Here are our top 3 choices, the also-rans and why they might or might not work for you. Streaming music is the most convenient way to listen to your favorite songs. And if you are concerned about sound quality, it may surprise you that streaming music can sound indistinguishable from -- or even better than -- a CD. The question is which streaming music service is best for you? While most offer music catalogs of more than 50 million songs, each has its own unique pros and cons. We've also left out services that only play music in a radio format and don't offer a la carte listening. In most cases you'll need to build your library and playlists from scratch if you switch, unless you use a music locker service. There is another option -- Soundiiz -- which can read the library from each of your music services and transfer them.
The best overall
Here are the best music streaming services:
Subscriber Account active since. When you buy through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more. Music listening has come a long way over the past few decades. Gone are the days when you had to buy CDs, vinyl records, or cassette tapes. You don't even have to buy digital downloads anymore. These days, you can simply sign up to a music streaming service and have access to all the music you'll ever need on a device that sits in your pocket. Of course, there are quite a few music streaming services out there, and they're all a little different. Because of that, it can be hard to find the service that's perfect for your needs. When deciding which streaming service to get, it's worth considering a few things.
How to choose among Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, Tidal, and more
Please refresh the page and retry. But which music streaming service is best for you? What features do you need and what are the different offerings you can get from premium subscriptions?
For many of us, the days of buying albums are over. The best music streaming services have put millions of songs at our fingertips, ready to play through our smartphone, tablet, computer or smart speakers whenever we fancy. Clever algorithms suggest artists and albums based on your listening habits, expanding your musical horizons daily. The tracks available on music streaming services have been compressed to save space, meaning audiophiles may find the sound quality disappointing. Some apps, including Tidal and Amazon Music, let you pay more for a hi-res stream that offers CD quality or better. The improvement is noticeable, but these bigger files will eat through your data allowance more quickly. Some music streaming services, including Spotify and Deezer, offer a free, ad-supported version that limits how many times you can skip songs. In our eyes, Spotify is the best free service if you enjoy podcasts thanks to the number it has available, while Deezer will be the free service for you if you want access to live radio. When testing a music streaming service, we judge the size and range of its catalogue and review the quality of the audio files.