What Kind of Internet Speed Do I Need to Stream Music?

What Kind of Internet Speed Do I Need to Stream Music?
Technology

Find out how much internet speed you'll need for your favorite online music services. To stream music over the internet, you don't need a lot of speed. Most music streaming services, such as iHeartRadio, Spotify, and Pandora, will only provide you half a megabit per second. Any internet package with a speed of at least 10 Mbps can stream music of decent quality.

Some music streaming services, such as Apple Music and Tidal, do, however, provide high-definition "lossless" audio. These streams can travel at speeds of up to 9 megabits per second (Mbps). You'll need at least a 20 Mbps internet connection to handle these streams.


However, before you get started, we recommend that you perform our internet speed test to check where your connection stands right now so you can compare it to the requirements for music streaming. Do you intend to stream video as well? Use our How Much Speed Do I Need a tool to figure out how much speed you'll need for various services.

 

To Stream Music, How Fast Do You Need To Be?

The amount of internet speed required for each music stream is determined by its quality. The lowest streaming rate is 32 kilobits per second (Kbps), which is equivalent to a low-quality stream like talk radio, and the highest is 9,216 Kbps (9.126 Mbps).

Double those figures for each stream to ensure that your music has enough breathing room. For example, if your audio stream is 9,216 Kbps, a speed of 18,432 Kbps (18.43 Mbps) should suffice.

 


Data Requirements For Music Streaming

We'll break down the bitrates and suggested speed requirements based on quality or tier for each music streaming service. We'll also provide extra information on sampling rates and bit depth for curious audiophiles.

If you use a browser to listen to Spotify, the Free account is limited to 128 Kbps AAC audio, while the Premium account is limited to 256 Kbps AAC.

With the Free and Premium accounts, though, you'll see Low (24 Kbps), Normal (98 Kbps), and High (160 Kbps) quality options if you're using Spotify's desktop software, tablet, or smartphone. A Very High setting is included in the Premium package (320 Kbps). The Automatic mode on both plans changes the bitrate based on your connection.

 

Pandora Consumes How Much Data?

The audio quality ranges from 64 Kbps AAC+ to 192 Kbps when listening through a web browser. On mobile (Android, iOS, iPadOS), the Free and Plus subscriptions offer speeds of 24 to 64 kbps, while the Premium membership offers speeds of 192 kbps. No matter what plan you have, the stream will always be 128 Kbps if you have Sonos or similar equipment.


What Is Amazon Music's Data Usage?

The HD quality tier on Amazon delivers 16-bit tracks at 850 Kbps with a 44.1 kHz sample rate. The Ultra HD tier offers 24-bit tracks with sample rates ranging from 44.1 to 192 kHz at an average of 3,730 Kbps. Lossless compression is used in both "HD" levels to preserve the fidelity of the original analog recording.


What Is Amazon Music's Data Usage?

The HD quality tier on Amazon delivers 16-bit tracks at 850 Kbps with a 44.1 kHz sample rate. The Ultra HD tier offers 24-bit tracks with sample rates ranging from 44.1 to 192 kHz at an average of 3,730 Kbps. Lossless compression is used in both "HD" levels to preserve the fidelity of the original analog recording.

 

What Is The Data Use Of iHeartRadio?

The maximum bitrate on iHeartRadio is 128 Kbps. That works out to 58 megabytes per hour, which isn't awful if you're streaming on your phone's data plan.


How Much Data SoundCloud Go Consumes?


Because of the ACC codec, the SoundCloud Go+ High-Quality tier streams at 256 Kbps yet sounds like MP3 music encoded at 320 Kbps. Meanwhile, the Opus format is used for the regular 64 Kbps stream, so the music sounds like MP3 audio encoded at 128 Kbps.


Tidal Consumes How Much Data?

The Standard tier streams at 320 Kbps in AAC format, while the HiFi tier streams lossless 16-bit audio (44.1 kHz) at 1,411 Kbps in FLAC format. Tidal's Master tier makes use of MQA technology and normally transmits 24-bit audio at 96 kHz, but it can go up to 24-bit/192 kHz.

 

What Kind of Internet Speed Do I Need to Stream Music?

 

Related: Guide For Free and Best Streaming Services for 2021

 

 

Deezer Consumes How Much Data?

The MP3 codec is used in the first three tiers of Deezer, whereas FLAC is used in the HiFi tier (lossless). The Basic and Standard audio quality are included in the Deezer Free account, whereas the Student, Premium, Family, and HiFi plans include the High-Quality audio tier. The only plans that offer lossless audio are Deezer HiFi and Deezer Family HiFi.

 

SiriusXM Consumes How Much Data?

The bitrate is substantially lower while listening to SiriusXM satellite radio over the internet than when listening from a compatible car radio. Streams use the AAC codec, so music sounds like MP3 audio encoded for 128 Kbps, despite the stream being just 64 Kbps. Furthermore, SiriusXM employs "variable bitrates," which alter depending on your internet connection.


TuneIn Radio Consumes How Much Data?


The bitrate varies according to the broadcast. For example, a local radio station might only broadcast in 64 Kbps AAC or 64 Kbps MP3 audio, which you can manually select between. Another radio station may only broadcast in 128 kbps MP3, while another may only broadcast in 32 kbps AAC.


How Much Data Is Used By LiveXLive?

The bitrate of music played via LiveXLive is determined by the platform and subscription. If you're listening through a browser, you can choose between 128 and 320 kbps quality. An additional quality setting of 64 Kbps is available on mobile devices, presumably for people who listen over a cellular connection. LiveXLive acquired Slacker Radio in 2017.

 

 

 

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