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List of brands we tested in this review.
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Per month. Standard/default subscription. All services on test include a free trial period.
enter value/s in increments of 1 between 12 and 24
Audio quality score
Assessed on PC using each service’s default (non hi-fi) setting, by a panel of experts. Automatic quality adjustment was used when services did not offer custom quality settings.
enter value/s in increments of i between 67 and 75
Ease of use score
Assesses general layout, search tools, adding content to your library, genre browsing, playlist creation, offline mode and sharing on desktop (40%) and mobile (60%).
enter value/s in increments of i between 70 and 84
Data consumption standard auto quality
Assessed the level of data consumed by a one-hour playlist at standard, high and highest quality offered by the service, in addition to the automatic settings. This playlist was played three times to create an average rate of data consumption. Auto quality adjustment was used if no other options were available. Bitrate can increase and decrease depending on internet connection speed and quality.
enter value/s in increments of i between 40 and 123
Data consumption high quality
Assessed the level of data consumed by a one-hour playlist at standard, high and highest quality offered by the service, in addition to the automatic settings. This playlist was played three times to create an average rate of data consumption.
enter value/s in increments of i between 69 and 380
Hi-fi grade audio
Does the service offer hi-fi (lossless CD quality) audio streaming. Requires separate hi-fi account which incurs a higher monthly cost. Deezer Sonos only.
Explicit content filter
Identifies tracks with explicit content and blocks or replaces them with "clean versions."
Family subscription plan
Provides individual accounts and group discounts for relatives living at the same address.
Upload your own music
Spotify: Can't upload your own songs to Spotify's servers, but Spotify will sync your local music to its library, if it has those songs in its database. If it doesn’t have them, you can sync them to a mobile device if you are on the same network as your computer. Google Play Music Uploaded songs are usually replaced by versions in Google’s database (e.g. radio edits). User must manually replace any songs they feel are incorrect using the 'Fix incorrect match' option Microsoft Groove MusicUploaded songs can be set to replace Groove's own version of those songs; FLAC files are not supported; feature requires OneDrive account.
Included in this review
- Overall score
- Ease of use score
- Audio quality score
- Data consumption standard auto quality
- Data consumption high quality
- Good points
- Bad points
- Free version
- OS X
- Web browser-based
- Other platforms
- Quality settings Wi-Fi
- Quality settings mobile data
- Hi-fi grade audio
- Offline mode desktop
- Offline mode mobile
- Explicit content filter
- Child-friendly mode
- Family subscription plan
- Upload your own music
- Import iTunes playlists
- Simultaneous devices