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3 Spotify Audio Settings That All 188 Million Subscribers Should Probably Change

Just two minutes in the Spotify settings menus can improve your audio quality a ton.

Spotify logo on a smartphone screen
You can change a lot more than the volume when you listen to music.
Sarah Tew/CNET

With over 188 million subscribers worldwide as of this month, Spotify is arguably one of the most popular music streaming platforms in the world. CNET also ranks Spotify as one of the best music streaming services on the market. 

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Spotify lets you listen to music wherever you are, recommends new songs based on your activity and provides fun, personalized streaming data at the end of every year. Paid subscribers can also make and share playlists with friends on social media, or with the whole world through the app.

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If you feel like something is missing from your listening experience though, Spotify lets you take control of various settings to make your music sound more superb. That way whether you're in a quiet library, your morning commute or pumping some iron in the gym, your music will always fit the mood. 

Here's how to crank your Spotify listening experience up to 11 no matter what the situation.

Adjust your base volume to match your environment

Volume is pretty easy to figure out, but did you know Spotify lets premium users adjust the base volume of the app depending on their environment? You can select either Quiet, Normal or Loud, and each has its own benefit.

Quiet will make songs a little quieter and sound cleaner, making it a good choice if you're relaxing at home. Normal makes songs play at a medium base volume, and the sound is less crisp than Quiet. This is a good choice for most people and situations. Loud is -- you guessed it -- louder, but you might lose some audio quality because of the loudness. This option is good if you're at the gym or other similarly noisy environments.

Here's how to adjust the base volume on your iPhone:

1. Open the Spotify app.
2. Tap the gear icon in the top-right corner of your screen.
3. Tap the Playback option near the top of the menu.
4.
Beneath Volume level there are three options: Loud, Normal and Quiet

If you're using the Spotify app on a Mac, here's how to adjust the base volume:

1. Open Spotify.
2. Click the down arrow in the top-right corner.
3. Scroll down until you see Audio Quality.
4. Under Audio Quality, you should see Volume level
5. Click the drop-down bar to the right of Volume level.
6. From here, you see the same Loud, Normal and Quiet options. Pick whichever one works for you.

Here's how to adjust the base volume if you're using the Spotify app on an Android device:

1. Open Spotify.
2. Tap the gear icon to access Settings.
3. Scroll down to Playback and you should see Volume Level.
4. Next to Volume Level you should see the LoudNormal and Quiet options. Pick the one you want.

Finally, here's how to adjust the base volume in Spotify while on a Windows computer:

1. Open Spotify.
2. Click your account name in the top-right corner.
3. Click Settings.
4. Under Audio Quality, you should see Volume level. Click the drop-down bar to the right.
5. Select either LoudNormal or Quiet.

Spotify playlists on iPhone

Use the equalizer to customize your sound for your favorite genres.

Angela Lang/CNET

Use the Spotify Equalizer for more control 

If you prefer being more hands-on with how your bass and treble come across in each song, you can adjust the in-app equalizer. Adjusting your bass affects lower frequency sounds, making your music sound deeper with increased bass or flat with less bass. Treble affects the higher sound frequencies, making your music sound brighter and more crisp with increased treble or duller and kind of muddied with less treble. 

Here's how to access the equalizer on your iPhone:

1. Open Spotify.
2. Tap the gear in the top right corner to access Settings.
3. Tap the Playback option. 
4. Scroll down the menu and tap Equalizer.

Here's how to access the equalizer on your Android device:

1. Open Spotify.
2. Tap the gear icon to access Settings.
3. Under the Audio quality heading -- not under Data Saver -- tap Equalizer.

This opens the equalizer page on both systems. Here you can find the manual equalizer slider and a handful of premade genre-based equalizers. 

You should see the manual equalizer slider that looks like a line graph with six dots. When you first get to this page, the equalizer should be flat. 

Each dot on the graph can be adjusted for more or less sound. The far left bar represents your bass, the far right bar controls your treble and the middle bars control -- you guessed it -- your midrange. You can tweak the bars as you see fit.

There are also genre-based equalizers on this page. You can pick which genre you're listening to and the app automatically adjusts the sliders to optimize for that style of music. After picking one, you can further adjust the sliders for the perfect listening experience.

If you want to reset the equalizer, there's a genre-based equalizer called Flat. This will reset the equalizer to its default.

The Mac and Windows versions of Spotify don't have an in-application equalizer. But you can search for an equalizer application to help you in your journey to find the best sound.

Music on the Spotify app

Adjusting these settings can really make your music pop

James Martin/CNET

Adjust the quality of your music for a clearer sound 

You can also adjust the audio quality of your music. This is handy if you're using mobile data and don't want to bump up your phone bill. Reducing the audio quality will use less data. 

Here's how to change the audio quality on mobile and tablet:

1. Open the Spotify app.
2. Tap the gear icon to access Settings.
3. Scroll down until you see the heading Audio Quality -- not under Data Saver.
4. Under WiFi streaming and Cellular streaming, you can select Low, Normal, High or Automatic. The Automatic option adjusts the audio quality to whatever your signal strength is. There is also a fifth option for paid subscribers called Very high.

How to change the audio quality on your desktop:

1. Open Spotify.
2. Click the down arrow in the top-right corner.
3. Click Settings.
4. Scroll down to Audio Quality.
5. Beneath Audio Quality you should see Streaming quality. Click the drop-down menu to the right.
6. Choose between Low, Normal, High or Automatic options, and the Very high option for paid subscribers.

For more information on Spotify, see which Spotify plan is best for you and how Spotify stacks up against Apple Music.

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