some Tips to Improve Your Streaming Quality

  • Check your internet connection. A stable and faster internet connection can ensure smoother streaming.
  • Use high-quality audio equipment. High-end headphones or speakers will reveal the differences in sound quality.
  • Adjust the equalizer settings. Most streaming services offer equalizer settings that can help optimize sound quality.
  • Consider upgrading to a premium subscription. Premium subscriptions offer better sound quality and more features.

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