We've checked out the big names, including Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music and YouTube Music, as well as smaller ones such as Tidal, Qobuz, Napster, Deezer and Pandora Premium, to see how each platform stacks up for your subscription dollar. Most of the services feature music catalogs of around 100 million tracks, and are supported by a host of different devices.
Given that all of the services basically have the same libraries, we evaluated each one based on:
- Ease of use.
- Sound quality.
While Spotify offers objectively the "worst" quality based on numbers alone, most people won't notice a difference, especially on phones or Bluetooth speakers. The biggest boons for Spotify users are the service's ubiquity, community features and ability to easily pair with other devices.
Apple also gets high marks due to its suitability for iOS and Mac users, as well as the ability to listen to higher-quality streams at no extra cost. If the service was more yielding to PC users and smart home fans, Apple Music would easily become the service we would recommend. In short, Spotify is better for users of almost any phone, smart device or computer.