Does streaming music require a fast internet connection speed?

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Like online gaming, video streaming, web surfing, … streaming music is a basic online activity that a large portion of internet users love to engage in every day. Does music streaming require a fast connection? Check out this post “Does streaming music require a fast internet connection speed?” to know the answers and find out how fast internet speed is enough for flawless music-streaming experiences.

hogging the bandwidth

Streaming music is a basic online activity that a large portion of internet users love to engage in

Music, music, and music …, for many of us, it’s a part of the daily lives. We stream music, listen to favorite songs whenever and wherever we can: while working, doing exercises, having breakfast, on the way to the office, on the way back home, and more. 

Are you a music lover? Do you stream music often? Have you ever experienced buffering when streaming music and wondered what the reason is behind that issue? Is a slow internet connection the cause? Does streaming music take up a lot of internet bandwidth and require a fast connection? Here are the answers to these questions. Keep reading on to see whether it’s necessary to speed up your connection to get the best music experiences or not.

Streaming (audio) music requires less bandwidth and speed than video streaming

Audio streams, generally speaking, useless internet bandwidth and data than video. In terms of speed, if you stream only music audios, then the speed requirements can be, of course, much lower as compared to when you stream music videos, movies, or TV shows (from YouTube, Netflix, or other streaming services). 

For example, for smooth 4K streaming experiences, Netflix advises its users to have an internet connection speed of 25 Mbps and above for 4K streaming on ONE device. For lower definitions like SD and HD, Netflix also recommends speeds of 3 Mbps and 5 Mbps, respectively. 

hogging the bandwidth

Audio streams use less internet bandwidth and data than video

Similarly, other video streaming services like Disney+, Hulu, or YouTube TV also require an internet speed of at least 3 - 5 Mbps for good video streaming experiences. For higher definitions, you will need higher speed and more bandwidth. Also, the more devices streaming simultaneously using the same connection, of course, you will need more bandwidth for sure. 

Back to the main point, well, streaming music does not use much bandwidth and data. You don’t need a very high internet connection speed to stream a favorite song. Though each music streaming service has different speed recommendations, no one requires internet speed of up to dozens of Mbps to play music. 

On average, it’s recommended to stream audio with a speed of at least 1.5 Mbps. However, many music streaming services just require minimum speeds of less than 100 Kbps (0.1 Mbps). Let’s move on to the next part of this writing to see the detailed speed requirements of popular music streaming services on the market these days.

hogging the bandwidth

Popular music streaming services 

Popular music streaming services and the required internet speeds 

As of today, we have tons of choices when it comes to music streaming services. Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, SoundCloud, Groove, … are all among the most popular music streaming platforms. Following are specific speed recommendations for each one of them:

Spotify

You will need a speed of at least 96 Kbps (0.096 Mbps) to stream music smoothly on Spotify. Here are specifically recommended speeds:

  • On Mobile

  • For Normal quality: 96 Kbps (0.096 Mbps)

  • For High quality: 160 Kbps (0.160 Mbps)

  • For Extreme quality: 320 Kbps (0.320 Mbps)

  • On Desktop

  • For Standard quality: 160 Kbps (0.160 Kbps)

  • For High Quality: 320 Kbps (0.320 Mbps)

Apple Music

Users need a speed of at least 256 Kbps (0.256 Mbps) to stream music on Apple Music as it transmits at this rate. 

hogging the bandwidth

Streaming music on Apple Music 

Amazon Music Unlimited

The recommended internet speed for Amazon Music Unlimited is 500 Kbps (0.5 Mbps) though it uses a bitrate of 256 Kbps (0.256 Mbps) on average. The reason is that the number of 256 Kbps is just an average while the actual bitrate varies depending on the song you play. 

As some songs and parts of the songs can require more data than others, you should have an internet speed of at least 500Kbps to ensure a smooth streaming experience.

Pandora

You will need a speed of at least 150 Kbps (0.150 Mbps) to stream music on Pandora. For higher quality, the minimum speed should be 300 Kbps (0.300 Mbps). 

SoundCloud

For SoundCloud, the recommended minimum speed to stream music here is 128 Kbps (0.128 Mbps).

hogging the bandwidth

Streaming music on Tidal

Tidal

The recommended minimum speed on Tidal is 256 Kbps (0.256 Mbps), while Tidal Premium and Tidal HiFi require higher speeds of at least 320 Kbps (0.320 Mbps) and 1,411 Kbps (1.411 Mbps), respectively.

Deezer

For Deezer, you might need to have a speed of up to 10 Mbps and more to use Multiple Elite Streams. For Deezer Elite and Deezer Premium+, the recommended speeds are 5 Mbps and 0.320 Mpbs (320 Kbps), respectively.

Slacker Radio

Users will need a speed of at least 128 Kbps (0.128 Mbps) to stream on Slacker Radio. Here are specific Slacker Radio internet speed requirements:

  • App Streaming

  • For Android devices: 320 Kbps (0.320 Mbps)

  • For iOS devices: 320 Kbps (0.320 Mbps)

  • Web Streaming 

  • Minimum speed: 128 Kbps (0.128 Kbps)

  • Minimum Speed for Maximum Audio Quality: 320 Kbps (0.320 Mbps)

hogging the bandwidth

Slacker Radio App Streaming

Napster

About Napster, it requires the lowest internet speed of 64 Kbps for good streaming. For better streaming and best streaming, users will need higher speeds of at least 192 Kbps (0.192 Mbps) and 320 Kbps (0.320 Mbps), respectively. 

As you can see, the highest speed required here is just 10 Mbps (Deezer’s Multiple Elite Streams) which is still much lower than the required speed for streaming 4K videos, right? 

Well, though music streaming doesn’t use a lot of bandwidth or require a high internet speed, we sometimes experience buffering issues when streaming music. What should we do to fix these? The answer is in part 3 of this post. Here it is!

How to stream music without buffering?

Different streaming services have their own connection speed requirements. To avoid buffering, you will want to ensure your internet connection has sufficient bandwidth and speed to handle the streaming.

hogging the bandwidth

There are different reasons behind buffering issues

Of course, there are different reasons behind buffering issues, but in terms of lacking good internet connection speed, well, here are a few simple tips that can help fix buffering with ease: 

  • Switch to your WiFi connection if you are streaming music via your cellular data. If possible, it's also a good idea to stream via a wired connection as it's a good way to make the experience smooth and pleasant. 

  • Pause the music player for seconds to allow more data to download.

  • Offline listening: A lot of music streaming services these days provide users with the option to download content for offline listening. That means you can save or download songs via the internet for just one time and listen to them afterward without any internet connection. Note that the number of songs, the types of songs that you can download depends on the service you are using as well as the subscription level you have. 

hogging the bandwidth

A lot of music streaming services these days provide users with the option to download content for offline listening

Roundup

Not like video streaming which requires a steady and fast internet speed, we just need the speed of >1 Mbps to stream music smoothly on almost all music streaming services. In a nutshell, it’s safe to say that streaming music doesn’t require a fast internet connection. It’s not hogging the bandwidth for sure. But sometimes, we might experience buffering issues when streaming music. In this post, we also included a few suggestions to deal with buffering. Hope you found them useful. And that’s all for today’s article “Does streaming music require a fast internet connection speed?.”

Sources:

highspeedinternet.com/resources/how-much-speed-do-i-need-for-pandora-and-spotify

estmyspeed.onl/how-much-speed-do-audio-streaming-services-need/

lifewire.com/is-my-broadband-fast-enough-to-stream-audio-2438444

reviews.org/internet-service/best-internet-streaming/