When you’re stuck at home, music can provide a sense of order amid the coronavirus chaos. Streaming music is cheap or even free (in the case of Pandora and Spotify) and outpaces any physical format when it comes to ease and convenience. Sure, vinyl may be making a resurgence among audiophiles, but if you’re concerned about sound quality then streaming still has a lot to offer. In some cases, subscription services can sound indistinguishable from, or even better than, a CD.
We’ve checked out the leading on-demand music streaming apps and options — services such as Spotify, Pandora Premium, Apple Music and Tidal — as well as Amazon Music Unlimited and YouTube Music to see how each platform stacks up for your subscription buck. While most boast music catalogs of more than 50 million songs, each has its own unique pros and cons. We’ve also left out services that only play music in a radio format and don’t offer a la carte listening.
Read on to find an in-depth look at each of the services and a feature comparison. Most of the services start from $9.99 (£9.99, AU$11.99), but there’s a full price breakdown in the chart at the bottom of the page. If you want the TL;DR, these are the top three:
It’s a close race between Spotify Premium and Apple Music but Spotify wins thanks to a fun, easy-to-use interface, an extensive catalog and the best device compatibility. Spotify also offers our favorite free tier. Without paying a dime you can still stream over Spotify Connect to numerous devices and you don’t even need to provide a credit card. Read our Spotify review.
Best for iPhone users
Apple Music is a close second and it’s the only one of the “big four” with a digital locker to store your own library of songs. If you own an Apple HomePod, you’ll need this subscription service to summon music with your voice. It also makes the ideal companion for an iPod Touch, which, amazingly, is still a thing. Read our Apple Music review……..Read More>>