Bumping up the bitrate

Providing great sound quality has always been an important goal for us. When we launched last year we implemented what we think is a very nice sounding stream at 160 kbit/s. A little later on, after a lot of user feedback, we decided to make sound normalisation an optional setting for those who prefer their music unaltered. Now, we’re taking the next step in offering an unparalleled listening experience.

Today we’re really excited to announce that Spotify Premium users will be able to listen to music at double the current quality, this is the first of many new premium features we plan to launch. In the latest release of Spotify, premium users have the option to enable streaming at up to 320 kbit/s using the Ogg Vorbis q9 codec – the highest streaming rate for any online service.

If you are a premium subscriber you can enable higher quality streaming by going to the preferences menu and clicking “Enable high bitrate”.

Enable high bitrate

Initially, not all tracks will be available at the higher bit rate. We’ve begun converting the most popular tracks first and over the next few of weeks and months we’ll be adding more and more high quality tracks until the entire catalogue is available in hi-fi.


  1. I agree with the last post. At no point was I made aware that in order to recieve the higher bitrate did I have to tick a box in the settings until a couple of days ago when I accidentally stumbled upon it while nosing around. I then look into it and find this thread.

    I’ve been paying premium for a few months now, admittedly at the time I failed to notice any difference (now it all becomes clear), I just assumed the particular tracks I was listening to were yet to be converted. I am very annoyed about this.

    Anyway, having now realised and ticked the correct box, is there a difference? Putting it through a proper hi-fi system, I think there’s a slight yet very subtle difference. Listening to Josh Rouse yesterday, lower bitrate I have to say sounds almost identical to the original cd. Higher bitrate, his vocals just sounded slightly more airy and the bass was slightly tighter. However, if I’m honest it really makes no difference, I had to listen very hard to hear these things and to be honest I can’t be sure that I’m imagining it. My wife could not tell any difference.

  2. Bought today Spotify Unlimited. Still in preferences the enable high bitrate is grayed. Not much joy of the payment to unlimited version:(

  3. To taylor and russ: It is not Spotify’s probelm if you can or cannot hear the difference between 160 and 320 kbps. Just listen to any mp3 with similar quality and if you cannot distinguish which one is with the better quality then save yourself the 50 sek extra for the premium. To me a 160 and 320 makes quite a difference and have been super happy with the premium upgrade since it came. Did not experience any of the described above problems either. Check your swr versions or just drop Spotify a mail. Cheers.