Bargains for Under $25 HP Envy 34 All-in-One PC Review Best Fitbits T-Mobile Data Breach Settlement ExpressVPN Review Best Buy Anniversary Sale Healthy Meal Delivery Orville 'Out Star Treks' Star Trek
Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?
No, thank you
Accept

Spotify Settings to Change to Make Your Music Sound Great

Change these Spotify settings to crank your listening experience up to 11.

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

You don't need high-end headphones or the most expensive speakers on the market for your music to sound great. Changing a few Spotify settings can give you the best listening experience without breaking the bank. 

CNET Tech Tips logo

Spotify is ranked among the best streaming apps. It 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. And if you're one of Spotify's paid subscribers, you can make and share playlists with your friends on social media, or with the whole world through the app. (Check out our tips for making the best workout playlists.) 

If you've recently decided to create a Spotify account, or you've been gifted a subscription, here are some ways to make sure your music sounds great on your iPhone and Mac.

How to adjust base volume in Spotify

Volume is pretty easy to figure out, but did you know Spotify lets you adjust the base volume of the app depending on your environment?

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. Scroll down until you see Volume level.
5.
Beneath Volume level there are three options: Loud, Normal and Quiet

If you're in the library working on an essay, Quiet might be best, and if you're getting a good sweat in at the gym, you might want Loud. Tap whichever volume level you think is best, but Spotify warns that the audio quality might diminish if you pick Loud.

If you're using the Spotify app on a Mac, the process has a few extra steps. Here's how to adjust the base volume on your Mac:

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

Spotify playlists on iPhone

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

Angela Lang/CNET

How to adjust your Spotify Equalizer

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, or choose one of a handful of premade genre-based options. 

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

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

This opens the equalizer page where you can find the manual equalizer slider and the genre-based equalizers. 

Across the top of the screen is the manual equalizer slider. It looks like a line graph with six dots near the top of your iPhone screen. When you first get here 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.

Below the manual equalizer are the genre-based equalizers. 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 version of Spotify doesn'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.

How to adjust streaming quality in Spotify

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 your iPhone:

1. Open the Spotify app.
2. Tap the gear to open Settings.
3. Scroll down and tap Audio Quality.
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 Mac:

1. Open Spotify.
2. Click Spotify in the toolbar across the top of your screen.
3. Select Preferences.
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.

Now playing: Watch this: Spotify changes shuffle default, Rockstar's GTA apology
1:27